Sherman Lecturer Laments Religion In Politics - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Sherman Lecturer Laments Religion In Politics

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SHERMAN, TX -- A professor decided to take on two controversial topics of conversation, religion and politics, during a lecture at Austin College. The topic was how presidential candidates are using religion in their campaigns now more than ever.

Students say the lecturer made some good points. Georgetown University professor Jacques Berlinerblau said that instead of religion being a private matter, there is more pressure for candidates to talk about their beliefs on the campaign trail, and he believes that is a bad thing.

"He argued that politicians in general in our current system are required socially to be public about their religion," says junior Richard Mayer.

"The idea of being very restrained about the way you spoke about God in public, was really an idea whose basis was in Christian political philosophy," says Berlinerblau. "It's a Christian idea, that one must be very cautious about bringing politics into the realm of the Godly."

Berlinerblau says candidates talk more about their religion because they want to get elected. "After John Kerry's defeat in 2004, the Democrats did the electoral math and noticed they were not capable of mobilizing constituencies of faith," Berlinerblau says.

"I think it's a campaign strategy and kind of gives them a little bit of credibility to some degree," says senior Ariel Rodriguez.

Many students on campus say they will be paying close attention the presidential race and they are already signed up to vote. "Most clubs on campus do some kind of day where they have registering, the Ecos did it, the Young Democrats also," says sophomore Morgan Beeman.

The professor who invited the speaker says that being from Canada, he finds it interesting how religion makes its way into politics in America. "In the Canadian scene, we have conservatives and we have liberals, but we don't have this use of the Bible, at least in general, that we find down here," says Austin College religion professor Todd Penner.

In Grayson County, officials are tallying up the final numbers but expect to have a total of about 75,000 registered voters. Tuesday was the last day to register in Texas before the election, but there is still some more time left for Oklahoma residents.