Yes, George, Christians can — and sometimes should — vote for non-Christians.This is an elaborate response to a challenge from social media soldier George Clark, who professes mystification as to why I, as a Christian, would ever support a non-Christian politically..As I understand it George, you believe because I profess to be a Christian, faith should be my only priority when evaluating the merits of the present crop of UCP candidates..Here's my response to this rather simplistic expectation. What I look for when it comes to the secular leadership of all Albertans is first a strong grasp of both the big political picture, while at the same time some indication the candidate has thought through the details of the individual issues. Then I want to be assured the person looking for my vote knows how to listen attentively to everyday Albertans and empathize with them and has a strong desire to remedy those issues that matter most to them..The bottom line for me is the most capable leader of our province is the one who best understands true leadership is accomplished in the form of humble service. It happens to be best exemplified by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It's not, however, beyond the reach of others..Indeed, although I pray all souls achieve salvation, I am well aware God's view of the world is far more all-encompassing than my own..I read there are many who profess the cross half-heartedly — if at all — upon judgement Christ said He will deny He ever knew and they then become spiritually twain. That is, counted with the unbelievers..Then there are others who do not profess Christ and also fall short of the mark, but less so, and whom the Master chooses to lightly punish and not to sever them in two spiritually. George, if you're unfamiliar with this New Testament parable credited to Jesus himself, then I refer you to Luke 12, Verses 42 through 48..To be frank, all candidates fall short of the mark (as do I,) but some much more so than others. Do I wish another Earnest Manning was present in the mix? Absolutely! But he's simply not there, so we must make do with what we have..Now to separate the chaff from the chaff:.Four failed to stand up for what is right during the lockdown. Unknowns at the outset of the pandemic make their initial actions somewhat understandable, but by the fall of 2020 all scales should have fallen from their political eyes. Their reasons, then, for supporting continued lockdown measures should have merited much more severe scrutiny as they increasingly jeopardized the fundamental freedoms our beloved ancestors literally fought and died to preserve..Of the three leadership candidates remaining, Brian Jean did not make this mistake. But over the course of the campaign, he said several things which concerned me. Combined with the onslaught of unnecessarily negative remarks of other candidates, especially towards the frontrunner, he made me increasingly uncomfortable as I tried to imagine him guiding the post-leadership healing between the two main factions within the party. For whomever wins the race, this must be priority number one..This leaves Todd Loewen and Danielle Smith..Loewen appears to be by far the most virtuous candidate of the pack. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't like him, a truly remarkable feat especially in politics. Nevertheless, I am concerned due to his political inexperience at the leadership level, Notley could very well clean his clock in the upcoming general provincial election. Sadly, the older I get the more I find the adage that 'nice guys finish last,' is sadly predictive..So there we are. One left, Danielle Smith..Is she perfect? Far from it. Has she made mistakes in the past? Absolutely. (Who hasn't?) The key with mistakes, however, especially when it comes to public office, is to prostrate oneself before the public when apologizing so fully, that they get a genuine sense of repentance. Then and more important still, form a belief such mistakes have been so fully learned as to never happen again. I believe Danielle has done that as much as one can in public, without completely losing one's dignity..Is she subject to fanciful new ideas that have not yet been fully evaluated? Yes, this too is a concern of mine, but I have received personal reassurances from her she will make executive decisions with far more time and care and with a broader base of consultation than before, and this pledge brings me greater peace of mind..Lastly, her own personal spiritual journey, the issue you believe I should hold above all else. I had the privilege to meet and discuss in relative depth with five of the seven UCP leadership candidates. Sadly I must report when it comes to spiritual matters, none of those discussions come even close to the many personal conversations I've enjoyed with people from all walks of life and from many other faiths when they take the time to honour me with their thoughts and reflections of a personal afterlife or spirit realm, be it heavenly or hellish, or both..So, even though I rate Danielle's spiritual development to be essentially immature, I don't rank the other candidates to be much higher. I believe Christian Albertans should be praying for the spiritual welfare of all of them. I understand this makes me sound 'morally superior' and that's not my intent. I'm as fallen as they. Inside each and every one of us we make judgements, rightly or wrongly, as a psychological reality..The only reason I am sharing these innermost thoughts of mine with you right now is because you have provoked me to do so, George..Vince Byfield is an Edmontonian who flogs Christian history books by day to put bread on the table, administers a Facebook Group called 'The Battle For Alberta' by night (or more accurately very early morning) and has put his name in the hat recently by running as the Edmonton Regional Director for the UCP Board of Directors.