As per my tradition, I’m posting what I see as the most “Christian” way to vote on November 6th. By “Christian” I do not mean the status quo of popular Christian opinion, but how these provisions on the ballot stack up against Biblical teachings.
Prop 30 Tax Increase for Education: NO
We need to spend more money on education. In 2011, according to Education Week (http://www.edweek.org/media/ew/qc/2011/QualityCounts2011_PressRelease.pdf) California was 46th in the nation in regard to K-12 achievement. Prop 30, however, does not guarantee that new revenue will go toward education. The proposed law is written in a way that makes it sound like the revenue will go toward schools, but doesn’t guarantee it. In my opinion, if the authors of this law were determined for this additional tax revenue to go toward education, they would have written those guarantees into the law. Those guarantees are not there. There is no clear Biblical directive on this proposition, except “Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.” (Matthew 5:37) The Bible respects clarity in communication, and this prop doesn’t have it.
Prop 31 Two-Year Budget Cycle and budgetary restrictions: YES
The forces our government officials to be more transparent in how they are spending our money. It will help us hold our government accountable! Accountability is a Biblical principal that teaches us to have high expectations for each other. In a Democracy, since our government is representative, we’re holding each other accountable by holding our government accountable. This is a good law, and has seen no substantive financial opposition.
Prop 32 Ban on corporate and union contributions to state and local candidates: NO
This Proposition is not what it seems. It’s not intending to improve California policy because it exempts specific groups from following the restrictions. Even though some of those exceptions may be businesses we support, if it isn’t applied equally to all, it’s not a policy. It’s punitive. The Bible teaches us not to show partiality. James 2:1-5 says “My brothers, show no partiality …. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” This Proposition pays much more attention to one group over another. Vote no.
Prop 33 Car insurance rates: YES
This encourages competition and fairness, and prevents carriers from giving loyalty discounts as a way to dissuade customers from shopping elsewhere.
Prop 34 End the Death Penalty: YES
Matthew 12:7 says “If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” The Death Penalty may seem like a Biblical concept, and the Old Testament supports it. However, the “new covenant” indicates that God wants to show mercy on us, and we should likewise not be quick to condemn others. The Death Penalty prevents us from reversing a guilty verdict. And the death penalty is not always a clear-cut verdict. According to the Northwestern Univ. School of Law, at least 39 executions have been carried out in the U.S. in the face of evidence of innocence or serious doubt about guilt. We heap guilt upon ourselves when we support this policy. Our state should reflect a merciful hand, just as Christians teach that God showed us his mercy by sending Jesus.
Prop 35 Increased Penalties for Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery: YES
There is no financial opposition to this bill. It increases the fines and sentencing for human trafficking, and allows more money into police training.
Prop 36 Modification of the “Three Strikes” Law: YES
California has a higher percentage of its population behind bars than any other state. It’s not the kind of state was want to be, and it’s expensive. This law will take some offenders out of prison who have been given Draconian sentences for non-violent crimes.
Prop 37 Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food: NO
Yet another deceptive and misleading proposition. It creates fear, and conveniently removes competition from the organic foods businessmen who are the bill’s chief supporters. Likewise, like Prop 32, it has many exempted groups written into the bill. This is not a cogent law, and should not be enacted.
Prop 38 Tax Increase for Education: YES
Unlike Prop 30, this bill is very well written, ensures the schools get the tax revenues (after some bills are paid!) and clearly and equitably gets its revenue from the entire state populace, not just the rich. Pro tip: Both Prop 38 and 30 cannot be enacted, since they contradict each other. Whichever bill has more “yes” votes is the one that will be enacted if both bills pass. If you prioritize money for schools over the poorly written Prop 30, you might still want to vote yes on BOTH, out of hope that at least one will pass.
Prop 39 Income Tax Increase for Multistate Businesses: YES
This bill closes a tax loophole that has cost California $1 billion per year in revenue. It isn’t fair and we need that money. Vote Yes.
Prop 40 Referendum on the State Senate Redistricting Plan: YES
This bill’s opposition has removed themselves. The bill should be passed as the State Supreme Court has intervened in the redistricting process and NOT an independent commission.
To read more about each bill, click below: