Note: This post is a sequel to the last one, WHO RESPONDED TO OUR CANDIDATE SURVEY?
When almost none of the June 11th Primary Election candidates responded to our survey, we had a problem. We had told pastors of the churches for whom we supplied voter guides that we would put out voter guides in support of both the Prince William County Republican Firehouse Primary and the June 11th Primary Election. However, with respect to the June 11th Primary Election we have almost nothing to put in our voter guides. So we decided we had to explain our difficulties to the pastors.
Below is the text of the letter we wrote. Here, when you click this link, A Letter to Pastors, is the letter itself.
May 30, 2019
We are a local tax-exempt nonpartisan educational organization of believers from a wide variety of religious backgrounds associated with the Family Foundation of Virginia, which is affiliated with Focus on the Family. We share a common concern about the institution of the family and the importance of people of faith exercising their civic responsibility.
Last month we delivered voter guides comparing the positions of the candidates in the Republican firehouse primary of May 4. The guides are consistent with the guidelines of the I.R.S. for tax-exempt organizations, such as churches. They do not advocate the election or defeat of any candidate, but seek to inform citizens where the candidates stand on a variety of issues. They do not suggest which positions are “right” or in which party’s processes readers should participate. We asked you to provide them to your members and encourage them to participate in the early stages of candidate selection to assure that in the general election we have the best choices.
We promised we would provide guides for the June 11 primary in which the Democratic Party will choose its candidates for sheriff, commonwealth attorney, and supervisors in the Coles, Neabsco, Occoquan, Potomac and Woodbridge districts. In that primary Democrats will also choose their nominees for House districts 50, 52 and 87 and Senate district 28.
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide you the guides as we desired. Our guides rely on answers that candidates give to surveys we mail to them. We sent surveys to the Democratic candidates competing in the June 11 primary for all of the offices listed above, providing them with 10 days to complete and return them. We also called the candidates as a follow-up to the written surveys they received. However, none of these candidates returned our candidate survey. Hopefully candidates would be more responsive if your members contacted them directly to learn where they stand on issues the members consider important.
We hope that you will encourage your members who identify with that party to bring their values to bear on candidate selection. They may be eligible to vote sooner if they qualify to vote absentee. Absentee voting began on April 26 and continues through June 8. See https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html.
If you have any questions about the Family Alliance or the voter guides, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (703) 989-7176.
In His Service,
As we observed in a previous post (THE POLITICAL ROLE OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH), our Lord expects His disciples to serve as salt and light. When the sheep, Christians, follow their pastor, they follow because they hear through him the Word of God, not the word of some man. Therefore, while we don’t expect pastors to tell their church members who to vote for, we do encourage pastors to help their church members participate in the political process. That is, we hope pastors will work with their members to make voter information readily available to their members.
Our Lord has told us to be salt and light to the world. Our Lord has given us the opportunity to serve as salt and light in our county’s elections. Is it not obvious that we should avail ourselves of this opportunity, that we should thoughtfully and peacefully participate in the political process? Hence, instead of holding politics at an arm’s length, to give glory of our Lord Jesus Christ — to serve as salt and light — we hope pastors will do what they can to facilitate the thoughtful and peaceful participation of their members in the political process.