Karen Veldheer has twice now sought a seat on the Olympia City Council. Her reason for candidacy has been the hard fought battle against somewhat notorious developer Tri Vo. Her activism in that realm has garnered her support from some pretty important local Democrats.
In her application for now Mayor Doug Mah's council seat last year, she also cited here membership and work with the Reformed Orthodox Presbyterian church, a more conservative version of the church in America founded by John Calvin. In the same application she lists her involvement in the local Christian homeschool organization and her pastor as a reference.
All of these are fine things. Until a few weeks ago I attended church regularly and even volunteered, so I'm not looking down my nose at Karen culturally. I think involvement in a community of faith is an admirable thing.
That said, where does one's faith life leave off and one's civic life begin? Her campaign is built upon her experience with her battle with a developer: environmental protection, consumer protection and responsive government. If you poke around the website of her church, these aren't issues they speak directly to at all.
What they do address are social issues like the rights homosexuals. Which, as you might imagine, they aren't big fans of (here and here).
Pretty direct stuff on that topic:
I understand how people in political circles can disagree about some things and come together on other issues. This could be what is going on here with Democrats like Brendan Williams, Karen Fraser, and Sandra Romero among her supporters.
You see: no special treatment for the homosexual, no concession to any type of sin, but a gospel with such power that members of the early church who had been enslaved to all of these types of sin were delivered from them. Some of them were homosexuals before. But they were no longer such after they were liberated by the Lord Jesus. It is our conviction that this is still true today.
Or, it could be that Karen attends her local church, but firmly disagrees with them on social issues. I can tell you first hand that a lot of Catholics like me disagree pretty firmly with the mother church on social issues.
Either way, there is also a local issue to address here. Where does Veldeer stand on the Equal Benefits Ordinance, which requires city contractors over a certain dollar amount to provide domestic partner benefits? Would she consider it special treatment or a concession to sin?
Olympia has a long tradition or supporting domestic partnerships, being one of the first cities in Washington (over ten years ago now) to start a domestic partner registry. So, while this particular issue may not be front and center right now, mostly because it is so uncontroversial within the city, it is worth asking Veldheer where she stands.