We are a Political Party, not a Church

A beautiful article by the former Minnesota Constitution Party Chairman. This, to me, is the best article on Third Parties & Religion ever written…
________________________________________________________

We are a Political Party, not a Church

by Henry Braddock, Past State Chairman of the Constitution Party of Minnesota

It’s been over thirty years since Bill Shearer founded the American Independent Party of California. With several hundred thousand members, it remains the largest state affiliate of the Constitution Party nationally. One of the strengths of our Party is that it has leaders like Shearer. He volunteered to serve as national Chairman of the Constitution Party, a post he held for 3 years (1996-99) during the turbulent start-up years of the party. He has more practical experience in politics then anyone else in the party.

Shearer is the author of the quote that serves as the title for this article. He is wont to say it whenever he sees anyone getting carried away with enthusiasms for political salvation or deliverance from evil by our Party. “We’re a political party, not a church,” Bill will caution. He has had occasion to say it many times, because our party is prone to this error. At any national convention, you always find someone who is treating the Party as though it were a church. This can be suicidal for a political party, so it behooves us to hearken to Shearer’s admonition.

To join a church, you need to understand and accept its beliefs. A religious creed does not admit of exceptions. You either believe it or you don’t (this is not a theological article but, in passing, we can note that it is the gift of faith that allows one to believe in the revealed truths of God). Too often we see people in the Constitution Party who have brought to the party the predisposition of their faith, and to be prepared to excommunicate anyone who falters on any plank of the platform.

This kind of quest for ideological purity is antithetical to politics. As Howard Phillips likes to say, “We should let people vote for us for their own reasons.” In reality, people usually vote for a candidate (or a party) for one particular reason, not for a whole platform of reasons. People vote for you because they know you’re pro-life, and they’re pro-life, and that’s the number one item on their political agenda. Or they vote for you because they know you’re pro-abortion and they’re pro-abortion, and that’s the number one item on their agenda. The fact that they may not agree with you on other policies is irrelevant, because they agree with you on the issue that is most important to them.

Phillips’ point is that we get votes (and financial and other support) by allowing people to support whatever part of our platform they find appealing without requiring them to embrace our entire political philosophy. I’ve never met anyone who heartily endorsed every word of every plank in the party’s platform (except as a matter of “faith”). An enormous amount of work has gone into making of the CP platform. It reflects many a knock-down fight to forge language that accommodates many interests and is a wonderful example of political compromise without sacrifice of principle. Of course, the platform changes over time as we become more knowledgeable or sophisticated about what we’re doing and trying to achieve. There is nothing sacrosanct or holy about the platform. It’s just a working document to help guide us along the many paths of public policy. That someone might not agree with something in the platform is no grounds for hurling him into outer political darkness.

The confusion between party and church is seen whenever the question of coalitions and alliances arises. We are often inclined to treat this as we would a question of ecumenism in religion. Can we join forces with another religion? Many think that to do so would mean diluting our own beliefs in an unacceptable way. But to carry this sentiment into politics is to confuse politics and religion in a way detrimental to both. Politics requires compromise; it requires accommodation; it requires coalition. Without these, there is no politics. Howard Phillips again articulated the appropriate guideline. He has taught us that there are good compromises and bad compromises. A good compromise is one that moves you toward your objective. A bad compromise is one that moves you away from your objective.

For example, as a practical matter many of our political interests often would be served by electing a Libertarian to office. Because some Libertarians are not Christians, and because the Libertarian Party has no religious litmus test, there are some in the CP who would argue that we cannot support a Libertarian for office. This is confusing our party with a church. We might exclude from our religious company someone who did not embrace all our dogma, but to carry this criterion into politics is to preclude the possibility of success at the outset.

It’s important for us to establish our priorities, and to realize that we’re not going to accomplish all our objectives at once. We need to work on the most important things first. And to accomplish something important to us, we need to gain the support of people who share our desire for that important objective even though they may not agree with us on other objectives (indeed, they may completely disagree with us on other matters). This is the art of politics—finding those opportunities for coalitions and alliances where forces may be combined for a shared objective without consideration of other policy concerns beyond that primary one.

Does this mean we could support someone who was 100% pro-life even though he favored increasing income taxes? The political answer is: yes, if the life issue is our top priority; no, if taxation is our top priority. Would we be willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for a pro-life government and society? If the tax question is more important to you then the life question, then you would withhold support from the pro-life candidate who favored higher taxes. But if the life question was more important, then your interests would be well served by supporting the life candidate, even though his other policies might be inimical to your political philosophy.

Such political alliances and coalitions do not require that we abandon or dilute our political principles or modify our platform. They simply mean that we have established our priorities and we’re focusing on what’s most important to us at a particular moment. It’s a recognition that half a loaf is better than none, if it keeps moving us to our objective. It means we’re serious about accomplishing what we can, and not foregoing present gains for the (dubious) prospect of imminent total victory and the institution of our complete platform as universal policy.

“We’re a political party, not a Church.” The wisdom of Bill Shearer and Howard Phillips and other founders of our Party, a wisdom based both on years of practical political experience as well as lives devoted to truth and honor, is a deep well from which we all should draw freely. it can help guide us to the political success we covet, and help keep us from wandering endlessly in the political wilderness.

90 Responses to “We are a Political Party, not a Church”

  1. Donald Raymond Lake Says:

    This is so important and so vital to CP/AIP survival that CP activists should be encouraged to read it at least once a day.

    On the other hand, other groups get tripped up with their own prejudices on a regular basis. I have been involved with predominatedly “Leftist” groups [what ever that really means…....] in holding an annual March 20th Anti Iraq Occupation weekend near the San Diego Zoo. I try to involve “Conservative” groups in the event. The inner circle makes them feels as welcomed as a hot dog vender at a Veggie Picnic.

  2. Cody Quirk Says:

    This is so important and so vital to CP/AIP survival that CP activists should be encouraged to read it at least once a day.

    =NOT A BAD IDEA!

  3. Tom Kovach Says:

    I agree with the premise of this column, and have tried to advocate that at certain CP discussions. It isn’t always well-received.

    And, while I’ve tried to build coalitions, the OTHER parties are not so receptive. For example, I was invited to speak at the Libertarian Party’s state convention last year—in an effort to get that party’s endorsement for my Congressional campaign. The state chair called me later to regretfully inform me that the LP’s national by-laws actually PROHIBIT the Libertarians from endorsing non-LP candidates. (Yet, they want other parties to do that for them.)

    Last year, because the CP does not yet have a ballot line in Tennessee, I ran on the Republican Party line. Many conservative Republicans voted for me. (I got 49,032 total votes.) But, I found out after the election that certain high-ranking operatives of the TN Republican Party were actually going around telling people to vote for the Independent candidate (Scott Knapp, who had run as a Republican in 2004), because he “is more personable”. Meaning? They knew that Knapp didn’t stand a chance of winning; but, if I won, then my message would run counter to the Big-Money Insiders that run the GOP at the top. (Proof: my stance on border security, compared to that of President Bush.) The GOP didn’t do so much as mention my name in even one e-mail. They’d rather toss away the election to the Democrats than to put a real conservative in office by means of a coalition.

    So, the fight is on. The Republicans do not want to build a “conservative coalition”. They want to continue to bilk the voters into thinking that they are the only conservative party. (If they were, then our national borders would’ve been sealed sometime between 1994 and today!) They will continue to hurl the “CP doesn’t stand a chance, so you’re wasting your vote” mantra into people’s faces until we simply stand up and prove that it isn’t true.

    What can YOU do? Become a “card-carrying member” of the Constiution Party. And, if you are in the military, or a veteran, or a family member of same, then please join the new National Veterans Coalition—an outreach arm of the Constitution Party. (NVC members get CP membership included at a discounted rate.)

    And, while you’re at it, please visit my Web site and buy my new book. Every book that you buy goes to support my next run for election.

  4. Sean Scallon Says:

    Shearer describes politics the way it is not the way we wish it to be. Those CP who can’t handle that should leave for AHP, get out of politics altogether or engage in more constructive activism that doesn’t involve candidates or campaigns. It’s that simple.

