A Lebanese Catholic priest calls on believers around the world to pray for the people of his country following two explosions in Beirut that left dozens dead and thousands injured. “We ask your nation to carry Lebanon in its hearts at this difficult stage, and we place great trust in you and in your prayers, […]
While President Donald Trump is still the most popular candidate among White evangelicals, Joe Biden’s faith may help him win over some religious conservatives.
What may help Joe Biden stand out to some religious voters is that he makes faith a central part of his persona. He literally wears his faith on his sleeve.
Biden carries a rosary that belonged to his late son Beau. While he was standing backstage awaiting a debate last year, Pete Buttigieg asked Biden about the prayer beads. This question led to a conversation about faith, family, and loss.
As you may know, the former vice president is no stranger to loss. Over the years, Biden has been very candid about his faith and how it’s helped shape him.
In an emotional interview with Late Show host Stephen Colbert, Biden opened up about his faith and religion and how it helped him through his son’s death.
This particular interview was one of the first he had done since losing his son, Beau, to brain cancer before he had mentioned his bid to enter the presidential race.
People didn’t expect Biden to open up as much as he did, talking directly about his Catholic faith, and how it provided him with an “enormous sense of solace.”
Years before his oldest son’s death, Biden’s first wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. Biden shared with Colbert that his faith helped him cope during his darkest period:
“I go to mass, and I’m able to be just alone, even in a crowd,” he said. “It’s just a place you can go.”
He also shared how his wife, Jill, plays a role in lifting his faith. She leaves inspirational notes for him, including a quote from philosopher Kierkegaard that says, “Faith sees best in the dark.”
Biden shared that his religion not only helped him through the loss but also gives him tremendous comfort.
“Some of it relates to rituals, some of it relates to the comfort of what you’ve done your whole life,” Biden said. “What my faith has done is… it sort of takes everything about my life — with my parents and my siblings and all the comforting things. And all the good things that have happened around the culture of my religion and the theology of my religion.”
In a recent CNN town hall, then moderator Chris Cuomo shared a question from Rev. Anthony Thompson, an Episcopal minister whose wife was one of the nine people shot dead in 2015 at Charleston’s Emmanuel AME church. Thompson said, “My question is: What is your faith, and how would you use your faith in making decisions for our nation?” Biden and the Obamas had visited his church after the shooting, just weeks after Biden’s son died of brain cancer.
Biden responded tearfully, “I find the one thing it gives me — and I’m not trying to proselytize, I’m not trying to convince to be, to share my religious views — but for me, it’s important because it gives me some reason to have hope and purpose … When my wife was killed, and my daughter was killed, and then my son died, I’ve only been able to deal with it by realizing they’re part of my being. My son Beau is my soul. And what I found was, I had to find purpose.”
Democrats hope that Biden’s evident comfort with faith will serve as a powerful point of contrast with Trump, AP News reports.
As CNN reports, President Trump is likely not in danger of losing the White evangelical vote – a bloc that he won handily at 81 percent in 2016 – religious Democrats hope Biden can chip away at that support, which Trump needs to win reelection in November.