An Analysis of the Importance of a Religion of the Political Candidate in American Politics
Religion and Politics have played a loud and at some times discordant counterpoint in the United States for many years. There has always been a correlation. Between conservative politics and fundamentalist religion in American History. As American’s we’ve always had had the constitutional right to chose our religion. Yet our country’s leaders. That sit in the highest political seats have traditionally been evangelistic Protestants. Which have dominated religion in politics during the final decade or two.
In the twentieth century, and if the past is any indication. They will most likely continue to dominate the arenas. With some exceptions, at least through the early decades of the twenty-first century. Though voter seem to notice candidate’s religion less and less over the years. Past waves of religious activism have lasted for several decades at a stretch, and there is little reason to think the religious right will scatter more quickly.
In looking at the broad picture of religion in politics across American history, one is beat by how religion stayed for the most part, within the boundaries layed out by the founders of the constitution. Except for a handful of border groups that have tried to influence voters, on both the right and left, religion in the United States is not associated with political violence. Nor does any major religious group seriously advocate that taxpayers fund ministers or enact a religious test for public office.
Moreover, to be successful in American Politics and with American voters, religious groups have had to find a way to border their arguments in worldly-wise terms. The result of all of this is that the United States has been able to temper the bitter religious friction in politics that has occupied so much of Human history. Yet despite how religiously emancipated the United States of America is, the general public that votes, still concentrates very much on political candidates religion.
Whether or not religion will continue to be a constructive voice in politics in the decades a head is an open question. Scientific materialism has made it more difficult for religious believer to effectively join the public debate: and the dramatic secularization of public life in recent years has added new barriers to mixing faith in politics. Even so, the United States remains one of the most religious nations in the industrialized world, and it would be foolish to discount the inherent power of religious idealism for animating social and political reform.
Many changes have come forth since the days of the founders of the country. Many positive controversial events have marked the nation with positive march to change in the voter’s opinon of presidential-vice presidential candidates.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960, when he won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for president. In the general election, Kennedy faced opposition from some conservative Christian groups and fundamentalist, especially in the southern states, (which have traditionally been conservative and voted Republican), because he was Roman Catholic.
In the November election, however being Catholic helped him win the industrial east where a large number of Catholics lived. He just narrowly defeated Richard Nixon. He was the first Roman Catholic elected president of the United States. As President he was said to have proved that tall of the anti-Catholic concerns that he would be religiously committed to Rome was unfounded, he was said to have created a public- personal barrier and firmly placed his catholic ideology in the realm of private.
In more current elections, the current vice president and democratic candidate for president chose his running mate, as Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. “Charting an independent course from president Bill Clinton while making history by naming the Jew ever to a major party ticket.”
Joe Lieberman as a politician has an “impeccable” reputation, which includes being the first prominent Democrat to rebuke president Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His accomplishments include working across the party line on issues such as education, reform and Social Security. He seems to bring a sort-of political conscience to the Democratic Party ticket, which shared with Al Gore, which some voters have seen as not exactly truthful. Gore was seen as trying to aim at the centralist voters to who hold the balance in modern presidential elections, by taking politics into uncharted waters by selecting Lieberman.
Now three months after the initial selection date the public seems to be accepting. The initial hype of Leiberman’s selection seems to have died down in to almost a near silent hush, only mentioned to emphasize him being the first Jewish Vice Presidential candidate. Which shows that twenty-first century American culture has far surpass expectation for religion in politics. Not to rule out fore mentioned statements, “America may be ready to see a Jewish vice presidential candidate, but they definitely aren’t ready to see a Jewish man run for president, at least not in this election.”
As the current election roles along the country has seemed to (for the time being) forgotten Lieberman’s religion and looked to his views and credentials for his hope to be position as vice president. America has come very far from even the time of President Kennedy to accept a Jewish candidate without extreme criticism.