My opponent for Justice of the Peace has as these bullet points:
Defend the Constitution
Protect Our God-Given Rights
I have no argument about him being a legal expert and everyone who is in government is sworn to defend the constitution. Protecting our God-Given Rights seems a bit overdramatic, after all, as a Justice of the Peace we deal with evictions, traffic tickets, and truancy, but sure, I can agree with that. What does bother me is the use of the term “Christian Conservative” to describe a judge.
It is ironic that I am making this argument because I am both a Christian and a Conservative. The claim to Conservative does get harder every day with its metamorphosis into Trumpism. When I say Conservative, I am speaking in the tradition of William F. Buckley and others like that; I believe in limited government, personal freedom, and that judges should not legislate from the bench. I also strongly believe in separation of Church and State, a State that chooses to favor my religion today may at some point work against it.
I want you to imagine that a Justice of the Peace was running as a “Buddhist Progressive” and that his rulings would be based on the teachings of Confucius. If you are a Christian that might make you feel uncomfortable even though the teachings of the Buddha and of Confucius are very wise. While it is convenient that my religion happens to be the dominant religion here at this time, our system of government is designed not to promote one religion over another. As a judge, it is important that all people have equal standing before the law. Atheist, agnostics, and people of other faith traditions will receive the same treatment as a Christian would in my court. This is a foundation of our law and democracy.
Jesus himself, when he was asked if people should pay taxes to Caesar or not answered, “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”. As a Justice of the Peace, my role is to work for the government of Caesar, not to be your pastor or spiritual advisor. Someday I may choose that as my profession, until that day comes, my views on scripture, sanctification and the sacraments will simply have to be a mystery. If I am so privileged as to earn your vote and be the next Justice of the Peace to replace the Honorable JW Hand, my only focus will be on the law and the facts of the case.