Of Presidents and God

Are you comfortable with a President who prays?

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Comments (82)

(56) Anonymous, July 31, 2012 5:05 AM

generalizations rarely work

I'm an observant Jew, but I disagree with you this time, Rabbi Salomon. If religious belief or belief in G-d alone could guarantee a good person, I'd agree with you. But Jewish history unfortunately shows over and over again that believers are just as capable of persecuting others as non-believers. Have you forgotten the Church of the middle ages? Maybe Lenin & Stalin & the Khemer Rouge killed more, but certainly the Church was a close runner-up...

(55) Anonymous, July 26, 2012 1:09 AM

I am very comfortable with any polotians , who turn to God for guidance in their decision making. I believe the biggest problem in Washington, is we have pushed God, out of all our decisions. Our forefather's were not crazy, when they established this nation under God, and the evidence is quite apparent every where. If the President made decisions, without any other influence, or input, I would hope he would be a praying man. One man is not making the decisions that effect all of us, it takes the entire Congress & House, and I am afraid their God is the almighty dollar.

(54) Ernest Miller, July 24, 2012 5:45 PM

I am not in favor of this proposed legislation as to limiting contents of soft drinks.Such legislation would infringe upon people's freedom of choice. We are not talking here about a product that is inherently dangerous such as drugs or cigarettes.Parents can still supervise young ones as to what to consume. If a child is old enough to go to a store by himself, then he should be able to choose rather or not to consume, for example, a big slurpee.

(53) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 2:15 PM

About presidents and religion

I don't understain what Rabbi Salomon is saying, we had a President Bush very religious, I am sure prayed all the time and was the worst president ever.

Judi, July 23, 2012 10:06 PM

People do all kinds of things "religiously."

The peanut-picking "president" from Georgia was supposed to be religious too. He was the very worst president ever! I never liked the Bushes either. But I wish we had a God-fearing religious leader who truly wanted what was best for the nation in office. I don't think we've had a man with integrity in any public office in recent years. Exception: Michael Bloomburg. What can we do to get him written in this November? That's something to think about. (And how about the other non-politician leader we should draft: Howard Shultz, CEO of Starbucks who pulled back all campaign contributions and is using the money to hire more people, making more jobs! We should start the Coffee Party and draft him for President!) Politics corrupts. We should fire all the politicians in the USA and take back our democratic country. The political machine is just that, a machine...and it's broken!

Bill, July 28, 2012 3:36 PM

Put back up the Hedge

I would much rather have a president that payed for devine guidance, than one that doesn't. We as a nation need to return to biblical morality. I believe the hedge the Creator placed around us is being removed because we so much want to be politically correct that we don't want to point out that homosexuality is an abomination to the Creator. Our political leaders don't want us to display the Ten Commandments, call sin, SIN, or point out where we are going wrong as a people, as a Nation, as we move furter and furter from the Creator, all for political correctness, afraid we will hurt someone's feelings. May the Creator help us.

(52) Anonymous, July 23, 2012 7:53 AM

Of course their should be a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies for the slain Israeli athletes of the 1972 olympics at Munich, Germany! Unfortunately, it is not going to happen, probably because the Olympic Committee does not wish to veer in any manner from its set format of the opening ceremonies.

(51) Ernest Miller, July 23, 2012 7:45 AM

I would personally feel more comfortable with a President who believes and prays to a Divine Being and seeks guidance from that Being.

(50) Anonymous, July 20, 2012 3:07 PM

Romney's religion

I really don't care what religion you are and the less said about it during an election the better. However I must confess I would be far more comfortable with a Morman president, than the current one.

(49) K.S., July 20, 2012 2:42 PM

Freedom to Pray

One of the most famous men in the scriptures was King David, and he was a man of prayer and a great leader. We all have flaws within our person, but to remember to pray is a good thing, and that does "not" establish a religion. It merely allows one to converse with the creator.

(48) Patricia, July 19, 2012 2:10 PM

I do feel comfortable with a leader who prays. I prefer it. The bible tells us to pray for our leaders. So our leaders need to pray as well. None of us have any wisdom on our own.

(47) Frank Adam, July 19, 2012 12:08 AM

Congress shall not enact any establishment of religion

Remembering the fates of, "Charles Stuart that man of blood," and his son James II, US presidents should discreetly shut up about their faith while in office. This is at least one thing Tony Blair got right when his press chief said, "We don't do God." This is also the only way to cover the US back when telling the Arabs to get their Islamists off our backs.

(46) Anonymous, July 18, 2012 8:49 PM

I have no objection to Romney's praying...I object to what he prays for....he certainly has no compassion for less fortunate,and I wonder what he prays for!

