A number of mailboxes received a mailer today attacking the LDS candidates for Gilbert Town Council, including myself. Below is my reply.
Hello Gilbert Resident,
Today I received a mailer attacking the LDS candidates, including myself, in the race for Gilbert Town Council. The poorly composed piece associates me with a Town tax settlement I was not associated with in any manner. As Americans we hold dear our religious freedoms and won’t stand for outside groups peddling division and acrimony within our Town.
Attacks on a candidate’s religion is not new. The Founders understood that candidates needed explicit protection from devious people who would try to exploit a person’s religion. In the US Constitution, Article VI.3, the Founders specifically included this vital principle: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust in the United States.”
Isaac Backus, a Baptist Preacher and champion of religious freedom wrote, “Nothing is more evident, both in reason and the Holy Scriptures, than that religion is ever a matter between God and individuals; and, therefore, no man or men can impose any religious test without invading the essential prerogatives of our Lord Jesus Christ….. And let the history of all nations be searched from that day to this, and it will appear that the imposing of religious tests hath been the greatest engine of tyranny in the world.” (Speech given February 6, 1788 in Boston, MA to delegates considering adoption of the Constitution.)
The outcome of elections should be based on issues and solutions. People who oppose my campaign have failed to successfully argue the issues and provide good solutions. So now they are turning to fear and false statements. This is shameful and not what Gilbert is about.
(Ironically, some candidates sharing the views of this mailer hope to take an oath of office to uphold the very Constitution they now ignore!)
Gilbert families are educated, not bigoted. Gilbert residents seek truth, not lies. I am humbled to have the endorsement of people of many faiths. Now, more than ever, I invite you to stand boldly with me in defending our Constitutionally sacred religious freedoms.
If you have any further questions, I invite you to call my personal cell phone at (480) 734-7073.