Rick Warren.jpgThis weekend’s main event, outside of the Beijing Olympics, will be the Saturday sit-down between superpastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback megachurch and Barack Obama and John McCain–and event being called “the Saddleback Civil Forum.” Rick will have an hour with each man to talk about faith and how their faith would affect their agendas should they be elected president.

This is an extraordinary, indeed unprecedented, role for a clergyman, and a remarkable moment for the campaign and American politics. Nothing like this has happened before, and so it’s natural that Pastor Rick would need some help formulating questions.

And speaking of the Olympics, here is what I’d like to see Warren ask McCain and Obama:

Gentlemen: You have both proclaimed yourselves men of faith whose beliefs inform the way you would govern the United States. But I’d like to know what would you do to promote religious freedom overseas for people of faith who are suffering–Tibetan Buddhists at the hands of the Chinese, for example, or as many as 100 million Christians in China and elsewhere, especially in Sudan and many Muslim countries.

This October marks the 10th anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act, or IRFA, which was signed into law by none other than Bill Clinton. To the dismay of many of us, George Bush has not been able to use that act to advance international religious freedom nearly as much as we had hoped. In fact, his muted reaction to the Chinese crackdown in Tibet amid his trip to Beijing for the Olympics underscored his mixed record.

Polls, like a May 2008 survey commissioned by Open Doors USA, show this is an issue of vital concern to Americans, especially believers. Would you do anything different? And if so, what?

McCain & Obama.jpgFYI: For indispensible background reading, check out David van Biema’s superb profile, “The Global Ambition of Rick Warren,” in the recent issue of TIME magazine. And for further reference, check out the brief essays on faith by each candidate, also in TIME. John McCain’s “A Light Amid the Darkness,” and Barack Obama’s “Changing Hearts and Minds.”

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

Thank you for visiting Progressive Revival. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

Originally appeared on Tikkun Daily Blog Ever since the victory over the dictator of Tunisia and the subsequent uprising in Egypt, my email has been flooded with messages from Jews around the world hoping and praying for the victory of the Egyptian people over their cruel Mubarak regime.              Though a small segment of Jews have responded […]

The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly or more subtly (e.g., Sarah Palin’s putting a bull’s-eye target on Giffords’ congressional district to […]

Christmas and Chanukah share a spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope in a world of darkness, oppression and despair. But whereas Christmas focuses on the birth of a single individual whose life and mission was itself supposed to bring liberation, Chanukah is about a national liberation struggle involving an entire […]

Close Ad