September 25, 2005

Christian Independents Party Platform

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 8:15 pm

Friend and former (and hopefully future??) blogger Lefty had a fanciful post early this year about the Christian Independent party in the US circa the year 2019. The picture she paints of a political party maintaining their independence from both Republicans and Democrats, but working for a more humane America, has stuck with me ever since.

Unlike parliamentary systems, I’m afraid that the US form of government preempts the formation of a sizable third party. Any time a third party gains some traction, it is coopted by one or the other major parties. Still, it’s an interesting idea to play around with. In that vein, here is my take on some elements of the platform of the Christian Independent party in the not-too-distant future.

  1. Given the scientific evidence that sexual orientation is most often inborn, which has been confirmed by the personal stories of the vast majority of gay and straight Americans alike, compassion demands that Americans be made free to marry the person they choose, regardless of gender.
  2. Because women should and in fact do control their own bodies, and because in some cases abortion may be morally justified, it should remain legal and available. However, abortions are always a tragedy, and we support increased federal funding of efforts to prevent unwanted pregnancy through education and counseling on both abstinence and birth control. These programs should be made available to minors without parental consent.
  3. We abide by the doctrine of Just War, and disavow any use of the U.S. military in situations that do not strictly conform to this doctrine.
  4. The United States, as the richest, most powerful nation in the world, has a moral obligation to wield our economic, moral and military power for the welfare of all peoples of the world and not solely for the benefit of U.S. citizens. In matters of trade, diplomacy and armed conflict, we commit ourselves to the well-being of all.
  5. We commit ourselves to a dramatic increase in U.S. funding and support for international efforts to end poverty, hunger and disease in the undeveloped world.
  6. Terrorism is the immoral taking of innocent life in the pursuit of political goals, and can never be justified. However, the fight against terrorism is not a “war”, but an international law enforcement effort. It must be conducted morally without resorting to torture, imprisonment of suspects without charge or trial, or actions that would likely result in the death of innocent bystanders.
  7. God created the Earth, and all the plants and animals therein, and gave humanity dominion over it. This is an honor, but also a responsibility, entrusted to us by God. We commit to preserving the health of endangered species and habitats, and the planet itself.
  8. Americans have a moral responsibility to ensure that no fellow Americans suffer because of a lack of access to, or means to pay for, healthcare. We will work for a complete restructuring of the way in which healthcare is bought and paid for to ensure that comprehensve healthcare is provided to all at a cost based upon their ability to pay and pooled risk.
  9. The U.S. corporate tax code has accumulated countless exemptions and deductions designed to benefit small but powerful business interests. We will strip the corporate tax code of all such “corporate welfare” so that we can return to an economy where businesses succeed or fail based solely upon their success in the marketplace.
  10. The personal tax code should be similarly streamlined, but not at the expense of the progressivity of our tax system, which ensures that those that benefit the most from the US government, pay the most in taxes. In particular, we will work to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, maintain the estate tax, and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire.
  11. We will pay our own way. Forcing our children to pay in the future for our current spending is selfish and immoral. We will raise taxes and reduce spending to achieve a surplus budget with the surplus dedicated to reduce the national debt. The only circumstance in which we accept the need for a deficit is in times of recession.

I could go on, but I think I’ll stop here, at least for now. Let me know if you have any suggested additions, and I’ll update our “platform”.

8 Comments

  1. I have to say I like the platform, but I’m not sure how much it deviates from the Kucinich/Dean wing of the Democratic party. The only real differance is that God is mentioned.
    I can think of a lot of Christians that would not agree to the “Christian” lable of the party… who knows.
    LONG LIVE CIP!!!

    Comment by Chris — September 26, 2005 @ 2:00 am

  2. #4 seems to commit the U.S. to a never-ending series of foreign interventions since, after all, someone’s “well-being” is always being threatened somewhere (it also, arguably, conflicts with #3).

    Also, I agree with Chris that there’s very little here that a moderate-to-liberal Democrat couldn’t sign on to, so I’m not sure in what sense this represents a distinctively “Christian” political platform.

    Comment by Lee — September 26, 2005 @ 6:57 am

  3. I think the argument would be in whether some aspects of the platform are actually biblical. Being that it would be a “Christian” platform, one would expect all aspects of it to actually fit within the tenets of scripture.

    Comment by Angel — September 26, 2005 @ 3:46 pm

  4. Good critiques. While in my mind at least these all flow from Scripture, it’s certainly not obvious to the person on the street the way I’ve stated them.

    Food for thought….thanks.

    Comment by Bob — September 27, 2005 @ 2:17 am

  5. #4 seems a little presumptuous. If the United States keeps on its current course, it may not be the richest and most powerful nation by 2019.

    I’d also like to see something — and I don’t know exactly how to word this — about employee rights. Reduce the pressure from employers to keep people at their workplace for so many hours, so people could spend more time with their families. Ensure that the minimum wage is a living wage. Promote cultural values that don’t judge a person’s worth by their net worth. That kind of stuff.

