Presidential Candidates speak on Faith, Values and Poverty

Thanks to the Catalyst Blog for alerting me to this… I went out on my own, though, and found the transcript since I missed it when it was on TV. Here it is:

CNN – Special Edition: Sojourners Presidential Forum

Some interesting points that are worth listening to, regardless of where you stand politically.

Here’s a few things that stood out to me:

Senator Barack Obama speaking about tensions in the Middle East:

So when I look at the situation in the Middle East — and this is true in other conflicts around the world — the question I ask myself — and this is where I do think faith comes in — is, is there a way for us to reconcile the claims of both sides of the conflict in a way that leads to resolution and a better life for all people?

And that, I think, is something that can be achieved, but it’s going to require some soul-searching on the Palestinian side. They have to recognize Israel’s right to exist; they have to renounce violence and terrorism as a tool to achieve their political ends; they have to abide by agreements. In that context, I think the Israelis will gladly say, “Let’s move forward negotiations that would allow them to live side by side with the Palestinians in peace and security.”

But, you know, we are so far from that right now, partly because, when your brothers or sisters have been killed in a suicide bombing, when you feel that you’ve been oppressed or treated unjustly, it’s very hard to get out of that immediate anger and seek reconciliation.

And that’s where I think faith can inform what we do: Faith can say, forgive someone who has treated us unjustly. Faith can say that, regardless of what’s happened in the past, there’s a brighter future ahead. And that’s the kind of faith that I think has to inform, not just our international policies, but also domestic policies, as well.

John Edwards, former VP candidate with John Kerry, when asked “Do you think homosexuals have the right to be married?”:

No. Not personally. Now you’re asking about me personally. But I think there’s a difference between my belief system and what the responsibilities of the president of the United States are. It is the reason we have separation of church and state. And there are very good people, including some people that I’m very close to me, my daughter who is sitting in the front row here tonight, feels very differently about this issue. And I have huge respect for those who have a different view about this.

So I think we have to be very careful about ensuring that the president of the United States is not using his belief system and imposing that belief system on the rest of the country. So what that…

[he was interrupted here]

So what that — I’m sorry. All I was going to say is I think what that means in this case is the substantive rights that go with partnerships, civil unions, for example, and all the subsequent rights that go with that, should be recognized in this country, at least in my judgment, should be recognized. And I think it is not the role of the federal government to tell either faith-based institutions, churches, synagogues, what they should or should not recognize. Nor should the federal government be telling states what they should recognize.

Like I said, some very interesting thoughts, regardless of where you stand politically. I think the whole thing is worth a read…

Thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “Presidential Candidates speak on Faith, Values and Poverty

  1. no big disagreements with the quotes you posted by obama and edwards. i think they are both respectable men. though i agree with them on many issues, it’s hard for me to be comfortable with their stance on abortion. it’s too bad that pro-choice is a litmus test for being a national democrat candidate.

    edwards contrasts his personal views on gay marriage with what he thinks the federal government should support. it’s one thing for edwards’ to talk about separation of church and state with regard to gay marriage, but i think abortion is in a different league entirely. and yet, you here a lot of the same rhetoric from people about abortion… personally they are opposed, and wouldn’t do it, but they don’t think it’s right to limit someone else’s “right to choose”. at some point, you just have to stand up for what is right, and protect the innocent.

  2. Scott-

    “it’s too bad that pro-choice is a litmus test for being a national democrat candidate.”

    I know… SUCH a bummer. I’m holding out for a Independent/3rd Party candidate… I may be holding my breath for a long time though, unfortunately.

    “personally they are opposed, and wouldn’t do it, but they don’t think it’s right to limit someone else’s “right to choose”. at some point, you just have to stand up for what is right, and protect the innocent.”

    This is what makes it so hard, is that the 2 sides don’t even agree that the babies being aborted are people… So, the fundamental assumption/belief that Pro-life people base their stance on, is what is being denied by Pro-choice proponents. No wonder we can’t resolve this…

    What’s hard for me, is that in order to fight for the rights of the unborn, I have to continue to support the rest of the Republican agenda, much of which I am starting to disagree with…

    So, that’s why I’m hoping for some 3rd Party person I can vote for, that is Pro-life, but is not Republican…

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