  5. Joe Says:

    People like Bill Shearer and Henry Bradock need to be pressed to explain exactly what they mean when they say “we are a political party, not a church.” If they means that the party should not perform activities that Scripture says are exclusively the domain of the local church, then I agree. If they mean that we have separate standard for defining truth in a political party, then I must wholeheartedly disagree. If they means that the standard of conduct for a believer goes out the window when we are involved in political work to achieve political ends, then I must reject that.

    I have no problem with people voting for our candidates for their own reasons. I have encountered people who disagree with us on the right to life but voted for our candidates anyway because they agree with us on immigration, and vice-versa. The concern I have is when we talk about candidates and positions of leadership within the party. I decided many years ago that I would never vote for a candidate support in any way whatsoever, any candidate who does not pledge and act to defend and promote the inviolable right to life of innocent human beings, from the moment of fertilization to natural death—including those conceived in cases of rape and incest. Some Libertarian candidates are willing to make that pledge and if they do I would consider voting for them. In 2005 our state party endorsed a candidate for local office who was also endorsed by the Libertarian Party. I voted to endorse him because he assured me that he was in complete agreement with our entire platform. I have no idea why the Libertarian Party would have endorsed him, and that is not really my concern, as long as he meets the biblical qualifications for civil magistrate. Likewise, if we endorse a candidate and another party later endorses him, there isn’t much we can do about that. In my experience, these situations do not arise too often.

  6. Cody Quirk Says:

    People like Bill Shearer and Henry Bradock need to be pressed to explain exactly what they mean when they say “we are a political party, not a church.” If they means that the party should not perform activities that Scripture says are exclusively the domain of the local church, then I agree.

    =I think they agree here too.

    If they mean that we have separate standard for defining truth in a political party, then I must wholeheartedly disagree. If they means that the standard of conduct for a believer goes out the window when we are involved in political work to achieve political ends, then I must reject that.

    = By the pharse it means that we need to conduct ourselves as a political party and not a Church- The CP shouldn’t conduct itself as a religious organ, but as a simple political Party like the Greens or Libertarians. I think the pharse needs no interpretation. We are a political party and not a Church, and we shouldn’t behave like a Church or judge like one!

    I have no problem with people voting for our candidates for their own reasons. I have encountered people who disagree with us on the right to life but voted for our candidates anyway because they agree with us on immigration, and vice-versa. The concern I have is when we talk about candidates and positions of leadership within the party.

    =Article III: “Nothing in this Constitution or the bylaws of the Constitution Party shall confer upon the national party any authority to direct the internal affairs of any state affiliate.”

    I decided many years ago that I would never vote for a candidate support in any way whatsoever, any candidate who does not pledge and act to defend and promote the inviolable right to life of innocent human beings, from the moment of fertilization to natural death—including those conceived in cases of rape and incest. Some Libertarian candidates are willing to make that pledge and if they do I would consider voting for them. In 2005 our state party endorsed a candidate for local office who was also endorsed by the Libertarian Party. I voted to endorse him because he assured me that he was in complete agreement with our entire platform. I have no idea why the Libertarian Party would have endorsed him, and that is not really my concern, as long as he meets the biblical qualifications for civil magistrate.

    =biblical qualifications (religious tests) are unconstitutional and contrary to the CP Preamble.

    Likewise, if we endorse a candidate and another party later endorses him, there isn’t much we can do about that. In my experience, these situations do not arise too often.

  7. Carl Says:

    The Libertarian Party is as much a church as the Constitution Party.

    However, the LP, the religion is demonizing the State, and its sacrement is taking the non-inititiation of force pledge.

    The common failing of both parties is failure to realize that democratic politics is about putting together coalitions big enough to win elections. This means that a political party must allow in people with a rather broad sense of what is the good.

    A church can, and should, have much higher standards. A church need not encompass a third or half the community in order to do what a church should do.
    —-

    This is my beef with the government going very far in legislating morality. Government represents the median. To have the government as the prime agent setting moral standards is to bring down the very moral as much as bring up the immoral. Legislation of immorality should be limited to the outliers. It is the job of churches and others to seek and promote moral excellence.
    —-

    I am pro-life, but were I to run for office I would fail Cody’s test. Why? Because whatever the merits of prosecuting rape victims for having an abortion, the idea of doing so is incredibly unpopular. If pro-life candidates stick to this extreme stance, then pro-choice candidates win.

    The case for the more extreme position should be made from the pulpit until that position is popular enough such that candidates can win elections while holding such a position.

  8. Cody Quirk Says:

    I am pro-life, but were I to run for office I would fail Cody’s test. Why? Because whatever the merits of prosecuting rape victims for having an abortion, the idea of doing so is incredibly unpopular. If pro-life candidates stick to this extreme stance, then pro-choice candidates win.

    =Actually I do favor exceptions on rape and incest and medical necessities, I’m pretty moderate on the Abortion issue unlike others in the CP.

  9. Cody Quirk Says:

    I guess to Joe and other former CP’ers, that makes me a baby-killer since I favor such exceptions and take a more practical, step-by-step approach to ending abortion then they do.

    Never mind that I’ve attended plenty of pro-life demonstrations since I was 5 and that I recently emailed a bunch of conservative and pro-life leaders and CP leaders in one state to rally around a abortion ban bill currently in a state legislature. I guess I’m not pro-life because such extremists say so.

  10. Trent Hill Says:

    Cody Quirk,

    These people are Theocrats. Its tantamount to a monkey calling a human hairy. They attempt to demonize you for eliminating one of the Natural Rights (Life), whilst they espouse a govermental plan which suspends the other 2. (Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness).

    Carl,

    You could run and be endorsed by the CP.

  11. Richard Winger Says:

    If people believe that abortion is murder, why do they never propose that the mother be sentenced to death for planning and faciltating the murder of her own child? They don’t think the mother should be charged with a crime at all.

    Furthermore, half of all human pregnancies are aborted by nature (usually in the first few days after fertilization). I don’t see anyone calling for a crash program to discover the causes of natural abortion and “curing” it.

  12. Cody Quirk Says:

    Cody Quirk,

    These people are Theocrats. Its tantamount to a monkey calling a human hairy. They attempt to demonize you for eliminating one of the Natural Rights (Life), whilst they espouse a govermental plan which suspends the other 2. (Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness).

    =Exactely, I was being sarcastic in the previous post.
    To me these people are actually pro-abortion, since their extremist principles are more important then really working to save babies.

  13. Yosemite1967 Says:

    Joe, let’s say that there are three candidates running for a position in your state where all abortions are currently legal. Candidate A says that if he’s elected, he’ll work to keep all abortions legal. Candidate B says that if he’s elected, he’ll work to outlaw only partial-birth abortions. Candidate C says that if he’s elected, he’ll work to outlaw all abortions, except those resulting from rape and incest.

    If I’m understanding you correctly, you would either not vote on that position or you would write in someone else’s name who isn’t running. Right?

    OK, now, let’s say that Candidate B got elected. (I could be capricious and say that he beat Candidate C by one vote, but I won’t. :^) Now in office, he brings a bill to outlaw partial-birth abortions. Would you vote for it?

    If yes, then why not vote for the candidate who would’ve brought a better bill? Would the blood of babies aborted for reasons other than rape and incest be on your hands?

    If no, and the bill fails, then is the blood of partial-birth-aborted babies on your hands?

    Two more questions: If you were a member of a party and a pro-abortion legislator of your party brought a bill to eliminate the IRS, would you work with him to get it passed? What if he were instead a pro-IRS legislator from your party and he brought a bill to outlaw all abortions?

  14. Trent Hill Says:

    Richard Winger,

    For the same reason Abolitionists didn’t attempt to have tried for murder or Human Rights violations. They just wanted to save the percentage of the population that they felt were being undermined (and indeed they were). It would be tantamount to the Libertarians of today attempting to BANISHING all government, as oppossed to lessening its power.

    The fact is, these mothers are convinced that Abortion is a social norm. And indeed it is, even if it is an Evil Norm. Much like racism in the 1960’s South, or Slavery pretty much anywhere before 1864.
    I realize you are a lawyer. And a great one at that. Ballot Access is my second most frequented site (behind TPW). Im merely offering my perspective on the subject.

