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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Fight on the Periphery
The Constitution Party (known as the American Independent Party in California) is fighting the Christian Coalition. From the Welch Report:

Christian Coalition Voter Guide Makes Mockery of Its Own Mission & Vision....

The Web page of the Christian Coalition of America says that it is our country's "leading grassroots organization defending our Godly heritage." This page says the CCA "is dedicated to equipping and educating God's people" and it points out that "effective citizen activism begins with knowledge."

But by refusing to list my Presidential candidacy in its voters guide, by refusing to let millions of Christians know where I stand on the issues, the CCA has failed to fully educate God's people. It has denied millions of Christians important knowledge which might have influenced their votes for President. And the CCA has done all of this despite the fact that I have, in my campaign, repeatedly defended our Godly heritage and exalted the cause of Christ....

When my Communications Director John Lofton asked CCA President Roberta Combs why I am not in their voter guide since I am a strong Christian and conservative Presidential candidate, she said because in the past her organization had included only the Republican and Democrat Presidential candidates....

In a conversation with Mr. McKissick, John Lofton asked him: "Why does your organization, in its voter guide, list only the Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates and their positions on the issues you consider important?" He replied: "We only include the two major parties and have done this since the early 1990s."

But, why? Why only the Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates?

Mr. McKissick: "That's just been the practice for all Federal races around the country."

But, why not include Constitution Party Presidential candidate Michael Anthony Peroutka who is a strong Christian candidate and who has run an explicitly Christian campaign?

Mr. McKissick: "We only include the major party candidates and have never deviated from that." He adds that the CCA voter guide "must cover a wide range of public policy issues. Our focus can't be too narrow." He says that those Presidential candidates in the voter guide must have "a reasonable chance" of winning.

But, why not, in your voter guide, offer Christians a wide range of Presidential candidates from which to choose? Mr. Peroutka is on enough state ballots to win enough electoral votes to be President. Mr. McKissick says they just don't include "minority party" candidates because if they did they would have to include them all.

When asked what would be wrong with listing the "minority party" Presidential candidates, Mr. McKissick says he does not want to argue about this. He reiterates his defense of rating only the Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates.

But, why continue to do this if there is a third party candidate --- like Michael Anthony Peroutka --- who is a stronger Christian candidate than the Democrat and Republican Presidential candidates? Mr. McKissick: "Well, that's a very subjective thing to say about someone." He says the CCA doesn't want to be put in the position of defining who is or is not a stronger Christian because of what might be done to the CCA by the Federal Election Commission or the Internal Revenue Service.

But, if the CCA listed me in its voter guide, and my positions on the issues, it would not be saying anything about who is or is not the strongest Christian Presidential candidate. The CCA would simply be "educating God's people" and they would then decide who to vote for on the basis of this knowledge.

When pressed, Mr. McKissick said the CCA had "an agreement" to put Presidential candidates in its voter guide only if they polled more than 15 percent of the vote. Where did the 15 percent figure come from? He says "it was decided years ago." By whom? By "someone in the Coalition," he says. But, why 15 percent and not 14 percent or 16 percent? He says: "You've got to set a line somewhere."...

The five regular readers of this blog (counting myself twice) will recall that the 15 percent number is the same number used by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

I wanted to see who the Christian Coalition recommended for local races, but they don't have a California voter guide.

While looking at the Federal guide, I noticed that there was a question "Federal Firearms Registration & Licensing of Gun Owners." Bush apparently opposes this, while Kerry supposedly offered no response. (Nor did the duck.)

This illustrates the danger of trying to force religion into the common left-right political spectrum. I mentioned yesterday that United Methodists are all over the political spectrum. A faithful Catholic can be picketing an abortion clinic one day and blocking a nuclear missile shipment the next day. Looking at things from the political realm, a conservative orthdox (small o) Christian may be forced into political alliances with decidedly unorthdox groups, such as Mormons (not quite the "sola scriptura" people that Luther envisioned). ((Note to self: blog about the toilet.)) ((OE UPDATE: I did.))

You can even take a step back and say that Christianity does not favor one type of government over another. The wide participatory republican form of government used in the United States and certain other countries today was unknown in the time of Acts.

Enough thoughts for the moment; I have to log on to a system now (covering my internal ears).

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