Religion’s role in the Upcoming Election

By Charlie Dodge, JCamp Reporter

Rawda Farez is not the biggest Hillary supporter.

Yet the 18-year-old practicing Muslim is one of those voters who support Clinton for lack of a better candidate. The summer before her first election as a registered voter, Farez is interning at the Washington D.C. Muslim Public Affairs Council cq. Farez considers her religion and her patriotism to be equal.

“We often disregard religious parts of our identity,” Farez said.“I’d say being an American and being a Muslim is not mutually exclusive.”

Before deciding who to vote for in the approaching 2016 election, voters are taking their religion and spiritual beliefs into consideration.

A 2013 Harris poll found that out of the over 2,000 people surveyed, 75 percent believed in a god. Printed on U.S. money is the phrase ‘In God We Trust,’ songs like “God Bless America” are popular during patriotic events, and children all over the country begin their school day with the pledge of allegiance: “one nation, under God, etc.”

Come November, Kimberly Enger says she will “definitely” be voting for Hillary Clinton. A practicing Methodist, the 59-year-old’s religion plays an impactful role in her life. The D.C. local would rather a candidate whose beliefs fall more in line with her own. As a result, Enger is of the opinion that the weak should be cared for and those who have the least should be supported and protected.

While voters like Enger consider religion a factor in their eventual decision, others would rather it be removed from the equation altogether. John Ryan is a self-proclaimed atheist. The 43-year-old finds politicians who bring their religion to the table disingenuous, and often guilty of tarnishing that particular religion. Even if the politician were an atheist, Ryan said their religious mentality would be, “the smallest thing on the list,” during an election. This November he will be voting for Hillary Clinton, having chosen her as an more equipped alternative to Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump is completely unqualified,” Ryan said. “He doesn’t have the temperament, smarts, dedication or focus to be the president of the United States.”