A recent article in The Plain Dealer made much of the observation that poll after poll shows Americans want national candidates to talk about faith generally or their own faith. John Green, a religion and politics expert at the University of Akron was quoted as saying “ Americans --- are a very religious group. “They tend to like having religious people in office.” Voters “ want to know the values that motivate politicians and help them make decisions.” ( We found out in a bloody way that George - our born again Christian President- Bush’s values embraced preemptive warfare). The article points out that both political parties take these polls seriously and as a result candidates vie with another to convince us who is the true defender of the faith.
I could not avoid musing about Americans as a “very religious group”. Does this group, if indeed it exists, condone murder on the streets and in the halls of education? Does this religious group condone sexual crimes? Does it condone corporate greed? Does it condone violation of human rights in all corners of the world? Does it condone unjust wars? Of course Americans as a “ very religious group” would answer , no. Well then, we know that all of the foregoing evils exist. We also know that no self respecting religion condones these evils. Add to this the reluctance of Americans as a “ very religious group” to effectively address possible solutions for the proliferation of guns, hate crimes, sexual abuse, human rights abuse , ----- corporate welfare and one must conclude that Americans are not a very religious group. They are a very materialistic group. What they really want to hear from their candidates is how will the candidate’s agenda translate into more material wealth for the individual.