  15. Timothy West Says:

    To me these people are actually pro-abortion, since their extremist principles are more important then really working to save babies.

    The LP version: to me these people are statists, since their extremist principles undermine any possible attempt to broaden the libertarian party’s support base.

  16. Carl Says:

    Cody: sorry I didn’t track what was you and what was a quotation. But, it appears that my main point got across: politics must involve more compromise than religion.

    Trent: you might be right. Perhaps I should switch to the CP, as I probably agree more with their platform than with the LP platform. However, I wonder how well my lefty (albeit Bible based) economic ideas would fly within the CP?

    And I hesitate to be a member of a party which merged with the remnants of George Wallace’s old party. Methinks one of the biggest opportunities for a third party is in the non-white inner city districts. These districts are currently one-party, so a “third” party would actually be a second party. Ideas I think might fly in such districts:

    1. Legal reform, especially sentencing reform and rehabilitation. Clinics for the hard drugs (as in Britain) and legalization of marijuana might be part of this package.
    2. Welfare reform—not elimination. Replace myriad paperwork heavy programs that encourage bad behavior with a citizen’s dividend.
    3. School choice—far more useful in high density neighborhoods than in rural areas.
    4. Licensing reform—make it easier to go into business for yourself.

    To play well in these neighborhoods would likely need a theme different from either the CP or the LP. Both of these existing parties display a reverence for the Founding Fathers that can be off-putting to the decendents of those enslaved by same.

    At the moment, I’m thinking Jubilee Party.

  17. Cutty Sark Says:

    Carl:

    You have some good points. The issues you talk about are a lot more important than what the LP and CP usually focus about, which is how suburban and rural white people can keep more of their tax money, oh yeah and their guns to make themselves feel safer from the scary black and brown people who might come to rob them in a home invasion.

    You can tell what crowd the LP and CP is playing to in how they frame the issues. And by who shows up for their meetings. Waving the confederate flag around a lot and immigrant bashing does not help either if you want more diversity (Duh).

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for lower taxes and gun owners rights, but it’s all in how you present the issues and what you emphasize. You are talking about some big issues that get ignored, for a change.

    Here’s a few more.

    Police brutality and harassment is a big issue for anyone living a big city who is not a rich yuppie.

    Disenfranchisement and unemployability from having prior convictions, mostly drug offenses. Really fucks up a lot of people’s lives and keeps them trapped in the system.

    People from the hood are disproportionately the ones fighting and dying in the fucked up wars cooked up by the politicians and their corporate masters, and opposition to the war runs very high here. The profits, of course, go into a different community altogether, by and large.

    No more war for oil. Develop alternative energy sources. Let Europe and Asia defend themselves and the let the middle east figure its own shit out.
    With a tiny fraction of what we spend on the military budget we could put some money into science and be energy independent and reduce a lot of pollution in a few years.

    You are absolutely right about how the whole Founding Slave Fuckers ancestor worship bullshit plays. Anybody coming around talking that shit will definitely get the cold shoulder from a lot of my neighbors.

    I got no part of it, I was born in a third world country so they were not my ancestors and my ancestors were not their slaves either, but why the fuck would I vote for somebody that thinks slave owners who perpetuated genocide against the Indians were heroes? That is some truly dumb shit.

    Your new party should talk a lot about how big government and big corporations are two sides of the same coin. That is a message that is sorely lacking in politics.

    The only people that say shit about corporate hegemony usually propose big government as the answer, but that only makes the problem worse. Somehow you have to make people understand government and corporations don’t balance each other, they are two parts of the same machine that keeps people as corporate wage slaves and stands in the way of people starting their own business.

    The licensing thing is a big part of that.

    A Jubilee Party might be just what we need.

  18. Timothy West Says:

    The only people that say shit about corporate hegemony usually propose big government as the answer, but that only makes the problem worse. Somehow you have to make people understand government and corporations don’t balance each other, they are two parts of the same machine that keeps people as corporate wage slaves and stands in the way of people starting their own business.

    couldnt have said it better myself, Cutty. I’d like the LP to go in that direction, but it just may be too much to expect at this point. But no one has yet seriously tried IMO. if they get booed off the stage, attacked ad nauseum, then the LP isnt the answer. They can keep rapping about “free markets” and “Austrian Economics” I guess.

    The LP has a crossroads coming up in 08. Hope they choose to matter.

  19. Trent Hill Says:

    Carl: Exactly what do you mean by “lefty economics”? If you mean socialist like economics, then no, you wouldnt fit it. If you mean laissez-faire. I would invite you to email me personally, as I know MANY CPers who agree. Not all of us are protectionists (although most are). As you well know, there are different caususes within a party. And the CP is no different, it isnt a Dictatorship, there is room for disagreement (especially after the dissafiliation. Those people were authoritarian). To be honest with you, I call myself a Paleoconservative/Paleolibertarian. Because I mix the views of the two.

    Cutty,
    I can agree with you here. Corporate hedgemony is a big issue that no one wants to tackle because it is tantamount to political suicide for the bigger parties. But for the smaller parties whose contributions are dominated by individuals, it makes sense.
    As for the LP and CP appealing more to middle/upper class whites. I suppose thats true, although I wouldn’t agree that it is because of a racist pre-disposition.

  20. Carl Says:

    Cutty: thanks for the kind words. I agree with most of what you said in your last post.

    Trent: my lefty economics can be found at holisticpolitics.org. Listen hard to the left’s critique of the other sides and it’s mainly about equality, not size of government. I plot the political map as left-right being about equality/aristocracy and up-down about liberty/tyranny. The DP occupies the lower left. The RP occupies the middle-right; that is, there are both bigger government and smaller government factions within the RP, but they both tend to be pro wealth gap. The LP is WAY up in the top on either side (there are both left and right libertarians).

    I am proposing a party to occupy the unoccupied upper-left quadrant, with activities extending close enough to the center that some candidates actually win.

    I am by no means accusing the average CP member of being racist, but the flavor of the party’s message can be interpreted as such at times. The very focus on the Constitution as the standard of what is good has a racist overtone to those whose ancestors were persecuted by the writers of the Constitution. And continuing the AIP banner speaks of a connection to George Wallace.

    The Constitution is a symbol of white liberation. While that liberation has been partially extended to others over time, it is a very tarnished symbol to those whose ancestors were persecuted under that banner.

  21. Trent Hill Says:

    The only reason the AIP banner is still in effect is bcuz of ballot access. If we could change it to Constitution Party and keep our registrants/ballot access. We would. There are SOME upsides to being mistaken as an Independant Party (accidental registration) and some downsides (no name recognition).

    As for your leftist economics. Im guessing you are talking about welfare, and other such social programs. Although im pretty positive you dont advocate the CURRENT welfare system (due to your libertarian streak).
    Iv read some of your literature on Welfare, and I cant say I agree. While I think the ideas are unique and progressive. I also think they are unconstitutional.

    As for the Constitution, it represented a liberation of all peoples. The fact that the white aristocracy didnt REALIZE that doesn’t change the wording “All men are created equal.”
    This phrase alone gauranteed the black men freedom, had the white aristocracy not kept them under control. While I agree with you that some of the founding fathers were racist, I would not neccesarily say any of them were intentionally doing something wrong. Much like growing up in a Canibal village in South America. You don’t KNOW its wrong to eat other humans if that is what you have been tought your entire life. You have to be educated. And by all estimations, it would take quite a while for one Canibal to convince an entire race of canibals that it was wrong.
    Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton. These were people who were doing God’s work, wether they knew it or not. They did not CREATE the modern idea of equality. But they expounded upon it, and set a precedent of self-ownership that would later free all men and women.
    As for “those whose ancestors were persecuted under that banner”
    Im Irish. My ancestors suffered under the British, the Scottish, the French, and the Anglo-Saxons of America.
    My ancestors were more cost-efficient than slaves. You had to put a roof over a slaves head, and give him food, so that he’d be able to work the next day. You had to pay pretty hefty somes of cash to get a slave. An irishman would get paid a nickel to do an extremely dangerous job (that 20% of his comrades would die in) and then went “home” to the alley. Slaves had a house (albiet a crappy one). Slaves had food (most of the time). My ancestors were persecuted under the same banner, as were the American Indians and Japanese-Americans.
    During the American Revolution most of the soldiers were white. During the Civil War, a huge percentage were Irish-American. Vietnam and Iraq? A large percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics. Is this racism in action? I don’t think so, it reflects the diversity of our country’s history. Right now, the poor are signing up for the Army, this means that the army is a larger percentage of black/hispanic than the actual population of the country. Everytime there has been massive immigrations into the U.S., the army has been dominated by that group. While the African-Americans arent recently immigrated,they ARE still struggling with poverty. Is this in spite of the welfare system, or because of it?

