A host of GOP hopefuls descended upon Iowa this past weekend for the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s 2015 Spring Kickoff. This was an opportunity for the candidates to trot out their faith based bona fides in hopes of wooing the party’s evangelical base. Since 60% of Iowans consider themselves “evangelicals” the candidates were literally preaching to the choir.
Video clips from the event caught the speakers recounting their journeys toward faith. We heard testimonials on how God affected their lives along with faith based commentary on contraception, abortion and same sex marriage. It should be noted that come 2016 we will witness the eventual nominee walking back these comments in order to appeal to a more moderate general election audience. But that is then and this is now…and the only thing that matters at this event is persuading the faithful that one is deserving of a win in the Iowa Caucuses.
Personally I don’t understand how one’s religious beliefs serve as a qualifier to hold the most powerful position in the world. I for one am a practicing Catholic. I’m pretty well versed in the tenants of my faith. I am also not remotely qualified to hold the office of President of the United States.
I don’t really care if our president chooses to pray to heaven on Sundays or Mecca five times a day or not at all. What I do care about is that he or she has a plan for a robust economy and the steel of spine necessary to keep us safe.
I would never propose to question the depth of an individual’s faith or the reasoning behind it. History tells us that faith tends to evolve over time. Recently we have seen public figures who have been firm in their faith based beliefs change course. Senator Rob Portman, the irascible Dick Cheney and President Obama have all “evolved” on the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. Was their change of heart a matter of faith or political opportunism? That’s not for me to say.
What I will say is this…the unfortunate truth of our politics is that the only alter that politicians consistently kneel before is the one housed at Wall Street.