Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm never voting for a Republican in Texas again....

Today someone linked to the 2010 Texas Republican Party Platform.  

I was intrigued. I started reading. It took all of about two pages for my mouth to fall open and me to start hoping that this was a proposed platform by some of the more extreme elements. I read the whole document and was completely aghast, and thought that surely, surely, it couldn't be the real, official Platform for the whole party. So I checked the Texas GOP website.

Unfortunately, it really is the 2010 Platform for the Texas Republican Party.

Some of it... some of it I may disagree with heartily but I can understand that it's just another perspective, another political opinion. Some of it I actually agree with. A shocking amount of it really horrifies me.

For instance.

I firmly believe in the importance of the US participating in international organizations like the UN. They are our best hope for keeping some semblance of world dialogue and agreement.

United Nations – We believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of the United States that we immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to, the United Nations.
 They believe we should continue to whole-heartedly support Israel. Look, I like Israel too. But when Israel is unjust and unruly, we can't support them. The belief that Israel is the chosen people of God and thus we must support them to be on God's good side is a very bad argument, because when Israel is unjust in scripture, God still judges them.  Severely. 
Our policy is based on God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.
 Their belief about who should be in the military and who should do what in the military is rather extreme:
...disqualification of homosexuals from military service; immediate discharge of HIV positive individuals; separation of men and women in basic training; exclusion of women from ground and submarine combat roles;
 They give NO ROOM whatsoever in the illegal immigration debate. Some of it I understand. Some of it makes me spittin' mad. I've italicized the parts that kill me.
We oppose illegal immigration, amnesty in any form leading to citizenship, or legal status for illegal immigrants. We support an end to the “catch and release” policy; criminal penalties and aggressive enforcement for those who knowingly employ illegal workers; expeditious hearings on deporting non-violent illegal immigrants; amending the U.S. constitution to suspend automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants; elimination of federal and state funding to cities with “sanctuary” laws; empowering state and local law enforcement agencies with authority and resources to detain illegal immigrants;
 I went to a panel about deportation that was put on by the refugee organization I work for. It was awful (the information given, not the panel). In that light, this makes me angry too:
S.A.V.E. U.S.A. – We support seven key steps to secure America.
S – Secure America’s border; Northern, Southern, and ports.
A – Abolish Adjustment of Status in the United States.
V – Vigorously enforce immigration laws using federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
E – Eliminate government benefits to illegal aliens.
U – Unimpeded deportation process.
S – Stop employment of illegal aliens.
 Unimpeded??? Deportation is not always good. It is dangerous, it can be unjust, it can tear apart families... unimpeded is never good.

Okay, so I get that people really, really don't like illegal immigration. This is just awful though, it's under the section on legal immigration: 
America is a country of immigrants, we should insist that any immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself/herself to the United States. He/she shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else. This is predicated upon the fact that the person is in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance. Anyone who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t American at all. We have room but for one flag, the American Flag. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language. We have room for but one sole loyalty and that is loyalty to the American people.
 Wow.  I have so many friends that hold dual citizenship. It seems they should be kicked out of the country? We have room for one language only?? How backward!

And on capitol punishment: 
Capital Punishment – Properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be swift and unencumbered.
 Umm... even if you believe we should allow capital punishment, why are we so eager? I hate the language of "swift and unencumbered". When you deal with life, you cannot be too careful.

And again, on multiculturalism: 
Multiculturalism – We support teaching the principles articulated by Republican Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that we be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character and we celebrate positive contributions to our society by members of all cultural groups without emphasizing their differences. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of multiculturalism that emphasizes differences among racial and ethnic groups.

I loathe the mentality that doesn't appreciate the differences and variety in America. That is my VERY favorite part of America, it is what has made me like it here again. We actually aren't a melting pot, we're a collage. If this country won't appreciate differences and celebrate multiculturalism, I want no part in it.  I will can't vote for that mentality.

Yeah. Spittin' mad.

There was much more. These are just some of the things that made me MOST mad.

14 comments:

CM said...

That's just crazy! I recently had to register to vote in my new state. They asked if I wanted to pick a party affiliation. I really didn't. Both Republicans and Democrats have certain agendas that I just can't handle.

Young Mom said...

Ugh! And I used to have that mentality. Now just reading it almost makes me want to stay in Canada!

Nate said...

