A group of Hawaii pastors spoke out Sunday about what they called a disturbing trend in the current election campaign. They are running a radio ad denouncing fundamental Christians who invoke Christianity to claim some candidates are aligned with God.
This is the text of the radio ad:
?Recently some political ads have suggested that only certain candidates are considered righteous enough to warrant the Christian vote. The truth is, God is not owned by any party or by any candidate. Any of the three in the race for Governor: the Roman Catholic Duke Aiona, the Episcopalian Neil Abercrombie, or the Mormon Mufi Hannemann would make a reasonable choice.?
Retired Chaplain Rev. John Heidel is associated with group, calling itself Concerned Oahu Pastors.
?There are a lot of us in the religious community who think we need to hold up the separation between church and state. It's not right to have an endorsement of any particular candidate based on religion. And we don't think any candidate should be held up to a particular litmus test, as if they have to have the right belief to be electable,? Heidel said.
Religion has been invoked as an issue in the democratic primary race for Governor. A Mufi Hannemann supporter was accused of distributing an ad urging Republicans to cross over in the primary to vote for Hannemann because Neil Abercrombie's religious values don't measure up, in the opinion of conservative Christians.
The pastors called the tactics used by fundamentalist Christians "disturbing."
?It's okay for religion to inform politics but not manipulate it. This is where this kind of campaigning goes over line because it's meant to manipulate the campaign based on religious views,? Heidel said.