  22. Carl Says:

    Trent: I agree with many of your points, but the fact is that they are a hard sell in certain areas.

    Also, abolishing welfare because of constitutionality issues is DOA. Ditto for Social Security, etc. The cases for eliminating such things has to be made on their own merits in this day and age.

    A citizen’s dividend is simply replacing both welfare and the standard and personal exemptions with a per citizen flat payment. The prebate advocated by the Fair Taxes is an example of a citizen’s dividend. Unlike need based welfare, a citizen’s dividend provides for marginal benefit for marginal efforts, be they work, savings, or profitable moral actions (such as marriage).

    The Jubilee Law and the gleaner laws were Biblical examples of unconditional welfare benefits. The calls for charity (zero interest loans, taking care of widows) were on top of this set of benefits. Natural resource usage taxes with a citizen’s dividend performs some of the economic functions of the Jubilee Law. (It doesn’t bind extended families together, nor does it penalize families that over-procreate as the Jubilee Law did.)

    Liberty and justice come first. Constitutions are a means toward these ends.

    ===
    Oh, BTW, some of the ideas on welfare on my holisticpolitics.org site could be applied by state or local governments, or even by private agencies.

  23. Trent Hill Says:

    The abolition of welfare because of “constitutionality issues” is a-ok. It might not fly with alot of people, but then again, alot of issues dont fly with those very same people. Lets face it, the CP doesnt court the black vote exactly. Nor do I want it to if it means compromising our constitutionality. Im willing to make compromises, but only within the confines of the Constitution.

    Exactly how would you pay for this citizen’s dividend? Paying 275 million people money will get pretty expensive.

  24. Carl Says:

    The citizen dividend would be instead of the personal exemption, standard deduction and several other deductions on the tax end. And for welfare, it would be instead of HUD, food stamps, and several other programs. I might also bump Social Security down a notch so that it is a wash for SS recipients.

    A citizen dividend of $200/month/person = $2400/year/person = $660G/year for the nation.

    Go up to $300/month/person and you get $3600/year/person=$990G/year/nation.

    This looks like a sizeable part of the national budget of today, but keep in mind that the budget does not include the “cost” of the personal and standard deductions. A citizen dividend is part of simplification of both welfare and tax policy. Also:
    1. It is unconditional on anything save citizenship. No perverse incentive to avoid work, marriage, etc.
    2. It allows an anynomous tax system like a national sales tax to be progressive. It is the first step toward getting rid of the income tax.

    Methinks the idea has far more popularity with the general populace than it does with the rank and file of either the LP or the CP. Which is why I am seriously considering launching a new party.

  25. Cody Quirk Says:

    Cody: sorry I didn’t track what was you and what was a quotation. But, it appears that my main point got across: politics must involve more compromise than religion.

    =Correct.

  26. Cody Quirk Says:

    I am conpletely opposed to changing the AIP name to the national party’s. I actually hate the CP name, it sounds stupid. I like ‘American Independent Party’ since it’s populist sounding and that name keeps us on the ballot.

    Though if we had the chance to do away with ‘Constitution Party’ as our name, I wouldn’t use the California party’s name as the nationals’.

    I personally think nationally we should be known as the ‘American’ or ‘Independent American’ Party. There my be two other political parties presently by that name, but they’re actively dead- so it really doesn’t matter much.

    Oh, and to change the AIP’s name in Cali would require 80,000 registered voters to swich to the CP. I don’t think that’s possible.

    And George Wallace wasn’t racist, he only supported segregation because of the issue of ‘states rights’, not race. He was a typical southern populist, he tried to appeal to the majority of his state, even if the majority was racist.

    And he was 100% Democrat and abandoned the AIP after 1968. Bill Shearer was the one that kept the AIP together all these years.

  27. Jackcjackson Says:

    States had a right ( States have “rights”?) to mandate racial discrimination ?

  28. Cody Quirk Says:

    not any more I guess.

  29. Cody Quirk Says:

    Society was quite different back then.

  30. matt Says:

    “State’s rights” is shorthand for “the Federal Government’s power limited (as per the founding agreement) over and against the powers of the several states”. The Federal Government had no “right” to overstep the constituitonal boundaries of it’s power.

    Had they not done so, peaceful methods (including but not limited to the economic pressure of massive boycotts) would have probably ended said racial discrimination in short order.

    None of what I’m saying presupposes any knowledge of Wallace’s motives, which may in fact have been quite racist. Whatever his motives, he was campaigning on a promise to refrain from overstepping the lawful bounds of the Federal Government.

    Personally, I’m glad we didn’t have to suffer through four years of a segregationist President. I’m sure many others here share my sentiment.

  31. Cody Quirk Says:

    Whether racist oriented or not, Wallace played the AIP like a fine-tuned piano. But the AIP didn’t go away after 1968 like he wanted.

  32. Joe Says:

    Cody,

    Of course I would not vote for you. If you were seeking office in my state you would not be eligible for our party’s endorsement. I listened for years to Howard Phillips and other Constitution Party leaders ridicule leaders and candidates in the Republican Party who shared your views as “pro-abortion with exceptions.” Our state party disaffiliated with the Constitution Party because they voted to allow a state party to remain affiliated that knowingly elected leaders and nominated candidates who share your views on that issue. You claim that it our doing so is unconstitutional. Let’s see you try and force us to associate with people we do not want to associate with or vote for candidates we do not want to vote for.

    Richard, most members of our party that I have talked to about it definitely want parents and their accomplices prosecuted for the murder of their children. I certainly do.

    Yosemite: Yes, you are correct. In your hypothetical case I would either not vote on that position or I would write in someone else’s name who isn’t running. Your question “Now in office, he brings a bill to outlaw partial-birth abortions. Would you vote for it?” does not make sense to me since I would not have the opportunity to vote for it or not. I do disagree with your premise that if I vote for a pro-life candidate that is not elected the blood of some babies would be on my hands. I believe that I will be held accountable for my own actions - including whom I vote for. I am not accountable for the actions of others or the results of elections which I can not control.

    There would be no “pro-abortion legislator of your party brought a bill to eliminate the IRS” because pro-aborts are not eligible for our party’s endorsement. IMO that basically describes Christopher Hansen and probably Cody Quirk. I agree with them that the IRS should be eliminated but I would not vote for them because I decided many years ago that I would never vote for a candidate unless he pledged to defend and promote the inviolable right to life of innocent human beings, from the moment of fertilization to natural death—including those conceived in cases of rape and incest. I have never voted for a pro-life candidate who wouldn’t also abolish the IRS.

  33. Cutty Sark Says:

    To: all anti-choicers,

    I don’t believe you really believe abortion is murder. No way.

    I believe you may well believe it, but in your heart of hearts I think you know it is a woman’s right to her own life and freedom, and you want to take that away to preserve and/or restore a system of institutionalized patriarchal rape and coercion.

    Let’s put it this way: suppose there were a bunch of infanticide clinics where mothers could drop of their kids up to, oh, say, age five to be euthanized all over the country, and were doing brisk business to the tune of over a million kids a year.

    Would you sit around on your ass and bitch about it on a computer, and maybe run a totally hopeless race for office and stand outside with a picket sign or something, or would you go blow that shit up?

    I’d blow that shit up.

    I can see that some of you probably don’t have the personal courage to do that, but will you at least have the guts to defend it and support it as an idea?

    Unless you do, I’m just not going to seriously consider that you really believe abortion is murder.

