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Monday, September 13, 2004

The Christian Liberty Party

The inadequacies of America's two major political parties have been apparent for quite some time. Recent conversations have brought to the surface an idea that had been bubbling in my mind for quite some time. What would it look like to have a political party whose platform was formed entirely by Catholic principles? How appealing would such a party be? Political parties built somewhat along these lines have long been important factors in the elections of other nations. However, due to the peculiarly Protestant character of this nation, a nation whose people have long advocated the separation of faith and reason, church and state, America has never been able to form such a party. Now that America is on the verge of no longer being a majority Protestant country, the cultural forces which prevented the union of faith and reason might finally be open to the possibility of uniting the two.

While I do not believe a Catholic political party would ever command a majority of the American voters, the formation of such a party would serve two very salutory purposes: (1) it would be a wonderful platform for educating people concerning Catholic principles (2) like the Green party or the Naderites, it could form a strong and clear-cut vote to court. The political power of the Catholic voice and vision could very well be magnified by this party. Below is my attempt to summarize what such a party platform would look like. I am interested in having this platform streamlined and clarified, so that it might become the basis for fielding candidates in the next election cycle.

Whereas every human person is created in the image and likeness of God, every person must be treated with the honor and dignity due to the divine image.

Whereas God is the formal cause, and human beings the instrumental cause of every human person’s creation, it follows that every human person comes into existence within the context of the family. The family is the basic and most important social unit. The parents, being the instrumental cause of the child’s existence, bear the primary responsibilities towards the child.

Whereas, the most important social unit is the family, the primary purpose of every society is to assist parents in their most important work: that of raising their own children. All social policy must be built in accordance with this principle.

Consequently, any action or condition which disrupts the harmony between the spouses or between parents and children is to be assiduously avoided, every action or condition which enhances the harmony between spouses and between parents and children is to be encouraged.

The nation’s first duty is to protect the family against attack. After the family is secure from attack, all remaining national resources are to be directed towards supporting the family in its work.


Whereas marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman, and cannot be otherwise, all forms of homosexual marriage and/or civil union, and all variations, such as (but not limited to) polyandry, polygamy, fornication, adultery, bestiality, necrophilia, sado-masochism and pedophilia are universally condemned in all their forms. Prompt medical treatment for those afflicted with these maladies should be encouraged.

Artificial procreation
Whereas every person has a right to come into existence with the dignity proper to the divine image, and

Whereas the very definition of “person” presupposes that the created being under consideration is in a special relationship with God and

Whereas parents do not have a right to children, rather, children are a gift made in the divine image all forms of in vitro fertilization, human embryonic cloning, and surrogate motherhood are universally condemned in all their forms.

Whereas the very ability to be conceived is itself a gift of life which derives directly from the Giver of Life, respect proper to the divine image must be given. The artificial creation of human concepti for any purpose whatsoever is universally condemned in all its forms. Bans on embryonic research modelled on those already implemented in other countries should immediately be enacted. All medical treatments derived from the destruction of the human child are condemned.

Artificial sterility
Whereas the use of contraception treats both the spouse and possible children as dangers to the family instead of divine images who are to be protected and cherished, contraception disrupts the marital bond and the parent-child relationship. It is universally condemned in all its forms and the Comstock laws should be re-instated with all speed. Likewise, the fruit of contraception, that is, the practice of elective abortion, whether by surgical or chemical means, is universally condemned in all its forms.

Whereas the person is an image of God and must be treated with the respect due the divine image, euthanasia is universally condemned in all its forms.


Medical care
Whereas advancement in medical care is an important aspect for the maintenance of the family, stem cell research through the use of umbilical cord blood and other adult stem cell sources should be vigorously pursued.

Whereas the parents are the primary educators of their own children and their decisions concerning the education of their own children are to be treated with the greatest respect and care, school vouchers are to be supported.

Economic Matters
Whereas the equitable financial support for the family is of premium importance within society, the following initiatives are to be supported:

  • The implementation of a national sales tax according to the principles espoused at
  • The rights of the worker to a just wage for his work and a just price for goods and services, keeping in mind that it is not the role of the government to determine these but rather to assure that the common agreement between worker and employer is adhered to,
  • The right of the worker to unionize is to be always respected,
  • The right of every adult to own property and use it as s/he sees fit in the support and maintenance of the family is to be always respected,
  • The nation must display a preferential option for supporting families in poverty, providing assistance so as to assure both the dignity and the integrity of all its members. This assistance will take the form of providing conditions well-suited for the establishment of private initiatives dedicated to dealing with the problems of the poor.

Whereas the nation has a duty to protect the families already within its borders, while simultaneously having a duty to respect the families of other nations, immigration laws must reflect these twin duties. The family being the seedbed of a well-structured society, it is in the national interest to promote the well-being of the family in every nation, so that our economic and political relations remain stable and fruitful. Thus, it is not desirable for any country to structure its immigration laws so as to skim off the most industrious, successful or desirable families from other countries for assimilation into itself. Such practices unjustly injure other countries, thereby destabilizing international relations and leading directly to conflict. Similarly, while the nation has a right to self-protection, the processes by which this right is defended must not unduly impede the right of parents to seek out better conditions for themselves and their children.

Whereas the nation has a duty to protect the families who have chosen to live within its borders from foreign assault, the right of every nation to declare and wage war for just cause, after all other avenues of redress have been exhausted, cannot be denied. However, the waging of war cannot target families or the larger civilian population, but only those members of the nations who are duly designated combatants.

Death Penalty
Whereas the nation has a duty to protect the families within its borders from internal assault, the right of every nation to impose just penalties upon criminals, including the death penalty, cannot be denied. However, justice likewise demands that the death penalty only be imposed when all other avenues for maintaining the security of the nation’s inhabitants are clearly inadequate and the identity of the criminal can be established with certainty. While progress has been made in assuring the certain identity of dangerous criminals, the necessary certainty is not in all cases achieved. Furthermore, given the resources of American society, life-long imprisonment in solitary confinement is, in almost all cases, sufficient to sequester the danger to the family that dangerous, unrepentant criminals represent. As a result, the death penalty in America is to be used with extreme infrequency, if at all.

Separation of Church and State
Whereas the family has both spiritual and physical needs that must be met, the state has a duty to make sure that these needs are met. Consequently, since the state has only the power to assure the satisfaction of physical requirements, while the church has the ability to assure the satisfaction of both physical and spiritual requirements, the nation is at all times to honor the importance of religious expression in the public sphere.

Thus, insofar as the tenets of any religion do not violate the principles set forth above, the state may not infringe on the expression of that religion. As the foregoing principles make clear, the doctrine of the separation of Church and state, as currently implemented by the judiciary and the legislative system, is a violation of the Constitution and of America's founding principles. Consequently, a clarification of the proper boundaries of state interference is required. Just as the full exercise of the ancient Aztec religion is properly outlawed today due to its improper use of the human person (e.g., human sacrifice), so any religion which violates the principles set forth above thereby violates the dignity of the human person. Such violations of the human person may never be permitted, since these attack the family, the state, the proper exercise of religion and the safety of the world itself. Admittedly, careful nuance is to be observed in the application of these principles so as to encourage the freedom of the human person while curbing or extinguishing that same person's tendency towards license.

This is the beginning of an outline. I will entertain all suggestions for improving this outline, and keep an updated version here.

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