Rick, July 19, 2012 10:58 AM

Slander? Lashon Ha-RA

I am not a Mitt Romney fan, BUT to claim he has no compassion for the less fortunate is an unfortunate choice of words, and untrue. How could you demean a man with such unkind words that can be proven untrue?

(45) Anonymous, July 18, 2012 8:40 PM

so sorry Rabbi Salomon

G-d forbid such a man should have such a powerful position! All through history, men (especially of the muslim faith ) who have done horrible things, have said that "divine providence " made them do it. He could make the whole U.S. turn against the Jews just like Hitler and the Inquisition. Better to choose someone who has no particular bias, and can help and defend all U.S. citizens

Anonymous, July 19, 2012 11:21 AM

Many great men have prayed and truly men that were great prayed

It is always curious to me that people would say better to have no one that prays or has religious faith (in G-d) to lead that one that does. Well our American history proves that many of our Presidents prayed. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and many more. A very large country that has no known praying leader was called the USSR, another would be China. Atheistic, and seeking no guidance from divine influence. Look at what those leaders did to their citizens. As far as Israel's history one of our greatest leaders was David, and he Definitely Prayed. His son Solomon prayed for divine guidance to lead G-d's great people, and became one of the wisest leaders at that time. So is praying for divine guidance wrong, of course not. Can people claim that and do ultimate wrong, Yes! But now comes such fear that a man will do wrong because he prays. I wonder if we that make such claims pray ourselves or else would we make such a superficial statement? I have known many Mormons and do not agree with their basic belief of G-d, but they were kind, hardworking, and family oriented. Remember before we make such Harsh Statements of Bigotry and prejudice that we as a people were judged the same way. Should we judge a man by his actions or by what we fear or think may happen? He does have a track record and so does the current President.

Anonymous, July 21, 2012 10:45 PM

I suppose you were right

The truth is we have no way of knowing who is a good person and who has alterior motives. WE have to pray to OUR G-D and ask his to give guidance to these leaders and protection to all people of the world. There is, in fact, a prayer for the leaders of the world. But no matter who rules the U.S., THE WORLD IS NO LONGER A SAFE PLACE FOR ANYONE. The only thing WE can do is pray.

Becky, July 21, 2012 1:39 PM

you are misguided, I think

Do you think people with no faith are not going to do horrible things? They have, and do. Anyone can claim that God made them do something, but because a person is religious does not mean that they are some kind of nutcase. And the President does not have the power to make America hate the Jews, not as long as the people keep speaking up. Your fears are unfounded.

(44) Anonymous, July 18, 2012 5:00 PM

Davening is great

If he prays, I think it is very good. I remember how when obama was running people were worried that he attended a church whose preacher was anti-america, anti-semitic, and anti-israel. That is something to worry about. A person praying for help running a great country is great.

(43) Anonymous, July 18, 2012 3:12 PM

Eyes of the Heart

One of the problems of the Romney campaign planners is dealing with his Mormon faith, as most people who are Christians do not see the Mormon faith in the perspective of Scripture. I do not want to get into specific points because like the Rabbi states, the question is how do we feel about having a President who draws on a higher power and seeks divine guidance for his life's decisions et al. I feel he must! I don't believe it's possible to lead a people without this aspect of a person's life. As has been demonstrated in President Obama's term over and over without a public acclaim to G-d's influence in his life! To make this a public acclaim, as Romney has done, to me is answering critical opinion about being Mormon. He wants to allay staunch Christian conservative belief that he has Truth. Mainline conservatism have a different view of this religion. I believe you know people by their fruit. Is Romney ethical in his business dealings; has he paid fair taxes for his earnings; how did he handle State business as Govenor; will he provide tax documents and reveal major contributors to his campaign. He's publicly lowkey for a reason. He talks comfortably around a biased constituency and does not have a message for the nation....or does he. Also, I read the scientific, athesistic commentary on the issue. It sounds angry and unnecessarily demeans the existence and/or belief in G-d. It amuses me because I know the end of his story. Calm down. Try seeking G-d as diligently as you seek degrees of knowledge that display the handiwork of the Creator.

(42) David, July 18, 2012 12:40 PM

Fine with me!

Romney's faith doesn't bother me, and I'm perfectly comfortable with his being a Mormon. Having said that, I would challenge R' Salomon on this, as "belief in God" by itself doesn't tell me much. Pretty much all the crazy terrorists in the world believe passionately in God. If I had to choose between a fundamentalist Muslim and an atheist, I'm pretty sure I'd vote for the atheist. And I suspect R' Salomon would do the same.

