By Christine Morente, STAFF WRITER
Article Created: 01/31/2008 02:37:27 AM PST
HOW WOULD Jesus vote?
That intriguing question was posed by Pastor Paul Watermulder of the First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame in a sermon recently.
"Jesus, of course, is not a voting member of our city," he said to his congregation. "But sometimes we are asked to think and act on his behalf, aren't we?"
A Barack Obama supporter himself, Watermulder has always held fast to the belief that religion and politics should, indeed, mix.
It includes a section about Catholic Democrats. Here is an excerpt.
"He outwardly put his faith on his sleeve," Eisner said. "It was his way of governing our country. Prior to that (faith) was something to downplay. Kennedy downplayed he was Catholic. Now we see them going to church. It's a part of their personality." Last year, Catholic Democrats, a Boston-based organization, launched a chapter in California.
Bill Roth of San Jose said he is working to build a broad-based organization of California Roman Catholics who will represent Catholic policy perspectives within the state Democratic Party. Roth said the group will not endorse anyone prior to the parties' nominees for president being chosen.
"Frankly, all the candidates are acceptable," he said.
In 2004, the organization was called "Catholics for Kerry," when John Kerry ran for president on the Democratic ticket.
According to Roth, Catholics have specific sets of values that align with the Democratic Party. Both the Catholic Democrats and the Democratic Party list worker's rights, human rights, the use of force and the notion of a just war as important issues. Roth asserts that the role of the church is to teach on these matters but not get directly involved.
"People of faith absolutely need to get involved," Roth said. "We have seen the damage done by Republicans over the last eight years. As Catholics, we believe it's through faith and good works that you get salvation. It's not enough to pray — we have to act."