Posted by: smstrouse | January 30, 2016

Religion and the Political Left

First of all, a disclaimer: I am not endorsing any political candidate (at least not here on this blog). I am intrigued, though, with the interest of the press in the religious beliefs of Democratic presidential candidates.

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Just this past week, a Salon headline proclaimed:

The popularity of Bernie Sanders speaks volumes about Americans’ rejection of organized religion 

Bernie Sanders’ lack of religious faith is more normal in America than many pundits and politicians seem to think

Now that may be true. However, Sanders, who is Jewish, did express his religious belief: “I think everyone believes in God in their own ways. To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

Wow! I have a lot more in common with Bernie than many of my fellow Christians.

1443995935491Then there’s Hillary. Delivering the sermon at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. in September, she talked about how her religious upbringing informs her life today. She described the Methodist church and her fellow Methodists as “a source of support, of honest reflection, of candid critique.”

From her mother, she took to heart the quote by John Wesley: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. I can’t argue with that either.

As I said, I’m intrigued. After all the noise from candidates appealing to the religious right about “our Christian nation,” etc. it’s refreshing to hear religious beliefs coming from the left. The faith of conservative Christian candidates may be quite sincere (although I have my doubts about the “I drink my little wine and have my little cracker” remark), but they don’t represent my brand of Christianity. I’m much more comfortable with Hillary and Bernie.

So, while Bernie may be appealing to the non-religious and Hillary doesn’t wear her faith on her sleeve, all that this member of the spiritual and religious left can say is “Amen!”

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