(41) Jaume Folch, July 18, 2012 11:19 AM

Only One G-d

That a presidential candidate prays? Well, that doesn't necessarily mean that his "religiosity" is well aimed. There is the possibility that he uses "faith" and religion as a crouch, thus contrary to reason, common sense and authentic emuna and bitachon. And there is the possibility that he prays to a man and not to the One true Creator of the universe. So let's not put our faith in mortal man, even if he looks like a G-d fearing person, and let's put our trust in HaShem.

(40) Myriam Obadia, July 18, 2012 8:48 AM

Presidents who pray, or Presidents who preach?

I am very comfortable with a president who prays, provided that his prayers remain between him and (his) G-d and that he doesn't try to enforce his religious precepts to the rest of the population. I'll vote for a candidate who presents a comprehensive and realistic program and accepts that there is higher power than his own. However I do not want a president who will use his position of power to proselyte and preach his religion. A few things to keep in mind though, a) both candidates claim to pray and seek higher guidance, b) many Americans are uncomfortable, not with the fact that Romney prays, but with his religion. Part of the Mormon creed is that, after death, good men become gods themselves with a planet to rule. This is an uncomfortable concept for Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike.

(39) Nachshon, July 18, 2012 4:41 AM

resent parsha with Balaam and Balak

Just because you pray to a god does not mean that you pray to the one true G-d, the creator of the universe. Both of these candidates follow false doctrines which is lawlessness, the opposite of Torah. Hashem is in control of all things. These men are put before you by Hashem. If you chose one over the other then you still chose evil. Because the lesser of two evils is still evil Hashem wants you to look at the past and compare it to our time. Are you like Korach doing your own thing? Do you grumble for water, manna etc??? Now is the time to renew your hearts and minds to Torah and turn away from the deceptions of false kings and false doctrines. Search the Torah for its truth, Hashem gave the Torah to us as a means to seek him. If you look to these candidates for your future then you have lost your faith in Hashem. And you will be forever bound to Egypt. A slave to false doctrine/sin ~lawlessness

Stuart, July 19, 2012 4:33 AM

Noahide Laws

Neither candidate is Jewish, They do not have to follow the Torah. They have to follow the seven Noahide laws. I have no reason to believe that they don't. If you don't count socialism, neither seems to push their religion on me or you. Maybe it would be a better idea for me and you to be good Jews and let HaShem worry proclaiming people to be evil.

(38) Anonymous, July 18, 2012 4:27 AM

Identify the "Higher Power"

I agree with the passion to seek Divine guidance, acknowledging that the Creator knows more and simultaneously has the best interest of humanity at heart; His wisdom is certain to actually achieve that. Rabbi Jonathan Sachs has just written a scintillating article about this idea @http://www.aish.com/tp/i/sacks/162558366.html However, in our day, I think this quest or longing to involve a "higher power" that would temper government with morality requires that politicians seeking our trust must identify the so-called higher power to whom they would yield. I say so-called because all spiritual powers and beings are often lumped together as being "higher powers" due to their spiritual nature. However, I ask what is the name and nature of this "higher power"? Someone's god that opposes the Creator and His morality, may be a spirit or an idol, but would not be morally higher than any secular man who keeps even the basic morality of the Noahide laws. That someone acknowledges the existence of a "higher power" sounds nice and resonates with hope, but may have the potential to be deadly if it the power is deadly. Perhaps it's OK to rely on both the candidates' past record and one's own spiritual intuition about him/her when making a choice.

(37) Geoffrey Strickland, July 18, 2012 3:31 AM

What God

It depends on what god he prays to. it is not the God of Israel. And I cannot feel comfortable with someone whose religion prays for the dead. It is too late. Anyone can say they pray to a higher power. But there is only one higher power and that is the God of Abraham and Israel. No other god will even listen to there prayers let alone answer them as they are non existent.

David, July 18, 2012 12:41 PM

Praying for the dead?

Have you ever heard of the concept of davening or doing mitzvot so that someone's neshama should have an aliyah? Jews pray for the dead all the time.

(36) Mark, July 18, 2012 3:23 AM

matter of the heart

What is hidden in the heart, the mouth will speak...eventually. So prayer as a conversation seeking wisdom allows HaShem to advise the heart. The founding fathers of this country openly prayed to a specific personality...and tied Providence to the safe path of national future making sure that government influence was minimal in the homes of the people. So, which individual is closer to the sanctity placed on life and values family? Which is King Saul and which is King David...speaking metaphorically of course

(35) Anonymous, July 18, 2012 2:35 AM

pollard hangs in the balance

joe biden says that pollards release would be over his dead body. hillary clinton says that if pollard was setenced to life he should stay there for life. are these the friends Israel needs. surround me with G-d fearing people that feel that Israel belongs to HaShem.

