Up yours in the 6th

I got this creepy email Sunday from Ben Lowe, who’s running for the House in Illinois’ 6th District:

Jesus warned of false prophets who would appear friendly and familiar but may be motivated by wolfish intent. As Christians, we owe our ultimate allegiance to Jesus Christ. But as election day approaches, we see more and more wolves in sheep’s clothing whispering that the measure of our belief is determined not by how faithfully we uphold biblical values, but by how closely we ally ourselves with certain political platforms.

Every election, the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) publishes a voter guide based on the results of a questionnaire they send to candidates like me and distributes them to churches and congregations. Jesus was constantly bombarded by trick questions from the Pharisees seeking to tie him down on yes/no answers to more nuanced questions. And in an unfortunate way, IFI follows that same Biblical example asking leading and misleading questions in an attempt to determine someone’s political rather than theological orthodoxy. These tactics are destructive and damage our Christian witness.

Instead of responding to the questions with “support” or “oppose”, I sent back my questionnaire to the IFI with fuller responses that I believe represent a more faithful approach. Unfortunately, IFI not only failed to share my actual answers but ascribed positions to me that I did not authorize, and that do not represent my views. So I am emailing you a copy of my actual responses for your consideration.

Go here to see my response to the IFI’s questionnaire.

In every election, Christians should be the ultimate swing vote, supporting candidates who best embody all of our values, from protecting life and strengthening families to caring for the poor and God’s creation. We don’t get to take the easy way out and rubber stamp candidates with the “right” party label by their names. Instead we are called to prayerfully consider each candidate and chose the one who will best reflect our values.

I hope you will take the time to learn about my values and my beliefs as you prayerfully consider your vote this November.

Yours in the 6th, Ben Lowe

The photos on Lowe’s web site show a guy who looks about as you’d guess:

I don’t know much about young Mr. Lowe, except

  1. He’s on the Democratic ticket, but makes no mention of his party. My guess is that he won the nomination because the party wasn’t putting any effort into the 6th.
  2. No matter how much witnessing he does in his campaign literature, no matter how much he tries to hide the party he’s running under, he has no chance of winning Henry Hyde’s old district when he shows up on the ballot with a (D) after his name.
  3. He’s a graduate of Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian college, and seems to have spent his entire life in a Bible study group. It is apparently inconceivable to him that the people in the 6th who might actually vote for a Democrat are going to be put off by all the Jesus talk. This isn’t Alabama.
  4. He’s too stupid to figure out how to appeal to his own people. Picking a fight with the Illinois Family Institute is no way to get in good with the Christian right.
  5. He’s astonishingly inept at targeting prospective supporters. Not only am I offended by his email, I don’t even live in his district. Which is too bad; I’d kind of like to go out and vote against the little twerp.