If we only have room for one sole loyalty, I'll just stick with the Cross. Though I don't often use my platform as a pastor to teach this (because some find it anti-American), I think it unwise for any Christian to adhere to one political party. Our allegiance should be that of the Kingdom. When we have dual-allegiance (one to a political party and to the Cross) it will often lead to a muddied crossroads of convictions.

Kacie said...

I'd agree with that. I think if at any time a party does reflect your opinions very well, fine, I have no problem with joining them. However, the "life-long membership" mentality I think can be dangerous, since party loyalties and platforms can shift, and as you all say, no one is specifically Christian.

I know Republicans are just fine in other states and other times. This was really shocking to me. They really did just lose a voter in the next elections, unless their platform changes dramatically soon.

Togenberg said...

Agreed with much of what Nate said and yourself. What a disconcerting platform. And while I don't know for a fact, I will bet that the authors of the platform think of themselves as good Christians and the platform in accordance with scripture.

Anonymous said...

I've not read your blog before today, but after reading your post on Texas, and your sweeping statement "I'm Never Voting for a Republican...", I decided to comment, and pose a couple of questions.

Please explain why this line (that you italicized) is so unsettling to you.

"amnesty in any form leading to citizenship"

Why should those who have gone through the legal process (and requirements) of becoming a citizen, e.g., an ability to read, write, and speak English, be penalized when all one has to do to become a citizen is to come here illegally, and eventually gain citizenship by way of amnesty?

I live in Northern CA, and there is a whole area in our city where I don't even like to go because day workers loiter waiting for work. Try having to circumvent a small crowd outside hanging just to go inside a store. Try having someone who is here illegally defecate on your front lawn. That happened to us when we lived in that area. Try having a Peeping Tom (an illegal Hispanic) look at one of your daughters through the bathroom window. That, too, happened to us.

AND, while it's great to be a voice for the children born to someone here illegally, how do you propose to pay for them? I'm not hard-hearted, but in a practical way, please explain how you're prepared to do that. I know, I know, it's always about money. We live in an area where there are lots of Hispanic kids, and the public school up the street (and, before anyone goes sideways on me, you should know that my husband and daughter both are public school teachers) has a sign that reads, "Free breakfast and lunch for children" for the summer. Who funds that--and why? Most people will buy food before they buy or pay for anything else.

Finally, perhaps you should actually read about MEXICO'S illegal immigration policies before you sound off about ours.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-05-25-mexico-migrants_N.htm?csp=34news

AND, I'm no bleeding heart. I am Libertarian (for the most part), and I am for voting all of 'em out in November--Democrat AND Republican.

And, oh, yes, in what "unjust and unruly" acts has Israel participated, and, by whose standards? Yours?

Sorry, but from my perspective, this post doesn't read as though it's "Well Thought-Out..."

I'm using the "anonymous" identity because I don't have a Google account, or blog (URL).

Ake said...

Dear "Anonymous" -
I'm not American and I am not in any position to comment about amnesty in any form leading to citizenship, but this paragraph that you wrote is the bit I wanted to respond to: "Try having to circumvent a small crowd outside hanging just to go inside a store. Try having someone who is here illegally defecate on your front lawn. That happened to us when we lived in that area. Try having a Peeping Tom (an illegal Hispanic) look at one of your daughters through the bathroom window. That, too, happened to us."

The reason I wanted to respond is that, whilst the last two examples that you mentioned sound like a horrible violation, and would make me absolutely livid if they happened to me or my family (especially the last one - it makes me livid that that happens to anyone and I'm really sorry it happened to you) I nonetheless really don't see the connection between those people's actions and the fact that they are illegal immigrants. Nor do I see the connection between that and the policy statements that Kacie is questioning. In fact, I'm not even sure how you knew that those acts were done by illegal immigrants.

As for the children born to someone illegally - the point about money is a good point, and an important one - but the same point could be made about Israel - where is the money going to come from to wholeheartedly support Israel? I guess it's always a really hard decision in any form of leadership how to balance what you believe to be the right decision against what you can afford. But you've still got to know what you think is right, and what is so wrong that you are not willing to compromise on it. It's not ALL about the money!

As I say, I'm not American, but I found the language quoted in the platform shocking and some of the policy statements unbelievable - no homosexuals or HIV positive in the military?? Swift and unencumbered capital punishment? Only room for one language, and that's English??! [What about the remaining languages that were there before English - is there any room for them?]