(34) Chris, July 18, 2012 2:31 AM

Not comfortable

I would rather a president was representing the community that voted for him/her rather than one specific religious group. Reagan, for instance, believed in The Rapture - that would really alarm me in a president, since that person might not be too worried about taking actions that could devastate the world, on the grounds that he was going to be taken up to heaven with all the others of his faith, so why worry about anything else?

(33) elly g, July 18, 2012 1:36 AM

do i feeel comfortable with a politician who prays?

Bilam and Balak prayed too. I would not trust those two characters as politicians.

(32) chaya rivka carasso, July 18, 2012 12:23 AM

Good Leaders Pray

From the Torah we learn that our best leaders pray. Certainly men like Abraham, Yitzhok, and Yaacov are known for their prayers. Under the leadership of Moshe and then Yehoshua, we see how their prayers sustain the Jewish people. It is absurd to disregard prayer in leadership, because they "know how to figure everything out.". The American Founding Fathers were known to have prayed. Prayer now is looked down upon by people who have no faith in the divine. They use their heads, they have strategies, and they get the world into dire circumstances. A leader who prays to an omnipotent G-d is a leader we need. Look at all the good leaders today, they all pray. Look at the leaders who have gotten the world into a mess, they do not pray. Prayer is an honorable activity for any leader.

(31) Eric, July 17, 2012 11:57 PM

Everyone worships someone

Belief in God only makes sense, evolution is a proven lie. This is publicly unpopular, but it is nice to see a man of character and bravery stand up to public ridicule and scorn. Barak, Jennifer Granholm, and others would say they believe, but then cower to those who hate God. This country was founded on Christianity, and every state avows a reliance upon the creator. To say that it has no place in politics is a satanic ruse.

(30) Daniel Hohenstein, July 17, 2012 11:50 PM

Complete turn off

When I hear a politician invoking God they completely lose me. One party in particular seems to have adopted the mantra of " no taxes, no help for the poor, no to saving the environment, no to global warming, no to women's rights and look at me I'm a good Christian. Sorry. They don't know the meaning of the word good. Ever since Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell co- opted that party it has swung way to far to the right. Or should I say wrong. Makes voting a much easier choice.

(29) Trudy Wellen, July 17, 2012 11:42 PM

On Presidents and God

I have no problems with religious presidents. The problem I have had is when we had the moral majority. As a Jew, that worried me, because the moral majority was made up of mostly Evangelistic Christians. The believe everyone should accept Jesus as their messiah. That did not belong in politics or the White House. Trudy Wellen

(28) Samuel Okwei-Nortey, July 17, 2012 11:04 PM

What kind of 'divine power'?

Dear Rabbi, I beg to differ from your view, in that your mentioned the type of belief system he comes from and that is contrary form the belief that the majority have which has stood the country in 'fairly good stead'. However, I accept that one who prays to the God of Israel, sincerely is a mighty person for any nation, BUT no Romney, in my view.

(27) Ruthann, July 17, 2012 10:53 PM

Church and State

I believe in the separation of church and State. I do not believe that church has a place in government. I do believe in prayer and God. I do not want to live in a country dominated by the Mormon faith. I believe in the right to pursue my religion as I see fit. God is personal in my life.

(26) Anonymous, July 17, 2012 9:07 PM

Hmm...that's an interesting question. My first gut reaction is that Mitt Romney makes me uncomfortable, and I'm a religious Jew. I defiantly feel the most comfortable around someone who is a Ben Torah-someone who live is governed by Torah. The main reason for that is since they have Daas Torah-their thinking is shaped by Torah knowledge, and when they do not know what to do, they ask a Rabbi with more Torah knowledge for advice. Yes, they do pray for divine assistance, but the main function of their prayer is to grow closer to Hashem, not to receive 'prophetic vision' as to what their next step should be, or miraculous intervention. They live on this world as human beings-not saints. Which is why Mitt Romney makes me uncomfortable. As Jews, we are taught not to rely on our own bias when making big decisions-just because we have a sense of a higher purpose does not mean we will act upon it-which is why we are told to ask advice from Rabbis. Let’s say Mitt Romney realizes this. Who will he be going to ask his questions to, then? His Morman leaders-defiantly not someone with Daas Torah! Am I comfortable with that-No! Furthermore, who says Mormans believe in the G-d of Israel? For all we know-that’s idol worship! I’m not saying Obama and atheism makes me any more comfortable. But do I think it’s a good thing for America to be under the influence of Daas Morman? Not sure if that’s a good thing.

