The Anti-Constitution Party?

Speaking of being outside the mainstream, here’s one more letter to the editor for our Hall of Shame. There’s nothing particularly interesting or fresh about it. It repeats the same old threadbare canards we’ve been tolerating for years (“if you think homosexuality is ok, you have to think incest is ok, too!”), proposes that morality simply doesn’t exist apart from the author’s religious beliefs, and recasts inherent human traits as “practices.” For sheer nutjobbery, it fails to displace our current champion, Ranjani Johnson’s letter from the previous week (sorry, dude – we know you tried).

The only notable thing about it is that the author happens to be the chairman of the Virginia branch of the “Constitution Party” (which has about as much use for our Constitution as “pro-family” activists have for actual families).

Mitch Turner of Hamilton is “amazed” that anyone could possess a moral authority that leads them to a conclusion other than his own. Imagine! His opinions used to be popular, but now things have changed; “30-40 years ago you couldn’t even talk openly about homosexuals,” and now we expect equality under the law. If people fail to adopt his religious beliefs, he says, all that is left are their own personal beliefs. (The terribly earnest Mr. Turner seems unaware that the view he is professing is itself a “personal belief.” Oh, never mind.) Here, he explains things to a libertarian:

Let’s look at some of their principles: “As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives … The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.”

The foundation of this country is based on the principle that individuals ARE NOT sovereign over their own lives – God is!

Ok, got it? Individuals ARE NOT sovereign over their own lives. The Constitution conjured up by Turner’s imagination doesn’t actually cherish and safeguard individual liberty, because they don’t accept that there is any such thing. It’s a Constitution(asterisk). Incredible.

Their website seems to use the term “sodomy” quite a bit – but my absolute favorite part is this: The Virginia Constitution Party recommends that voters engage in “guarding their minds” by limiting their source of news and information to “and other web resources linked from our state party website.” These “web resources” include “news” from the American Family Association, among similar others.

My only question is this: Why is someone like Patricia Phillips still in the Republican Party, impeding its ability to improve itself, instead of helping to build the party that really reflects her views?

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20 Responses to The Anti-Constitution Party?

  1. Rick Sincere says:

    Well, if anyone wants to know why libertarians don’t join the Constitution Party, they can find a pretty good answer right here.

    Thanks for posting this. While CP presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin might talk a good game with regard to “freedom,” a look at the CP’s platform demonstrates fairly well that the party is seeking to impose theocratic government based on an ahistorical theory of the Constitution.

    Libertarians believe that individuals should lead moral and ethical lives, but should do so because it is the right thing to do, not because government coerces them to be good. There is no virtue without freedom of choice.

  2. David says:

    Thanks, Rick. Chuck Baldwin’s website could be charitably described as underwhelming. What I wonder about is why did this guy not identify himself as the state chairman of his party, in an election year? Wouldn’t that have at least introduced to voters what the priorities of the Constitution Party are? Why squander the earned media? It’s a mystery 🙂

    I’ll channel the humble Mitch Turner by asking: how is it that one knows the right thing to do, without an authoritarian Big Brother makin’ it The Law?

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  5. Bill Dodge says:

    It seems as though the issue of gay marriage is the only issue that gives the author reason to declare the Constitution Party “anti-Constitution”. This causes me to ask the question – what does the officer think of us Constitutino Party members who really don’t give a damn about gay marriage, homosexuality, or other related things? A lot of us (and I’m an officer in the party) are of the simple opinion that government ought to just get out of the marriage issue by neither ‘allowing’ or ‘denying’ gay marriage – and let it be up to the two people and their pastor/mentor/teacher or whatever. Are we also “anti-Constitution”?

  6. David says:

    Bill, I wouldn’t say that it’s the only issue, more that it’s a symptomatic issue. My assessment is based on material posted on the Virginia CP website, a bunch of theocratic nonsense which I have to assume reflects the party platform and views of the party members. If members disagree with the platform, then why are they members?

    If you don’t give a damn about marriage equality or other basic rights of citizens, then I would have to say you don’t give a damn about civil rights in general. Either that, or you single out certain categories of people who, in your view, are not entitled to civil rights, and that goes far beyond just not giving a damn. In that case, how does your viewpoint really differ from that of Mr. Turner?

