A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Faith of John Edwards

Last week, Sen. John Edwards was slurred by the bad-mannered vixen, Ann Coulter.

This week Sen. Edwards sat down for an interview with Faith-Based whistle-blower, David Kuo.

The topic of discussion? The Religious Faith of John Edwards.

A few of the Senator's responses below...
What parts of American life do you think would most outrage Jesus?

Our selfishness. Our resort to war when it's not necessary. I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs. I think he would be appalled, actually.

You've had a lot of experience with suffering. Part of your career has been representing people who we see as suffering. You've also had what you called "world stopping pain" and suffering in your own life. What has that suffering taught you?

It's been part of my own personal faith journey. Because I've done what I think a lot of Americans have done, which [is]: I was raised in a very Christian home and a Southern Baptist church, and baptized in the Southern Baptist church. My dad has been a deacon in the Southern Baptist church for many years. In fact, we went back to my church a few weeks ago and he was getting the Lay Person of the Year Award, which we were all very proud of him for.

But when I went away to college, I drifted away from my faith. Even after Elizabeth and I got married, I had drifted away. It isn't that we didn't exercise faith. We would go to church, but it was not the sort of dominant day-to-day living faith that it is for me today. And in 1996, on a day I'll never forget, my 16 year old son died. And the days after that, when I was trying to survive and Elizabeth's trying to survive, my faith came roaring back and has stayed with me since that time, and helped me deal with the personal challenges we've had. Not only the death of my son, but some of the politics and the difficulty of that on our family. Elizabeth's breast cancer. All the things that we've seen, which is not that unusual for families.

In 2004, John Kerry said that he wouldn't let his faith affect his decision making. Does it affect yours?

Yes, it does. I do believe in the separation of church and state. But I don't think separation of church and state means you have to be free from your faith. My faith informs everything I think and do. It's part of my value system. And to suggest that I can somehow separate and divorce that from the rest of me is not possible. I would not, under any circumstances, try to impose my personal faith and belief on the rest of the country. I don't think that's right. I don't think that's appropriate. But freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion. And I think that anything we can do to promote the idea that people should express their faith is a good thing.

What are the biggest moral issues facing America today?

There are several. One is here within our own borders. The fact that we have 37 million people who live every day worrying about taking care of themselves and their family, living in poverty, I think is a huge moral issue.

I would say the same thing about the 47 million people who don't have health care coverage. I think those are the big moral issues here within our borders.

But I think there are big moral issues in other parts of the world, too. Global poverty, half the planet living on $2 or less a day. Three billion people.

I think this genocide that's going on in Western Sudan, Darfur, is a huge moral issue. Us continuing to allow kids to be born in Africa with AIDS because their mothers can't afford $4 medicine is a big moral issue.

While the media has been obsessing over Hillary and Obama, John Edwards has been lost in the shuffle. No doubt, Edwards comes across as a sincere and compassionate Christian who is genuinely concerned about the little guy.

Unlike Hillary, John Edwards doesn't seem to need two dozen advisors and pollsters to micromanage every word he utters. He's comfortable in his own skin and apparently quite capable of articulating his own personal statement of faith.

I hope mainstream news outlets will begin to take seriously Edwards candidacy.

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1 Comments:

Blogger C. Andrew Jones III said...

Though I may disagree with Mr. Edwards on some of his particular positions, I do have to respect his candor. His analysis of "freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion" is a key distinction, and I think he wisely admits that no one can work or live outside of their personal theological convictions.

1:35 PM

 

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