To the Republican Platform Committee

In a fit of pique, I submitted the following to the Republican Platform Committee. I don’t expect a great return for the effort, unless …many others express the same ideas as emphatically as they are able:

“My family has always voted Republican. The Party has changed in recent years.

“The important issue: the Republican Party must stand for strict separation of church and state.

“But the Party has now allied itself with the religious right, with such pet issues as anti-stem-cell research, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage.

“I will not vote Republican under such terms. Protection of individual rights is the most important political issue. Citizens have the right to indulge in their religion, but only privately. There is no right to force one’s religious views on others, as the religious right hopes to do through the Republican Party.

“My hope is for the Party to get back to issues of individual rights, national defense, and free markets. Leave the “social” issues to Americans’ free choice. Until then, the Party will not have my vote.”


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9 thoughts on “To the Republican Platform Committee”

  1. Hi Henry,

    What is your conclusion from this? My point is that the Republican Party must reject such rights-violating planks if it is to claim my vote in the future. It must do so by explicitly endorsing strict separation of church and state.


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  2. The issue that puzzles me is this: Exactly what does “separation of church and state” mean?

    Is that only a social/organizational guideline? For example, don’t let the Catholic Church run tax-financed welfare agencies.

    Or should there be laws prohibiting legislators from proposing new laws which they justify by reference to “revealed” truths in holy scripture? In other words, should laws permit only argumentation based on secular foundations?

    For example, some atheists oppose abortion. They are not violating the separation of church and state presumably. Correct?

    In summary, I think intellectual and political activists need to be very clear about they mean by “separation of church and state.” The explanation should be both negative and positive to make its application clear.

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  3. Hi Burgess,

    As usual, your questions go deep.

    About the meaning of “separation of church and state”, I think most people (present company excluded) are like that Supreme Court Justice who could not define pornography, but finally said, “I know it when I see it.”

    In the context of my post, of course, I’m asking the Republican Platform Committee to respect the First Amendment’s establishment clause when formulating a platform. Your question would have me delve further into the philosophy of rights than I’m prepared to go at the moment. Not because the matter is not fascinating; I’m just strapped for time right now.

    I note that you have also presented your question on the meaning of the phrase to Noodle Food. There should be several satisfactory responses there, unless my guess is off.


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  4. I get so frustrated when people tout the “seperation of church and state”. The Constitution does not say that. It does not say that there should not be religion in government. It says that the Government shall not tell the people how to worship. Read your history.

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  5. Hi Linda,

    You get frustrated with the likes of me. I get angry with the people who think it’s OK to force their religious opinions on those of us who hold different ideas. The Constitution says you don’t get to do that.

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  6. Ken, You are right on target here. This current platform of the Rebpublican Party just smells of religious beliefs. Linda, all I want is “Equal” rights for everyone even though it doesn’t fit into your religious beliefs. In particular GLBTQ’s EQUAL rights. They do not have equality today that the rest of us have. That is wrong. No one should be denied Equality because they are different religiously or otherwise. The Republican Platform supports homophobia. Shame on them.

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  7. Thanks, Onewhoknows. But I fear that Linda won’t get your message. She was a hit-and-run six months ago, and is long gone.

    It’s all right — she wouldn’t have got it anyway.

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