Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Religion and the Presidential Candidates

Beliefnet is holding a series of interviews with presidential candidates about their religious faith (if any), how they view the role of religion and politics, and related matters. First up is former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), a former Southern Baptist turned United Methodist.  While I am concerned that such a focus on candidates’ personal faith could end up becoming an unconstitutional religious test for public office, I do think questions about the role of faith in politics and the relationship of church and state are not only legitimate, but appropriate.  I look forward to seeing the entire series and hope that all candidates from both major U.S. parties will participate.

March 5, 2007 - Posted by | church-state separation, human rights., politics, U.S. politics


  1. To answer your question about St. Ambrose, I was a youth minister in an Episcopal Church for about a year and really fell in love with the liturgy and the way they celebrate (generally) the Eucharist. I remain baptist – with an intentional little “b” (Check out some McClendon if you’ve not already) – but still enjoy the experience of the Episcopal liturgy. Plus, St. Ambrose (where Michael Battle used to be the pastor) has historically been a strong Christian witness for nonviolence.

    Thanks for the comment and the future addition to the blogroll.

    Grace and peace,

    Comment by andrewtatum | March 5, 2007

  2. Check out McClendon? Andrew, my dissertation was a testing and modification of McClendon’s “baptist vision.” John Howard Yoder was my external reader.

    I assume you mean the Anglican Michael Battle, who was ordained by Desmond Tutu? There is also a Mennonite Michael Battle, also an African-American, who is a pastor in New York City.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | March 5, 2007

  3. Michael, sorry to change the thread topic, but I thought you might be amused with a reference to the Ishmael theology discussion that we had earlier. There is a paper by Jon Culver:


    This is apparently a recap of a Fuller Ph.D. dissertation that he did earlier. Not that I find everything convincing, but the rough outline seems like a good starting point.

    Comment by Looney | March 6, 2007

  4. Michael,

    I have looked everywhere for you, lol! I was out of the blogging game for several months, but am back now. During that time you changed sites on me! Glad to have found your blog again.

    I, like you, am looking forward to this entire series. I do have some concerns, but I feel it will be done with respect and competency: I have seen nothing less come out of Beliefnet.

    In regards to Edward’s response, I was not very impressed. I feel like his response to the “appalling” nature of America is right on but could have been broadened. Also, his remark about prayer in school for the children was sheer political pandering I thought. But then again, I’m not a huge Edward’s fan either, and I can admit that. More impressed with Obama.

    Comment by Kyle Watson | March 6, 2007

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