Sunday, February 24, 2002
The latest Christian Coalition voter guide is out. I got mine today on my car at church. I don't think churches should be involved in politics like this. I don't like it when (typically democratic) politicians go and speak in black churches. I don't like it when the Christian Coalition drops its voter guides on the cars in a church parking lot. If you want to distribute them, send them out by direct mail or pass them out in mall parking lots.
I think that everyone should exercise their right to vote. But I also think they need to be well-informed. Unfortunately they're not going to be well-informed by the so-called voter guide. The Christian Coalition sends out these questionnaires to candidates and then simply publishes the answers. The answers may or may not be accurate. The answers are certainly selective. For example, candidates for Congress are asked if they support or oppose abolishing the Internal Revenue Service. That question seems to fall under the admonition to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." Pretty cut and dried. They didn't ask candidates whether they support increased enforcement of anti-pollution laws. That sort of question would fall under us being "stewards of the Earth." Of course, they can't ask every possible question, it's just that why would you choose a question about abolishing the IRS? There is absolutely no way that is going to happen.
At least candidates for Congress would potentially have some say in whether or not the IRS is abolished. But can anyone tell me why we should care if a candidate for the state board of equalization supports sex education that stresses abstinence? The state board of equalization sets rules on taxes. What does tax policy have to do with abstinence. I mean, maybe if they were considering a condom tax. I don't know, someone help me.
The answers also don't tell the entire story.
If you looked at the race for the two county board of education seats, you could be easily fooled. In each race one candidate didn't respond to the questionnaire and the other candidate gave all the "right" answers. Some ill-informed voters would look at that and create chaos on the county board.
In the 3rd District, which covers East San Diego County, Sylvia Sullivan is running against Ernest Dronenburg Jr. Sullivan is endorsed by the California Republican Assembly and Southern Californians for Life. Sullivan also answers all the questions "right." Dronenburg did not respond to the questionnaire. Sounds like he's a bad guy. Sounds like he's got something to hide. Well, you'd be wrong. I've known Ernie Dronenburg for much of my life. I know his kids. I've been to his home. We attended the same church. Dronenburg is a godly man; a Christian who doesn't flaunt his faith. He's also the best man for the job.
In the 5th district, Susen Fay also has the endorsements and answers the questions "right." I don't know much about her opponent Susan Hartley, except that she's a school board member in the San Dieguito district and a former schoolteacher. What I do know is that Fay is a vindictive and divisive woman.
The pastors at my church have been going over the qualifications in being a leader in the church, in the context of spiritual maturity. But these qualities aren't just indications of spiritual maturity. They're also evidence of plain, old-fashioned non-spiritual maturity. One of the disqualifications for leadership in a church, and it should similarly be a disqualification from an office of public trust, is someone who is quarrelsome or overbearing.
Fay certainly fits the bill. In Sunday's sermon, a portion of the outline read: "Overbearing people....1) Take the big piece; 2) Need to be right; 3) Take their ball and go home." Fay has continually over the years refused to approve federal block grants to local schools because of an extreme distaste for the federal government. Never mind that the individual school districts had requested the funds. Never mind that this is simply getting some of the tax money sent to Washington returned to our schools, Fay's distaste for the federal government trumps all of this, and our local schools suffer.
Dronenburg is the opposite of Susen Fay. He is even-tempered, slow to anger, able to teach.
Don't believe everything you read -- here or in the Christian Coalition Voter Guide. Find out the truth. Become informed. Don't be lazy and vote for candidates who simply answer the questions "right." If you do, you do a disservice to democracy.