(25) Adam, July 17, 2012 8:23 PM

It's not belief in G-d

It's not that people are uncomfortable w/a President who believes in G-d; quite to the contrary, I think most Americans *expect* their President to have religious beliefs, and would be far less comfortable w/an avowed atheist as President. What makes Americans uncomfortable about Mitt Romney is the fact that he's an avowed Mormon, and Mormonism is a faith which most Americans are at best unfamiliar, and at worst *very* uneasy. Many evangelical Christians don't consider Mormonism to even be a form of Christianity. That's the source of the discomfort, not the fact that Romney believes in and prays to G-d. -Z

(24) Len, July 17, 2012 6:21 PM

Uncomfortable with a Candidate Who touts religion for election

I made a comment in reply to someone-- I really would like to share it as a direct comment: There is something unsavory about a politician that holds him or herself out to be worthy of election simply because they pray to a higher power. If that becomes a centerpiece in the campaign or the way decisions are handled in a secular society, I do not believe that to be in accord with the Freedom of Religious belief. To have a candidate who runs on his piety seems worng for several reasons (1) The candidate is running for public office not Pope or Rabbi in Chief; (2) the candidates will then duel as to who is more pious or (3) which religion best suits the American public. Religion and one's beliefs are personal. I might think that the basic tenets of Mormonism are very, very strange to say the least. Should I then vote for the other guy if he is more in conformity with a majority view on religion? I think not. By the way in response to Necklace-- I think it should be acknowledged that the Obama administration has given more aid to Israel than any other President. Simply because he does not walk in lockstep with everything that Netanyahu wants does not make a pandering Riomney better. You have to walk the walk not talk the talk-- and Obama has walked the walk

Katherine, July 17, 2012 8:52 PM

Thank you.

Len, I wanted to thank you for your comments, and say I concur.

Ruthann, July 17, 2012 10:57 PM

I agree!

I am with you all the way Len. Thank you for expressing your feelings on this matter so well.

Sara, July 18, 2012 3:07 AM

I agree 100%

I could not have said it better myself. Thanks

Donna, July 19, 2012 12:48 AM

Total aggreement, Len

I couldn't agree more! Your words say it all!

(23) Ruth Baldwin, July 17, 2012 5:58 PM

Presidents who pray

I think saying that you pray doesn't mean a thing. Is it wise to judge people by what they say? Think about it. With all due respect, your statement is a rather vague one. Are you aware of your responsibility? It doesn't sound like it. Nice for you though that you're feeling comfortable with Mr Romney. After all, that's all that counts - for you.

James Salomon, July 18, 2012 12:11 AM

Religion and politics don't mix.

The last thing I want in office is someone who wears their religion on there shirt like a badge. During the course of my life I've experienced enough people willing to push their belief system down my throat because it made them feel better. It really doesn't matter which religious belief system they espouse. Religion is an intensely private matter. If they are really interested in serving G-d then help the less powerful and less fortunate.

(22) K, July 17, 2012 5:56 PM

I agree with the Rabbi, and TMay is right about the idols. I don't agree with Message on a Necklace. As a convert, I take my faith of choice seriously and I have no intention of voting for someone who has make a mockery of his office and this country. Message has lumped all American Jews into one category and should step back and realize that not all Jews have the same political mind set. There are plenty of us who care, and we will vote according to our values. Be sure that this election is a pivotal one, and a lot is hanging in the balance. For those Jews who are blessed to live in the land, and the others in other lands, it would do our people a great service to pray that the Jews of America cast their vote for the candidate HaShem chooses.

(21) Antonio Perez, July 17, 2012 5:46 PM

I Agree with You

I agree with you Rabbi. I would be very uncomfortable to learn the president doesn't pray. I prefer that he believes in the God of Israel. I wish there was a man or woman who is a practicing Jew running for office but since we have what we have, I pray that the man HaShem wills to be in the white house makes it there. I hope we will pray before we enter the voting booth to vote this November. Ultimately, it is the Almighty who rules the nations. I pray the person elected will put his faith into action and not demonstrate it in words only.

(20) Donna, July 17, 2012 5:38 PM

PERSON OF FAITH?

Mitt Romney might look to a "higher power", but that higher power has not guided him properly on how NOT TO LIE. He has lied to the public about his role in his business of "outsourcing" I don't trust him no matter who he prays to.

(19) Melissa, July 17, 2012 4:27 PM

Stickier than sticky

Very tough call, rabbi. I think with Obama, looking back to his presidential race(s) it was his charismatic use of bible passages that really sold his character, primarily because his faith & spirituality are very clear - to him. (& he chose to make this clear to others); I think this is where higher discernment is needed. Is Mitt Rooney sincere? Any politician can talk the talk w/out walking the walk ... Some Mormons are very insular, can be hypocritical & all other things 'flesh is heir to'; Like most other established churches, the LDS church is in crisis today over many issues. Fundamentalist Christianity is, on the whole, much more 'follow the leader' than judaism will ever be ... Mormons elect their 'bishops'. This might seem like a good thing, but what if they have misinterpreted the NT axiom: "Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar & give unto G-d what belongs to G-d?" ... proof is in the purity of heart of the person/politician, not his ability to quote a line taught to him by clergy.

