I received an email on February 13th, 2006 from the Republican National Committee asking for feedback about the GOP. Not letting any opportunity slip to tell someone what I think, I penned the following letter:
Thank you for asking for my feedback. The first thing I would like to say is that, although I do not agree with President Bush on everything, I like him as a person, respect him as a Christian, and feel that his basic course of leadership is what the country needs right now.
With that said, I am SIGNIFICANTLY LESS HAPPY with the Republican party and its general slide into becoming the party of religious triumphalism and moral self-righteousness, rather than the party of limited government, strict constitutionalism, and separation of powers. In fact, it has been enough to make me want to vote Libertarian.
In fact, I write to warn you that if you continue down the path of parroting the agenda of the so-called "religious right" then you are going to alienate people like me, and cause another "Ross Perot" type debacle, as true fiscal conservatives decide to leave the party to vote for someone who actually stands for their values.
Do you really want another Perot-type election?
I don't. And I don’t want another "Clinton" in the White House because the GOP has decided to abandon the principles of fiscal and constitutional conservativism, to become the party dedicated to making sure that every American mimics 1980's style Evangelical morality and cultural values. But that is where you are headed if you do not change course. Be warned.
And, in case you write me off as a non-religious person, let it be known that I write to you as a follower of Jesus Christ and strict constitutionalist. I believe God has granted a specific sphere of authority to the government to protect citizens against criminal acts, but not to legislate private moral choices.
I do believe that one of the basic roles of government is protection of human life- ALL human life from womb to tomb- and thus I do side with legislation against abortion as "birth control", as long as abortion is still allowed as a last-ditch medical option in the case that a mother's life is in real danger due to the pregnancy. My "pro-life" stance is perhaps one of the few areas where I agree with the current attempts of the GOP to legislate private moral choices.
For instance, I believe murder, gluttony, theft, lack of charity, coveting, and homosexuality are all sin, and thus immoral. But, government has no authority to govern what we eat, how much charity we give, or what we desire. Yet, the state can and should protect us from theft and murder. It is basic logic: All crimes are by definition, immoral acts, but not all immoral acts are crimes. The government has the responsibility to protect its citizens from crime, but has no authority to enforce non-criminal moral choices. Thus, I urge you to refuse to allow government into our bedrooms or our living rooms. Consensual sex activity is between a person and their God.
Furthermore, I believe the best "defense of marriage" is for married men and women to take their vows seriously, for their families to support them through troubles, and for their communities of faith to provide the education, formation, and assistance necessary to make marriages last. When marriage once again is taken seriously by the Church and faithful families, it will no longer need "defense" from the government. The obvious joy and love that radiates from such marriages will be the best "defense" we could ever want.
I have voted Republican for quite a while, but now due to the constant moral triumphalism of the "religious right" (as if we don't have sins of consumerism and greed), along with Republican attempts to enlarge Government and enter our bedrooms and churches, I am seriously thinking of voting otherwise. Please help me believe in the GOP again, alter the current course of the Party, and stand for small government again.