Churches weigh in on supercharged election

What do you think when you see this sign? (Source: WMBF News Reporter Will Whitson)
What do you think when you see this sign? (Source: WMBF News Reporter Will Whitson)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Separation of church and state. Though it's not explicitly stated in the Constitution, there are boundaries. And if the church plays a role in voter education, is suggesting the right candidate crossing the line?

"I'm not sure it should weigh so heavily in an election," said voter Jim Shall. "It's a personal issue."

Election Day is just hours away and churches in the Grand Strand are seizing the opportunity to make their presence, and their values, known.

But not everyone feels the same way. While one church clearly displays which value systems and who they are in support of on their church sign, suggesting which candidate they will be casting a vote for, others are just encouraging their congregations to take a moment of reflection to make the decision they think is right.

The church sign in front of Socastee Original Freewill Baptist reads, "Abortion is murder. Protect the unborn. Go vote."

While the sign is certainly open to interpretation, where the candidates stand on the noted issue is not. President Obama states "We can find common ground between pro-choice and pro-life. (Apr 2008)" while former Governor Mitt Romney fights for the notion that "Scientifically, life begins at conception. (Jan 2012)"

You can view Obama's stance on issues here, and see where Romney sits on the issues here.

"They're depending on their own spiritual journeys to guide them in how they vote," said Jonathan Tompkins, Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach.

Tompkins says he hasn't received many requests of political guidance at First United Methodist, but the church is using election day as an opportunity to bring worshippers together.

"We're taking part in an election day communion," he said.

Tompkins says the whole point of the communion isn't to galvanize or spur on Christians to hit the polls, but instead to bring both Democrats and Republicans together after a supercharged election season.

"As Americans, we need to do our duty," he said. "But our vote ends here at the communion table."

So with only hours to waste, and the highest office in the nation on the line, do you think the church's value system and outward displays of such will influence your vote for president? Or have you made up your mind on who is best suited to fill the Oval Office?

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