Issue statements

I had intended to attempt to formulate a complete political philosophy based on Christian morality, but as you can see it has failed to inspire me. Somehow I just can't manage to wrap all of Christian morality into a political stance without making assumptions that will end up excluding a wide swath of Christians. I'll keep working on it, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Instead, I'll make a series of issue statements that I think are supportable. This will, of course, be added to as I think of more.

Concern for the Poor: By my rough estimate, the single most talked about issue in the Bible, concern for the poor is without question a major responsibility for every Christian. In our modern world, in our modern economy, personal action, while still very meaningful and of matchless importance in the lives of those touched by it, is not the most efficient means to accomplish the ends of improving the lives of the poor. Government action, because it can help so many more people at once, is an essential part of the equation. What that action should look like is somewhat more open to discussion. Intelligent economic policies are valuable to provide the greatest opportunity to the greatest number of people, but some sort of direct assistance is desirable to help those missed by those opportunities. That direct assistance need not look much like modern welfare, but it must exist, and we must support it.

Electoral Reform: I fully endorse both the 'Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote' and open-list proportional representation to elect both state legislatures and the House of Representatives. Both are needed to bring democracy to the US, and the second is needed if the two party system is to be broken. The right of the people to representation cannot be protected without eliminating wasted votes, currently endemic in our system. Protection of the disenfranchised and oppressed is central to the Gospel message.

Immigration and Border Security: Much of the national debate on immigration is supported by the basic assumption that the needs and rights of 'us' are more important than those of 'them.' This division is evil. As Christians we are called to love others as ourselves, not to love others but not quite as well as our friends and families. To declare anyone to be 'illegal' is to hate them, not to love them. Our borders will be most secure when they are open. Declared points of entry should be established, and the names and fingerprints of those seeking entry should be logged, but all who come should be admitted. Only those found to have committed an act we recognize as a crime should be denied entry. When this is the official policy, we can safely assume that anyone seeking to cross at any other point along the border is a criminal, and possibly a terrorist, who should be apprehended and investigated.

Marriage: Christian opposition to gay marriage is based exclusively on our objection to homosexuality on religious grounds. While we have the constitutional right to hold these beliefs, we cannot expect the government to outlaw something for that reason alone. Furthermore, if the subject is carefully considered, we find that all definitions of marriage are inherently religious in nature. Therefore, marriages should not be within the purview of the state, but rather left to churches to grant or deny. The state will need to establish some means by which to grant the rights currently granted through marriage, but with no ties to any sexual relationship at all. This means should not be called a 'civil union,' so as to avoid the current debate.

School Funding: Education is a public good, in that an educated populace is a great benefit to the country, and should be publicly funded. However, all education has a religious goal, the propagation of ideas about the sources of knowledge and authority. As such, it is a violation of the 1st amendment to publicly administer a school. The current public school system in every state is in violation of the 1st amendment. School vouchers offer the best way out of this problem by funding all children equally without regard to the religious choices made regarding the destination of that money.

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