USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Religion and the Los Angeles Mayoral Race

Religion and the Los Angeles Mayoral Race

Religion and the Los Angeles Mayoral Race

CRCC Research Director Richard Flory and Reverend Mark Whitlock have appeared in a Neon Tommy article where they discuss the religious implications of the current Mayoral Race in Los Angeles.

An excerpt from the article:

“Though religion and politics mixes during election season, people who study the intersection of religion and civil society say there’s not a strong religious voice at Los Angeles City Hall in day-to-day politics. Local churches, mosques and synagogues, tend to operate in their own silos. But experts and community leaders say more could be done to improve the city if religious groups could consistently come together to address local issues.

Richard Flory, director of research at USC’s Center for Religion & Civic Culture, said the size and diversity in Los Angeles makes it difficult for groups of any kind to work together.

‘It’s only been in a big crises, like the riots, that people can come together,’ he said.

In the local mayoral race, many local churches and temples have hosted candidate forums or welcomed candidates to speak from the pulpit. Some church leaders tread in gray area and endorse candidates despite federal prohibitions on such endorsements.

Rev. Mark Whitlock, a pastor in Irvine who serves as the executive director of the USC Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, has endorsed Greuel partially because he would like to see the city have its first female mayor.

Whitlock said endorsements are important because church leaders have a stake in making sure that elected officials are capable of ruling effectively.

‘Religious leaders can’t be so spiritually bound that they have no earthly good,’ he said.”

Read the rest of the article.