    I believe laws against abortion are ritual gang-rape by dirty old hypocrite preachers, crooked politicians, and their enablers, and I don’t like people who would do that to my mom, sisters, daughters, girlfriend, or any other woman I care about. Or even one I no longer care about, like my ex-wife, for that matter. She’s still a human being, as much as she would like to forget that (and make others forget it). No one deserves to be subjected to nine months of unwanted pregnancy.

    So, if you want to have a war about abortion - fuck it, let’s have a war!

    But don’t even go around spouting that nonsense about it being “killing babies” unless you at the very least support that idea, because anyone with even half a lick of sense can see right through that and knows that controlling and oppressing women is the real agenda.

    I’ll be generous and say you might be fooling yourself, but that’s as far the fooling gets.

  34. Joe Says:

    If there were a bunch of infanticide clinics where mothers could drop off their five-year olds to be murdered, I would not blow them up. Except for the age difference, that is exactly what we have now with abortion mills and I don’t blow them up. If you blow them up you kill the people inside, including the babies you want to save. If more people made the analogy you make though, I think we would be much closer to ending legal abortion in America.

  35. Cutty Sark Says:

    Nice try, Joe, but you know how they are closed at night, so you would not be killing any “babies”? Please try again without dodging this time.

    How do you feel about Eric Rudolph, James Charles Kopp, Clayton Waagner, Paul Jennings Hill, Stephen Jordi, David Trosch, Neal Horsley, etc?

  36. matt Says:

    Cutty,
    I’m against the taking of human life. Period. In the Bible, Jesus asks, “what can someone give in exchange for thier life?”. No answer is recorded, but the inference is that it’s grave sin to take the life of another person, no matter what the motivation. Self defence is a gray area. In (healthy) christian thought, meting out justice and punishing people who do wrong is ultimately God’s job. If I were in the practice of killing people who did unjust things, I’d start with neocons and abortion doctors.

    That’s another tack to take, Cutty. Why aren’t you killing neocons and drug warriors? You have a pretty long list of legitimate grievances against them, and they’re certainly killers. Aren’t you serious about justice?

  37. Cutty Sark Says:

    Don’t forget to explain your views specifically about stalking and killing abortion doctors, too. Is that a good way to go? You’re not killing any babies then.

  38. Joe Says:

    Cutty,

    I agree with Matt. If I suspected someone was going to murder someone tomorrow I would not blow up your house tonight to try and prevent it. Nor would I stalk them and shoot them. We are not advocating pre-crimes or vigilante justice. We simply want civil government to do its job and prosecute murderers.

  39. Cutty Sark Says:

    Matt,

    OK, I’ll go with that. If you really believe in pacifism, no war involving collateral damage of any sort even for self-defense, no killing of one person to save ten thousand, or anything like that, I guess that’s logically consistent.

    Of course, though, government IS force, so any call on civil government to have a part in the matter already violates that principle. Because, ultimately, anything government does is backed up by the threat of killing.

    Example: you make abortion illegal. A clinic defies your law, and remains open. You send police to arrest them. They refuse to surrender peacefully. A waco-style standoff ensues, and eventually the government has to kill people to enforce your new abortion law.

    Unless you are prepared to that, civil law is not the answer, although you can preach and teach against abortion, or for that matter contraception, divorce, adultery, pre and extra marital sex, non-missionary position sex, non-procreative sex of all kinds, or whatever you want.

    If civil law is the answer, you’ve already given up the moral high ground of pacifism by default. Now the only question is when it is justifiable to kill whom, not whether killling is justified in principle.

    But you also asked a good question: why not kill the military-industrial leaders and police state apparatchiks?

    I have no objection in principle. But there is a difference of both scale of opportunity and motive here.

    There are only a relatively small number of abortion clinics, and they are generally not armed. Blowing up just a few at night and killing just a few doctors has a tremendous deterrent effect, to the point where in many parts of the US women have to drive hundreds of miles to get an abortion.
    It’s quite likely that if even a slightly larger fraction of a percent of anti-choice extremists took their own rhetoric seriously and acted on it,
    they could intimidate just about all abortionists into going out of business.

    What’s more, if you really believe they are killing millions of innocent babies a year right here in America, that is even a lot worse than what the neocons and drug warriors do. The neocons are responsible for killing perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands of people a year, almost all halfway around the world. The domestic police state is responsible for perhaps a few thousand violent deaths a year, most indirectly.

    And since the military and police have a lot of guns, other weapons, manpower and training, they are certainly a far more formidable opponent
    to violence than a few doctors and clinics.

  40. Joe Says:

    In 2000 there were 1,819 abortion providers in America. I have witnessed Americans arrested by police for merely singing Christmas hymns on public sidewalks in front of the death mills.

    I can forsee the day when there are no death mills in America, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be fewer dead babies. They are being replaced by pills available at your friendly neighborhood pharmacy.

  41. matt Says:

    Government IS force, but I’m not able to change that, so why not direct the force in the most ethical and least bloody direction? I believe that causing death is wrong, but that doesn’t mean that I believe that all actions that cause death are 100% morally equal. I believe that some are worse than others. Police action to save life (abortion clinic waco style) isn’t perfect, but it sure is better than police action to enforce the missionary position or drug prohibition. I wouldn’t participate in either type of policing, but I don’t see why I should prohibit the former, if it has the net effect of saving lives.

  42. Cutty Sark Says:

    Well, then, why would you oppose vigilantism if the police fail to act?

  43. Carl Says:

    I agree with the beginning of Cutty’s line of reasoning. If I truly KNEW that abortion was murder, I would be a coward not to be part of the lynch mob doing something about it.

    But I don’t know exactly when life officially starts. It could be that the lynching and collateral damage would outweigh the benefits. I just don’t know.

    That said, I don’t KNOW that first trimester abortion isn’t murder either.

    For these reasons, I think the abortion debate should be about assessing the penalty function.

    Suppose we grant that it’s a fuzzy line between not human and human. Then, we need a fuzzy set of penalties between completely legal and capital punishment (or life inprisonment). Somewhere between legal and capital offense there should be a $50 fine. Then at some later point a week in jail, and then…

    It is a square wave function? Is a baby non-human the day before birth and human the day after? Is is a straight line starting with $50 fine for a morning after pill on the day after ramping up to penalty for murder over nine months? Or is it an S curve with the area of steepest ascent around the time when brain activity starts?
    ——
    For those who insist on a square wave function, let us keep in mind that we use such approximations elsewhere in our legal code. Drunk driving is penalized even if you harm no one. One gets punished purely for the increased probabity of hurting someone else.

  44. matt Says:

    No. Vigilantism is the practice of using lawless methods to achieve lawful ends. Even when vigilantism scores minor successes, it cuts the branch out from under itself since it encourages a counter-vigilantism and counter-counter-vigilantism ad nauseum. Eventually, what is achieved is not a society without force (which is the ideal), but a society of uncontrolled force. Living in the 21ist century has various perks: the internet, Bailey’s Irish Cream, running water, etc. Not to be ignored among these blessings is the fact that no-one has attempted to kill me today. My diasagreements have all ended peacefully, no matter how strong the opinions on both sides. Vigilantism would tend to diminsh this tranquility. Why would I support such a dimunition? Killing the unborn is wrong, and I have an obligation to speak against it and work peacefully against it, but it would be equally wrong for me to destroy the world in order to make it stop.

  45. Joe Says:

    Carl,

    I believe that life begins at fertilization. Therefore, the penalty for murdering a pre-born person should be commensurate with the murder of a post-born person. I suspect that most of us would be outraged if someone was convicted of murdering a post-born person and sentenced to a fifty dollar fine.

    I do not believe that people should be penalized for drunk driving if they harm no one.

  46. Cutty Sark Says:

    Matt:

    Then would you consider attempts to sabotage the tracks leading to Auschwitz to be wrong, to take one possible example? How about shooting all the Nazi guards on the train and letting the human cargo off the train, would that have been wrong?

    Carl:

    That is, actually, a reasonable suggestion. I’m impressed. The Jubilee Party sounds more and more promising.

  47. Cutty Sark Says:

    I meant the non-square wave options which give more leeway earlier in pregnancy.

