Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Say No To Pledges

Have you seen this new pledge being pushed by social conservatives in the name of preserving the institution of marriage? And there is the added bonus of demanding a pledge of martial fidelity of leaders. Any leader, not just of the political variety.

The Vow of Civic, Religious, Lay, Business, and Social Leaders:
We the undersigned do hereby solemnly vow* that no U.S. Presidential primary candidate – nor any primary candidate for the U. S. House, Senate, Governor, state or municipal office – will, in his or her public capacity, benefit from any substantial form of aid, support, endorsement, contribution, independent expenditure, or affirmation from any of us without first affirming this Marriage Vow. Furthermore, to uphold and advance the natural Institution of Marriage, we ourselves also hereby vow* our own fidelity to this Declaration and especially, to our spouses.

It is time for all candidates to just say no to the demands of those that would have them proclaim promises to do whatever that group's agenda happens to be. Especially in the realms of social conservatism. Talk about setting them up for failure.

Aren't conservatives suppose to be all about freedom? Is it really the right of any group to demand public oaths to social mores or agendas of faith? Are these the same people that proclaim with indignation that the government has no right to sanction abortion?

By proclaiming that the candidate agrees that marriage is only between one man and one woman, the pledge goes on to even incorporate fiscal conservatism into the mix.

 Personal fidelity to my spouse.
 Respect for the marital bonds of others.
 Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.
 Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.
 Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.
 Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended “second chance” or “cooling-off” periods for those seeking a “quickie divorce.”
 Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.
 Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.
 Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.
 Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.
 Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.
 Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.
 Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA‟s $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.
 Fierce defense of the First Amendment‟s rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.

Quite the sanctimonious document, right? Yeah, it's one hot mess. So, I appreciate when a candidate says no.

Presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson charged today in a formal statement through his campaign that the Family Leader “pledge” Republican candidates for President are being asked to sign is “offensive to the principles of liberty and freedom on which this country was founded”. Governor Johnson also plans to further state his position against the Family Leader pledge this afternoon in Las Vegas, NV at a speech he will deliver at the Conservative Leadership Conference.

“Government should not be involved in the bedrooms of consenting adults. I have always been a strong advocate of liberty and freedom from unnecessary government intervention into our lives. The freedoms that our forefathers fought for in this country are sacred and must be preserved. The Republican Party cannot be sidetracked into discussing these morally judgmental issues — such a discussion is simply wrongheaded. We need to maintain our position as the party of efficient government management and the watchdogs of the “public’s pocket book”.

“This ‘pledge’ is nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into a particular definition of ‘virtue’.

How would such a silly pledge even be enforced? How would anyone know if a person is faithful to his or her spouse, for example, if that person was not caught in an affair? Some of the loudest demanding purity tests from others have gone down that road and it's not pretty. This is what lays open the Republican party to charges of hypocrisy from the other side.

This election is too important to our nation's future. We must focus on what is the top priority and that is fiscal responsibility. Stop the middle school type of pinkie swears and treat everyone with respect. If you don't trust a candidate to represent your opinions and ideals, the solution is to vote for someone else.

The good part of a large crowd of candidates running for the Republican nomination for President is that each of them would be better than Barack Obama in that office. This is no time for hissy fits and litmus tests on social issues. No one is holier than another. Don't most religions teach followers to not judge others?

This is the time for conservatives to pull together and bring along moderate Democrats, too - Reagan Democrats - to oust Barack Obama from the Oval Office. How did that whole thing about staying home and not voting for John McCain out of protest work out for you?

Grow up. Focus. And applaud any candidate unwilling to pander for votes from a narrow group of people with their own agenda at the forefront, not what is best for our country.

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