It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ...

December 16, 2013

Although the 2014 midterm elections are still nearly eleven months away, across the country many candidates are campaigning - and some are looking to faith to find political salvation. In Arkansas, Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (perhaps the most endangered Democratic senator facing reelection next year) released a TV ad earlier this month in which he sits around talking about the Bible. Holding the Bible, Pryor declares:

I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in his word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does. And neither political party is always right. This is my compass. My North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas. I'm Mark Pryor, and I approve this message because This is who I am, and what I believe.
That is the whole ad. In what may be one of the most blatant examples of confessional politics, Pryor uses the Bible as a political prop as he seeks his 'Hail Mary' strategy heading into next year's election. Halfway across the country, one of the other vulnerable Democrats facing reelection next year, Kay Hagen of North Carolina, could face a pastor. Mark Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, just finished serving two terms as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Now, he is running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Although he is stepping away from the pulpit for six months to campaign full time from December to May, he is not ending his religious rhetoric. Similarly, Christian political activist Bob Vander Plaats is considering running for U.S. Senate in Iowa. Although he lost three previous campaigns to be the Republican gubernatorial candidate, he has since lead the religious-political group The Family Leader that was active in the 2012 Republican presidential campaign in Iowa (see posts here, here, here, and here). From a senator waving the Bible around to a preacher leaving the pulpit at the start of Advent in hopes of being a senator, it is already beginning to look a lot like election time. Bah, humbug!

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