Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How important is a candidate's faith to Christian voters?

by: Will Gilmer

One of the many questions a Christian should reflect upon is to what degree does (or should) their faith inform and shape their political views. Do they only support politicians and policies that are in lockstep with their understanding of Biblical teachings on such issues as the sanctity of life and marriage, or are they willing to be flexible in some areas in order to make gains in others? Which is more important: piety or pragmatism?

Donald Trump holds his Bible aloft
during a recent campaign rally.
For many, a candidate's faith is also an important consideration when deciding who to support in a political race. This is the primary consideration for many voters, and one of the last for others. Some place great importance on a candidate's willingness to regularly proclaim their faith in public, while others prefer to look more at what they do (or how they vote) than what they say. For most, the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

This week gave us contrasting examples of two Republican presidential candidates approaching the topic of faith. One cited Scripture during what was presumably a prepared speech he delivered in front of a packed arena at Liberty University. The other shared the Gospel in response to a presumably unscripted question from a self-avowed atheist during a small town-hall meeting. 

Take a few minutes to watch these candidates' remarks in the two videos linked below, and then let me know what you think.  As for me, it reinforces my disapproval of the former and helps solidify my support of the latter.   

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Local official addresses recent controversy

Lamar County Board of Education Member Banks Hattaway found himself in the center of controversy last month when published an article featuring a "screenshot" of a comment Hattaway made on Facebook about Muslim immigration. The comment drew predominantly negative reactions across social media, both for the political viewpoint Hattaway expressed and for the manner in which he expressed it. Some went as far to suggest his position on the Board of Education served as an indictment of both the Lamar County school system and local electorate.

Yesterday, Mr. Hattaway addressed the situation on The Lamar Countian's Facebook page. In it, Hattaway alleges that did not give him an opportunity to share his side of the story and attempts to explain his comment from the month prior. The following is a screenshot of Mr. Hattaway's comment on our Facebook page:

We asked Mr. Hattaway to provide further clarification about his allegations against, which he did in two subsequent comments. You can read those comments (along with others) here.

Banks Hattaway is currently seeking a third-term on the Lamar County Board of Education (Place #1).