Before the Age of the Internet, the mainstream media monopoly succeeded in striping Christianity from many facets of American society, including political campaigns; all that has changed now.
For background, read Media Prepare Anti-Christian Campaign for 2012 and also read NY Times Wants Conservative Christian Candidates Grilled on Theology as well as God's Conspiracy Theory via GOP per NBC's Rachel Maddow
-- From "Theology a hot issue in 2012 GOP campaign" by Rachel Zoll, Associated Press Religion Writer 9/3/11
It used to be simpler. . . .
Now, politicians are navigating a landscape in which rifts over faith and policy have become chasms. . . .
Nationally, more than 70 percent of Republicans and more than half of Democrats say it's somewhat or very important that a presidential candidate have very strong religious beliefs, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.
Politicians are evaluated not only by what church they attend, but also by what their congregation teaches and what their pastor says on Sundays.
Politicians are facing complex questions on religious doctrine, prompted in many cases by their own attempts at highlighting their faith.
Voters have started pushing for specifics because they no longer consider belief separate from action and faith unrelated to policymaking, said Kathleen Flake, who specializes in American religious history at Vanderbilt University. . . .
"For the first time, we're not only interested in whether someone is religious, which is essentially a question of, 'Do you have a morality that the voter can identify with?'" Flake said. "It appears that there's a significant portion of the electorate that's interested in what the particular theology of the candidate is. Do they believe in Jesus? If so, what kind of Jesus do you believe in?"
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Also read Presidential Candidates Address Christian America