    If government were to get out of the marriage business entirely, leaving it up to, as you say, the two people involved and their pastor, that would be one solution. The entanglement between civil and religious marriage could certainly be neatly solved by doing away with civil marriage and all of the rights and responsibilities that go with it. But many people, myself among them, see a great deal of societal value in civil marriage, in encouraging responsible, stable family units. Do you really want to jettison the benefits that encourage those unions? I know other people who do, but they are exclusively coming from a theocratic perspective.

    Other than that, you haven’t told us where you part company with Mitch Turner’s letter. Do you find his views to be outside the mainstream of CP opinion? I mean, he is the Virginia chairman. If his writing deviates from the platform so much, why is he in that position?

  7. Mitch Turner says:

    No, I’m not the chairman of the CPV, never have been … that you can’t get this simple fact correct is likely an indicator of the reliability of the rest of what’s written above.

    My central point remains uncontested, other than by unfounded assertions. By what grounds would you ban polygamy or incest if homosexuals can marry? How can incest be declared illegal when homosexual sex is not?

  8. David says:

    Friend, you’re so far off the reservation that you really don’t merit a response at all. The admission that you think sex between consenting adults should be illegal says all that needs to be said. Your outlandish views have no place in a civilized society.

    If you have never been the chairman of CPV, that’s an error on their website. Suggest that you take it up with them.

  9. Mitch Turner says:

    I am the webmaster (since it’s inception in 1996) and the only one that can post info to that site. The site does not say, and has never said, that I am the chairman. Because, that would not be true, and I at least TRY to put only the truth online.

    Wait a sec… you claim that my view that sex between consenting adults should be illegal is outlandish. So, you are saying that laws against incest are outlandish if the participants are adults.

    I’m sure you’ll just say the point doesn’t deserve a response. You can’t use logic, you can’t rationally debate, so you just call names and say anything that doesn’t agree with you doesn’t deserve a response. And you’ll probably ban me from the site, because you can’t exactly leave unanswered arguments here, can you?

  10. David says:

    I can easily leave stupid and irrelevant arguments unanswered. If the issue that concerns you is incest, then identify and articulate your arguments about that – somewhere else. It has nothing to do with our community and it doesn’t particularly interest me.

  11. Mitch Turner says:

    Got it. Don’t admit you are wrong when you blow it on the facts. Call every argument you can’t answer irrelevant. Funny, it was YOu who posted my letter and responded to it. I thought it was irrelevant. Sure, it’s easy to make fun and win an argument when there is no one on the other side. You’re a hoot!

  12. David says:

    Mitch, you really don’t seem to get it. If you can’t come up with any good reasons to oppose incest, that’s your problem. I’m not going to do it for you; as I said, it doesn’t particularly interest me and has absolutely nothing to do with gay people.

    I’m sure it’s not pleasant to find yourself ridiculed, but you are the one who wrote the ridiculous letter. If someone such as yourself chooses to make baseless attacks on my family and my community, that’s what will happen.

  13. Mitch Turner says:

    You can’t come up with any argument against incest that does not apply to homo sex also. Ditto for homo marriage and polygamy. This has everything to do with your “community” since it is your community that is trying to wipe out everyone else’s moral standards. You have to scream and shout whenever these issues are brought up, because you know if the public ever stopped to think about the fact that once you allow Bob and Joe to marry you can’t exactly tell Sam he can’t marry Sue and Jane… they would run your “community” out of town.

    I have no problem coming up with reasons to oppose incest as well as adultery, abortion, lying, and cheating. They are grounded in the same morality that opposes homosexuality. But I am not the one trying to get new special rights and change the definitions of institutions that have been the bedrock of society for centuries.

    Nor do I feel ridiculed. If there was an argument with a point, maybe it would have some weight. Name calling just shows how afraid you are to engage in any real debate. Which is not surprising, since you can’t even acknowledge when you get basic, easy to check facts wrong.

  14. David says:

    Mitch, you are really having a reading comprehension problem here. What you’ve just admitted is that you can’t think of any good reason to oppose incest or polygamy. Your personal beliefs (nonsensically equating things that have nothing to do with one another) do not constitute a good reason, nor are they a substitute for logic. That’s all you’ve offered.

    The only one screaming and name calling here is you. I’m not going to treat seriously an “argument” like this, and clearly you find that frustrating. Why you ever imagined that you would get any traction with the same baseless nonsense that was in your letter, I have no idea. Go to bed.

