During a Forum for This Florida County School Board, Candidates Were Grilled on Their Religious Beliefs August 1, 2014

During a Forum for This Florida County School Board, Candidates Were Grilled on Their Religious Beliefs

There’s an election coming up for seats on the School Board of Highlands County (in Florida) and the five candidates for District 5 all answered questions Wednesday night… at the Avon Park Lakes Baptist Church.

Okay, maybe that’s just a central location. Not the end of the world. The forum was sponsored by the church, after all.

So what did they ask the candidates during this forum?

The round-robin questioning started with an identification of each candidate’s denomination and church attendance.

Jill Compton said she had grown up in Lake Placid’s Memorial United Methodist Church but currently attends sporadically; Clinton Culverhouse identified himself as a Baptist, saying he now serves as a deacon at Grace Bible Church; William “Pep” Hutchison declared himself a lifelong Episcopalian and attendee at St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Sebring; Trevor Murphy indicated he was raised in and actively attends Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Avon Park; while William “Tres” Stephenson identified himself simply as a Christian, who attends the Bible Fellowship Church in Sebring.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

Got it.

What else?

All five candidates agreed on some of the questions, including a query on whether they believe the United States was founded in Christian values and should be identified as a Christian nation.

You’ve got to be shitting me…

If we were founded on Christian values, they must have included slavery and the disenfranchisement of women. And what does “Christian nation” even mean these days?

Whoops. Silly me. Gotta learn to just stick to buzzwords.

Jesus. Christian. 9/11.

I would love to have heard the audience reaction if anyone had the guts to say we’re a pluralistic nation and Christians are no more special than every other group. But it’s obvious no candidate had the courage to say as much.

Wait! There’s more:

To the question of prayer in schools, Murphy, Stephenson, Culverhouse and Compton expressed support of the practice.

I don’t know what the other candidate Hutchison said, but just so we’re clear, prayer is already allowed in schools. What’s not allowed is teacher-led prayer, and if that’s what the four candidates supported, then they were openly saying we should defy the Constitution.

Why the hell did these candidates think it was appropriate to be grilled on their religious credentials? Mind you, they were even asked about their religious beliefs in terms of how it would impact their decision making! They were just asked: What God do you worship? Is it the right one? Do you trust pseudohistorian David Barton‘s revisionist history?


Candidates running for District 1 will have a similar forum at the church Wednesday night. There’s no indication any of them have the audacity to say, “This venue is inappropriate and these questions are irrelevant, so I will not participate.”

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

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