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Panel to Examine How Faith Matters in Political Campaigning

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Attack ads, polling, spinning of political messages and packaging of candidates have become the way of modern political campaigns. Can religious faith and moral convictions possibly matter—or even make a difference—in today’s polarized campaigns?

On Tuesday, Oct.18, Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture will host a panel of political campaign experts and religious leaders to answer that question at “Keeping the Faith in a Season of Spin,” on the Lincoln Center campus.

Time: 6 p.m.
Date: Oct. 18
Location: Lowenstein Center’s Pope Auditorium, 116 West 60th Street
RSVP to CRCevent@fordham.edu or (212) 636-7347

The forum features five people who know the rough-and-tumble world of politics.

Speaking will be former Virginia congressman Tom Perriello and former White House agency head John DiIulio. Perriello, a liberal Democrat, won an upset victory in 2008 but was defeated in 2010 for his support of the Obama administration. DiIulio was the first head of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the George W. Bush White House.

They will be joined by two close observers of political battles: Thomas Reese, S.J., a political science professor and former editor of America magazine; and Gerald Seib, the Washington, D.C. bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal.

Moderating the discussion will be another veteran of political infighting, Mary Jo Bane, who resigned as assistant secretary for children and families during the Clinton administration’s internal debates over welfare reform.

All five participants in the forum bring their Catholic faith to their politics, whether as candidates, administrators or analysts.

“Keeping the Faith in a Season of Spin” follows an earlier forum in a series on “Faithful Citizenship.” The earlier forum, “Voters, Bishops and Presidential Elections,” held in early September, focused on the Catholic bishops’ statements on election choices and examined questions of religious authority and political judgments (photo by Leo Sorel).

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