Religious Questionnaire To City Candidates Draws Criticism
In Farmington, New Mexico's recent municipal elections, the campaign manager for one of the losing City Council candidates secretly designed a scorecard to rank local candidates on their religious and social values. Yesterday's Farmington Daily Times says that candidate Bob Moon did not know that his campaign manager, Drew Degner, had designed the questionnaire that asked closed-end questions about issues such as church attendance, abortion rights and gay marriage. Some candidates refused to answer the questions and are critical of it. Degner said he designed the survey in order to help fellow Emmanuel Baptist Church members determine candidates' values. He did not distribute the scorecard beyond his church. Moon, a pastor, only posted a copy on the bulletin board at his church, My Father's House.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS?
First of all, it's legal for a church or a private citizen to educate or seek education about candidates, their positions and values. He had every right to ask the candidates anything he wanted to know pertaining to their world-view and values.
It's not OK with the IRS if the church officially says in print or pulpit, "Vote for this guy." Though several churches reportedly challenged this ruling last year. I haven't heard what happened as a result.
I do wish candidates would not be stealth candidates but would tell us of their church affiliations and their views on contentious issues. Some do --all used to --it looked good on their publicity to show their various affiliations --but now it has become contentious and alienating for some to be identified as Catholic or pro-life, pro traditional values, etc. --or the opposite.
We especially can't find out anything about candidates for judge. I want to know their world view --because it does make a world of difference in how people view justice and rights.
The whole idea of freedom of the press is the people's right to know. I think the campaign manager had every right to ask the candidates to disclose such info. I hope they aren't saying it was a secretive maneuver in order to protect the manager's candidate after he lost the election. I find it odd that the candidate wouldn't know what his manager was doing.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible