From Townhall Magazine's EXCLUSIVE December feature "Is Faith Fair Game?":
In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. John McCain of Arizona participated in the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency. At the event, both presidential candidates spoke openly about their faith and their religious beliefs to the host, Rev. Rick Warren. Their presence at the forum and their willingness to discuss the values that they would bring to the White House showed religion remains an important topic on the campaign trail, in media coverage and in the minds of some voters.
Matters of faith and morality have always been an important part of American history and continue to be as the United States gears up for another presidential election. In 2011, numerous stories have already appeared in the mainstream media that focus on the various aspects of the candidates' beliefs. From stories about the Mormon faith that Govs. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman share to stories about Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's religious values and the prayer breakfast that Texas Gov. Rick Perry hosted, the media has already focused ample attention on faith.
But is this fair? In a country founded by people who appreciated the role of faith in the public square but who also set up restraints against a federally dictated religion, should a presidential candidate's religious beliefs be fair game on the campaign trail? ...
Read more of John P. Hanlon's anaylsis in the December issue of Townhall Magazine, which features:
- -- experts weigh in on the debate, including popular talk radio host Hugh Hewitt
- -- whether there is a double standard when handling Democrats' and Republicans' religious beliefs
- -- a look at the history of religion on the campaign trail
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