A questioner from Monday’s Democratic debate asked presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton some relatively absurd questions regarding God.
Sanders, whose religious views don’t fall in line with some of the more traditional candidates, handled himself well in spite of the question that forced him to invoke the American politics golden rule regarding the discussion of a “higher power.”
QUESTIONER: Senator Sanders, do you believe that God is relevant, why or why not?
SANDERS: Well, I think — well, the answer is yes, and I think when we talk about God whether it is Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam, or Buddhism, what we are talking about is what all religions hold dear. And, that is to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
The Senator then said he was running for President and that he believed “morally and ethically we do not have a right to turn our backs on children in Flint, Michigan who are being poisoned, or veterans who are sleeping out on the street.”
The questioner then pivoted to Clinton and asked her a fairly similar question regarding God and religion.
QUESTIONER: To whom and for whom do you pray?
CLINTON: I do pray for people in authority. I try to think about what they are going through, even when I disagree with them. Trying to find some common ground, some common understanding that perhaps can make me more empathetic. I don’t always succeed. I will tell you that.
So I pray on a pretty regular basis during the day, because I need that strength and I need that support. And especially when you are in the position that I’m in and that Senator Sanders is in, where you are asking people to vote for you, to give you the most important job, not only in our country, but I would argue in the world.
I think humility is one of the most important attributes that you bring to both that seeking and then if you’re fortunate enough, to that holding of office and that’s what I will try to do.
According to Patheos, nothing the Senator and former Secretary said suggested that they were a better person for being religious. Nothing they said implied that prayer was the right answer for everyone and the government. Nothing they said did any damage to their campaigns, and that’s typically the best outcome you can hope for in a contested race.