Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is Civis Too Rigid?

A packet of free information came in the mail from the Constitution Party (not to be confused with the Constitutionalist Party). I liked what I saw as far as their platform went, but only one was irksome: there were a few references to “returning our country to biblically based government” or words to that effect.

a) When did the U.S. have “biblically based government”? I’m not saying the USA defies the good book or anything, but a Biblically based government, in my mind, would indicate a theocracy or a monarchy. I have read about “the Kingdom of Heaven” but never the Republic of heaven.

b) Considering our historical roots and what I know of my fundamentalist friends, I fear that a return to “biblical government” would not be friendly to religious freedom.

c) [Yes, I’m making this argument] Is a rallying cry for “Biblical” government likely to turn the tide or win a national election? Maybe the “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” approach would be preferred to such a rallying cry. I think a lot of people would have second thoughts after hearing about “biblical” government—not that they are anti-Christian.

Is Civis too rigid? Crazy? Paranoid?


Civis said...

Speaking of the Constition Party, the CP of MA has an interesting argument contra McCain:

"Let me say it straight out: a John McCain Presidency would be far worse than a Barack Obama Presidency. With a Democrat in the White House, conservatives and Christians suddenly find their principles and are able to offer resistance. Put a Republican in the Oval Office, however, and those same people become blind, deaf, and dumb to most any principle they profess."

BTW, I could not help but notice he is a Baptist Preacher.

Civis said...

"... he is a Baptist Preacher." I should say the person who most recently posted to their blog.

Civis said...

The Alabama CP has a section of their weblog devoted to "Christian Friends."

Civis said...

Kevin Thompson, apparently a CP congressional candidate in '07 has adopted Martin Luther's motto as his own:

"Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason – and I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is held captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.”

Cerebella said...


I agree with you about the CP's Bible thumping lingo; in fact, I would keep an eye on the party lest the "Rapture" crowd try to steer it in the direction of supporting Zionist notions. And I totally agree with you about the "rallying cry" -- it's been my contention for years that the Devil succeeds (in so far as he does succeed) because he doesn't march into town with a banner crying "Rebel, for the Kingdom of Darkness is at hand." Nor should Christians lead with our chins, especially in the current zeitgeist. But given that zeitgeist, I don't think danger to religious freedom from a Protestant Theocracy is clear and present. If enough Catholics join the CP, it probably never will be.

And at the present time, the CP is courting Catholic Alan Keys as its nominee so, Bible thumping notwithstanding, the party doesn't exclude Catholics (as long as they aren't Kennedy-Edwards-Kerry-Guiliani types), pace Kevin Thompson.

For me, the pro-life issue is always the basic issue and the CP is the only party with an unambiguously pro-life platform. My thought is that we should apply the principle which you often advocate, formulated by St. Thomas More, i.e., that if we can't have perfection, work to make a think the least imperfect possible.

Cerebella said...

Digging into the CP just a bit more - there is a a "disassociation" faction which the leadership is battling.

And for a bit of nostalgia, here is an interview with Phil Lawler (editor of Catholic World Report and Catholic World News, CP opponent of Ted Kennedy in 2000.

Cerebella said...

More on the CP "Disassociationists""

Excerpt from a post by Jim Claymer, CP National Chairman:

"One can debate the issue of whether a political party should have an exclusively Christian membership and what form of Christian would be allowed until the cows come home, but the fact remains that it is not part of the mission of the Constitution Party. References to the CP platform as a "covenant" in the purely religious sense, to not being able to be in "fellowship" with people of other faiths, and expressions of discontent at being "unequally yoked" have no place in this party and nothing in our founding or official pronouncements can be taken to indicate otherwise. "

Civis said...

That and $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee.

I always wanted to say that.

Cerebella said...

Aren't you the one who recently bemoaned the slow progress of discussion due to various logical fallacies? Please explain to me how your appeal to ridicule has helped move this discussion forward.

1. Is the source of the quote credible? If not, why not?
2. Is he misrepresenting the fracas in Tampa that occasioned the quote? If so, how so? What are the facts?

Civis said...

"appeal to ridicule"?

I meant what I said, I always wanted to say that.

What you quoted is a good sign. I'll grant you that. I'm just saying that it does not put me all that more at ease.