By Andy Hale
“She’s not a Christian, so no I can’t vote for her,” “He’s a good Christian man,” “She has good Christian values,” or “There is no way that he’s a Christian if he supports ____,” are common talking points among Evangelical voters.
Among Evangelicals in American, the faith affiliation of prospective political candidates matters more than we realize. A recent study by Pew Research found that more than 60% of Evangelicals supported this claim. Moreover, nearly 60% of Evangelicals tote one party line.
In my lifetime, I cannot remember many candidates running for office that did not mention his or her religious values on the campaign trail. The data backs the facts, finding that nearly 99.2% of Republican members and 78.4% of Democrats of the 116th Congress claim to be from the Christian faith (resource). Less than 1% of this Congress claims no affiliation with religion.
Faith affiliation seems to be a prerequisite for many people’s voting patterns. And yet, do Evangelicals seek to put Christians into office but not hold them accountable to the way of Jesus?
In our divisive world of partisan politics, where we send people to Washington based on which side they are on, does our faith honestly inform the way that we vote?
For many, voting is an act of faith. However, is keeping politicians accountable for their actions and policies equally an act of faith? Are Evangelical voters concerned with policies and procedures that contradict the most important commands, love God and neighbor?
2020’s Advocacy in Action, CBF’s annual event focused on the intersection of faith and policy hosted several interviews featured on this week’s Podcast episode. You’ll hear from Sojourner’s Executive Director, Adam Taylor, Faith Baptist Church’s Pastor of Children and Students, Sharon Felton, and the Religion News Service’s Father Tom Reese.
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Andy Hale created and hosts the podcast of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy