How well do you understand the religious beliefs of the 2016 presidential candidates?
According to Stephen Mansfield, Christians are failing to understand the important views of the candidates they’re voting for. In addition, the press considers religious views to be either private or unimportant when determining who the next president should be.
“We’ve got to stop having the sort of ‘God bless you, God bless America, carry a Bible to church on Sunday morning and shake hands with the pastor just to get it in front of the press’ kind of discussion or imagery of faith in a campaign, while never discussing what the candidate actually believes.”
Surprisingly, Mansfield describes Hillary Clinton as one of the most faith-based and religiously-oriented presidential candidates of this generation.
“She is making decisions on a solid body of faith. It doesn’t mean it’s your brand of faith, or my brand of faith, it doesn’t mean it’s consistently biblical, but it is a body of faith.”
In order to work with someone who has a different faith background, we have to understand the details of their faith.
Mansfield says that Hillary Clinton’s “religious views” drive many of the decisions she has made, including her decision to shift her stance to support gay marriage and abortion by choice of the mother.
As Christians, we should seek to understand what the candidates actually believe about religion. According to Stephen this is how it was always intended to be, since America was born.
“This is what the Founding Fathers intended. They didn’t want a religious test for office, they wanted voters to scan people religiously and make decisions about them based in part on religion. We don’t have a sophisticated enough dialogue about religion during campaigns for anybody to be informed.”
The religious stance of the candidates running for President of the United States cannot stay hidden.
“It wasn’t private for Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush or Abraham Lincoln or George Washington for that matter. If you said right now ‘I’m running for president,’ I would say ‘Great, tell me everything you believe and include religion.’”
Mansfield suggests that all Christians take time to investigate the important religious beliefs that shape the worldview of each candidate.