What role should religion play in the election of the next president?

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The most important thing in

The most important thing in my opinion for voting in the current election is that the candidate walk his or her talk. In reviewing Obama's record on numerous issues important to me as an environmentalist, I find it impossible to vote for the Democratic Candidate. Obama has a long association accepting money from the coal industry; he has also asserted his support of nuclear and bio fuels, both inimical to our Earth Mother.

I will therefore be casting my vote for either Ralph Nader or the Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney.

Religion should play many

Religion should play many roles in this election season. It should help people remember their values. Religion should encourage curiosity and open-mindedness about the political process and steer people away from harmful smearing and partisan-based ugliness. It should give religious persons a place to pray as they discern what is in the best interest of their country and global community. Religion should create space for peaceful dialogue as citizens attempt to become more informed about positions or candidates different from their own. Churches, synagoges, mosques and temples can serve as refuge from the constant chaos, anxiety and fear-based politicking that comes with election season, which can ultimately help folks make wiser decisions.

Religion and Values

Religious values should play a strong role, but religious beliefs should play fairly little. As John Shelby Spong states, healthy religion is about a search for meaning, but toxic religion is just about a security blanket. Healthy spirituality is about cultivation a calm and placid mind which like a still lake reflects the world around it more clearly. Too much American politics is dominated by an atmosphere of paranoia and fear, or as Obama put it "fear and smear". I have often heard it said in rebuttal to the right-wing that hate is not a family value, but let it also be said that fear and paranoia are not Christian values no matter what those on the right say.
Good religion inspires us with courage, confidence, hope, justice, and love. Let these be the Christian values that we bring to the political process.

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