Candidates and faith

This is just a short commentary on the recent appearance of Barack Obama and John McCain at Rick Warren’s church to be questioned on issues and articles of faith. Agree with me or not, these are my opinions.

Why would a presidential candidate want to be seen dignifying such a staged, ridiculous event? Are both candidates so weak in their political convictions that they must grovel at the feet of a charlatan like Rick Warren?

I want a candidate who is strong and decisive, and who knows how to lead. There is nothing weaker upon which to base one’s convictions than faith. If a candidate were to say, “We don’t need health care in this country. We just need more faith,” he or she would be marginalized into the kook category. If they were to say, “I have faith that Israelis and Palestinians will find a common ground and stop killing one another,” we would be confused as to what their policy is or might become.

To have faith is to believe without empirical evidence. It may even be to believe without any evidence at all if one feels that their faith is based upon revelation rather than more objective criteria.

I don’t want a President who believes something. I want a President who knows what to do, what to say, what vision to follow, or whatever, based on what he or she knows, not on what they feel.

I say to these candidates, show us, tell us, lead us, but do not immerse us in your faith. I for one really don’t care what you believe by faith when it comes to your personal religion, or lack thereof. I want to know what you believe empirically and pragmatically and how you intend to lead the nation and the world into an era of new opportunities and challanges. I want to know how you’re going to create jobs, how you’re going to wage peace, not war. If you’re going to do all of this and more from a position of faith, then I want off the bus right now because I think it’s headed down the wrong way on a one way street.