"I stand before you today as a woman of deep faith," Missouri State Representative Candidate Rebecca McClanahan said.
Wednesday evening McClanahan held "Round Table with Rebecca" and the topic was "Faith and Politics."
McClanahan began the discussion by telling the crowd statements that reflect her belief system. "By grace alone, by your fruits you will know them, to whom much is given much is required, having an attitude of gratitude and believe in the teachings of Jesus," McClanahan said.
She said one of the goals of her round table is to allow members of the public to engage in a deeper conversation.
"We choose to begin with faith and politics because there seems to be some contentious issues going on right now that effect the discussion," McClanahan said. "And, as a person of deep faith myself, it's always very interesting for me to engage in this way."
She spoke about how people suddenly get religious when they become a candidate and sometimes use faith to manipulate voters, and, she said that in some debates both Republicans and Democrats use passages from the Bible to back up their claims.
"There are people of deep faith on both sides of the aisle if you will, and I just feel like sometimes religion is used as a tool, and it's used in a way that sometimes manipulates voters views," McClanahan said. "And, perhaps pulls on their heart strings a bit in order to result in winning an election rather than informing a real understanding of deep policy."
Someone asked her how does faith relate to economic issues, and she said the budget is a moral document.
"It's a reflection of our values," McClanahan said. "Where we put our money shows what we really believe."
McClanahan spoke about how health care is close to her heart and that the cuts to Medicaid in 2005 are what motivated her to run for office.
She said the people of Missouri have an important decision to make, to expand Medicaid or not.
"For every $1 spent in Medicaid we (Missouri) get back $19.50â?|that sounds like a pretty good investment to me,' McClanahan said.
The topic of abortion came up and McClanahan said she is prolife, but feels the standards now attached to that title are too low.
She said all you have to do is say you are, sign bills that most likely won't get passed and probably not save one life in the process. She said we have to ask for more.
One young lady asked how she can get fair and balanced information and McClanahan said, "We need to get beyond the sound bites and the talking points, because the sound bites and talking points are all constructed and try to cast the person in the best light." "So, we need to get beyond that and have a deeper understanding. When people have an engagement in policy beyond the election process that will make a difference as well."
McClanahan will face off against Republican state representative candidate Nate Walker in November.