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MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Christian voter guides may not have divine inspiration

Rival voter guides distributed by two Christian groups may leave some people confused about whether God is a Democrat or a Republican.

Conservative Republican voters probably will put more faith in a guide distributed by Christian Action Alabama, formerly the Christian Coalition of Alabama, which has been publishing such guides for many election years. Democrat voters may favor a new guide from Redeem the Vote, a Montgomery-based group.

Redeem the Vote's founder, Dr. Randy Brinson, says that voters of faith are tired of "shrill partisanship" and "wedge issues." He says they need a guide "that gives a real glimpse into the heart and decision-making process of a candidate."

Redeem the Vote is asking candidates discussion questions about where they go to church, their favorite Bible verse, how they will publicly acknowledge their faith, and what role their faith will play in formulating public policy. In the past, Christian Action has asked for short answers about faith issues as well as some issues, such as a balanced budget, that interest conservatives but are not normally considered matters of religious faith.

Christian Action has come under fire from Democrats who view its work as thinly disguised Republican campaign literature, and Republican state chairwoman Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh criticizes Redeem the Vote as "a Democrat propaganda machine."

On Nov. 7, voters would do well to consider the information provided by both groups but take it with a grain of salt. God hasn't endorsed either side, as far as we know, and a candidate's religious faith is but one of several factors that affect how well he'll perform as a public official. Competence, intelligence, objectives, priorities, honesty, experience and a host of other traits are also important.

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