  48. Carl Says:

    Matt, while I am no longer an anarchist, I still accept the fundamental anarchist reasoning: that something is either right or wrong. If wrong, then measured retribution can be justified. If it is not justified, then there should be no law.

    That said, I recognize the benefits of government: having a sole adjudicator of certain disputes keeps fueds down, provides predictability in transactions, etc. These benefits often outweigh the many injustices caused by governments, so I tolerate government even when it is often wrong.

    But when government is wrong enough, acting outside of government, whether it be civil disobedience, making use of the black market, vigilantiism, rebellion, or invasion (of a foreign government) is appropriate. But this is not to be done lightly! The moral costs of such actions can quickly outweigh the injustices remedied.

    Thus, I reject categorical non-intervention as a fundamental foreign policiy, but I do support non-interventionism as the default. Similarly, I believe there is a time for defiance of government, but I am actually more law-abiding than most.

    The ability to accept fuzzy boundaries between categories is essential wisdom. To avoid such is to introduce artificial categories.

  49. Cutty Sark Says:

    Holy shit!

    Somebody here gets it. I’m really impressed with Carl’s thinking. A new party is probably a better idea than trying to refurbish the rusted junker of the LP.

    I’m still ultimately an anarchist philosophically but since that has nothing to do with real world politics, this is probably the wrong place to talk about it. But then again, we’re discussing religion, so maybe this thread it’s not that far off the mark. Anarchatopia, as an ideal is a lot like the Second Coming.
    Expected by some to solve everything (or just about, in the case of anarchists) but not really subject to empirical proof or disproof.

    A moderate-liberal-libertarian party would definitely fill a need and move us a lot closer to what we want on a realistic level than all the anarchist books and conferences in the world ever will.

  50. Trent Hill Says:

    And split the already small libertarian vote. Go Jubillee party?

    Cutty, you realize that the “theocratic idiots” of the CP that you’ve been railing against have less religious rhetoric on thier website than carl does on his,right?

  51. Cutty Sark Says:

    I haven’t really read his website, but everything he says here has made a lot of sense. I’ll take a look though.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of splitting the libertarian vote - sure, it would draw a few votes away from them, but I think most of the new party’s support would be from people the LP turns off with its extreme reactionary sounding rhetoric.

    To be fair, I don’t think the way that U_A characterizes CP and LP members is actually accurate about most of them, but that’s just how they come off to most people. I think he exagerates to make a point.

    I’ve actually been to a few Libertarian events, and they are their own worst enemy. The basic idea is sound, but the marketing could easily be a whole textbook on what not to do. It reminded me of a bunch of starving rats in a cage, gone insane from lack of food and attacking each other violently. Very disturbing. Forget selling ice to an eskimo, these clowns could not give away water to a man dying of thirst in the desert.

    As for the Constitution Party, they would pretty much take a shit on me because I’m a lapsed Catholic, divorced, living in sin with my girlfriend, and a non-white immigrant, and besides their biggest issues seem to be immigrant-bashing and religiously based social repression. I’m just not with that.

    The general idea of the Jubilee Party sounds good to me, something that mixes a little common sense, with a lot of both liberty and justice and is not so far out extremist that you would be embarassed to talk to your neighbors about it (unless you have no sense and don’t know or care how you sound, which is even worse). I’m all for at least giving it a chance.

  52. Cody Quirk Says:

    Cody,

    Of course I would not vote for you.

    =Neither would I vote for you.

    If you were seeking office in my state you would not be eligible for our party’s endorsement.

    =Your Party in New York- why the hell would I even want to live there?!

    I listened for years to Howard Phillips and other Constitution Party leaders ridicule leaders and candidates in the Republican Party who shared your views as “pro-abortion with exceptions.”

    =Yet Howard defended the Nevada Party.

    Our state party disaffiliated with the Constitution Party because they voted to allow a state party to remain affiliated that knowingly elected leaders and nominated candidates who share your views on that issue.

    =“Nothing in this Constitution or the bylaws of the Constitution Party shall confer upon the national party any authority to direct the internal affairs of any state affiliate.”

    You claim that it our doing so is unconstitutional. Let’s see you try and force us to associate with people we do not want to associate with or vote for candidates we do not want to vote for.

    =I could give a rats butt what your state party does! You’re not with us and we already have a reorganized CP affiliate in your state. If you don’t like my views in the national CP- then La Dee Dah! You need to stop being so obssessed with the national CP, you guys left, remember?

    Richard, most members of our party that I have talked to about it definitely want parents and their accomplices prosecuted for the murder of their children. I certainly do.

    Yosemite: Yes, you are correct. In your hypothetical case I would either not vote on that position or I would write in someone else’s name who isn’t running. Your question “Now in office, he brings a bill to outlaw partial-birth abortions. Would you vote for it?” does not make sense to me since I would not have the opportunity to vote for it or not. I do disagree with your premise that if I vote for a pro-life candidate that is not elected the blood of some babies would be on my hands. I believe that I will be held accountable for my own actions - including whom I vote for. I am not accountable for the actions of others or the results of elections which I can not control.

    There would be no “pro-abortion legislator of your party brought a bill to eliminate the IRS” because pro-aborts are not eligible for our party’s endorsement. IMO that basically describes Christopher Hansen and probably Cody Quirk.

    =Yeah, what can you say about the pro-aborts that are trying to get the pro-abort abortion bans passed in Utah and South Dakota. Never mind we don’t just sit on our butts whinning about how 100% pro-life we are and we actually do something more then just beat our bibles outside of the clinics.

    I agree with them that the IRS should be eliminated but I would not vote for them because I decided many years ago that I would never vote for a candidate unless he pledged to defend and promote the inviolable right to life of innocent human beings, from the moment of fertilization to natural death—including those conceived in cases of rape and incest.

    =What about life of the mother? Like in cases of tubal pregnancy and extreme fetal deformity?

    I have never voted for a pro-life candidate who wouldn’t also abolish the IRS.

    =So you would vote for someone who is Pro-Life 100% yet favors open borders and the UN, very smart Joe.

  53. Cody Quirk Says:

    Cutty,

    I agree with Matt. If I suspected someone was going to murder someone tomorrow I would not blow up your house tonight to try and prevent it. Nor would I stalk them and shoot them. We are not advocating pre-crimes or vigilante justice. We simply want civil government to do its job and prosecute murderers.

    =Finally you said something smart that we agree upon. Though I think Frank Kellam will disagree with you on this.

  54. Cutty Sark Says:

    Frank Kellam? Is he associated with the Creator’s Rights Party?

  55. Carl Says:

    Cutty, if you want more details on the Jubilee Party idea I am working on, send me an email. My contact info can be found at: http://holisticpolitics.org/Home/Contact.php

  56. Trent Hill Says:

    No U_A is misrepresenting us, its on purpose.

    “As for the Constitution Party, they would pretty much take a shit on me because I’m a lapsed Catholic, divorced, living in sin with my girlfriend, and a non-white immigrant, and besides their biggest issues seem to be immigrant-bashing and religiously based social repression. I’m just not with that.”

    I am a former catholic,who no longer attends any formal church. I hold lots of ideas about christianity that are not popular,nor mainstream-protestant. My girlfriend is a Cuban immigrant. Both her and I are CP members. I have spoken with Gary Odom on MANY occasions, and will be attending the national meeting in Boise in April.
    There are alot of widely held misconceptions about the CP.
    Think Civil War type misconceptions. Just because everyone SAYS it was about slavery,and it might appear to have been about slavery, doesnt mean it was. And in fact,it wasnt.

  57. matt Says:

    Cutty,
    I think that killing Nazi’s is wrong, and I wouldn’t have done it, but I understand why people would have and I don’t think that killing Nazi’s who are on their way to Holocaust people is morally tantamount with what say, a serial killer or an abortionist does.

  58. Joe Says:

    Cody,

    The Constitution Party life plank states “We affirm the God-given legal personhood of all unborn human beings, without exception.” “Life of the mother” would be an exception and I agree with the Constitution Party. I do not favor open borders or the UN. I have been active in trying to reform immigration as well as ending baby murder. Our current candidate for county legislator is opposed to the illegal alien invasion AND agrees with the life plank of our platform.

