Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

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By an edhat reader

At a recent debate with the five candidates running for Santa Barbara Mayor, one candidate was asked by the moderator about their religious beliefs. Specifically about abortion, gay marriage, evolution, etc. and how it would impact mayoral performance. Do edhat readers think this line of questioning has a place in a local election?

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420722 Oct 28, 2017 03:34 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Ah..good one Mattyboy, except I’m neither. I steer clear of people who are religious loons whos “god” forgives each them for being the ultimate sinners and all political types as I can’t stand the Gov. By your retort I’m guessing you’re both? Sensitive much?

a-1511127457 Oct 26, 2017 11:46 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

The reason for separation of church & state was that our founding fathers knew what happened in the old world, where people were harshly discriminated against if they didn't follow the religion established by their country. So they didn't want that in the new world of America. It's why it's against the law here to post the 10 commandments in a courtroom where people who may not believe in that religion(Jewish or Christian) will be afraid that they may be discriminated against if there are signs that the Government doesn't share their religion. Every candidate has freedom of religion! But since an elected official may personally believe that abortion is wrong, women and men have every right to ask if the elected official's religious beliefs would cause him to vote against my right to abortion, my right to be in a gay relationship, my science department's obligation to teach evolution. So religion doesn't belong in government, but citizens should ask about how someone's religion might affect their voting on some issues.

420722 Oct 26, 2017 01:31 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

My experience with just about all Christians is that they think they are better then everyone that is not perfect, white and of course, Christian. No thanks. Keep religion out of politics, your god should not “help” you make decesions on how the city should operate.

mattyboy Oct 27, 2017 09:51 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

My experience with just about all Liberals is that they think they are better than everyone that is not perfect, LGBQT, and of course, Liberal. No thanks. Keep Liberalism out of politics, your hedonism should not “help” you make decisions on how the city should operate. Fun!

SBPaul Oct 26, 2017 06:18 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

What about Christians make them white? Every religion is based on the idea that there is a supreme power which means its' believers are superior for believing whatever flying spaghetti monster they want. Muslim, Catholic... The reason there is a separation is to preserve freedom of thought. You can ponder or believe whatever you want as long as you don't inflict it on someone else. In this case its a local election that has nothing to do with ones religious beliefs. But instead of discussing pertinent issues people digress to petty differences. I know who we are talking about and I know the reason people are outraged. Would that side of things be able to run a business hiring based on their ability to accept people with certain religious beliefs? The answer is no. That "progressive" side has become so one sided! They are now regressive. I am not even voting for him but it has nothing to do with his religious beliefs (nor am I religious). Get a grip.

a-1511127457 Oct 26, 2017 11:03 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

I think most everyone can agree that Obama did an incredible job as President, and he spoke many times about how his Christian faith helped him make difficult decisions and get rough some very dark times. So maybe it is time for a whole bunch of you to stop bashing Christian politicians. I mean really...look in the mirror before bashing those who have Christian beliefs. Hill and Bill are what you get when you are godless.

Resident Oct 26, 2017 05:55 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

"Incredible"? Not so. Some really bad stuff there. And when you refer to his "Christian faith" are you referring to his long time religious mentor, who conducted his wedding and baptized his children, Jeremiah Wright and his "God damn America" rants?

a-1511127457 Oct 26, 2017 12:31 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

I agree. So what if a candidate believes in a God? So what if they have some faith in something higher. I really don't give a rats snout if they are religious.....UNLESS they make their faith/religion the cornerstone of their platform.

SBPaul Oct 26, 2017 11:40 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Keep religion out of politics and I don't care who you vote for. The question is the issue. The answer is not pertinent. If you are voting for someone because of their beliefs in their ability to communicate with a divine power then you are missing the point of voting. Our city has much more pressing issues then hashing over divisive topics that we cannot effect change in nor is there really any need for change. The people who seem to feel that religion is a big issue in this case would likely take no issue if that religion was say Muslim which has the same stance as Christianity on every one of the issues stated. I don't know why I try explaining logic to people... Its not really that hard.

biguglystick Oct 26, 2017 10:56 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Separation of church and state is there for a reason! A resounding NO is the answer to this query. Religion has NO place in politics, and neither does abortion! The whole abortion issue is a plank shoved into politics by extreme religious right forces. It is 2017 and women have the right to reproductive choice and it isn't anyone's business but hers. I'm so tired of this crap. Cannot believe we still have to fight for this. We elect government officials to do a job. Our private beliefs should remain just that, PRIVATE, and we shouldn't aim to force them upon anyone else. I am a Christian, and I do not think women should be forced to keep a baby if they don't want to and I do not believe my beliefs are more important than my neighbor's.

Resident Oct 26, 2017 06:00 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

The over-used phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the Constitution nor is it even inferred. The Constitution simply prohibits the establishment of a state mandated religion by the federal government. Having said that I agree with you that the abortion issue should in no way be a political issue, not because of the prohibition of state mandated religion, but because it is a private matter between a woman, her doctor and her own beliefs.

yetti Oct 26, 2017 10:46 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

It is so nice to see David Landecker's sins on the table again. What a pompous arrogant knucklehead. He may have paid for his sins on this one, BUT always remember this. Landecker showed his true colors . This IS who he is.. he may try to atone, but don't ever trust him. Someone with a big character flaw like this, may be able to hide it occasionally but it is still there below the surface. I sure would not hire him to work a cash register at my business!

