Christopher Coons, executive for Delaware's New Castle County, is running as the Democratic nominee for U.S. senator from Delaware against tea party candidate Christine O'Donnell. As part of a Politics Daily series providing background about the major candidates in 2010, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Coons' life.
What is Christopher Coons' religion?
Coons is Presbyterian.
Where does Christopher Coons worship?
Coons and his family attend St. Ann's Catholic Church in his hometown of Wilmington, Del.
Was Coons born a Presbyterian, or did he convert?
Coons was raised Presbyterian.
Did Coons study religion at school?
Coons went to Yale's Divinity School and Law School at the same time. As Delaware Online reported, "'When people asked him, "Why are you in law school and divinity school at the same time?" He said, "I think these would work well together for a career in politics," ' said Lillian Daniel, a divinity school classmate who is now a pastor in suburban Chicago."
What has Christopher Coons said about his faith?
"I am someone who is, privately, fairly religious," Coons told Delaware's The News Journal, "but I don't think that needs to be a big part of the campaign." In a September 2010 interview with the Yale Divinity School alumni magazine, Coons said "most of my life I have weighed whether I would end up as a preacher, professor or politician." He also noted that the U.S. is "overwhelmingly a nation of people of faith," but that he respects and values "those that have no faith in a higher being. I think it is an important principle in a pluralistic democracy."
What is Christopher Coons' position on the mosque planned near the World Trade Center?
In an October debate with rival Christine O'Donnell, Coons evaded stating whether he personally opposed the mosque's construction. He did say it wasn't a "wise decision" but that he would defer to local land-use authorities on the issue.
What religion does Chris Coons' wife follow?
Coons' wife Annie is Catholic. Chris and Annie are raising their three children in the Catholic faith, attending St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wilmington.
Is Coons still involved with the Presbyterian church?
Yes. Coons sometimes serves as a guest preacher in the Wilmington area. "I have preached twice this year at predominantly African-American churches in Wilmington," he told Yale Divinity School's alumni magazine. "I've preached relatively regularly over the last decade, more typically at Presbyterian churches, and I find that both a challenging and rewarding experience."
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