Magazine article The Christian Century

'Episcopalian' McCain Says He's Baptist

Magazine article The Christian Century

'Episcopalian' McCain Says He's Baptist

Article excerpt

GOP presidential candidate John McCain has raised questions about his religious affiliation with a comment he made last month at a campaign stop in heavily Baptist South Carolina.

The Arizona senator, answering a question from the Associated Press on September 16 about how his Episcopal faith affects his decision making, said, "It plays a role in my life. By the way, I'm not Episcopalian. I'm Baptist." He continued: "Do I advertise my faith? Do I talk about it all the time? No."

Before September was over, however, McCain was interviewed by Beliefnet.com on religious issues. McCain suggested that the primary issue in the campaign is whether a presidential candidate will carry on the "Judeo-Christian principled tradition." He said he agreed with the 55 percent of Americans in a recent poll who said the Constitution established the U.S. as a Christian nation, though he said non-Christians are welcome as citizens.

Asked about a potential Muslim presidential candidate, he said he'd prefer someone "who has a solid grounding in my faith." He later contacted Beliefnet to clarify his remarks, saying: "I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values. …

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