I’d rather be governed by a wise Turk than a stupid Christian.” (Martin Luther) This came up in a discussion about Mitt Romney’s run for the presidency and his Mormon religion. I remember something similar when JFK ran as a Catholic. How important is the religion of our leaders? Deist? Atheist? Muslim? Christian? Jew? Ask someone around you for their opinion on today’s quote. ;-) Jack.
FROM A FRIEND IN MICHIGAN: I believe Luther was on target with this observation.
I do not think a person’s religion is an important factor in determining his or her ability to lead the country as president. In fact, I think that religion has become nothing more than a marketing tool to pander to a particular segment of the voting population. While President Bush is a brother in Christ, his religious convictions have not had any impact on his ability to lead. He is not a very good leader. Whether he is as devout a Christian as he claims to be, is for God to worry about. Frankly, I would be happy to vote for someone who was honest about being an atheist, assuming they had the gifts and the ability to make humane, ethical decisions in leadership.
FROM F.M. IN WISCONSIN: Given the present occupant of the office of President - who claims to be a Christian, I'm with Luther!
FROM MOLINER, G.S.: I think we should look at their values rather than their faith.
FROM MOLINER, C.F.: What makes a wise Turk? (I ANSWERED: What makes a wise anyone?)
AND THIS RESPONSE FROM C.F.: Wisdom is in the eyes of the beholder.
FROM M.N. IN MINNESOTA: I just had that discussion with a bunch of my Gustie friends at our 50th reunion. People that I never thought really gave much thought to Christianity were saying that Mitt Romney is not even Christian. He doesn’t believe in Jesus. That is not true, but I could not convince them. I think he is a very moral man and he is certainly my choice to govern this land.
FROM B.C. IN ILLINOIS: Very interesting ~ church and state should be separate but look at how Bush has handled his religious beliefs. I don't believe that folks can truly compartmentalize areas of their lives, especially one that informs philosophy and actions to the extent that religion does. I'm concerned about all of the candidates on this score. I asked my 22 year old co-worker who is Jewish how she felt. She worked for the DNC while in college and was amazed to find so many Jews (especially orthodox) supportive of Bush/republicans based on his strong policy in favor of Israel….she began to ask during her canvassing for people to identify a Democratic president (or position) that was not in favor of Israel and no one had an answer for her!
FROM P.H. IN MINNESOTA: that is a great quote...that Luther dude was one sharp cookie!!
FROM L.K. IN OHIO: I'LL TAKE A WISE CHRISTIAN.
MORE FROM L.K.: To me, wise means a/non political.......not the same as shrewd. It means fair, thoughtful and conscientious, among other things. It does not shy away from controversy. Wisdom and truth, in a Christian context, imply leading, not following, the people. All of the candidates, including Obama, want to be liked. That rules them out for me. I'll likely wind up writing somebody in, as I've done so often before. Then my vote counts only to me, I suppose. I would go for somebody like Lee Hamilton of Indiana, for example.
AND STILL MORE FROM L.K.: Bobby Kennedy: Some think of things that are, and wonder why......I think of things that never were, and ask why not. (I didn't support him,either. He was cunning, but not wise, in my view.)
FROM E.A. IN MICHIGAN: Confusing. One is a religion and one is a nationality. Also, the term a "wise Turk" is rather deprecating don't you think? It is as if a "wiseTurk" is someone who is rarely encountered. I guess I am just musing
FROM D.S. IN MICHIGAN: As for your words this morning, I have always felt that faith in God is the only criteria for being a President. How could you have a President who didn't believe? I'd be curious to see a list of Presidents and their faiths. Have you ever seen one?
ANSWER TO THE REQUEST OF D.S.:
Congregationalist (raised); Unitarian
raised Episcopalian; later no specific denominationheld Christian, Deist, Unitarian beliefs
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
James Knox Polk
raised Baptist; later no specific denomination (deist)
Christian (no specific denomination)
Ulysses S Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
Presbyterian; Methodist (?)
James A. Garfield
Disciples of Christ
Chester A. Arthur
Dutch Reformed; Episcopalian
William Howard Taft
Warren G. Harding
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
River Brethren; Jehovah's Witnesses; Presbyterian
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Disciples of Christ
Richard M. Nixon
Baptist (former Southern Baptist)
Disciples of Christ; Presbyterian
George H. W. Bush
William Jefferson Clinton
George W. Bush
Methodist (former Episcopalian)
FROM D.A. IN BIG RED COUNTRY: Jack, if our current president is any measure, it makes a great deal of difference. His has not been a positive one. However, it can't all be blamed on his "evangelical" perspectives.
FROM A.McC IN MICHIGAN: Good question. I do not believe which religion is important. I do believe that I am more impressed by the life choices and decisions of the candidates. I might give the edge to someone who practices some religion. I will ponder this and discuss it with my friends.