SBPaul Oct 26, 2017 09:45 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

The answer is its a distraction. Separation of church and state. Any politician or person worth their salt can separate the two. BTW the Santa Barbara mayor election will have no impact on any of those topics and we should start caring more about our community and less about what is happening on the other side of the continent when considering local leadership.

a-1511127457 Oct 26, 2017 08:25 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

I'm not voting for the candidate that holds those beliefs. The mayor may not be making decisions that affect gay marriage, abortion, etc., but I can't help but think strong religious beliefs in those areas would affect his/her overall perspective, and I am in total disagreement with those beliefs. So,....%#$ NO!!

Luvaduck Oct 26, 2017 08:14 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Separation of church and state was a founding principle of our country because many of the earliest settlers had experienced the destructiveness of blending religion & law. Stop and think: What if it's not your religion and it's beliefs are hateful to your very soul? The answer is violent and ugly and has always been so.

TheKid5 Oct 26, 2017 08:05 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Hal Conklin was never arrested for switching price tags! The was another city council member in the 1990's and he resigned from the council. You must get your memory and facts straight before you make such an accusation.

Roger Oct 26, 2017 08:39 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

I am alittle taken aback by peoples religious beliefs being an evil warlord and all I have a repetition to keep...But I look at can of dates records of what they have done in the past and how they treat others..Action speaks louder than words who is going to do more for all the people in the city not just their friends or their supporters.( I kill ants and eat them there is so many of them save money on food yumyum good with cheese.)...I go for who is fair As far as what they are into and their beliefs everyone is different and as long as they don't take pay offs, break the law and get it written off,(You'ld be surprised what you hear listening to a scanner.) get laws changed to the way they believe, act as if it's all about them, the list goes on and on and on...Easy to tell whom they are by the amount of mud coming from their direction and the amount of political signs posted around and if your lucky enough you might even get the wonderful opportunity to be bullied by one of their supporters, the kind that smell like athletic supporters.

Mesarats Oct 25, 2017 10:31 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

I think Jerry Roberts has a thing against Conklin He addressed the religion issue with him 2 or 3 times and again at the forum. I don't recall asking Schneider is she was pro or con BDS, Hotchkiss about his Buddhism and if he kills ants, Martinez about Catholicism or Bendi Murillo about their beliefs or lack of. The Mesa Methodists are pretty milk toast, geez it's not like the Calvery or Reality bunch. I am more concerned about their ability to understand and negotiate policy issues. State street has taken a disproportionate amount of the conversation and looking at it from a follow the money perspective, the city is hungry for revenue and the people that benefit the most( if recent history is a indicato, it will be out of town developers and the well funded out of area renters and businesses that follow). Meanwhile the city is patting itself on the back for how much money they are raking in from tourism. The current council gave the non elected planning department greater decision making power and that has not been going well for us and on top of that, the city attorney is driving the clown car. The Mayor does not have a lot of independent power, but they do set the tone and can introduce agenda items. Water and infrastructure are long term issues that carry great consequences and given the money spent on measure C, the sales tax for the general slush fund (NOT DEDICATED TO INFRASTRUCTURE) is likely to pass. It is a forever tax so figure out who are you going to trust.

Ahchooo Oct 25, 2017 08:40 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Religious beliefs can affect how a person votes on local issues. For instance, if a person is strongly against abortion rights, he or she might not support measures to keep protesters away from clinics. Some of those rules are set at local levels (though I don't know details about such things). It might be more useful to ask specific questions about an issue like that, because one can hold strong beliefs for oneself but still support the right of others to behave differently. Religious beliefs affect how a person thinks, and hence how they vote. The problem is that people are inconsistent and complex, so simple religious labels don't really tell us much.

LocalsOnly Oct 25, 2017 07:05 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

In general, absolutely not. The last thing we need in politics is more fairy tale mumbo jumbo. Then again, if the candidate is being asked about how those archaic beliefs negatively influence their thought process and stances on the issues, then I think it is useful for voters.

Ducky Oct 25, 2017 06:27 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

No. Just no. Religion really has little place in this world anymore, at all. We’ve gotten smarter than that, for crying out loud. Some of the most hypocritical people I’ve ever known identity as “Christian”.

CitizenSane Oct 25, 2017 05:35 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

I would be more concerned about the Mayoral candidates thinking they can "revive retail" on State St. Corridor when nationally, we know retail is dying as we continually hear about retail bankruptcies and store closures...due to Internet shopping!

SB7022 Oct 25, 2017 04:41 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

YES! I always want to know if someone is religious, so I can be sure not to vote for them. If I found out someone was extremely religious or spiritual AFTER I voted for them I would be very disappointed.

