The second CNN/YouTube presidential debate airs tonight, and took part in the process by submitting a question for consideration.

In what is described as a “revolutionary” debate format, YouTube users can post 30-second video questions to the site, and a handful are chosen to be broadcast on CNN during the debate for the candidates to answer.

Tonight’s debate features the Republican candidates and will be broadcast live on CNN at 8 p.m. ET. Anderson Cooper hosts the debate, which will originate in St. Petersburg, Fla.’s video question is titled, “Does ‘GOP’ Stand for God’s Only Party?” In it, Executive Editor Robert Parham asks all candidates:

“The Christian Right has claimed for over 25 years that ‘GOP’ stands for God’s Only Party ”first by the Moral Majority, then by the Christian Coalition, now by a variety of groups. Do you agree with the Christian Right that the Republican Party is God’s only party? Do you believe that the Republican Party has the favor of God over every other party?”

The question grows out of’s recently released DVD, “Golden Rule Politics: Reclaiming the Rightful Role of Faith in Politics,” in which the myth of the Republican Party as “God’s only party” is called into question. “Golden Rule Politics” features interviews with clergy and politicians and works to reclaim a common-good ethic for faith’s intersection with politics.

Tonight’s Republican debate follows the same format established in the July 23 debate featuring Democratic candidates (watch the recap here). Almost 40 YouTube questions were broadcast then for the country ”and for the candidates to answer live ”out of the 2,989 video questions submitted.

This time, YouTube users submitted 4,927 questions, but only a fraction will be shown to candidates for their responses. Topics include the Koran, nuclear terrorism, offshore drilling, tax reform, church-state separation and on and on.

Tonight’s debate participants include Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo and Fred Thompson. has been using YouTube for its video platform since October 2006 and now has 46 videos on the site available for viewing, linking and embedding. Videos include clips from Baptist Center for Ethics’ DVDs, news segments featuring Robert Parham, and online featurettes on various topics.

Cliff Vaughn is culture editor of


Golden Rule Politics: Reclaiming the Rightful Role of Faith in Politics

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BCE Breaks Technological Ground, Posts Videos to YouTube

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