Greetings Mr. Lockett!
I have a few questions for you but before I get there I wanted to let you know where I am politically. Also, I’m posting this email on my blogs, this is an open letter to you.
Over the past year or so we’ve all seen the rise of the American People as TARP, Bailoutmania, and now Healthcare Reform has crept into the national spotlight. Alot of folks have mistaken these “Tea Parties” as Republican activities but you and I know this is not the case. These gatherings have had all flavors of political stripes involved in them and a few Republicans tossed in to either attempt to take credit for them or because they genuinely are tired of the same old song and dance. Alot of Republicans, such as myself, grew tired of the Bush Administration’s economic policies and TARP was the final straw. When President Bush said he had to abandon Free Market Principals to save the Free Market I think we all were left scratching our heads.
After attending a few of these Tea Parties something hit me that I should’ve seen all along. As Christian Conservatives we have forever been attempting to legislate from our Bibles. Whether the issue is Abortion, obscenity(Pornography), Wet/Dry votes, or Gambling we have always fell back on Faith as the rationale for our vote. I have come to believe that kind of rationale isn’t just a political albatross but also runs against what the Founders would have wanted. The secular left has been screaming about the separation of Church and State in an attempt to keep Christian philosophy out of the public square. I think they are wrong in that attempt as they too are missing the point. I do not believe the Founders were against the public display of Christian symbols so much as Government legislating from any particular Faith’s doctrine. That is what brought the Pilgrims to this land in the first place. I firmly believe that our Government, whether local, State, or Federal; is going to have to step away from the Moral Majority way of thinking. We cannot toss our Bibles around as some kind of weapon and expect the average American to simply bow down and subjugate themselves to our ideas. It is the job of the Church to take moral stands, not Government. The Church should be MUCH more active in our society and they should be reaching out to the population and NOT legislators. The solution to such problems as Abortion, obscenity, etc is in changing the hearts of people not a single vote in the Kentucky Legislature or Congress.
I firmly believe that Christians should be more active in the political arena and I’m thrilled to see you stepping into the fray. The Conservative Philosophy is based in the essentials of Judeo/Christian Faith with the primary aspect being Free Will and the value of the Individual. We all recognize that everyone has Free Will and that Will cannot and should not be trampled by Government. That being said, how is it that we can justify the legislation of morality? Isn’t that the imposition of our Christian Faith on those who may not believe? Isn’t that exactly what the Founders were trying to prevent when they agreed to the First Amendment of our Constitution? I don’t care if the House and Senate begins their day with a prayer. I appreciate seeing the 10 Commandments in our Courts, schools, and businesses. I do not care to see legislation in our Legislature and/or Congress that smells of a Sunday School lesson however. There are people in our country who are not Christian.
I work with a variety of people who are naturalized citizens from India and Pakistan. They are Hindu and Muslim folks who love their new country and are true Patriots. Should we expect them to give up the religion of their father’s fathers simply because a Senator or Representative wants to pass a law, based solely on their Faith, outlawing Abortion? That’s a tough call I understand but the question is posed in that manner to force the thought. Where is the line? What is the role of the political creature and the Church? I maintain it is the role of the political creature to look after the WHOLE of their Constituency and not just the Christian believers.
So, all that being said, if you agree with this essential point then we can get on with the more mundane issues of leadership and communication.
One of the key issues I have had with Congressman Chandler is an utter lack of communication from his office to the District. In this day of social networks and blogs there is no reason why he can’t stand up a blog, listserv, or some other mechanism to communicate with us and there has been nothing. I did a search on THOMAS for any remarks he may have made in this Congress and aside from a few honorary items (naming buildings and such like) he has made no statements on the House floor in support of or in opposition to any bill. I wouldn’t consider that leadership or communication. How are the interests of our district going to be considered by the House if they do not know what those interests are? He simply votes on bills as they are presented to him without comment on the floor. I expect more than that from our congress folks. I expect more communication to your peers in the House as well as more communication to those who put you in office. Mr. Chandler cannot tell me that he simply doesn’t have the time. Representative John Culberson of Texas finds the time to update via Twitter as well as live video streaming via his cellphone and a service called Qik. It can be done and the constituents of the 6th District deserve it.
Leadership derives from Communication. Any idea, whether I agree with it or not, if communicated properly both to constituents as well as to peers in the House, can be debated, massaged, and possibly agreed to with changes. Leadership, as it pertains to a Congressman, begins with communication. Mr. Chandler has offered nothing on this front and therefore has shown no leadership. The American system is strange in that way. We elect people to lead us. In the more revolutionary sects around the world leaders emerge from the pack through the use of the sword or simply because no one is willing to step up. Here in America the people look at the ideas and character of individuals and choose them as our leaders. We willingly subject ourselves to the leadership of others because we agree with their ideas and approve of their character. Or at least that is how it SHOULD be. Mr. Chandler, and sadly many of his peers in the Kentucky contingent to the US Congress, have been chosen simply due to their name recognition. I hope those days are behind us.
We, the people of the 6th CD, demand communication and leadership from whoever sits in Congress. Your term may well be a short one should you not communicate with us and show us some leadership from the House floor. I can read your positions on the issues from your website. I’m much more concerned about the issues I’ve written here.
1) Can you separate your Faith from your Legislation such that bills you sponsor will not force or lend the appearance of forcing non-Christians into Christian doctrine?
2) Are you technically savvy enough to provide your constituents with timely communication via various web technologies?
3) Can you demonstrate your leadership abilities with your history whether in the Church or in other activities? Examples?
4) As a Freshman Congressman, will you represent Kentucky boldly in the US House of Representatives without fear of ruffling the feathers of your party leadership? Remember, THEY are not your boss, we are.
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