The latest “On Faith” offering in the Washington Post on undecided clergy voters features two Episcopalians.
Roger Ferlo speaks on why pastors stay out of declaring a candidate until Election Day:
“A lot of folks don’t want to be pinned down, particularly during such a polarized time,” said the Rev. Roger Ferlo, dean and president of Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Chicago and Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.
Most congregations mix Republicans, Democrats and independents, all of whom fall under pastors’ care. “There’s a danger that you could be reduced to your political opinion,” Ferlo said, “and therefore sacrifice your credibility with one group or another.”
In addition, many mainline Protestants are recovering from rancorous fights over sexuality and the role of gays and lesbians in their churches. “People are tired of the partisan fray,” Ferlo said.
Holly Davis is featured as well as an example of an undecided clergyperson:
The Rev. Holly Davis, the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Franklin, Pa., said she hasn’t decided on a candidate, even after the three presidential debates. In fact, the third debate, in which both candidates ignored the debate topic by focusing on the economy instead of foreign policy, made her angry. “They’re so ego driven, they can’t even follow simple instructions,” Davis said.
The 44-year-old said she had an easier time choosing Obama in 2008, when she had just entered the priesthood.
“My thinking is changing,” said Davis, a self-described libertarian who reads Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” every two years. She still doesn’t like big government, but she’s also concerned about her economically depressed community, where each day a half-dozen people drop by her office needing help.