Faith and Politics - Chester Cook

Barack Obama and John McCain answered questions from Rick Warren, hosted at Saddleback, for what Warren called the "Civil Forum."

Both were given tough questions and the same amount of time to answer. This was the first time that the two candidates agreed to a joint televised appearance to discuss issues.

I believe that both Obama and McCain preformed well.

Rather than criticize or praise their responses, I want to focus on the core value of faith in the life of politics. I personally feel that people have political beliefs that are synonymous with their faith beliefs.

Whether one believes in God or doesn't believe in God, his or her decisions are based on his or her moral conscience, which is formed by the person's theological/world views.

In making presidential decisions, the construct of the candidates' family life, socialization, education and experience will play an important role in his or her policy choices.

Avoiding questions about faith in the political process conceals underlying motives of judgment. It is not fair to say that faith and politics should not mix, because the truth, is they are inseparable.

Any one who says that he or she has no faith belief is a liar.

Everyone has a world view. Even Atheism is a faith belief. I would argue that your faith belief is probably the most influential determinant in your opinions.

Most moral values have a foundation in an absolute Authority. If there isn't an absolute Authority, then natural relativism reigns, which is also a belief.

The more I know about a candidate, his or her morals, experience, character, and personal values, the more I can make an informed decision when it comes to voting for the next president.

If you have any comments on this column, or any other subject, please contact me at chaplain@airportchapel.org.

Dr. Chester R.Cook