(18) Anonymous, July 17, 2012 4:26 PM

Your message has everything to do with politics.

Obama also prays to God. He's just not a religious fanatic or cult member. Romney's "God" supports the Mormon church and holds their interests and sexist, racist values as His highest priority. GW Bush also talked to "God" who apparently told GW it was a good idea to bankrupt this country by lying us into a war with Iraq. Hitler talked to God who told him to kill all Jews. Lots of fanatics talk to God. I'm sure "God" tells Romney and all his Vulture 1% pals what to do when they bankrupt companies to send jobs over seas for bigger personal profits. "God" also helped Romney hide his wealth in off-shore banks so he wouldn't need to pay taxes like the rest of us.

(17) Abraham L. Seiman, July 17, 2012 4:11 PM

I hope the candidates are praying to the just god and not just preying on their follosers.

Does God have to pray? do we? To which Supreme being?Is the thoughts that they receive about praying or preying? for all of us, I hope for the latter.

(16) Anonymous, July 17, 2012 4:06 PM

I AGREE WITH RABBI/100%

none

(15) Francis Rupert Legge, July 17, 2012 3:59 PM

Crime and Punishment ~ Locherby

Dear Rabbi, I thoroughly see your point that heinous crimes, mass murders and cruelties must not be excused on any pretext. However, I wonder whether there is a limit to God's forgiveness?

(14) Anonymous, July 17, 2012 3:59 PM

malaya718@hotmail.com

Strong YES for Higher Power!

(13) Raanana, July 17, 2012 3:56 PM

Pray? Sure! But Don't Brag About It!

I want my president to support Israel. I want my president to pray to HaShem and seek His guidance. I don't want a president who makes a "show" of it or "brags" about it. I don't want a president who doesn't help the poor. A president has only a certain amount of power. Congress has to work, too, which it doesn't right now. By the way, President Obama has said that he also prays.

(12) Anonymous, July 17, 2012 3:49 PM

sceptical

Louis Ferakan (excuse my spelling) also believes in a higher power and in his personal relationship to and with it. President Bush was born again and made some strange decisions during his presidency. G-d is a very personal thing. Interpretation of philosophical and biblical texts can be very personal as well. I'm not comfortable with mixing politics and religion. Just look at the Islam faith. Some interpret it one way and some another. It's about the person, their track record, their values, their vision for the future.

(11) Larry Braun, July 17, 2012 3:41 PM

Pray for Israel

The fact is Mitt Romney as well as most Evangelical Christians support Israel. Romney is a friend of Netanyahu, and will do everything he can to support Israel when the time comes to face Iran and its radical leadership. Wake up, Iran wants to destroy Israel for there own fanatical believes. America and the world needs Romney to lead us out of this abyss, and it certainly doesn't hurt to have a President that looks to divine guideness.

(10) Len Gutterman, July 17, 2012 3:41 PM

Is Mitt the better man?

Mitt may be a religious man but his behaviors I find appalling. His association with Bain disgusts me as I have a neighbor who works for a company acquired by Bain. Furthermore Mitt is responsible for RomneyCare in Massachusetts and hates Obamacare. Hes Phoney as far as Im concerned. He would rather see Obama fail than see the USA succeed

(9) Anonymous, July 17, 2012 3:37 PM

fanantics believe in G-d too

Belief in G-d does not make one a better person or a better candidate. Terrorists, killers, thieves and rapists believe in G-d too.

(8) Elisheva, July 17, 2012 3:10 PM

The Mormon man

We never actually know his real knowledge of Politics and to be the leader of the world's largest Nation! Secondly, we have no idea WHAT GOD Mit Romney is turning to! "Do not buy a pig in a poke" is an old proverb that says a lot. The Mormons have not nearly the same standard of morality described in the Torah ... if anyone ever believed it! It is almost laughable!

(7) Message on a Necklace, July 17, 2012 1:20 PM

American Jewry Wake Up!!!

Jews have more in common with Mitt Romney. Romney will be a supporter of Israel. Instead of supporting Mitt Romney American Jewry are sure to support Obama and the morally and intellectually bankrupt ideology of the Left. Obama is no friend of Israel and Leftism contradicts Torah values. But in America they don't care. They are too inebriated with ignorance, selfishness, and liberalism. As diaspora Jew in another country I would like to thank American Jewry for letting us all down. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.

