Religion should not influence how we vote

By Casey Jones

In the entire history of the United States, two categories of people alone have been elected as president: There were white, Christian males and a singular, black, Christian male.

The latter of which has only been a category for close to eight years.

The problem is that the election process allows for the muddying of campaign platforms based on personal characteristics that should never have an influence on the voters.

These characteristics, including (but not limited to) religion, gender, and race, have always influenced the votes of citizens.

Instead, these factors should be removed from the election process entirely to allow for voters to be forced to sit down and look at a candidate’s actual values and proposed policies.

Instead, a large amount of voters base their decision simply on the surface characteristics.

A prime example of this would have to be when President Obama campaigned originally in 2008; many voters decided to vote for the opposition rather than allow an African American into such high office.

Even after being elected, people constantly slandered him without looking into his policies and instead looked at the color of his skin.

To further demonstrate this shallow way of voting, Obama’s opposition constantly questioned his citizenship, despite undeniable proof that he is in fact a U.S. citizen.

He even tried to sway voters away by claiming he was not actually Christian, but was in fact Muslim.

The only way to keep campaigns clean now is to simply set forward the ideas and values without stepping into the area of spirituality and religion.

There is no way to mask the color of skin and the gender of someone, but removing this small factor will cause a leap forward in political involvement.

Instead of voting based on religion, force the people of the U.S. to care.

In fact, websites exist listing all of the Christian candidates, and urges fellow Christians to stick within this list of candidates.

This type of thing, along with big money in politics, is one of the major factors that cause corruption in politics by creating biases.

According to gallup.com, 77% of the adult population in the U.S. identify as some form of Christian religion, including Catholicism.

Currently, the only relevant non-Christian candidate in the 2016 Presidential Race is Bernie Sanders, who is the first Jewish presidential candidate in all of U.S. history.

By simply using his policies and ideals, he has surged to tie with Hillary Clinton, a self-proclaimed Christian, in the Democratic Party in terms of the popular vote, with Clinton maintaining a small lead in the race.

Now imagine that all people knew about these two candidates was their policies.

If a politician can tie with such a handicap, the results would be much clearer without the issue of religion in play.

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