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Crisis in the Constitution Party

There have been many issues that have divided the Constitution Party of late. It has gotten to the point that party is at a crisis point. In light of recent events, I wish to express my opinion on these issues.

1. Rape/Incest Abortion Exception

I did not attend the last National Committee Meeting in Tampa, but I have been hearing about this “Nevada Compromise”. I don’t know exactly what this compromise entails. The abortion issue is one of main reasons why I became interested in the CP. I heard Howard Phillips in his 2000 presidential campaign say how wrong it was that the Republicans were compromising on this issue. So for a CP candidate to say that he/she believes that abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest is unthinkable. How then is the CP any different from the Republicans? If the National CP is allowing this, then I would be in favor of having my state affiliate, the CP of Ohio, disaffiliate itself from the National CP. The latest news on this is that the Oregon affiliate is considering disaffiliating itself from the National CP. I would like to know more about what the compromise was and who was in favor of it. For more go to

2. Life of Mother Abortion Exception

I agree with the positions of Dr. Patrick Johnston on this issue. This is a difficult issue. It would be unreasonable to say that a woman’s doctor should always be able to make the final decision as to whether or not a procedure is necessary to save a woman’s life. Then doctors could lie and say that it is necessary when it isn’t. In that case any law against abortion would be totally ineffective. There has to be some standard. I don’t think that anyone should be thrown out of the party for disagreeing with what that standard should be, but everyone in the party should agree that ending the life of an infant shouldn’t be criminalized only when the death of the infant is unintentional and unavoidable. The same laws that apply to the born, should also apply to the unborn. God does not show favoritism with respect to birth or how a person was conceived, so we shouldn't either.

3. The LDS

There are some Mormons in the CP who say that they are being discriminated against in the party. I don’t know whether or not this is true. I strongly disagree with the doctrines taught in the LDS church, but I do not think there should be any policies allowed that bar the Mormons from participating in any way in the party. As long as a person’s beliefs and actions are consistent with Constitutional and certain moral principles, they should be allowed to participate in any capacity. But I do believe in discriminating against people who believe that abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest.

4. Gay Marriage

Everyone in the CP believes that the government should not recognize same-sex relationships as marriages. There is some disagreement in the CP about why the government should not make such recognitions. More importantly, there is disagreement about how to go about preventing the government from making such recognitions. The 2004 CP presidential nominee, Michael Peroutka said in his campaign that he was against the Federal Marriage Amendment because the government should not “define marriage”. He thinks that the real solution is to get rid of activist judges (that is, of course, part of the solution). As a result of this, many people who listened to him have also decided to be against the various state constitutional amendments of 2004 which were designed to protect marriage. The CP of Ohio was, however, officially in favor of Ohio’s 2004 constitutional amendment to protect marriage.

The language of the state amendment, called “vague” by many liberal republicans, does seem vague because it protects Ohio from having to recognize anything having the “qualities of marriage” between same sex couples. The proposed Federal amendment contains no language that would disallow civil unions or anything else that is an attempt to mimic gay marriage, but called by a different name. It is precisely this added language that Republicans Petro, Governor Taft, Senator Mike DeWine (up for U.S. Senate this year), and Senator George Voinovich have called “vague” in the State Amendment that is what makes it effective. They say that they fear that the state amendment will provoke lawsuits. Of course it will. Any effective law would.

DOMA is like the Federal Amendment proposal. It is useless. Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law.

So my position is in favor of the state amendment and against the current Federal amendment proposal, but for a different reason than Peroutka’s. Other people may say that the Federal Amendment would be effective because it would prevent liberals from using the clause in the constitution that says that a state has to recognize another state’s records. But if a state has gay civil union records, then there is nothing stopping them from using the same argument to force other states to recognize their civil unions and all of the privileges that come with it. We shouldn’t amend the Constitution if the amendment is ineffective. I would be in favor of a stronger Federal amendment. Such amendments don’t have to “define marriage”; they can merely codify the Biblical concept of it or disallow unbiblical concepts of it from being recognized.

5. Neoconfederalism

This last issue is one that I seem to be the only one who is speaking out about. Michael Peroutka is a member of an organization, the League of the South, which is calling for a revival of the Southern Confederacy. During his 2004 campaign, Peroutka had a link on his campaign website to another website which had a picture of the Capitol Building with a Confederate flag sticking out of it.

