Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Presidential candidates cannot come up with a favorite Bible verse

Tonight I caught some of the debate of the Democratic presidential candidates. The next to last question was, what if your favorite Bible verse?

I found this interesting, first of all, in that it was assumed that they knew the Bible and followed it--a big assumption in today's pluralistic society. In two or three more presidential election cycles, I doubt such an assumption will be made.

But what was even more interesting were the responses. Most could not come up with a single verse. Two--Barak Obama and Bill Richardson-- said "The Sermon on the Mount," which is not a verse but a discourse and large section of Scripture. Then after mentioning this as their favorite "verse," they showed that they did not know the contents of The Sermon on the Mount.

Another candidate, Hillary Clinton, cited the "Golden Rule." The Golden Rule in most religions is do not do to others what you do not want done to you, but I think that Hilary stated the positive Christian version of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Joe Biden mentioned "the Pharisees"--a seeming reference to hypocrisy or superiority? Other responses included "the Good Samaritan" and a quote from St. Francis.

It was striking that so few candidates could quote a complete Bible verse. Not trying to make this a Democratic or Republican thing (not sure Republicans would do much better). Just an interesting obvservation.