Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Regarding the Oklahoma Baptist Voters' Guide

I finally got a copy of the voter's guide that the Baptist Messenger distributed to Oklahoma Baptists.

The guide does not directly endorse any candidates or parties and it boldly proclaims that it is "impartial" and "nonpartisan," but it merely reproduces a voter's guide produced by a front group for well-known Republican operative James Dobson. The Republican slant to the issues raised and the questions asked is obvious. In places, it even uses language lifted from the Oklahoma GOP platform (i.e. "peace through strength" to describe the need for a strong military.)

When very few Democrats responded to this biased questionaire, while nearly all Republicans did so, it should have been obvious that the guide would be of little value in determining nuances in the positions of the different candidates. As any schoolboy or schoolgirl could tell you, students who turn in research that is only half complete receive a failing grade.

Unless the purpose of this mailing was to cast one party in a favorable light while raising doubts about another, Oklahoma Baptists ought to ask the editor of the Baptist Messenger to justify the use of Cooperative Program dollars to publish and distribute materials that were only half complete.

(NOTE: The Oklahoma Family Council's 2006 Voter's Guide is not yet online. At the moment, the link above connects to the 2004 Voter's Guide which is supposed to be replaced by the 2006 guide over the next few days.)

1 comment:

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

Here's a comment I received via e-mail from Oklahoma attorney Jeremy Thurman:

Dr. Prescott, this was the first time I?ve read your blog, very interesting. I will start with the fact that I am a Christian and a Baptist. I serve on my church council and involved in many areas of my church. I am a staunch Baptist based on the denominations teaching.

That said, when I found the voter's guide that the Baptist Messenger this weekend in my mailbox I was abhorred. It simply spouts republican propaganda and serves to sway voters. Simply put, it asked the candidates whether they are conservative or not. It claims to ask questions that are important to Baptists and christians but then gives not background on these ?christian issues.?

For example, when getting to these ?christian issues,? since when did legal reform and workers compensation reform constitute as a concern for followers of christ? Without getting into the veracity of these reforms, I will only comment that it smacks of unaccountability for our mistakes which I think is totally anti christ like.

Anyway, this voters guide truly does more harm than good. It is not informative of the true issues that shape our laws and government and simply serves as a republican tool to garner baptist votes.