I don’t believe that Peroutka is a racist, but I think he has bitterness about the soldiers who died in the Civil War, which has been passed down from generation to generation. This bitterness, I fear, clouds his judgment and could cause a national crisis if the CP were to ever become a major party.

Make no mistake about it—the Constitution of the Southern Confederacy contains explicit statements which establish ownership of Negro slaves as a right. It says that this slavery is to “remain as it has been”. Slavery is not forbidden in scripture, but certain God-given rights were not granted to the slaves (such as the right to marry) or even free blacks. In the document, other states are explicitly barred from entering the Confederacy if they don’t accept these terms. My fear is that Peroutka, if elected, would push to have this document reestablished.

I do believe that states do have a right to secede from the many states. (Read the first line of the Declaration of Independence.) I do not believe that the Confederate Flag should be censored. I don’t have anything against southerners or their heritage. But what Michael Peroutka is doing is not prudent. Even if my fears are unwarranted, Peroutka is doing something that is totally unnecessary and which is likely to hold back the CP from being a more successful party.

Some people in the party I have talked to say that they would rather have a different nominee for the 2008 presidential election, but they say that they would still vote for Peroutka if he were the nominee. I will not unless he changes his position on this issue. Other people either don’t care at all or agree with Peroutka on this issue.


gregjaye said...

I recently joined the CP Ohio and your insights have been helpful.

From what I know of the situation it seems like the CP of Ohio should join Oregon in leaving the National CP until either Nevada leaves the National CP or changes leadership and follows the original founding principles.

It is very unfortunate that this internal squabble has to occur instead of putting forth energy to build a strong third party that will seriously challenge the major parties in many races. But maybe this test is good in that it may result in an even stronger CP Ohio and maybe National CP.

I agree with your last point that doing anything to rebuild the former confederacy would also take the CP away from building itself up across the nation. It seems that where there is unity there is strength.

It seems to me that more effort should be put forward to build alliances with similar minded third parties.

Pro life, pro traditional marriage and pro traditional families are all core principles that need to attract and to unite true believers everywhere.

I've begun to make a few contributions to Sam Keiser's A Good Choice . . . for Ohio blog. (

Joe said...

Since you agree that states do have a right to secede from the many states, that the Confederate Flag should not be censored, and you don’t have anything against southerners or their heritage, I don't understand why you think what Michael Peroutka is doing is "not prudent." What else is he doing besides what you say you agree with? As far as I know he hasn't advocated abolishing the thirteenth amendment.

However, this discussion is probably mostly moot. Peroutka all but announced in Tampa that he won't be running for national office in 2008 and the Constitution Party of Maryland is reportedly poised to join New York, Ohio, and Oregon in withdrawing from the Constitution Party.

Matt said...

The thirteenth amendment isn't the issue. If there were a secession, then the Constitution of the USA would no longer apply in that state. I am worried that these southern sympathizers will try to revive the Southern Constituion, i.e., nullify the reinstatement of the southern states into the union. Some defintion of slavery is actually Biblical--the real issue is the loss of God-given rights (by both the slaves and the freed Negroes) and singling out the Negro race as being less worthy of rights than whites.

Anonymous said...

I campaigned very hard for the CP in 04, however, this pseudo KKK baloney has me back where I was before the CP. Looking for a party that truly holds to Biblical principles and the principles of the founding fathers.
I'm back searching again and will not be supporting the CP unless there are sweeping changes in the party.

I'm beginning to think that it is impossible to run for president and retain your morals and honor.
On top of the fact that there is no real alternative, the thought of 2008 scares the hell out of me. Bush/Kerry was scary enough. Choose your phoney money grubbing devil worshipper. But in '08 all pretenses will be off. At least Bush has to pretend to be what he sold the voters. Hillary has no such Christian moral facade (though they seem to be making a feeble attempt at building one).
I'll probably move to Canada. Not that it's any more Godly, but at least there's still woods to hide in there.


Joe said...

Matt, I still don't understand what you're talking about. If states secede the Constitution of the United States will no longer apply to them, but you already said that states have a right to secede. "Nullifying reinstatement into the union" is the definition of secession, so what's the problem? I have never heard Michael Perouka advocate either secession or reviving the Confederate constitution. I have heard him express pride in the Confederate flag and heritage.

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I am born again Christian with a strong interest in politics, doctrine, science, and how these relate to one another.