    I don’t speak for Frank Kellam, but I think he would probably agree with me concerning vigilante justice and the purpose of civil government. The last I knew, Frank was a member of the Constitution Party of Missouri, not the CRP.

  59. Trent Hill Says:

    Joe,

    And in fact all of you,

    I believe Andy and Carl have both made points concerning this. I will revisit it in order to align myself with their beliefs on the subject.
    A political party has room for disagreement of the platoform. There are Republicans who are openly pro-choice, there are democrats who are pro-life.
    There are greens who are not marxists and libertarians who want closed borders (Ron Paul). The same should be true for the Constitution Party Joe. Although you may disagree with the “exceptionist” point of view, the ultimate way to show that disagreement isnt to withdraw from the party, thus weakening your half of the arguement. It would be to form a “No-exceptions” Caucus and make sure that plank STAYED as it was.
    Although truly, im glad you arent in the party anymore. I don’t want theocrats in the CP.
    As for Cody, I don’t think he wants to change the wording of the pro-life plank. Thats not to say he isnt an exceptionist.
    I for one, am completely pro-life. However, I can see the merits of an exceptionist point of view, and will work well with people like Cody and Chris Hanson. They arent VILE DEMONS like you say they are. They are committed to saving as many lives as possible.
    I don’t know if Cody attends the national Meetings, but I certainly hope he does. I would like very much to meet him in Boise and discuss these viewpoints with him. And I look forward to building a stronger, non-theocratic CP with him and others.

  60. Centurion Says:

    Thanks for the intercession, Joe, but I am not affiliated with any party at present. The Missouri CP was hijacked by the same type of leadership that controls the national CP and its present supporters: ethical, legal and political compromisers, not measurably different than the major parties and their other satellites.

    May God be merciful on our disintegrating republic, a post-modern culture which has rejected Him as their Lawgiver, Judge and King.

    The false dichotomy regarding “... polical party not a church”—instead of dealing honestly with biblical and constitutional church and state distinctives—merely typifies the coercive confusion and deceptive leadership styles of American politics, including most third parties.

    We have trashed our heritage, but God will not be mocked. Young rebels like Cody and the old soldiers they follow may have to learn the hard way, but that’s a call above my pay grade.

  61. Joe Says:

    Trent,

    I never said Chris and Cody are demons. They are human beings, flawed like the rest of us. He probably does not remember, but I welcomed Cody when I found out about his decision to join AIP. I have known Christopher for about seven years. I like him personally and I suspect that feeling is mostly mutual. I also agree with him about many things, but not the right to life. You can have your opinion about what you think we should have done, but my state party voted to disaffiliate because the national party voted to retain IAP Nevada as a state affiliate after they reiterated their support for Christopher as chairman, knowing that he would allow abortion in the cases of rape and incest.

    I agree there is some room for disagreement with the party platform in a political party. When I am recruiting prospective members, I do not tell them they need to agree with the entire platform, I just ask them if they are in “general agreement.” However, when I am voting for leaders and candidates within our party my standards are higher - I look for a higher degree of conformity with the platform. The one litmus test issue that we have, by party resolution, is conformity with the life plank of the platform.

  62. Joe Says:

    Trent,

    The character and moral conduct plank of the Constitution Party’s platform states:

    “Our party leaders and public officials must display exemplary qualities of honesty, integrity, reliability, moral uprightness, fidelity, prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, self-restraint, courage, kindness, and compassion. If they cannot be trusted in private life, neither can they be trusted in public life. It is imperative the members and nominated candidates representing the Constitution Party and its state affiliates recognize the importance of demonstrating good character in their own lives.”

    Would you not agree that a man who fornicates outside of marriage is ineligible to be a candidate or leader in the Constitution Party, at least absent repentance?

  63. Trent Hill Says:

    Actually, I don’t think its any of my business.

    however, having learned it already, I would not vote for Chris Hanson as my personal leadership.
    However, neither would i attempt to override Nevada’s States Rights by attempting to vote out THEIR leader that THEY elected.

  64. Joe Says:

    To clarify I was not referring to Christopher Hansen when talking about fornicating. To my knowledge he is a good and faithful husband and nave absolutely no reason to think otherwise. I was referring to your exchange with Cutty Sark. He said he did not think he would fit in with the Constitution Party because he “lives in sin” with his girlfriend. You sounded to me like you were trying to identify with him, not being a member of a local congregation and all. As I read the Constitution Party platform, he’s right, he wouldn’t fit in, at least not as a party leader or candidate.

    According to the Constitution Party platform, if someone is running for public office or party leadership their personal life is our business.

  65. Trent Hill Says:

    Did he say he was going to run for office? If so, then I misunderstood him. I was simply telling him, he would get no derision from most fellow members. I would welcome him openly, as he is an open thinker who brings innovative ideas to the table.
    Would I vote for Cutty Sark? Depended on my choices.

  66. Cody Quirk Says:

    Cody,

    The Constitution Party life plank states “We affirm the God-given legal personhood of all unborn human beings, without exception.” “Life of the mother” would be an exception and I agree with the Constitution Party.

    = you also have this- “No government may legalize the taking of the unalienable right to life without justification, including the life of the pre-born”.

    =As murderous as it it is to let the mother die while saving the child, which may die too- what’s the point- you’re still sacrificing a life for a life. I also know that Jim Clymer favors the mother exceptions, just like the many no-exceptionists do.

    I do not favor open borders or the UN. I have been active in trying to reform immigration as well as ending baby murder. Our current candidate for county legislator is opposed to the illegal alien invasion AND agrees with the life plank of our platform.

    =you may face a future situation which you have a potential candidate that only is good on the life issue and completely wrong on everything else.
    =Is your candidate on the ballot?

    I don’t speak for Frank Kellam, but I think he would probably agree with me concerning vigilante justice and the purpose of civil government. The last I knew, Frank was a member of the Constitution Party of Missouri, not the CRP.

    =I remember Frank was saying nice things about some person that bombed a clinic and Reed Heustis scolded him for it.

  67. Cody Quirk Says:

    As for Cody, I don’t think he wants to change the wording of the pro-life plank. Thats not to say he isnt an exceptionist.

    =I would like it reworded to where the platform is more gray on it and both the exceptionists and non-exceptionists are happy.

  68. Cody Quirk Says:

    I never said Chris and Cody are demons. They are human beings, flawed like the rest of us. He probably does not remember, but I welcomed Cody when I found out about his decision to join AIP.

    =Yes, I remember.

    I have known Christopher for about seven years. I like him personally and I suspect that feeling is mostly mutual. I also agree with him about many things, but not the right to life. You can have your opinion about what you think we should have done, but my state party voted to disaffiliate because the national party voted to retain IAP Nevada as a state affiliate after they reiterated their support for Christopher as chairman, knowing that he would allow abortion in the cases of rape and incest. I agree there is some room for disagreement with the party platform in a political party. When I am recruiting prospective members, I do not tell them they need to agree with the entire platform, I just ask them if they are in “general agreement.”
    However, when I am voting for leaders and candidates within our party my standards are higher - I look for a higher degree of conformity with the platform. The one litmus test issue that we have, by party resolution, is conformity with the life plank of the platform.

    =What about having a litmus test for the other planks? Especially immigration.

  69. Cody Quirk Says:

    Trent, word of advice-

    “...Of course, the platform changes over time as we become more knowledgeable or sophisticated about what we’re doing and trying to achieve. There is nothing sacrosanct or holy about the platform. It’s just a working document to help guide us along the many paths of public policy.”

    =hope to see you in Boise, if I can make it.

  70. Cody Quirk Says:

    We have trashed our heritage, but God will not be mocked. Young rebels like Cody and the old soldiers they follow may have to learn the hard way, but that’s a call above my pay grade.

    =We bare good fruit, you don’t.