  15. Mitch Turner says:

    You’re funny, David. You have declared my reasons not good, therefore they are not good. You call them my personal beliefs. Also funny, since first of all, I didn’t come up with them, they were given by God who created us, and even if you refuse to acknowledge that, they have been consistent in most cultures for centuries. And if you reject THAT foundation, what do you have to oppose my “beliefs” with? Your “personal beliefs”? Why do they carry any weight?

    You are severely factually challenged. That is the only personal attack I have made, and it’s easily verified by reading above. Can you point to any name calling I have done? I’m sure you won’t answer that, like you won’t admit your facts are wrong on the chairman issue (while I see you corrected it in one place, you haven’t above where it is quite prominent).

    You were the one who posted my letter and took shots at it. I made my arguments, and I am willing to defend them. You took your shots, and when called on their lack of logic or basis in fact, you now try to claim the point is “nonsensical” without any reason or logic to back up that claim. You already have equal rights, and want new special ones. But you refuse to discuss the ramifications of what you want, and refuse to admit the logical outcomes if you get it. Repeating over and over “that’s nonsense” or “that’s outlandish” and “your views have no place in society” is a tantrum, not a debate or discussion.

  16. David says:

    Mitch, I’ll have to get back to you after work. Try to remember that you are human, and that recognizing your lack of perfect knowledge can be a gateway to wiser openness to the knowledge of others. It is the same for all of us.

  17. David says:

    Ok Mitch, I’ve put up a new post to continue this discussion. Hopefully this forum will be more to your liking in terms of engaging your statements.

  18. Allison says:

    David, there is no way to actually debate with these people as they reject any view other than their own, and their answer to everything is “God”. As christofascists they insist on forcing their right-wing Christian agenda on the rest of the world. Extremists, elitists, evangelists whatever you want to call them, they are all too quick to be the judge, juror and executioner of non-believers. They refuse to believe morality exists outside of their own, and this makes them very dangerous to us.

  19. Chris says:

    David, people like Mr. Turner shame me. I happen to agree with his beliefs. I think homosexuality is a sin. This belief is based in my own faith. I also believe that according to the gospel we should witness and convince people through love, logic, and emulating Christ. Not through legislation. I believe that homosexuality has negative effects on its participants. But so does smoking, drinking too much, or eating too much McDonald’s. Does this mean that the government should step in? Most certainly not.

    Government’s purpose is simple: the protection of private property. Be that one’s land, livestock, or own life. If life is being lost, as in the case of abortion, then the government should regulate activity. Homosexuality takes nobody’s life. It damages nobody’s property. If Christians want to change the behavior of those around us, we should LOVE them. We should REASON with them. Not mandate behavior via law. Or by flailing around like an angry child who can’t prove his point with logic, clinging to the fact that you got his title wrong and calling that, “severely factually” challenging you (see Mr. Turner above).

    Why is incest bad Mr. Turner? Yes, because God says so. Also, because there is genetic damage when children are conceived due to such a joining. Why is polygamy bad? Well, it happened in the Bible. A lot. I don’t believe it is wise due to the natural contention it brings about in a family, but if all of Mr. Turner’s beliefs are based in the Bible, why this glaring difference?

    One final point for Mr. Turner. You said, “I have no problem coming up with reasons to oppose incest as well as adultery, abortion, lying, and cheating. They are grounded in the same morality that opposes homosexuality.” If your reason is the Bible, great. But those are not reasons. They are presuppositions. Ones that you have to convince your opponent of before you can base your logic off of them. If every reason you give for why something is wrong is, “because God told me so,” then you are _never_ going to convince anybody. Saying things like,

    “If there was an argument with a point, maybe it would have some weight. Name calling just shows how afraid you are to engage in any real debate. Which is not surprising, since you can’t even acknowledge when you get basic, easy to check facts wrong.”

    Is inflammatory and more concerned with trying to say you are right than convincing people of your beleifs. This is akin to a four-year-old flailing his arms and saying “Oh yeah, well your stuuupid!”

    Seriously Mitch, put a little love in your arguments. A little concern with those you are trying to convince. Be CHRISTLIKE in your debates. Did Christ sit and yell at the plebeians and sinners that they couldn’t get basic facts strait? No. He sat down and shared Love with them. Try it.

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