I know you're just saying your perspective and that's great so I don't want to attack your opinion at all; just to say that I'm impressed with how well thought out Kacie is - keep reading and I'm sure in a few posts time you'll agree!

Best.

Kacie said...

Hey anon - sorry I failed to respond to you. I was overseas and forgot about your comment by the time I returned until Rachel's comment reminded me. I do agree with everything she said.

You asked why I dislike the platform's denial of "amnesty in any form leading to citizenship". Quite frankly, I believe there are a great many situations in which illegal immigrants should be given amnesty and a route to citizenship.

I have worked with a number of illegal immigrants. All that I have known came here to find jobs for their family. They were VERY family oriented, very hard-working, and actually rather looked down on the "lazy" people they came across in the slums of Chicago. I found them all delightful, and I see no reason why people like this should not be given a route to try for citizenship. The reason they came illegally in the first place is because our route to work permits and legal citizenship is incredibly difficult and limited.

How do I propose we pay for the care of these new citizens? I propose we pay for them the same way we pay for ourselves. As soon as they become legal, they pay all taxes... thus their presence actually makes us money rather than saps the money. The faster we educate them and integrate them into our society, the faster they become productive members.

As for what "unjust and unruly" acts Israel has done, I actually never said that they have acted unjustly. I do protest, though, that the platform stats unequivocal support for Israel, even if they DO act unjustly. I absolutely disagree with this position. I believe we should only support Israel when their actions are fair. I will say now that I do believe a number of their actions on the West Bank have been very unjust, but that's just a side point. The point is that the unequivocal support of ANYONE is never good.

Cat said...

I just read your blog again tonight, and did a quick follow up read of your comment to mine, and the one prior to yours.

As an aside, you DID say that when "Israel is unjust and unruly..." I placed quotations around those words indicating that they came directly from you.

As to paying for the children of illegal immigrants, it's all well and good to state that taxes will be paid, etc., and that will offset any expenses that are incurred by their presence in the US. But, that's pie in the sky. The country is broke now. These are perilous times.

As to Israel, I would love to see the platform for "unequivocal support" to which you are referring. Surely you jest. There are very few standing w/Israel, and Obama hasn't taken many steps to show support for the Israelis. Do you condemn the Iranian government's "platform (to use your word)" to exterminate the Jews? There is a huge hue and cry by many of world "leaders" to go after Israel. Think Chavez, et al.

Finally, I read your latest post tonight, as well as the July 29th post. I really liked the July 29the post a whole lot. I have seen God work in unbelievable ways, I have seen changed lives as a result of the Gospel, and I have read testimonies that are a tribute to our great God from people who are dreadfully ill . What an encouragement. One thing, though, that I found interesting is that you point to the fact that the one who was converted was not due to "a human manipulation." BUT, how can anyone's heart truly be changed by human manipulation? No one can accept Jesus by faith the manipulation of anyone. It is completely a work of the Spirit. I suppose someone can manipulate young children (or others) into making some sort of "decision," but then that wouldn't necessarily be real. Time would tell.

Anyway, thanks for your response, and thanks for the encouragement that came from you speaking to the tangible ways in which you've witnessed the works of God. The Gospel is the ONLY thing that makes lasting change in the hearts of men and women.

As to paying for the children of illegal immigrants, it's all well and good to state that taxes will be paid, etc., and that will offset any expenses that are incurred by their presence in the US. But, that's pie in the sky. The country is broke now. These are perilous times.

As to Israel, I would love to see the platform for unequivocal response to which you are referring. Surely you jest. There are very few standing w/Israel, and Obama hasn't taken many steps to show support for the Israelis. Do you condemn the Iranian government's "platform (to use your word)" to exterminate the Jews? There is a huge hue and cry by many of world "leaders" to go after Israel. Think Chavez, et al.

Finally, I read your latest post tonight, as well as the July 29th post. I really liked the July 29the post a whole lot. I have seen God work in unbelievable ways, I have seen changed lives as a result of the Gospel, and I have read testimonies of people dreadfully ill that are a tribute to our great God. What an encouragement. One thing, though, that I found interesting is that you point to the fact that the one who was converted was not due to "a human manipulation." BUT, how can anyone's heart truly be changed by human manipulation? No one can accept Jesus by faith the manipulation of anyone. It is completely a work of the Spirit. I suppose someone can manipulate young children (or others) into making some sort of "decision," but then that wouldn't necessarily be real. Time would tell.

