Aug 23, 2011

Politically irrelevant questions abt religion for GOP candidates

There are plenty of pointed questions being asked about the religion, the religions, the faith, and the religious commitments of the men and woman vying for the Republican nomination. This is as it should be.

Some of these are really good question. Many should be and need to be asked.

Unfortunately, most of the questions seem to be asked in the spirit of "oh my God -- oh their God -- you won't believe what this crazy person who wants to sit in the oval office really believes!"

Which is fine for partisanship, right and left, but bores me.

So, in a different spirit: a couple of questions each for the top four GOP candidates. On religion. Worthwhile in maybe helping one understand these people and who they are, but not political zingers. Questions that aren't ah-HA!, but, "hey, religion seems to be an important part of your life, and I'm curious about a couple of random, probably irrelevant things..."

Michele Bachmann:

1. You were a member of a Lutheran church, but now are a part of a Baptist church. Were your children baptized as infants? Do you think they should be baptized again if/when they profess faith on their own?
2. Your church is a part of the seeker-friendly movement, which tries to remove some of the obstacles people have to church, and accommodate the church experience to contemporary needs and tastes. What's good about this idea, and when would it be going too far?

Rick Perry:
1. You have been associated with a number of charismatic ministries and ministers. Do you speak in tongues? Have you experienced other gifts of the spirit, such as prophecy?
2. You have said that as a young man, you felt "called to the ministry." Can you describe that calling? What happened? Do you think you weren't called, or that you misunderstood that calling at the time?

Ron Paul:
1. How does your Baptist faith relate to your political philosophy? Are there specifically Baptist reasons for being a libertarian?
2. As a medical doctor, did you face any ethically-complicated decisions where you were informed by your faith? As a congressman?

Mitt Romney:
1. You've spoken in general about the "Judeo-Christian morals" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, but what, specifically, do you value about Mormonism? What is unique about your church? Why did you personally decide to continue in the faith in which you were raised?
2. If a young Mormon man were to ask you if he should go on his mission, what would you say?