Barack Obama has released a last-minute campaign advertisement claiming that he is leading the nation with faith values.
The three-minute presentation highlights Obama speaking about his faith in God, and also features endorsements from various pastors and religious leaders.
“In my moments of prayer, I’m reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems,” he states.
Woman bishop Vashtie McKenzie then announces, “President Barack Obama is leading with faith values.”
“This is a man of deep Christian faith who has a real sense of the common good,” says Stephen Schneck, professor of Catholic studies, in the next clip.
“It comes from this basic, core belief that when one part suffers, every part suffers,” adds Pastor J.R. Kerr. “It’s a deeply religious belief. It comes out of the Scriptures.”
“When I talk about making sure insurance companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick, I do so because I genuinely believe that it will make the economy stronger for everybody,” Obama chimes in, “but I also do it because I believe in God’s command to love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Rabbis and other interfaith groups also have a part in the ad, claiming that Obama lives out his faith by his various policies. They especially focus on Obama’s work to assist the poor and needy, stating that it is the essence of the Christian faith.
“We who are strong are obligated to take care of the least, the less, and the left out among us,” McKenzie says. “That is taking care of my brother, that is taking care of my sister.”
“This is a president that reaches out to Americans of all faiths — to Muslims and Buddhists and every Christian denomination,” adds a Jewish rabbi.
The advertisement ends with Obama announcing, “God bless you! God bless the United States of America!”
Issues such as homosexuality and abortion are not discussed in the ad.
Many Democrats that are professing Christians believe that the definition of living out one’s faith is to help the poor and suffering, and to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” The Facebook group Christians for Obama writes, “Jesus spent his time on earth healing the sick and helping the poor. If you believe this is our true calling as Christians, please … like Christians for Obama.”
“This is a community of people who believe that President Barack Obama shares our Christian values more than Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan,” it outlines. “We stand for tolerance and helping the needy as taught by Jesus Christ. We oppose using Christianity to further pro-gun, pro-war, pro-discrimination agendas. If you believe in the Golden Rule, then you are welcome here.”
While some state that they disagree with Obama’s position on homosexual “marriage,” they feel that they must still vote for him, because they are not electing a “pastor-in-chief” during the election.
“[Obama] swore to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution, not the Bible,” preached Frederick Haynes III, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas in a sermon earlier this year. “He is not the pastor of the United States; he is the president of the United States.”
However, many Republicans have also made the same statement this election.
“God ordained government, and we are not electing a pastor-in-chief, we are electing a commander-in-chief,” wrote Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, in his recent article Can an Evangelical Christian Vote for a Mormon?. “Americans must remember that while our nation was founded upon godly principles, we do not have a state religion.”
“It’s clear pastors are not selecting a spiritual leader for the United States when they vote for president,” outlined LifeWay Research director Scott McConnell. “They are selecting the leader of the executive branch of government.”
Others disagree with this premise altogether.
“Anyone can use an ‘a la carte’ method of picking Bible passages in an attempt to justify voting for either candidate, which is exactly what people are doing this election,” stated Michael Marcavage of Repent America, who issued a statement yesterday rebuking evangelicals for their election “deception.”
He pointed to Exodus 18:21 and the biblical principles found in Romans 13 for instruction on voting.
“Sadly, many Christians today base their standards for voting on man’s subjective opinions, and thereby, will justify voting for cultists, communists and any other evildoer under the sun, instead of applying God’s standards,” Marcavage said. “No matter what others teach, we ought to turn to the Scriptures and learn directly from what is written.”
“Let me suggest that our only hope is to actually begin thinking and voting differently, lest we continue to elect unqualified men,” stated Pastor Scott Brown, director of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches and pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. “If you want to change something, you have to change your thinking and your behavior. … The Bible clearly states that there are qualifications or standards for civil leaders. Therefore, voting according to Scripture is an act of faithfulness, because it demands that we be faithful to Scripture in all things.”