A good friend and Emergent Village board member emailed me, commending me on my “I’m No Lefty” post, but expressing some concern that maybe I shouldn’t be naming the candidates for whom I’m voting. The question whether it’s okay for someone in a relatively public position (national coordinator of a non-profit organization) to endorse candidates. I am open to this question, and to possibly removing the candidates names. But, I’ll leave them for now. Here’s why:
1) I have one candidate’s lawn sign in my yard, so my vote in that case is already public (plus the fact that I named these candidates in front of a slew of reporters (and cameras from CNN, ABC, and CBS) at the National Press Club a couple of weeks ago).
2) This is clearly my personal blog, not the organization’s blog. My front lawn is also my personal property. Neither are owned by Emergent Village.
3) It is clear that as “national coordinator,” I don’t really speak for Emergent Village in the way that a traditional executive director speaks for a traditional non-profit.
4) As I noted in the original post, my votes are subject to change in the days between now and the election.
When I was a pastor in this community, I was very careful to never have a lawn sign or publicly endorse any candidates (although a couple asked me to). I did not want people around Edina to think that Colonial Church stood behind one candidate or another.
But now that I am not in a pastoral role (in that sense), I feel more freedom to publish my political views.
Thoughts on this, anyone? (I will be checking with EV’s attorney, a non-profit specialist, to get her opinion, too.)
[UPDATE: EV's attorney says that, while not as clear-cut as my front lawn, my political views can be expressed on my blog. She also reminded me how important it is that I never, in my role at EV's national coordinator, endorse a candidate.]