    Comment by BruceA — September 28, 2005 @ 1:22 pm

  6. A Christian Independent Party?

    This sounds like a great idea to me. Frankly, although I agree with them on many issues, the GOP is not the party of Jesus. I’m not a fan of the Welfare State, but I’m also not a fan of radio blowhards who’ve been reading too much of Ayn Rand’s poi…

    Trackback by Naaman the Ex-Leper — September 28, 2005 @ 8:34 pm

  7. What you are promoting is not Christian at all, but Socialist/Communist. Income tax is nothing more than legalized theft
    against workers of any class, and yes, the rich do work. They just work smarter rather than harder. God calls laziness a
    sin, which is what you are also promoting. Why should I be forced to pay for someone else because they are too lazy to
    work for themselves? God commanded Adam that by the sweat of his brow shall he sustain himself. Welfare is a program of
    dependency for the lazy, unambitious, and undetermined. Frankly, you are insulting God for promoting nothing different
    than politics in his name, and that is another way of using God’s name in vain. By the way, God does not have anything to
    do with religion because it is an offense to God with its rituals and other aspects that draw people to a life of pride and
    burden rather than a relationship with him by being born anew.

    Comment by David Gooley — August 14, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

  8. After speaking with several so-called Independents, I have discovered that they support Bush and his policies and, once again, that tone is reflected here.

    We The People, as Americans, have the “Right To Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness.” That “Life” portion indicates the “ability” to live. That means, ‘To not be sick’ but rather, “Be and Stay Healthy” and to be able to do both of these things without constriction (Freely). It also means to be able to ‘enjoy’ doing those two things happily (Persuit of Happiness). We are all “entitled” to be healthy or in other words have ‘Life’. This being the case (in accordance with our U.S. Declaration and Constitution), all of us should have free access to healthcare, regardess of four inancial status or ability to pay. Poor people are here to stay whether or not you like to admit that fact. Someone has to haul away the garbage of the affluent. Taxes should be changed, not raised, via a flat- tax or POP tax (Point-Of-Purchase) only, whereby an individual will pay a tax value like the previously proposed 10% Flat-tax on only those items he or she can afford. Ten percent of a million-dollar Yaht is one-hundred thousand dollars. Very easy to pay…,if you are rich. On the other hand, ten percent of a Five-thousand dollar used automobile is five-hundred dollars which, although still a hardship for many, still possible to pay off. That tax would be paid at the time of purchase. If a person is only earning minimum wage, a good portion or all of the paid out POP Tax would be returned to the individual at the end of the year provided paper receipts are kept as proof. Essential-to-Life items or necessary-for-life items like food, water and fuel are tax-exempt. No one, not even the wealthy, should have to pay the government a tax for such items as those. No longer would we need a Federal Income Tax which would do away with many Federal Paychecks, thus reducing the ‘big-government’ that Republicans seem to stump and brag about wanting to ‘reduce’.

    Accomplishing this would automatically do away with item numbers 9,10 and 11. Simple. If you can’t afford it..you can’t own it.

    A true Independent Party will not use the word “Christian” in its mantra. A true Independent Party will reflect and stand for its own new and different set of rules that in no way reflect any of those that the Democrats or especially, the Republicans stump for. Keep this in mind as you proceed in your endeavor for your Third Party:

    In the past, this country did have more than one party. We had the Whigs, the Federalists, the Republicans, the Democrats and several more. We finally were able to wittle it down to a more managable size of just two parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. This country is having a hard enough time dealing with just the ‘two’. Dealing with three is flat-out ludicrous. Then, splitting up this “third-party” into smaller specific “wings” like Progressives. Liberals, Conservatives, Left-center, Right-center and all the rest only exacerbates the problem further.

    And here is a well-know fact which has been televised in personal interviews with Mr. Bush and his wife Laura. He is an admitted alcoholic. He and his wife Laura nearly broke their marraige because of his drinking problem. Mrs. Bush gave him an ultimatum, that being- its Jim Beam or me..,take your pick. How anyone can support such an individual or any of his administrations policies is beyond comprehension. People with fried brain cells from alcohol are known to be untrustworthy or able to make right decisions. When it comes to running just their own household its difficult at best, let alone trying to run an entire country. We’ve heard the aruments. All of them. About Democrats and Republicans alike. But the bottom line is, the Republicans have enjoyed full control for the last six years including full control of the house and the senate.

    There’s an old saying: “You are where you are today because of the thoughts you had yesterday.”

    If the Independents (whether Christian or not) believe they can change the country and ultimately the world with a ‘third-party’ perhaps they should think again. A true ‘Third-Party’ would stand and stump for nothing that either the Democrats or the Republicans believe in or preach. All “Independents” I have encountered seem confused. They are unable to take a side, hence, the Independent Party has been created and by definition is made of people unable to ‘choose’ a side. Bush would like his party to be “THE” Party, forever. He did away with Writ of Habeous Corpus via the Patriot Act, put surveillence on every single American in our own country and caused the Federal Deficit to spiral upward to a height never before seen in American history. Many civilians have died, many U.S. Soldiers have died and many,many more will die because of his trumped up pre-emptive strike against Iraq. Mr. Bush and Company invaded a foreign country that did not threaten us in any way. Now, we are facing off with Iran and North Korea. So to mimic anything this dangerous man does or has done is not only wrong, immoral and against Christian values, its downright suicidal. The Romans were able to destroy themselves from within. Adding a third party will help us reach the same end. So to all so called Independents, step off your shaky stump and take a stand with what you have to work with. Democrat or Republican. And as a Christian myself, I will pray that you will not choose Republican.

    Comment by KH — November 12, 2006 @ 4:56 am

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