From the religion side of the politics-religion question, there is comparatively little that believers have an obligation to take time with. (I feel a touch of regret, actually, for writing two successive blogposts that deal heavily in politics.) Thinking from the politics side of things for a moment, though, I was happy to read this from the blogsite of Amy Sullivan, political journalist:
If a candidate brings up his faith on the campaign trail, there are two main questions journalists need to ask: 1) Would your religious beliefs have any bearing on the actions you would take in office? and 2) If so, how?
Although marginal beliefs (e.g, Mormon ones), and extremely institutionalized, apostatic doctrines (e.g., Roman Catholic ones) are of some interest since they speak, for me, to the candidate’s ability to discern, it seems that this journalist is on to something. From a secular, political standpoint, all a voter should care about is probably summarized in the above two questions.
A further rejoinder from Sullivan to her journalistic colleagues:
Stop calling candidates “devout.” At best, the modifier “devout” is used as shorthand to distinguish between people who are merely culturally affiliated with a religious tradition and those who are active practitioners. At worst, it’s simply used to indicate that a politician is a conservative person of faith. The judgment of whether an individual is truly devout is not one journalists are in a position to make. If what you mean is that candidate X goes to church or candidate Y does not work on the Sabbath, then say that.
Again, good stuff. Kudos to a journalist for calling out misplaced emphasis (bias? never!) in her colleagues.