MaryAnne Simpson, July 17, 2012 3:40 PM

Don't put us all in one boat

I completely agree that we have let you down, but it is not all who have let you down. Those of us who agree with you are doing what we can in a country that is sliding quickly toward complete entitlement and collapse from our reckless spending and greed

Nina, July 17, 2012 4:05 PM

I couldn't agree with you more. For years I have tries to understand why my fellow Jews support the left and to this day I am not able to answer that question. This election couldn't be mote important for Jews and Israel alike. For heaven's sake please wake up!!!

godfree, July 17, 2012 4:33 PM

If I am anything, I am prosemitic, but I disagree with the above

Len, July 17, 2012 6:19 PM

Uncomfortable with Pol that wears religion on his/her sleeve

There is something unsavory about a politician that holds him or herself out to be worthy of election simply because they pray to a higher power. If that becomes a centerpiece in the campaign or the way decisions are handled in a secular society, I do not believe that to be in accord with the Freedom of Religious belief. To have a candidate who runs on his piety seems worng for several reasons (1) The candidate is running for public office not Pope or Rabbi in Chief; (2) the candidates will then duel as to who is more pious or (3) which religion best suits the American public. Religion and one's beliefs are personal. I might think that the basic tenets of Mormonism are very, very strange to say the least. Should I then vote for the other guy if he is more in conformity with a majority view on religion? I think not. By the way in response to Necklace-- I think it should be acknowledged that the Obama administration has given more aid to Israel than any other President. Simply because he does not walk in lockstep with everything that Netanyahu wants does not make a pandering Riomney better. You have to walk the walk not talk the talk-- and Obama has walked the walk

Ann Hoffman, July 17, 2012 7:28 PM

what a excellent Truth you penned every word is So TRUE!!

Ellie, July 17, 2012 7:38 PM

I don't get it either.

I'm with you! An American Jew.

(6) Lisa, July 17, 2012 2:35 AM

Are you there G-d, it's me Mit

Mit believeing in a higher power speaks volumes!! Thank you Rabbi for pointing this out to us!!

(5) IrisB, July 17, 2012 2:10 AM

A candidate of faith scares me.

The fact that Romney claims he looks to a higher power makes me loose respect for him. The fact that he might actually believe it, scares me. I could not vote for him because of it. I was never a fan of Nixon and the Watergate episode further justified my feelings about him. But when it came out that he got down on his knees to pray, he lost any shred of respect he might have had, just because he held the office of President. Expression of religious faith made Bush 43 appear even more unintelligent. I could not vote for someone who looks for divine inspiration. I could not trust them, or their intelligence. If a candidate truly believed in God, they would do themselves a favor and keep it to themselves. It is a good thing that most fervent God-believers can't seem to keep that fact to themselves. That way they won't be deceiving anyone.

Chris, July 17, 2012 3:24 PM

A candidate of no faith scares me more

Anyone can claim to have faith in God and just be using it for personal gain. Thats why you should look carefully at their record. However, an athiestic leader has no moral compass other than what he sets for himself, and in his mind he's justified in his actions, beneficial to his constituants or not. Regardless of his affiliations, or lack thereof, they need to be unbiased in protecting the rights and freedoms of all for them to be a good leader, but that is less likely to be the case when one does not have a higher power than onself to to help use his power and influence in the right ways. You really need to look at your history and see just how many American Presidents proclaimed their faith in God, and you need to read the Constitution; it clearly spells out that the US was founded on Christian principals and should remain grounded in them for the US to remain strong. Look at us today and you can see were those principals have been forgotten and how we are suffering for it.

K. S,, July 17, 2012 4:17 PM

Why should anyone be opposed to prayer by anyone?

I don't find it annoying to see or hear anyone praying. Separation of church and state has been RUN INTO THE GROUND! The wisest man who ever lived was a man of prayer. His name was Solomon, so that is what God has said about him, and who cares what mankind says about prayer? If you don't like prayer - close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears. Also - looking to a "higher" power means nothing / what or who is that supposed to be?. So that alone does not impress me at all about someone.

Anonymous, July 17, 2012 11:50 PM

Keep your prayer to yourself

K.S. - you are certainly free to pray. I and anyone else should not be bothered with what you consider appropriate prayer. I should not have to put my fingers in my ears or close my eyes. Keep your prayer in your church, synagogue, mosque or home. Public prayer (not in the above venues) is like second-hand smoke - noxious and offensive. BTW - while Solomon has been known to be a wise man and a man of prayer and faith, he was also a womanizer. So much for faith in God and morality.

(4) TMay, July 16, 2012 7:22 AM

previous comment

Writing my previous comment, reminded me of liberal comedian Jon Stewart 's question "If we were the ones we were waiting for, were we worth the wait?" (from memory) (^_^).

(3) TMay, July 16, 2012 7:14 AM

There are plenty of idols, we don't have to concentrate on whether they exist in the Mormon Church.

I agree with the rabbi. I have known Mormons and been impressed by them. When Kennedy was the first Catholic pres people worried that he would have to accept the policies that the pope dictated. Kennedy said he would make his own decisions. I guess Romney will have to make his own pledge regarding the role of the Mormon Church. The US has plenty of idols: the stock market, symbolized with a statue of a bull outside the NY stock exchange; a combination of the environment and Mother Earth and Chicken Little and Gaia, to which we are all being asked to bow and sacrifice to. Then we have our present president who said that he and his followers were the ones they were waiting for, and he was likened to the messiah. Sports: I heard that at Penn State University, a halo over the late chief football coach Joe Paterno's head on a mural was painted over this week. Then there is Hollywood with its idol of prettiness. Then there are tremendously rich people like Mayor Bloomberg with ferocious arrogance. I emailed him and told him to try to control what his wife substitute and children and in-laws eat and drink before telling complete strangers what to eat and drink, and what businesses can serve or not, and he calls himself a Republican. Americans have made an idol of anyone who can make money, as if that translates into wisdom on other subjects.Look at George Soros. He is his own idol, believes his own press, and he made his money by unbalancing the playing field. Then there is the generation who thinks so highly of themselves that they think they can throw out the wisdom of the ages regarding marriage, and throw out the wisdom of the founders of the USA who wrote the constitution, and they think they should have the freedom to interpret the constitution to include anything they feel about at any given moment in time, or whatever the New York Times tells them to get upset about, over looking that there were safeguards in the constitution which took millennia to evolve.

Wendell, July 17, 2012 6:45 PM

TMay is Right

I agree with every written word you wrote. Though I must be the first to say, I have failed many times. G-ds grace was with me in wild, selfish years. I have turned from self serving, and man made idols, pleasures of this world and body. May G-d help us to repent and turn from our wicked ways.

(2) Rivka, July 15, 2012 9:54 PM

Religion & Politics

Dear Rabbi Solomon: Although you disclaimed your message as not being political, you failed to mention the other presidential candidate in your discourse. In my opinion, just mentioning Romney and not Obama, does indeed make this a political message. I agree with you that presidents as well as anyone else should seek guidance from a Higher Power when making important decisions regarding both, the country and their personal lives. I know that I do so most times. However, how do we know that President Obama does not do so as well? I do not intend any disrespect, but your message is, indeed biased to one candidate.

Yisroel, July 16, 2012 11:49 PM

Misplaced Criticism

The rabbi makes the point that the press has gone out of its way to make a whole to-do about Romney’s religious professions. The PRESS has injected this factor as a basis on which to decide the Romney v. Obama question. It’s not the rabbi who contrasts Obama and Romney in terms of their having or not having religious conviction. It is the press. In doing so, the press is either trying to reflect public perception, or trying to mold it. Either way, the rabbi is merely remarking on the passing scene. Also, it’s no accident that Obama is never found publically ceding recognition to a Divine Power. He brazenly puts all his trust in governmental bureaucracy and the elite who run it.

Abigail, July 17, 2012 11:00 AM

well said

a good and thoughtful response

David, July 17, 2012 5:38 PM

I like your commentary. I admire the comment's rabbi, but in this case, when he omitted Obama, the message is political.

(1) Anonymous, July 15, 2012 3:09 PM

Makes me feel horrible

Rabbi, you are much more qualified when it comes to these issues. I have been struggling with this for some time. I have tried to understand the place of faith in Mr. Romney's life. There is no doubt that Mr. Romney is a decent, moral person. But, let me take it outside of Mr. Romney's sphere for a minute. Let me speak about Gandhi. We know his religion was Hindi. I doubt that anyone will debate that Gandhi was a good man. Gandhi prayed to various Hindi gods. He was quite understanding in his religious outlook. Now, what is the comparison between the two? Based on our religion, I would think it is idolatry regardless who one prays to. Does it matter if Gandhi prays to Shiva or Romney prays to a god that even Christians consider to be against their faith? (In fact the Mormon god is more like the Greek god Zeus who had a wife and a son. Mormon god had to become a god and Mormon god is flesh. The other two Mormon gods are less gods but still they are gods. I can go on but all of this is factual and of course nonsense dreamt up by self appointed prophet from New York) So, if you are asking if it is important that a leader pray so that he knows there is someone above him then obviously the US Constitution is the answer to that. I guess the more interesting question is if Mr. Romney won then which holy book would Mr. Romney swear on? I suppose it would be the Book of Mormon. And that would mean that he would swear allegiance to a false god, as the chief of a nation. Even though Christians can be construed as idolatrous (some of our rabbis debate this, still), they have also sworn on our Bible at least. I guess my complaint is idolatry.

 

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