In our opinion, the most important difference is this: CLP is a Christian organization. This is not to deny the tremendous influence that Christian principles have had in the formation of the Constitution Party. But we limit membership to those who will commit to the affirmations on the back of our Membership Application card, including the declaration that the signer is trusting Jesus Christ for salvation and will conduct his personal and Party affairs accordingly.
Another difference appears to be the willingness of the leadership of the Constitution Party to ignore the Party’s own rules for the sake of political expedience. This willingness was displayed in St. Louis in 1999 at the national convention of that party–which until then was called the U. S. Taxpayers Party. (At that time our party, then known as the American Heritage Party, was an affiliate of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, which changed its name to Constitution Party at that 1999 convention.)
A third difference is this: The CP regularly fields candidates for national offices, notably the office of President of the United States. We focus, rather, on local offices and on the effort to enlarge the party to the point where fielding candidates for national offices would have a reasonable chance for success.
And our activity in the area of building Christian statesmen through our educational program sets us apart from all other parties that I know of.
Does the CLP align itself moreso with Republicans, Democrats, or Libertarians?
On the basis of their platforms, we find more kinship with the Republican Party than with the Democratic Party. But none of these three parties is committed to using the Word of God as a political guide, none is committed to the proposition that only God can save this country, none professes to recognize that God is in control and cannot and will not bless a man or a nation that does not acknowledge His lordship; this prevents our “aligning ourselves” with either of these parties.
Did the CLP endorse Mitt Romney, a Mormon, in the recent Presidential election? Why or why not?
The CLP is willing to consider endorsing any candidate who asks for our endorsement; none has. We have never endorsed a candidate of any other party.
What is your opinion on the Jeffersonian quote regarding “the wall of separation” between the Church and the State? Do the goals of the CLP violate this understanding?
I wonder whether those who flaunt that quote most vigorously have actually read the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion or preventing the free exercise thereof.” Who is bound by this Amendment? Only Congress. And what is Congress forbidden to do? To establish a religion (the founders meant “a denomination,” or a national church such as England had) or preventing the free exercise of religion! There is no ground in the First Amendment for prohibiting prayer or prohibiting the displaying of the cross or the Ten Commandments. Neither of these activities establishes a national church. (Sunday worship services were held regularly in the Capitol Building in the early years of this nation, but that did not establish a national church!) Moreover, the “wall of separation” phrase isn’t in any official U.S. document; it is in a letter from President Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist Association which had sent him an anxious inquiry as to whether the Congress was going to establish a national church.
Does the CLP have active members in each of the 50 States?
No. We have active groups of interested people in four or five states–including New York, South Carolina, California, and of course Washington, where our headquarters is located. Most of these people have not joined the Party. We don’t rush them to do so.
Would America ever benefit from having a Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu President? Do you believe this could happen over the next 20 years?
America would not benefit from having a Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu President. Could it happen? I suppose it could. (Our present President is Muslim at heart.)
(Note: For more information on the CLP, please visit- http://www.christianlibertyparty.org/. Please note that neither Taber’s Truths nor this columnist are members of the CLP.)