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Leaders and their views
Is it important for a politician to have religious faith?
If so, how does it help?
If not, how does it hinder?
How strong should their faith be?
What kind of role should it play in their decisions and actions?
Good questions, its seems like its a lot more important to people than i thought it was. I personaly couldent care what their religion was as long as it had nothing to do with how they use their power. Someone enforceing the rules of "god" through politics should be shot (not killed just shot in a place where its going to hurt alot, be creative). I dont think its fair to force your religious beliefs on anyone, i dont care who you are.
Is this about to turn into a george bush discussion perchance?

However if speaking more generally, I consider the only good things about religion to be the teaching of morales and the community feeling it tends to provoke. But hey, parents ought to be able to teach at least some morales, and law enforcement can make the point a little more forcefully.

Which leaves us with the community feeling. Surely thats a useful thing to have in a leader, a feeling of identity with the rest of their country? Yet history proves time and again that this doesnt always come off, and that even when it does this can lead to suspicion of people who are not members of this community, cf. the spanish inquisition.

Its worth noting that strong motivations and forcefullness are a necessity when taking power in whatever way happens to be appropriate, whether a coup or a pretty public election. Too many other people want it too badly to just let the best man win. If it were easy, hell, I'd run tomorrow, it might be fun. Religion does help to provide a backstop and the belief that they are right to walk that path, fight the battles and to make sacrifices along the way. In other words, if you believe that god's on your side you will take on anybody and pay any price.

So, religion helps someone to get there but, veering back towards the original question, is it a good thing to have in a person who has made it? Debatable. Personally I just consider it another influence, another guiding factor or experience that will affect the choices a person makes. As a slight bonus it is an obvious influence which you can take into account while voting, rather than more obscure ones which can be equally powerful.

Nothing we can do about it apart from try to vote for the right person. And possibly pray.
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