Presidential candidates' John McCain and Barak Obama have both agreed to speak at a forum sponsored by Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, a megachurch in southern California. The forum is intended to discuss faith, leadership convictions, values and character. Pressing issues mentioned include poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights.
It will be interesting to see how aggressive he is with the candidates and how he delves into their character and leadership convictions. Because these areas can be so general, I think it will be difficult to gleam a lot of insights from the candidates. Frankly, character and leadership are better ascertained by actions than words.
Regarding the issues mentioned, these are certainly important issues which need to be addressed. How one addresses them is critical. Everybody wants to address poverty but what is the most effective way to do so. By simply expanding government and raising taxes or engaging private groups, providing incentives through tax policies and not rewarding destructive behavior. Or HIV/AIDS. One approach says condoms is the answer, however, that's a shortsighted, disastrous approach because it fails to address the underlying destructive behaviors which treat sex or drug use as recreational activities. And then regarding climate, understanding what is the problem and deciding how it can best be addressed, re global warming, is important. One approach says shut down economic development through strict regulations and the other is encouraging conservation through market incentives. Or human rights. Do we let economics trump the dignity and protection of the individual or do we hold other countries accountable for how they treat people.
I think it's also important that Warren call on the candidates to discuss their views of government and taxes along with marriage and the life issues. These issues weren't mentioned in the above article.