I believe that it is important for voters in District 22 to clearly understand my support of religious freedom in this great country of ours. My positions are best shown by my own answers rather than distortions by those who endeavor to mischaracterize my positions to the public.
As candidates we receive a substantial number of questionnaires from special interest and lobbying groups seeking our views on various subjects, and I answer them with my utmost diligence.
One such questionnaire came from a lobbying/special interest group called Advance America. Its focus is religious liberty. I offer you three relevant questions and the full transcript of my answers.
Question One: Support continued freedom for churches and their ministries including Vacation Bible Schools, Bible Colleges, children’s homes, Christian schools, summer camps, Sunday Schools, child care ministries from government control over their internal operations.
My answer: Support. My explanation: I support continued freedom as identified under this section. At the same time, I support reasonable public regulations which do not interfere with religious liberties and that are specifically designed to protect the health and welfare of our citizens.
Question 2: Support continued freedom for churches from taxation. Oppose the taxation of churches and church/religious ministries including Christian schools, children’s homes, Bible colleges and campgrounds.
My answer: Support. My explanation: It has been a fundamental precept of our system that religious bodies are tax-exempt to the extent that their activities are primarily designed to advance religious beliefs. Of course, should a religious entity pursue for-profit endeavors, those profits should be subject to public taxation as applicable to any other business.
Generally, when a religious body engages in such endeavors, a separate entity is created with its own tax identification number and taxation is not an issue.
Question 4: Unless the U.S. Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional, I will support an Amendment to the Indiana Constitution to protect marriage between one man and one woman in the 2015 and 2016 General Assembly so the people can vote to protect marriage between one man and one woman.
My answer: Oppose. My explanation: I have previously written an op-ed in the Warsaw Times Union that I believe using the constitutional amendment for this salient issue is a misuse of the amendment process. I do agree with the premise that the states should not act until such time as the United State Supreme Court addresses the issue.
As any one of good faith can see from my above answers and explanations, I hold as valuable our religious freedoms in the context of a pluralistic society.
The issue of same sex marriage has substantially shifted for all of us since the United States Supreme Court decided not to accept transfer on cases where the lower courts have struck down marriage amendments and/or statutes.
This decision effectively leaves this state with a statute that has been declared unconstitutional and the likelihood that any amendment would be also. This is the present reality in our state and nation.
All of the above issues have no easy answers and require reasoned and principled decisions. As your representative that will be my daily commitment.
David C. Kolbe
Candidate for District 22, Indiana House of Representatives