There are three types of institutions that govern our lives. The subject of this post is government, but let’s consider each of them in turn.

  • The Family. The Family exists to teach us how to love. We are born into a family. We don’t choose our parents. We love them because our parents love us. We love our brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and so forth because our parents love them. If we are fortunate, our parents teach us how to love others. If we are unfortunate, we hardly know our parents exists. We grew up in the care of a television, cell phone, and/or public school.
  • The Church. The Church exists spread the Gospel, to teach us that God is love. In our day the Christian Church has become an optional institution. We choose whether to go to church, and we choose the church we go to. If we are fortunate, our parents, took us to a Bible centered church, and we learned the importance of God’s Word and the value of Christian fellowship. If we are unfortunate, we hardly know our parents exist. We grew up in the care of a television monitor, cell phone, or public school.
  • The Government. Government exists to protect those we love from those who don’t know how to love. We still live in a land where our government is supposed to be under the control of the citizenry. We are supposed to choose our public officials and dismiss them from public office if they do not serve our nation appropriately. If we are fortunate, we learned how to be good citizens, and we participate in our nation’s political life to protect the welfare of — to secure the rights of — our family, friends, and neighbors. If we are unfortunate, we may not know we have a duty to participate in public life. We may even think that voting is just the process of electing that candidate who can bring home the most bacon to our district or state.

Each of these three institutions, the family, the church, and government, calls upon us to give of ourselves in order to benefit other people. Not one of them guarantees us any personal benefit, unless we corrupt the institution. God created the family, the church, and government to help us learn how to love our family, members of the body of Christ, and our friends and neighbors.

Do you know how to be a good citizen? In the United States, voting is the basic — primary duty — of citizenship. Voting requires us to learn about the candidates and to vote for those candidates we think most qualified to secure the rights of our family, friends, and neighbors.

Do you know where the candidates stand on the issues? To help you discern where each of the candidates stand on upon important issues related to the family, the Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance has sent a questionnaire to the House of Delegates candidates running in the eight House districts are wholly or partially within Prince William County. In this questionaire, we ask each candidate to tell us whether they support (S), oppose(O) or are undecided (U) about legislation that would:

  1. Restore the death penalty repealed this spring.
  2. Provide that emergency rules, regulations or orders expire after 45 days unless the General Assembly takes action.
  3. Re-enact criminal penalties for the recreational use of marijuana.
  4. Prohibit Dept. Of Health from communicating with children about sexual issues without parents’ consent.
  5. Prohibit State from forcing anyone to get a COVID vaccine despite sincere religious objections.
  6. Require employers to offer paid sick leave to employees working 20 or more hours a week.
  7. Establish Medicaid coverage of undocumented populations during COVID-19 pandemic.
  8. Require family life education curriculum to include viewing a live ultrasound of an unborn baby.
  9. Require that hospitals, nursing homes, hospice and assisted living facilities allow patients to receive visits from a rabbi, priest, minister, or clergyman upon request during a declared public health emergency.
  10. Allow adult protective service workers to obtain protective orders for incapacitated adults subjected to an act of violence, force, threat or financial exploitation.
  11. Repeal 2020 legislation allowing coverage of abortion in health insurance plans sold on Virginia’s Obamacare exchange.
  12. Repeal the tax credits now available for donations to scholarship funds to enable low-income students to pay for private school tuition or curricula for home-schooling.
  13. Require family life education curriculum to include viewing a live ultrasound of an unborn baby.
  14. Direct that Virginia students be taught that America is systemically racist and white persons are the oppressors.
  15. Reduce the total number and type of required Standards of Learning assessments to the minimum federal requirements.
  16. Provide State funded transportation services for students attending private and parochial schools.
  17. Expand Tuition Assistance grants to undocumented college students receiving in-state tuition rates.
  18. Allow local governments to prohibit the carrying of firearms in public spaces.
  19. Amend the Constitution to automatically restore the right-to-vote to felons who have served their sentences.
  20. Allow the public to obtain inactive criminal investigation files under the Freedom of Information Act.
  21. Repeal laws that allow foster care/adoption agencies to place children only in homes with both a female and male parent (rather than same sex couples).
  22. Expand nondiscrimination laws (and lawsuits) to persons who hire part-time employees to work in the home, including babysitters.
  23. Expand nondiscrimination laws (and lawsuits) to persons who hire part-time employees to work in the home, including babysitters.
  24. Repeal the provisions of Virginia’s Constitution that define marriage as a union of a man and a woman and replace them with express recognition that any combination of any number of persons may lawfully considered to be a marriage.
  25. Prohibit the abortion of babies after 20 weeks in the womb.
  26. Repeal the common-law crime of suicide.
  27. Allocate Virginia’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote, even if not the candidate Virginia voters choose.
  28. Forbid construction of power plants fueled by fossil fuels.
  29. Decriminalize assisted suicide.
  30. Require public schools to permit students to use bathrooms and locker rooms assigned to those with whose gender they identify, rather than those of their biological sex.

Are the answers to these questions of interest to you? We have received responses from three of the candidates. That leaves thirteen more. Here is a list of the candidates, PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY CANDIDATES FOR THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES. That list identifies the candidates who have responded to our survey, and it links to their responses. If a candidate you are considering voting for has not responded to our survey, we encourage you to contact them (see their website), and ask them to respond to our survey. Otherwise, consider what it means to buy a pig in a poke.

When we vote we make a big decision, and we often don’t know what we should know. That is why the subject of this post is a pig in a poke. Would you buy a pig in a poke? You probably think not, but we do it all the time. That’s why that expression, “a pig in a poke,” has remained with us since about 1555. Even though almost no one uses the word “poke” any more, because we still warn each other not to buy a pig in a poke, the use of the word “poke” to mean a small sack survives. (from WOULD YOU BUY A PIG IN A POKE? — THE 2019 EDITION)

FYI: Here is the 2014 version of this post, WOULD YOU BUY PIG IN A POKE?

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