Roger Oct 25, 2017 04:34 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Not all politicians do that just the ones associated with that guy in Washington I think it's ok if they are religious just as long as they don't bring it to work...The mud is aslingin...

a-1511127458 Oct 25, 2017 04:09 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Absolutely NO PLACE in Politics!! Instead, voters should be concerned with issues like this: For those of you who have voted for Angel Martinez or are thinking about it, consider this: Under his watch as CEO of Deckers, he allowed every single pair of UGG boots to come from extreme cruelty to animals. Even faux UGGs were revealed to be made out of raccoon dog fur, with these animals raised in cramped, filthy fur farms in China and skinned alive, all for a pair of shoes. UGG boots are made from the skin of terrified and tortured sheep. The ubiquitous clothing item causes unimaginable suffering and death to countless innocent animals. A PETA investigation shows sheep allegedly being stomped on and punched while being shorn for their wool, before they are sent off to be slaughtered for their skin. Lambs’ tails are often sliced off, males are castrated without anesthesia and sheeps’ ears are hole-punched, merely so that they can be identified. Now ask yourselves, if this is someone who is CONTINUALLY preaching how much he cares about people and situations, why did he allow such atrocious acts of animal cruelty under his watch as CEO? His actions are absolutely unconscionable and dispicable so, when placing your vote, consider if he is the type of person you really want leading Santa Barbara as Mayor?

Resident Oct 26, 2017 06:08 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Are you off your medication? Where did you learn these horrible facts? "Raccoon dog fur"? Fake UGG boots from the maker of real UGG boots? "Tortured sheep"? "Lambs tails sliced off"? You certainly have an over-active imagination!

a-1511127458 Oct 25, 2017 03:02 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

NO place in politics. Just look at what happened to Bernie Sanders...he got roasted by his opponent for his religious views. They were very subtle about it, but they did undermine him. Bernie 2020!!

a-1511127458 Oct 26, 2017 06:58 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

"he got roasted by his opponent for his religious views" That's a complete and utter lie. There was one email from some guy at the DNC; it has nothing to do with Hillary's campaign and was never acted on. Bernie's ok, but a lot of his more ardent supporters are lying trash.

Resident Oct 26, 2017 06:11 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

You are totally wrong. The Constitutional prohibition preventing the federal government from establishing a national religion has absolutely nothing to do with finances or taxes.

Resident Oct 26, 2017 06:11 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

You are totally wrong. The Constitutional prohibition preventing the federal government from establishing a national religion has absolutely nothing to do with finances or taxes.

a-1511127458 Oct 26, 2017 07:04 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

"However, they are completely against the spirit of the Constitution" Completely wrong. That spirit includes the part of the First Amendment that protects the freedom of the press. " and would be unconstitutional if asked by any governing authority" The press isn't a governing authority. And the government does make such queries. You are grossly misinformed about the facts and are confusing totally different issues.

a-1511127458 Oct 26, 2017 07:04 AM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

"However, they are completely against the spirit of the Constitution" Completely wrong. That spirit includes the part of the First Amendment that protects the freedom of the press. " and would be unconstitutional if asked by any governing authority" The press isn't a governing authority. And the government does make such queries. You are grossly misinformed about the facts and are confusing totally different issues.

a-1511127458 Oct 25, 2017 07:03 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

@bigtallmatt/2769 - Nobody is saying that they should be officially disqualified because of their religious beliefs, but voters have a right to know if a candidate is foolish enough to believe in an archaic and hypocritical belief system.

a-1511127458 Oct 25, 2017 07:04 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

@bigtallmatt/2769 - Nobody is saying that they should be officially disqualified because of their religious beliefs, but voters have a right to know if a candidate is foolish enough to believe in an archaic and hypocritical belief system.

a-1511127458 Oct 25, 2017 07:06 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

@bigtallmatt/2769 - Nobody is saying that they should be officially disqualified because of their religious beliefs, but voters have a right to know if a candidate is foolish enough to believe in an archaic and hypocritical belief system.

a-1511127458 Oct 25, 2017 05:11 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Wrong! Looks like someone should spend less time watching cable news, and more time reading their Constitution. Article IV, Section 3: "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Bill of Rights, Amendment I: ""Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Current judicial precedent holds that these provisions bar any official consideration of religious affiliation or religious principles for government officials or employees. Since the debate was not organized or sponsored by the government, questions like the one asked of Conklin are technically legal. However, they are completely against the spirit of the Constitution, and would be unconstitutional if asked by any governing authority.

bigtallmatt Oct 25, 2017 05:12 PM
Do Religious Beliefs Have a Place in Mayoral Debates?

Wrong! That may be what the talking heads on cable news say, but the Constitution says otherwise. Article IV, Section 3: "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Bill of Rights, Amendment I: ""Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Current judicial precedent holds that these provisions bar any official consideration of religious affiliation or religious principles for government officials or employees. Since the debate was not organized or sponsored by the government, questions like the one asked of Conklin are technically legal. However, they are completely against the spirit of the Constitution, and would be unconstitutional if asked by any governing authority.

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