McCain Keeps His Faith out of Politics

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 14, 2008 | Go to article overview

McCain Keeps His Faith out of Politics


Byline: Andrea Billups, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Don't expect any public testimonies of faith from presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, who is not demonstrative about his religion but who embraces a Baptist faith that is based on salvation.

The religious intentions of Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama were dissected after he publicly explained his decadeslong relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., but the senator from Arizona likely will talk little about the details of his own spiritual path other than to acknowledge that he is on one.

"The most important thing is I'm a Christian," Mr. McCain told reporters in September on the campaign trail when asked about his religious affiliation.

Mr. McCain's official congressional record identifies him as an Episcopalian, and he was raised in the Episcopal Church, but the senator said he now considers himself a Baptist. He cut short any further inquiry by adding that he "won't have anything more to say about that."

That brief exchange with reporters was before he broke out of the Republican pack in New Hampshire in January and became the presumptive Republican nominee. Now, as the campaign speeds toward the general election in the fall, Mr. McCain's record on everything from romance to foreign policy likely will go under the microscope. Some wonder whether his reticence on religion, particularly after the Obama flap, may be a good thing.

"It is to John McCain's credit that he is not using his faith as a political tool," said Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus. "However, at some point in the general election when voters are taking a renewed and closer look at the candidates, he should feel comfortable talking about his journey in faith from his days in Hanoi and what role it played in shaping the man he is today."

Some facts are known about Mr. McCain's churchgoing. He has attended the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated North Phoenix Baptist Church with his family for about 15 years. The 7,000-member church with an active radio ministry is led by the Rev. Dan Yeary, 69, who is described as "folksy and patriotic" and who came to his Arizona congregation after a stint at University Baptist Church in Coral Gables, Fla.

"John and I are having continual dialogue about his spiritual pursuits," Mr. Yeary told Reuters news agency earlier this year. "John and I are friends. He has called on me to minister to the family in times of challenge and difficulty."

Mr. McCain, in a 2006 interview, said he liked his Baptist church and his pastor's message of "reconciliation and redemption, which I'm a great believer in." Although he has not elaborated about the specifics of his religion, Mr. McCain, the son of a Navy admiral who attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, wrote extensively in his 1999 best-seller "Faith of My Fathers" about how faith helped him survive during his 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. Fellow prisoners dubbed him "the chaplain" for his role in holding makeshift services.

In the book, Mr. McCain tells a poignant story about a Vietnamese prison guard who drew a cross with his foot in the dirt for the Navy flier to see, only to rub it out before others might notice. That moment signaled to Mr. McCain that God was indeed present, even as he and his fellow captives struggled to survive the torture and living conditions inflicted upon them.

Mr. McCain campaigned for support from the Republican Party's conservative base earlier this year, but received a tongue-lashing by James Dobson, the powerful founder of the conservative Focus on the Family.

"I'm praying that we will not get stuck with him," Mr. Dobson said.

Now that Mr. McCain is the presumptive nominee, other conservatives have softened their tone, embracing the war hero's pro-life stance as they prepare to challenge the Democrats.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

McCain Keeps His Faith out of Politics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.