Republican presidential candidates may claim different religious backgrounds, but they agree on one thing when it comes to faith: It does have a role to play in governing, according to a report in the Des Moines Register
Citing comments the candidates have made during their campaigns in the run-up to the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the newspaper noted that none believes there should be an established national religion, but they state “that faith should be a primary guide for the president.”
All of the candidates said their own Christian faith would guide their decisions, and all said they would limit efforts to remove religion from government, the Register reported.
The candidates “generally agree that Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court have gone too far in limiting prayer in schools and other displays of religion on public property.”
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, for example, was quoted as saying that “many in our federal government go out of their way to eradicate any influence of religion in the public square.”
“I strongly disagree with these efforts,” he said. “Questions such as whether prayer should be allowed in school, or whether towns can display manger scenes during Christmas, should be decided by local governments — not by federal judges, bureaucrats or members of Congress.”
Citing a recent poll of potential caucus voters, the Register noted that 38 percent described themselves as born-again or fundamentalist Christians.
Drake University political professor Dennis Goldford told the Register that the support of these evangelical Christians would likely make the difference in the outcome of the Jan. 3 caucuses.
“You can’t win with only them, but you can’t win without them,” Goldford said.
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