  71. Joe Says:

    Cody,

    Our party has resolved not to endorse candidates that disagree with the life plank of the platform. We have not so resolved for immigration. That is not to say that we would endorse someone who disagreed with our immigration plank. It means that it would be up to our members to vote on whether or not to endorse him. I suspect in most cases he would not be endorsed. The difference is that someone who disagrees with our life plank is not eligible for consideration. Therefore, if someone agrees with our entire plank except for the immigration plank it is possible that we might endorse him, but if he agrees with the entire platform except for the life plank we will not endorse him. That is why I said life is our “litmus test” issue.

  72. Cody Quirk Says:

    You may not view us as Demons, Joe, but a lot of your friends, including Scott Whiteman, do.

  73. Cody Quirk Says:

    If your party wants to do that, fine.

    You should worry about getting on the ballot first.

  74. Joe Says:

    We were on the ballot in 2005 and elected a candidate serving the second of year of his three year term. We have endorsed two candidates so far this year who agree with both our life and immigration planks. They may or may not get on the ballot, but we are going to try hard to get them on the ballot and get them elected. I sent one of them a personal check yesterday to help achieve that. I will, God willing, end up collecting signatures for both candidates, and perhaps others, when the petition period starts late this summer.

  75. Centurion Says:

    Cody, your memory is as flawed as your political ethics.

    Case in point: You will never locate the comments by me to which you referred because they were never made and don’t exist, in Reed’s archives or anywhere else.

    Specifically, never have I said “nice things” or approved in any way of clinic bombers or other vigilantes who resort to violence in the “pro-life” movement.

    Individuals have no jurisdictional authority to take the law into their own hands; only the civil magistrate is so ordained, by both God and constitutional law.

    Peaceful demonstrations, however, are a different matter, protected by the Constitution, as most of us will agree.

    I’ll hang out for a day or two, Cody, to read your apology for false attribution.

    Please don’t disappoint me.

    If interested parties want a good reference for the biblical case against vigilantism “to save babies,” see “Lone Gunners for Jesus—Letters to Paul Hill,” by Dr. Gary North at: www.freebooks.com.

  76. Cutty Sark Says:

    I think that killing Nazi’s is wrong, and I wouldn’t have done it, but I understand why people would have and I don’t think that killing Nazi’s who are on their way to Holocaust people is morally tantamount with what say, a serial killer or an abortionist does.

    Matt, you must have misunderstood my analogy. Is killing an abortionist (if you really believe abortion is murder) the same as killing nazis on their way to holocaust people? That’s what you believe abortion doctors are doing, right? And if the police were not killing nazis (because the police were nazis) I guess you say it’s OK to take the law in your handsand kill those nazis, correct?

    OK well if that is the case, one of two things has to follow: either the abortion doctors are just like the nazi regime and therefore it’s OK to kill them, or you don’t REALLY believe they are in the midst of carrying out a mass murder holocaust, and are just using that as rhetoric.

    I’ll even say that if I came across a serial murderer in the middle of a killing spree and the police were not around, and I had the opportunity and means to kill him, I think it would be perfectly righteous for me to do so.
    What do you think?

    Well, OK then - is abortion mass murder or not? Tell me what you really think. In what way should it be teated differently, if any, and why?

  77. Trent Hill Says:

    I love how everyone completely dodged my question.

    Ohk. So slaves were repressed right, en masse. Slaveholders were oppressing an entire race of people,right? So would you have prosecuted the slaveholders for human right’s abuses? No. Do you know why?

    It’s called post facto. Slavery was made illegal, but you cannot punish someone for a crime BEFORE it is a crime.

    Same with Abortionists. As much as I hate what they do, they don’t know they are committing a crime. And Im definetly not going to operate outside of the law and take a step back for our movement.

  78. Cutty Sark Says:

    Trent,

    Slaveowners were deprived of their slave property, and in some cases of their other property. I think there is a good argument to be made that they should have been deprived of a lot more of their ill-gotten property with the proceeds going directly to the ex-slaves rather than the carpetbaggers.

    As bad as they were, slave owners were not killing slaves by the millions every year. Although there are no accurate numbers available it is quite possible that many millions died in the middle passage slave trade, although that was over several centuries. Wikipedia estimates 3 million
    during the whole time slaves were brought to the US, but they are not counting the rest of the Americas and I’ve seen a lot higher estimates before.

    By the time the slaves were freed in the US the slave trade had been illegal for decades, and so I’m guessing there were no slave traders still around to go after. If there were, I don’t really have a problem had they been treated like Nazi war criminals. Do you? Speaking of which, do you think it is wrong that nazi war criminals have been prosecuted after the fact for doing what was legal in their country?

    Some slavery abolitionists did in fact break official laws. In most cases, the various fugitive slave acts, but in some cases like John Brown and Nat Turner there was extra-legal violence involved.

    And remember - the scale of violence involved in slavery was much smaller than what you propose is the case with abortion.

  79. Cutty Sark Says:

    Also, bear in mind that the deaths in the middle passage, while negligent, were for the most part not intentional. Slave traders did not make a profit by not delivering their cargo, so “spoilage” was unintentional, but they just did a cost/benefit analysis which was that there would be a certain part of the cargo
    “spoiled” every time and they could still make money. Not the same thing as being in the actual business of wholesale murder.

  80. Trent Hill Says:

    Neither do the abortionists think they are committing murder, but a valuable medical service. In both cases, the people do not understand the MASSIVE human rights violations they are committing.

    As for the Nazi’s, it is inconcievable to think that any individual did not KNOW they were committing mass murder. They did. Now, perhaps they thought that the good they were doing would somehow outweigh the evil. However, the men at the top took it upon themselves to commit mass genocide. Whereas Abortion was not formulated by some dictatorial leader, it was percieved as a medical “freedom” and chamioned by people (many of whom reside in YOUR party) who did not consider them CHILDREN yet.

  81. Cody Quirk Says:

    Centurion,

    As you are a disgrace to the uniform, if you ever served in the military as you claim, you are also a liar as well, and a poor one.

    I remember on the old Constitution Party chatroom ran by Reed, you have stated that the murder of clinic doctors was justified by a lone anti-abortion extremist. Reed critized your rhetoric and insist such people that murder the clinic doctors are still murderers.

    Yes, there’s little evidence to back up my claim, but I personally know what happen and you deny it.

    =No apology.

    Now go back to TAV forums you little Chihuahua.

  82. Cody Quirk Says:

    And the person you were so praising was Paul Hill.

  83. matt Says:

    Cutty,
    Yes, I do in fact think that legal abortion is tantamount to mass murder, I just don’t think killing to stop it is justified. I would kill neither a nazi, nor a serial killer, nor an abortionist. Or, maybe, in the heat of the moment, I would forget myself and kill all three, but I would have to live with the knowledge of that sin for the rest of my life.

    The problem with killing those who “clearly deserve to die” is this.

    Killing is the ultimate expresion of power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. To put it another way, killing is fun. And habit-forming.

  84. matt Says:

    Referring to people as Chihuahas is probably habit forming, too.

  85. Cody Quirk Says:

    It was from a previous post.

  86. Joe Says:

    I believe Frank is on vacation and will probably be off-line for about a month, so he can not defend himself. I have been a member of Reed’s forum, probably from about its genesis. I have read hundreds of posts by Frank and I can testify that I have never read anything from him like you describe. I have read posts in which he has criticized vigilantes like Paul Hill. I think you have him confused with someone else and owe him an apology.

  87. Cody Quirk Says:

    I clearly remember he was making comments justifying peoples actions like Paul Hill’s on abortion doctors and clinics. I am not apologizing anytime soon.

    In fact I think people like you and Frank and Marvin, and the rest of you need to apologize for allowing your ignorance to keep taking the lives of the unborn.

    Since you reject conpromise, any attempts to end abortion get shot down and the slaughter continues.

  88. Trent Hill Says:

    Ohk. Ceasefire. He-said-she-said crap doesnt belong here. Take it up in personal emails.

  89. Cody Quirk Says:

    Minus well…

  90. Dave Says:

    Very interesting thoughts regarding We are a Political Party, not a Church. But would you like to submit comments and backlinks on millions of blogs automatically? Blog Comment Poster will do it for you. Blog Comment Poster will increase your traffic, backlinks and earnings dramatically! Sounds cool? Yes, it is… the best automated comments posting tool on the Internet with many advanced features

Leave a Reply