We all need something to believe in, something to ground us, and being the President of the United States does not change that fact. As human beings, we need a kind of relief — for some it’s sex, for others it’s food, or meditation, or God. We often say it is “faith that carries us,” in an effort to remind us that we are not alone, that there is someone or something out there walking alongside us through turbulent times. For President Joe Biden, that someone is God. It is President Biden’s Catholic faith which guides him as a human being, providing the foundation he needs to get through his days.
What I admire about President Biden is how he chooses to live out his faith with a humility that I can appreciate. He keeps it in its place, not allowing it to cloud his ability to be a compassionate, honest, tell-it-like-it-is man who also happens to believe in God. To me, this is what matters. I support my president’s belief in something, the option of having his (or her) faith to fall back on, to turn to when the days are hard.
But despite his personal beliefs, President Biden, raised a Catholic, does not let the Bible dictate how and who he chooses to stand up for — and because of this, he’s sometimes cast in a negative light. In a recent article for NPR, writer Asma Khalid notes, “For his part, Trump has tried to portray Biden as a heathen.” Prior to the election, she says, the president called the then-Democratic nominee a man “against God.” But that isn’t all. “[M]ore broadly,” Khalid states, “Trump and his supporters have made religion a cultural issue, painting Democrats as the party against religious freedom.” But I don’t know how he can say this, because anyone can tell that we’ve spent the last four years dealing with a president who positioned himself as a man of faith and did not walk the walk. Posturing does not equal true belief.
I have always been skeptical of extreme beliefs, and of people who take the Bible literally. But those people can learn from President Joe Biden. He believes in God and follows the tenets which make up his Catholic faith, even quoting the Bible in his acceptance speech: “The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season – a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal. This is the time to heal in America.” What I love about Joe, is that he practices what he preaches. He lives by a value system that is rooted in his faith, carrying along the very fundamental beliefs of what being a Christian means. He sees his neighbors from all walks of life as human beings, and believes that helping solve problems like poverty, climate change, and social injustices that have shaped American society, can be healed together. But he doesn’t use religion like a weapon, cherry-picking phrases to support bigoted policies because “the Bible says.”
This is what matters in politics. It doesn’t matter who is Republican, Democrat, Independent, or Green. It matters that we are all equal, that we can help one another, that we are compassionate and understanding. When we think of politics, who is sleeping with whom should not matter — but having the right under the law to legally wed that person matters.
President Biden has restored my faith in humanity in a way I didn’t think possible. As a gay woman, I’ve frequently questioned if I could be both religious and gay. It wasn’t until I found my home in the Episcopal Church that I felt acceptance. It matters to me, and to my family, that our president is for all of us.
Faith centers us, keeps us grounded, and gives us cause for reflection. President Biden believes in God, and the practice of going to church matters for him, but he can still make decisions based on reason rather than religion. His faith matters because he doesn’t use it to point fingers, but to unify and heal — something that every human deserves, whether they practice a religion or not.
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