This is the tenth of a weekly series of public forums on TMB. Watch for a new round every Monday. The schedule and comment policy are available here.

Certainly an important area for most Latter-day Saints is a presidential candidate’s values on faith and family, including issues from their personal life.

There is LOTS to talk about here. Some suggested topics:

  • Obama has made faith — both his personal faith and a commitment to faith in the public square — a much more visible part of his campaign than McCain has. Click here for information from Obama’s website, including multiple videos (I recommend in particular his “Call to Renewal” speech from 2006). I would love to provide corresponding information for McCain, but … there is none. I’d be curious to hear people’s thoughts on this disparity and what it means to you.
  • Another important difference is in regards to gay rights, though there are important similarities. Neither candidate is in favor of gay marriage and both are opposed to a federal amendment banning it. Obama, however, is in favor of civil unions (”equal treatment under the law”) and other gay rights positions. McCain has expressed a commitment to protect traditional marriage by not appointing judges that will “legislate from the bench.” What, if anything, do these differences mean to American family values? LDS family values?
  • Obama has laid out in considerable detail “family friendly” issues and initiatives, such as supporting working families, strengthening fathers, and assisting single mothers. The only clear family-related issues on McCain’s website are general ones pertaining to “human dignity and the sanctity of life.” Too much government involvement for Obama? Too little for McCain?
  • Regarding “sanctity of life” issues, Obama supports federal funding for additional embryonic stem-cell lines, while McCain does not. Most Evangelicals clearly care about these differences, but what about Latter-day Saints? (Abortion is being discussed in another forum.)
  • What about the future “First Family”? How important are the president’s personal family issues? Which candidate’s family life sets the better example for America? (Let’s focus on the candidates here; we will have a forum on their spouses in six weeks.)
  • And what do you think of campaign ads like this?

Just a reminder, also, of our forum on the candidates’ relationships with the LDS Church.

Looking forward to an engaging and respectful discussion.

Next week: Oil, Energy, and the Environment

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