Thursday, April 10, 2008

Faith, Politics, Compassion, Action: Some Questions for the Presidential Candidates

In the spirit of living in the questions; being an open-minded, critically-thinking human who believes a little compassion could go a long way in transforming the world, I invite you all to check this out!

It's from Faithful, and part of the Compassion Forum that will air Sunday evening at 8:00 PM (eastern time) on CNN.

The democratic presidential candidates will address pressing moral issues of deep concern to people of faith.

Torture: In recently released memos, the Bush administration's Justice Department argued that whether an interrogation technique "shocked the conscience" and rose to the level of torture depended on the interrogator's motivation, which runs counter to most religious people's beliefs about the basic dignity of all human beings. Do you believe there is ever justification for subjecting a detainee to physically or mentally cruel interrogation techniques?

Domestic Poverty: What do you think the primary causes of persistent poverty in America are? Is it possible to entirely eradicate it? What respective roles should government, the faith community and the private sector play in ending poverty?

Genocide: Diverse faith groups have led the effort to pressure the Sudanese government to halt the genocide in Darfur. If diplomatic pressure on Sudan and China does not succeed in ending the genocide, do you think the US military has a role to play in stopping it? If so, what role, and what criteria would have to be met before you would seek to deploy US forces in response?

Global AIDS: Is health care a human right? If so, does the U.S. have a moral obligation to address the AIDS pandemic around the world? What about other diseases? Do you think the focus on HIV/AIDS distracts from other world health concerns?

Climate Change: Addressing global climate change is a major challenge in caring for God's creation. How do you plan to persuade the American people, as well as other nations, to make the short-term sacrifices necessary to address this long-term problem?

How do you feel about faith informing or inspiring political discourse?
How about faith driving political action?

I think for so many: this makes people cringe!

(I need to definitely write about this. As I have strong thoughts on the matter -- mostly inspired by the Fr. Richard Rohr (Center for Contemplation and Action) / Jim Wallis (Sojourners) camp on such matters.)

Stay tuned!

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