Thursday, May 18, 2006

Frances Strickland on religion and politics

Last night I attended an event put together by the Central Ohio Coalition of Democratic and Progressive Organizations. Buckeye State Blog has written about it here and here. As I was leaving, I saw Frances Stickland, who had been speaking--and singing--on behalf of her husband Ted Strickland who is running for governor of Ohio. She graciously agreed to give me a couple minutes of her time and answer a couple questions. I asked her what kind of response her husband's campaign is getting from people of faith around the state.

Religion is being put into politics to be divisive, and most people that I know, that are sincere about their faith don't like that. And basically what we want to do is just to try to keep the focus on the things like healthcare that really matter, and the things that have gotten this state in trouble. And to try not to participate in any way that's divisive.
Does Ted ever pull on his background as a minister in responding--
Not much. As a minister, that's one of his fears--that politics is going to hurt the church, rather than the church helping politics, or the political field. He just feels that it can cause congregations to divide...split. Somebody said once, "I think in the future some time we're going to have Democratic churches and Republican churches!" And that really disturbs him.

And so, he can--if somebody asks him about a scripture, he'll know it and respond. He can, but it just needs to be appropriate. He will not deliberately use that to try to make points. It would be just in responding in some way to what somebody's asking.
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