In this election, maybe more than any other, in recent history the issue of faith and religion has come up. In large measure many have focused on Mitt Romney and him being a Mormon. Some have focused on Rick Santorum and his beliefs concerning abortion and homosexuality. Even the President has been said to have quoted Scripture more than any other President.

There can be no denying that this is the case. Many will ask, “What does one's faith, or belief have to do with politics? Shouldn't they leave their religious beliefs at the door when they enter into public service?”

I'd like to address that in this article. First let's look back just a few weeks ago at the Florida debate and attorney Suzanne Bass asked the question of the Republican candidates, “How would your religious beliefs, if elected, impact the decisions that you make in the office of the presidency?”

Ron Paul was the first to answer and said it would effect his character and the way he treats people and that in the job in which he was to function it would be to uphold his oath and keep the promises he made to the people.

Mitt Romney said that he agree with Dr. Paul and added that he believed that seeking the guidance of Providence would be something that he would engage in. He referenced the fact that in the founding of the country our forefathers did so on the basis of Judeo-Christian principles and ethics and our laws were based on those. He also spoke of the Founders having a vision of the Constitution being much bigger than just America and described the Constitution as a document concerning the relationship between man and God, though he ended up quoting the Declaration of Independence.

Newt Gingrich commented that any president should be one that seeks guidance from God because the decisions are too enormous for mere mortals. Second he spoke about being “faithful” (yes, I know there is a pun that can go here, but stay with me). He characterized this accurately. It should be something that is more than an hour on Sunday and such , but in fact should be something that should suffuse your life and be a part of who you are. His third comment was simply an appeal to the 1st amendment and not really a response to the question.

Finally Rick Santorum stated that faith is a very important part of his life and an important part of this country. He spoke of the Constitution being the “How” of America and the Declaration of Independence being the “Why” or who we are as a people. He stated quite clearly that some will say that faith has nothing to do with it and yet countered that with “Faith has everything to do with it”, for if rights are given by the government, then those rights can be taken from the government.

Now let's contrast that with President Obama's claims. At the national prayer breakfast recently, he declared that he knew God's command to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” He then immediately launched into talk about “shared responsibility” to which he quickly tied to “give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy.” On and on Mr. Obama went with rhetoric about how these things applied in a government sphere.

The question is, how does it apply to him? An interview that took place in 2008 shows just what his beliefs are and demonstrates that there are obvious problems with his “faith”. Obama was asked, “Do you think it's wrong for people to want to know about a civic leader's spirituality?” His response was, “I don't think it's wrong. I think that political leaders are subject to all sorts of vetting by the public, and this can be a component of that. I think that I am disturbed by, let me put it this way: I think there is an enormous danger on the part of public figures to rationalize or justify their actions by claiming God's mandate. I think there is this tendency that I don't think is healthy for public figures to wear religion on their sleeve as a means to insulate themselves from criticism, or dialogue with people who disagree with them.”

So wait, let's get this straight, once in office he looks to raise taxes because it is according to God's command (mandate) to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and before he was president he says, “I think there is an enormous danger on the part of public figures to rationalize or justify their actions by claiming God's mandate.” Hello pot? This is kettle. Does anyone else see a contradiction here?

Look back and you will see each of the Republican candidates speak about how their faith impacts “them” and how it shapes them and their thinking and values. Often we hear Democrats promote the mantra “Public life, private life”. There is no such thing for what one is in private he is still that when he goes out into the public. If he is not openly in public what he is openly in private then he is a deceiver and cannot be trusted, especially with the most powerful position in the world.

This is why character does matter. This is why faithfulness does matter. This is why taking oaths seriously does matter. It's also why one should know the job requirements and description before seeking office. If one does not have a historical view of the intention of the document that they take an oath to uphold, then they should either learn or refrain from running for office.

Ultimately this issue is unavoidable. Many people are so scared of religious views in our culture that they would oppose any and all religious speech from those in government as was even evidence over the Christmas holidays and the restraint of Congressmen from sending out “Merry Christmas” on their cards from their offices.

I say all that to say this, if a person does not believe that their faith (or beliefs) will not impact their duties as a public servant then their faith isn't worth the air it took to espouse that it would not impact their duties. It is a dead faith and is no faith at all. Give me a man who has conviction, in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and who is willing to live out those convictions humbly before the people he serves, who realizes he is accountable to God, and you will have a President who seeks to uphold his oath of office and guard the liberty of the people and will rule righteously. Anything less than that will always result in less freedom and more tyranny being imposed upon our land. I'll close with wise words from our first president George Washington as he gave his Farewell Address to the nation.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

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