[Ed. note: as of 10/17 the offensive article bashing BRUU and its congregation remains. We can assume Mr. Candland has not demanded it be removed.]
Candidate Peter Candland needs to hold his supporters accountable for their behavior on his behalf. Last week, the Reverend Robert Jeffress spouted off about Mormons being a cult and not being Christian. Many bloggers and commentators, including Moonhowlings, took a strong stand against Mr. Jeffress’ specific brand of religious prejudice and denounced bashing an entire religion based on one person’s opinion.
Apparently not everyone feels that bashing someone’s religion is nasty business. BVBL has published a tirade against Candland’s opponent, Ann Wheeler, for having a fund-raiser in the home of Brian Pace who is a leader in the Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church in Manassas. Brian Pace was used as a springboard to launch into another diatribe vilifying BRUU and its perceived support of progressive issues, specifically opposition to the Marriage Amendment Act, various church events, Gay Prom Night for teens sponsored by BRUU and a variety of other ‘sins’ enumerated by the blogmeister. The piece was prejudicial, gay-bashing, anti-BRUU and illogical.
If elected, Gainesville Supervisor, Mr. Candland will represent people of many faiths, including some with whom he staunchly disagrees on matters of values and beliefs. If he is troubled by this fact, he should not be running for public office. Moreover, reaching out to potential constituents does not signify that Ann Wheeler or any other candidate agrees with the totality of the views held by any group of people. Must someone who supports Mr. Candland accept all of the beliefs of the Mormon Church? Many Protestants, Catholics, Jews and others support Mr. Candland on the basis of his stated conservative views. Why should we think that Ann Wheeler shares all of the beliefs of the BRUU any more than Mr. Candland’s supporters share all of the tenants of his Mormon faith?
According to Greg Letiecq:
If Ann Wheeler is having fundraisers at the homes of people that engage in this sort of behavior, I have to conclude she is in full support of that behavior. There really isn’t any other conclusion you can arrive at. If you want to have Gainesville represented on the Board of Supervisors by someone who wants gay “marriage”, pushing the homosexual agenda on our children in the public schools, and at least accepting of candidates for office trying to find gay “hook-ups” on gay dating sites, Ann Wheeler is your candidate.
All that inflammatory, libelous tirade because the fundraiser host is an active member of BRUU? That brings a new dimension to bashing the religion of others. In addition to incredibly faulty logic, Letiecq concludes that Peter Candland is a better choice. Too bad he had to do Candland the disservice of dragging him into such an unseemly blog post.
Now it will be up to Candland to rein in his supporter since he is the candidate who profits from the negative, nasty images painted about Ann Wheeler and the congregants of BRUU. I expect Mr. Candland is embarrassed and certainly wouldn’t want his wife and children to see anything like what we can all read on BVBL connected with him. I feel certain he will want to do the right thing and face Ms. Wheeler on issues, not over the religion of a fundraiser host.
Just as others who seek elected office have been called upon to repudiate inflammatory statements that deride Mormonism, the faith that Peter Candland and Republican Presidential front-runner Mitt Romney share, Mr. Candland must renounce BVBL’s uncalled for attacks on someone else’s faith, even if he disagrees with the beliefs and values held by adherents to that faith. Failing to do so would signify clearly that he is unfit to represent a community of many religious traditions.