A Stow Presbyterian Church Wednesday Night Speaker Series Event
As the 2012 presidential election approaches, and political ads in Ohio flourish, it’s not uncommon to see ads that allude to the candidates’ religious beliefs. On Wednesday, November 7 (the day after the election), at 7:00 p.m., Prof. David Beer will examine how Christianity has influenced the selection of U.S. presidents, from J.F.K. to today, as part of the Wednesday Night Speaker Series at Stow Presbyterian Church, 4150 Fishcreek Road. This event is free and open to the community.
Dr. Beer, assistant professor of political science at Malone University, notes an interesting dynamic in how faith has shaped American politics in the past 50 years.
“In 1960 John F. Kennedy needed to assure American voters that he would not strictly follow papal teaching as president,” Dr. Beer said. “In 2012 [presidential candidate] Rick Santorum received a large percentage of Republican support because he insisted he would follow Catholic doctrine if elected.”
That shift has ties to historical firsts, such as Jimmy Carter becoming the first self-proclaimed evangelical Christian to be elected to the Oval Office, and the political activism of the Moral Majority in the 1980s and 90s. Today, many Americans base their votes on their perception of the candidates’ faith; however, faith-based politics can work for or against an individual candidate.
Dr. Beer’s presentation will analyze the changing influence of Christianity on presidential elections and American politics, followed by a Q&A session.
Upcoming speakers in the series include: Consumer Affairs Specialist Christine Gilley, who will present ways to avoid scams and identity theft, reduce telemarketing calls, and obtain truly free credit reports (December 5); Lincoln historian Geoff Elliott, who will speak on Lincoln’s journey to the Emancipation Proclamation for the document’s 150th anniversary (January 9); and sportswriter and author Terry Pluto (February 6).
For more information on the Stow Presbyterian Church Wednesday Night Speaker Series, call 330-688-6935 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.