Faith group asks U.S. candidates not to bear false witness

September 24, 2008

Faithful America, an online community of religiously-motivated activists, is running an ad on Christian and country music radio stations in Mississippi and Tennessee urging Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his Republican rival John McCain to stick to the truth in their televised debate on Friday.

John McCain and Barack Obama, 17 August 2008/Mark Avery“Unfortunately, politicians are often more interested in scoring political points and attacking each other than in telling us the whole truth about how they’re going to lead our nation,” it says.

“.. our politicians need to understand that the Ninth Commandment wasn’t just a suggestion,” it says, refering to the biblical commandement which says not to bear false witness against your neighbor.*

The campaign has been getting increasingly nasty with both sides accusing the other of distorting the truth in attacks on the other.

Friday’s first debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford will focus on foreign policy and national security, an area of strength for McCain, 72, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who has been a staunch advocate of U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

Faithful America comprises a number of religious traditions and is devoted to action in areas mostly associated with U.S. liberals or progressives such as ending poverty, promoting peace and tackling climate change.


* Ninth commandment? Eighth commandment? It’s┬áthe eighth for Roman Catholics and Lutherans, ninth for all other Christians and Jews.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Where the heck were these people in the 2000 race? Where were they in the run-up to the Iraq war? Do you think Karl Rove is bothered by what they say? Did you think his mentor Lee Atwater was?

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Funny, the Neocons and Fundies have been bearing ‘False witness,’ for many years!

Posted by Magic Dragon | Report as abusive

They better be explicit that Sarah Palin is included.

Posted by Rodger Lemonde | Report as abusive

For a country where church and state are supposed to be separate and religious freedom is sacrosanct, the religious fundamentalists seem to have a undue influence over our political process.

I would like to see all religious organizations banned from the political process, or lose their religious, tax exempt status. In the meantime, the press should ignore them.

Posted by David Dines | Report as abusive

Those taking shots at the fundamentalist bogyman should read the last paragraph of the article that indicates the group sponsoring the ads are religiously diverse and politically liberal or moderate.

Posted by tiredevangelical | Report as abusive

In response to the David Dines”s of the nation, your suggestions seem to be the logical next step in Americas illogical bent to ” allow the tail to wag the dog “.
While I’ll bet that seven or eight people are rushing out right now to join ” The left-handed, redheaded, gay vegitarian, society for a better and more fragmented
( diverse ) America. ( Not that there is anything wrong with that………. No , certainly not .)

Posted by ItsMidnite | Report as abusive

Guess I didn’t see the sign at my baptism indicating that I would be giving up my freedom of speech rights. But now that I think about it that makes so much sense. I am sure the founding fathers only wanted people with a particular view on social issues to be able to voice their opinions in public. And I am assured that the framers meant to include a clause in the first amendment indicating that the freedom of the press did not extend to coverage of religious views. I am glad that people like David can enlighten us on the true meaning of the first amendment as I was clearly operating under a false impression of the extent of my own liberties.

Posted by Elliott Jones | Report as abusive

What is ashame is to see anyone would have a complaint that someone religious or otherwise is openly suggesting that political candidates stick to the truth.

Clearly something Senator Obama really needs to hear from as many people and organizations as possible.

While McCain may or may not be any more honest – he at least doesn’t make it so obvious when he lies or distorts the truth. Obama is just blatently open when he lies and way way too many of you do not seem to care.

What a shame and shame on you!

Posted by Brian McNally | Report as abusive