Over the last several years, many political commentators have spoken about the Democratic Party’s apparent problems with the issue of religion.
A 2006 Pew Research Center piece summed it up as follows: “insofar as religion has become a political force, it seems generally to help Republicans and hurt Democrats.”
However, in the race to become the 2020 presidential nominee, many Democrat candidates have been discussing their faith in interviews and town halls.
Jack Jenkins of Religion News Service noticed the trend and started keeping a thread on his Twitter account late last month of the instances in which Democrats have been publicly discussing their beliefs.
Here are eight examples of Democratic hopefuls, specifically those coming from Christian backgrounds, speaking about their faith.
Former Congressman John Delaney of Maryland, who in the summer of 2017 became the first major Democratic politician to declare his candidacy, spoke about his faith in an interview with CNBC last December.
“My wife and I are active Catholics. We identify very much with the social justice mission of the church and I think that has made me much more oriented to the Democratic Party,” said Delaney.
“… even though I’m a capitalist and I’ve spent most of my career in the private sector as an entrepreneur starting businesses, I believe strongly that there’s a role for government to prepare our citizens for the world and to create a safety net for those that are inevitably left behind.”
Former San Antonio Mayor and former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro spoke about his faith to Jack Jenkins of Religion News Service in a story published in February.
In the interview, Castro spoke about how “my family and I had been Catholic for generations” and that “the Catholic faith has never been far from my life.”
“I can’t say that I go to church as much as I’d like, but I grew up Catholic, got married in the Catholic Church. My children have been baptized in the Catholic Church and my son currently goes to a Catholic learning center that my daughter previously went to,” said Castro.
“I don’t want to give people the impression that I go to Mass every Sunday, but it is a part of who I am, for sure.”
Senator Kamala Harris of California talked faith during her official campaign launch event in Oakland, California in January.
On the issue of national unity, Harris talked about being opposed to “unity for the sake of unity” and noting that sometimes “unity” had been used wrongly to quiet dissenting voices.
“Let’s remember: when abolitionists spoke out and civil rights workers marched, their oppressors said they were dividing the races and violating the word of God,” stated Harris.
“But Fredrick Douglass said it best and Harriet Tubman and Dr. King knew. To love the religion of Jesus is to hate the religion of the slave master.”
When officially declaring her candidacy, Kamala said she was doing it “with faith in God, with fidelity to country, and with the fighting spirit I got from my mother.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota spoke about her faith background at a CNN town hall event in February, noting that she is a Congregationalist while her husband is Catholic.
“And so faith is very important to me,” she explained, according to a CNN rush transcript. “It helped me get through my dad’s addiction. It’s helped me to work with members actually in the Senate on things like foreign aid, things that — I may not agree with some of these members on other things, but we have that in common.”
“I do think everyone should be able to practice what religion they want in this country. That’s the United States of America. Or not practice religion. But for me it is an important part of my life.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski