Election Season Again

Come on ye childhood heroes!
Won’t you rise up from the pages of your comic-books
your super crooks
and show us all the way.
Well! Make your will and testament. Won’t you?
Join your local government.
We’ll have Superman for president
let Robin save the day.

It is election season again, and we have a big one open locally: Magisterial District Judge. This is the “minor judiciary” in Pennsylvania. A friend of mine, attorney Kelley Gillette-Walker is running, so I am somewhat biased. (Incidentally, she is the first Republican I’ve ever supported for any office. As a lifelong Democrat, this is A Big Deal.) Since judges are technically non-partisan, she is cross-filed as a Republican and Democratic candidate. (Local voting information is available here.)

I have never missed an election. Even when I lived in England for nine months, I still managed to vote for Al Gore and *cough* *gack* Joe Lieberman. Needless to say, we get a lot of campaign mail. One we got this past week struck a chord with me — and not in a good way.

Steven Smith, a local mortgage settlement broker, has decided to throw his hat into the ring. You can see a PDF of the letter I got in the mail here. From the letter:

I stand firm in my religious convictions, I walk in my commitments, and I remain transparent to those around me.

Somebody is pandering to the religious vote. This is not a bad approach in this area. If Dayton, Tennessee is the buckle of the bible belt, then Central PA is that hanging bit you can never seem to tuck into the belt loop on your dress pants.

I have no idea what “walk in my commitments” and “remain transparent” mean, but I can smell Fundamentalist code words from a hundred meters. I wasn’t raised in that particular faith tradition, but I did have enough religious exposure growing up to have an allergic reaction to such things. What I do know is that the Magisterial District Judgeship is a secular post in a secular government. I just hope all of the candidates recognize that and, should they win the election, act accordingly. I am fine with a judge having religious faith, but that can’t take he place of judgement, reasoning, and the fair interpretation and application of the law.

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