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Prayer in the Spotlight

An interesting question submitted via e-mail asked the candidates whether they believed God and prayer could prevent bad things from happening. Here's a sampling of the answers:

Clinton: "I don't pretend to understand the wisdom and power of God. I do believe in prayer. I am very dependent on my faith, and prayer is a big part of that."

Edwards: "I pray daily. I prayed [when] my 16 year old son died, prayed before Elizabeth was diagnosed with cancer. There are some things beyond our control ... I don't think you can prevent bad things happening through prayer."

Bill Richardson: "My sense of social justice comes from being a Roman Catholic. Prayer is personal. It is important that we have faith, that we have values, but if I'm president I am not going to wear my religion on my sleeve."

Obama: "I believe in the power of prayer. Part of what I pray for is the strength and wisdom to act on the things I can control"

Dennis Kucinich: "I have been standing here for the last 45 minutes praying you were going to call on me."

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 19, 2007; 9:52 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama: On Message
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I cannot imagine what relevance the prayer question has.

I would be offended if someone asked me about my prayer life outside the context of a mutually agreed upon religious conversation.

However, if I were running for office, it seems that I could not express such indignation without bringing the entire society of hypocrites down upon me.

In this context, it only makes sense for a politician to make up some stock answer to sell to the public.

There is no way to discern the sincerity of the answer, GW Bush, perhaps the most morally hollow and religiously demonstrative among our Presidents appeals only to the religious right and that is on the basis of his "conversion" story.

The question was out of line and ABC is pandering to the religious right in airing it.

Posted by: robert chapman | August 20, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Prayer (in the yogic traditions of India an appendix to meditation) is aimed at self renewal. It means the ability to look at ones inner self by cutting out distractions of every day life and trying to understand ones motivations, aims and methods. Apart from the benefit of reducing stress levels and hence blood pressure, it provides a sense of equanimity in dealing with problems of life. Prayer does not eliminate problems it only enables one to deal with them objectively and if unsolvable to endure them without being devastated by their impact.

Posted by: Espi | August 19, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Interesting question?? It's appalling. This is a presidential debate, not a church group. There would be nothing wrong with this question if it were asked in a church.

Posted by: cms | August 19, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

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