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Kathy's Faith Walk

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Kathy's Faith Walk

A faith-based voter's guide

 

Usually I try to avoid writing about politics but I have been asked to touch on a subject we all have to deal with: How do I choose the best candidate for political office? So in my case, more specifically:  How should a Christ-follower judge a political candidate? What is the most important criteria?

That’s a good question and what you will get here is only my take on the subject. When it comes to candidates, I believe in kicking tires and ultimately, I will get what I pay for. 

I believe ALL candidates have one responsibility: to interpret the laws governing the position they seek and carry them out, be they city council members, county commissioners, presidents, or mayors. Elected officials are supposed to work for the people according to the law and when they don’t it is a terrible state of affairs. The king by justice makes the land stable, but he who takes bribes tears it down. Proverbs 29:4 In a sense, every elected official is a king over some aspect of our lives. And dishonest kings just make the people miserable.

I never want to know what a candidate’s opinion is on anything. It doesn’t matter. I only want to know if he/she knows the laws governing the office sought. That is what decisions are to be based on in order to have peace in the community. If the laws are bad then the people need to take steps for change. This happened in the last presidential election.

I look for an involved person. If the candidate is running for country commissioner, a very big job, then I expect him to have attended many commissioner meetings and know a considerable amount about the job. I know whether he/she understands the job by the campaign statements made. (“I will work toward cutting taxes.”  “I will work toward open communication between the Commissioners office and the people.” “I will work toward creating harmony among all the departments.”) To me, those statements are worthless. I want to hear how these things will be done. If they ask me for my vote, I demand they produce a plan to win my vote. Of course, that also means I need to know something about the subject. 

I also want to know if the candidate has a firm grasp on the Declaration of Independence, which tells us why we are here, and the Constitution, which tells us how to live here. In my personal opinion, if he cannot converse regarding those two documents, I see no reason to take him seriously as a leader of anything.

I watch how candidates behave at forums. Whatever I see her do there will be magnified when she is in office. When asked a question, does she answer or does she attempt to divert attention to another question she would rather answer? Does she avoid answering and begin a rail against her opponent? Or does she answer with strength of conviction and clarity of lawful objective? If a candidate cannot speak clearly and concisely about the laws governing her sought office, then, in my opinion, she has no business throwing her hat in the ring. 

Next, is he honest? What was he like in the private sector? Was he in business? If so, how did he treat his employees? Was he good to them, fair in his dealings, and honest with others in business? Was his business successful? It matters because this is how he will treat his constituency and how he will manage tax revenues once he is elected.

Can she lead? What positions did she hold in the private sector allowing her to experience leadership? Did she execute it well or did her people suffer under her bad leadership?

Finally, the spiritual aspect must be considered. I would like to see God-respecting people in office. Really I would. But even as a Christ Follower I am not swayed by a candidate’s church attendance record. I have seen too many wolves come into the fold and use it for a launching platform into politics. It’s not that I am jaded. I just understand that actions speak louder than words, past performance is an indicator of future results, and this is one time when the buyer MUST beware. Does he/she love God and love people? If so, then everything else on my criteria list will be met. He will lead with the heart of a servant and that, I think, is the best I can hope for.

 

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Author info

Kathy Osborne Kathy Osborne is the editor of the Co Op Country Store's newspaper, the Co Op Round-Up. In her spare time she checks in on her three grown children, or listens to her husband play music.

Tagged as:

Politics, faith, elections, voting

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