Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Social Issue Voting Decisions. Today was an election day in Florida. The two major parties each had a primary in the US Senate race. At the county level, we voted on a new mayor, commissioners, and judges. If you were a Republican (which I am not) you also got to elect committee-persons.

Two Sundays ago, someone in the church office slipped into the bulletin a leaflet that gave information on whether people running for mayor and judge had the right views on abortion and homosexuality. The leaflet had been prepared by the local edition of the American Family Association. I knew a little about the mayoral candidates and more about the judicial candidates. Social issues aside, the best candidates either did not line up on the "right" side of the social issues or they refused to answer the questionnaire sent to them by the people who put together the leaflet.

People quote Luther as having said, "I would rather be ruled by a competent Turk than an incompetent Christian". Whether he actually said this or not, it is an arresting statement. I thought of it as I looked at the candidates who represented views on abortion and homosexuality with which I very strongly agree, but who otherwise are unqualified to hold the office to which they aspire. I did not vote for them. I voted for the (otherwise) better qualified candidates.

You could argue that the offices in question do not have much to do with the abortion and homosexual agendas. I don't think that's a winning argument. I decided that the issues of competency were more important that the social issues, even though the social agendas I oppose will to some extent be strengthened by the victory of the more competent candidates.

I don't think I made a mistake. I think the problem is that the socially conservative people who would make competent local politicians and judges simply do not come forward. It is not my fault that I vote the way I did, it is the fault of the Christian community or, if not their fault, simply a sign of its weakness in Miami-Dade County.

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