ENGAGING CANDIDATES ON THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN AMERICAN POLITICS
EVALUATE WHAT YOU HEAR. SHARE WHAT YOU LEARN.
WHY IT MATTERS. As religion plays an increasingly prominent role in American politics, preserving the boundary between religion and government is more vital than ever. America’s political process can be divisive, and never more so than when candidates use the language of faith to advance their own partisan interests, or when they seek to marginalize religious minorities and emphasize their beliefs as the only truth. Rhetoric like that is unhealthy for politics and for religion.
Many candidates and elected officials have long-standing views on faith and politics and issues related to religious freedom. But in the modern era of campaigns, the news media and the public often overlook or disregard these issues altogether. Religion in public schools, proselytization in the military, government funding of faith-based programs, Islamophobia. These are just a few of the issues that place our religious freedom at stake every day. When you cast your votes this Election Day, we want you to know where the candidates stand on these important issues.
WHAT TO ASK…
1. How will your faith or values influence your views on public policy?
2. What do you believe are the proper boundaries between religion and government?
3. How will you protect the rights of your constituents, regardless of their faith or beliefs?
4. How will you balance the principles of your faith and your obligation to defend the Constitution, particularly if the two come into conflict?
5. Is it appropriate for a candidate to assert personal religious beliefs on the campaign trail?
WHAT TO LISTEN FOR…
1. Will the candidate protect religious liberty for everyone?
2. Does the candidate share your views on how to protect the boundaries between religion and government?
3. The Constitution guarantees freedom of belief for everyone. Will the candidate respect and represent all his or her constituents equally?
4. Conflicts in personal values are inevitable. Has the candidate carefully considered how to navigate this inevitable situation?
5. Is the candidate talking about his or her faith from a biographical perspective or is he or she suggesting you should vote for them because of it?