God's Politics

God's Politics

Transcript: Presidential Forum on Faith, Values, and Poverty

Here’s the transcript from last night’s candidates forum with John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.

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Andy Vandergriff

posted June 5, 2007 at 4:52 pm

This link is broken…could someone please fix it?

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Rev. Ian Alterman

posted June 6, 2007 at 5:16 am

I’m not sure if anyone else noticed, but John Edwards was the only candidate who spoke openly and freely about “Christ” and “Our Lord.” While all the rest – Obama, Clinton, Biden, Richardson, Dodd and Kucinich – spoke of “God” and “faith,” NONE of them could bring themselves to openly talk about “Jesus” or “Christ.” I’m not suggesting this should be some sort of litmus test for the depth or degree of one’s faith. However, I find it troubling that candidates who call themselves “Christians” have a problem acknowledging Jesus by name or “title.” Peace.

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Mick Sheldon

posted June 6, 2007 at 9:58 am

Rev, Is it if articlulated here why liberal Christians support or “ignore” the Democratic Party’s addiction for abortion rights ? Is is something they consider marginal or just non important . Also the method of demonization and stereotyping done to marginalize believers , do they see this as deserved or just don’t see it ?

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posted June 6, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Ian, Yes, I noticed the same thing. It’s nice to have faith, but what matters to me is in whom or in what does one have faith. It’s like someone saying “I have values.” ummm, that’s great. But what are they?

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posted June 7, 2007 at 9:51 am

First, I’m not going to choose a President according to the level of his faith in Christ. While having a President who has a real belief in Christ would be great, just because he’s a true Believer doesn’t mean he’d make a good President. It would be like picking a President because he “looks Presidential” or is “articulate”. I find those very superficial reasons by which to choose the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. I think what Soujourners is attempting is to weed out with this debate are candidates who use their Christianity as a manipulative tool or who could be mentally unstable or extreme in their fundamentalism. That said, I have no problem with candidates who refrain from using “Christ” and “Our Lord” in discussions of their faith. I agree use of those terms may indicate a deeper belief in and surrender to Christ’s will. On the other hand it could also be evidence of someone who can adeptly “talk the walk”, so to speak. Personally, I think there may be two reasons most of the candidates may be refraining from this religious venacular:1) They don’t want to come across as too fundamentalist and turn off moderate and liberal Christians and/or non-Christians. They want only to demonstrate they believe in a generic higher power they call God. If pressed they would probably state they believed in Christ – but I feel that is a personal issue and not one to be forced from candidates in a Presidential debate.2)They may just be being honest. When I was a young Christian I had a hard time calling Jesus “Christ” and “Lord”. I struggled with belief and faith and felt that using those terms was not an authentic response. If this is the case for these candidates, then I respect their restraint and applaud them for not using Christian terms they feel uncomfortable using just to get the Christian vote. You can bet your bottom dollar they could get coaching on how to appear genuine in their Christian belief if they wanted to appear that way.

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Mick Sheldon

posted June 7, 2007 at 8:08 pm

Michelle, I go to an Evangelical Church , but know exactly what you mean . I had a very hard time even staying throughout the first sevice I attended in my church , I kept thinking thse folks were rude to be so happy and noisy . To me it sounds silly now , but the background of being brought up in an Episcopal church of that time was reverence . In fact I wish the denomination I belong kept some focus on that at times . But personally I am glad Edwards talked about Jesus , from his policies he advocates and how he handled some people working for him that were quite bigoted toward Christians , I would never had known .>

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Maurice Nickerson

posted June 7, 2007 at 11:01 pm

I think each candidate reflected his own Christian community. Edwards used words you commonly hear in Baptist churches. Obama being a UCC is not apt to talk as much about Jesus as a Baptist. Judgment probably is not a real good thing for Christians to be engaging in at this point. Clinton like a Methodist was reserved also about describing her beliefs. They all sounded like solid Christians from three different faith traditions.>

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Rev. Ian Alterman

posted June 10, 2007 at 11:47 am

Thank you for your wonderful, thoughtful response. Two comments.
I, too, had trouble using “Jesus” and “Christ” when I was a “young Christian.” Many do. But none of the candidates are “young Christians”; they are decades-long believers for whom those names should not be difficult to say. Still, I agree with you that it need not “mean” anything specific.
More importantly, your last sentence contradicts your opening. You start by saying, “I think what Soujourners is attempting is to weed out with this debate are candidates who use their Christianity as a manipulative tool…” Yet you end by saying, “I respect their restraint and applaud them for not using Christian terms they feel uncomfortable using just to get the Christian vote.”
But isn’t this very restraint a “manipulation” of sorts? That is, if they are refraining from using terms like “Jesus” and “Christ” in order not to “come across as too fundamentalist and turn off moderate and liberal Christians and/or non-Christians,” then aren’t they still being manipulative?
I completely agree with you that one should not vote for a candidate “according to the level of his faith in Christ.” I never have, and never will. However, I would hope that when candidates DO discuss their faith – especially in a quasi-political setting – that they are fully open and honest about it, and do NOT use it to manipulate public perceptions in EITHER direction: by “tempering” their words in order not to appear too “fundamentalist,” or in overstating their faith in order to appear more fundamentalist than they are.

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posted May 20, 2008 at 11:00 pm

The dying charge from at length week’s earthquake in south-west China has risen to 40,075, officials arrange said.
Chinese aid workers are struggling to happen seek for millions who unchaste their homes. peculiar medical teams arrange started arriving in the area.
Tens of thousands more are quiet missing, and hopes are fading of locateing myriad people that time sprightly.
regardless, Chinese media say a chain was pulled from the rubble 195 hours – or eight days – after the disaster.
It was the in the place let go free on Tuesday. Earlier, a man was pulled aware from the remains of a power trans after being buried for 179 hours, limited media said. Rescuers fed him sweetened incredible washing one’s hands of a tube.
The let go free exertion has now focused on providing subsistence, housing and drinking modify for the millions of people upset by the 7.9 immensity earthquake in Sichuan province.
Rescuers be suffering with launched a concluding try to search all hurt area.
On Monday Chinese foremost Wen Jiabao ordered troops to reach every one village and village in the earthquake district within 24 hours.

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posted September 25, 2008 at 3:05 am

well done, brother

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posted September 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm

well done, man

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