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And the winners are. . .

By Alexander Carpenter
Here are the winners of the Spectrum Blog 3000th comment celebratory essay contest. These replies are in answer to the question: If an Adventist were running for the US presidency what would
you expect his or her top three principle-informed policy priorities to

The first three will receive a free one-year subscription to Spectrum: The Journal of the Association of Adventist Forums.
Jonathan Pichot (age: 19)1.  The center-piece of this candidate’s platform, influenced by the Adventist emphasis on education, would be a comprehensive plan to reform the American school system.  Adventist teachers, dedicated to the church’s mission, often sacrifice better positions in order to teach.  The reform would attempt to inspire that sort of devotion (a la Teach for America).
2.  Whether or not universal health-care is feasible or appropriate, this candidate, influenced by the history of Adventist health-care and its increased national attention, would pursue a significant public health campaign emphasizing Adventist beliefs: exercise, day of rest, moderation, etc.
3.  Understanding that the recent social tensions in America stem largely from religion, this candidate would emphasize freedom of religion and conscience for all Americas, continuing the significant work Adventists have already done in this regard.
Jared Wright (age: 26)1. Making health care affordable, universal, and effective. Adventists have always emphasized holistic health.  An Adventist might include healthful lifestyle initiatives in the health care package.
2. Ending the Iraq War and working toward peace. Adventist teachings strongly emphasize God’s love.  Non-violent peace building is perhaps the clearest expression of God’s love that human beings can practice.   An Adventist would oppose war.
3. Combating Climate Change.  Because climate change primarily affects the poorest of the poor, policies combating climate change would be a priority for any presidential candidate who takes seriously Scripture’s injunction to do unto the least of these.
Kirsten Nixon (age:19)In order to be true to the Adventist roots of religious liberty, an Adventist President would acknowledge their representation of all people, and therefore emphasize the separation of church and state.   
Secondly, an Adventist President, conscious of the importance of  education in Adventist history, and an advocate of smaller government, should repeal/alter the “No Child Left Behind” Act and  give more authority over schools to state governments. 
Finally, such a president would advocate better health of Americans (obviously attached to the Health Message).  This could be done by subsidies, or educational programs encouraging better eating habits and exercise.
These two are included for honorable mention:
Bill Cork Universal Health Care, with incentives for preventative medicine and healthful practices.
Peace-Making Foreign Policy, with emphasis on de-escalation of
rhetoric, negotiated settlement of differences, building bridges
between cultures, developing of grassroots economic initiatives aimed
at building self-sufficiency of villages.
First Amendment
Restoration, including applying Sherbert Test to governments at all
levels, elimination of voucher programs in education, and respecting
individual choice in union membership.
Kent Kingston1) Poverty reduction – Readjust budgets so that the world’s poor (including the American poor) have enough to eat, clean water, safe housing, access to education and healthcare and the means to earn a living.
2) Arms reduction – Cease subsidies to arms manufacturers.  To prohibit arms sales to groups and governments who use them irresponsibly.  To sign the anti-landmines treaty.  To reduce America’s nuclear arsenal.  To negotiate with other countries to do the same.
3) Human rights – Put pressure on governments who continue to abuse their citizens (not just the ones that have oil either).  Close Guantanamo.
Update: The Adventist Review has a list of priorities  by James Standish. H/t to Bill Cork for the link.

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