Anyway, thanks for your response, and thanks for the encouragement that came from you speaking to the tangible ways in which you've witnessed the works of God.

Kacie said...

Thanks for your comment...
In my words about Israel being unjust and unruly, the point was that in that theoretical situation, we can't support them. I made accusation of specific current unjustness... but that's a whole different post.

No, I would not stand with Iran. Their leadership is certainly unjust, and thus we should not support them. I don't think it's an either/or situation. We can't just say... Iran is wrong, let's support the other guy. If the other guy is wrong too, we shouldn't support him. I agree with you that Obama certainly doesn't unequivocally support Israel (something I appreciate about him), but the Texas 2010 Republican Party plan form advocates for unequivocal support.

I also agree that no one's heart is changed by human manipulation. I do believe, however, that a lot of what we call missions work ends up being manipulation, though usually that's not the original intent. I grew up overseas as the child of missionaries, and I think I've seen both sides. In some cases, a heart is changed, people genuinely want to know this God of ours. In other cases, they just want to please the white people in front of them who have just read through a tract and asked those who want to be saved to raised their hands. There's a lot of issues with some forms of evangelism. That statement that caught your eye about human manipulation reflects my comfort with the conversion I watched. I felt that it was fair, that we only answered questions that he truly wanted answers to, that we prayed with him when he was ready. Nothing was pushed too much.

That's a great thing.

As for the fact that the country is broke now, all the more reason to legalize immigrants quickly, so that they quickly becoming tax payers. ;)

Cat said...

If you trust government to use the tax money of immigrants, and spend it wisely, then you need a reality check.

Just as I don't want my kids dependent on my husband and me for the rest of their lives, I also don't want a culture of reliance on the government. Do you honestly believe that the government is altruistic in their intent to legalize Hispanics? Or, do you not think that the reason is more sinister, i.e., that they represent a voting bloc that just might help them win elections? What the government does is encourage a dependence on them (via US, the taxpayer, via the government) so that they have people on public assistance for YEARS. How does that produce people who want to work, and be productive, and self-reliant? The government knowingly creates a culture of dependence, and then takes advantage of those who live according to that dependence. There are people of all ethnic backgrounds trapped by the same bondage. I believe that those in power are snakes, and wolves in sheep's clothing, and like all of us, will one day stand before God. I don't pretend to be a spokesperson for God, but I think of James 5, in which the writer warns that God hears the workers who have been ripped off, and He will (eventually) take action.

I would be curious to know whether or not you've lived around the illegal culture in the US, and where? I have, as I wrote in my initial comment. I also worked in the mortgage industry, and I can't tell you how many times we would work a loan (meaning hours and hours of resources) for Hispanic homebuyers, only to learn that their SS #s were fraudulent. This is business as usual in the illegal immigrant culture. One of the borrowers for whom we tried to process paperwork, was about to lose a $3000 deposit because of a false SS #, and a loan that fell through as a result. He went to an agency that represented Hispanics, and we were threatened with all kinds of nonsens (no bodily threats or anything of that nature), even though that was clearly written in the contract. My husband and I lost a deposit for the same reason, i.e., we made an offer, and then rescinded it. We had no agency to whom we could plead our case.

Are you as much of an advocate for people here illegally from different countries? If you want your tax dollars spent supporting them, great. I don't, however, choose to spend my money that way.

Do not misunderstand what I'm saying. I completely agree that many Hispanics here illegally are hard-working, gracious folks. My daughter, a college student, is fluent in Spanish, and loves the culture. All of my kids go annually to Mexico on missions trips, and come back sans cool jackets, sports hats, visors, etc., having given them away. Almost everyone who asks money of us, gets it (we are decidedly not flush), from the panhandler, to kids who are going on missions trips who write letters asking for money. I think that the church should be the entity by which people are helped, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. Our church has a Spanish ministry, and has recently opened a resource center (in the area in which I used to live where there are illegal immigrants) to assist with clothing, food, etc., regardless of citizenship. Those kinds of questions aren't asked before helping them. I am all for that. BUT, I still don't think that laws should be broken in the name of "helping" people. You're naive if you think that the government doesn't have an agenda.

How 'bout you going off on the Mexican government for their Draconian immigration laws?

Finally, all you had to say was that one reason that you like Obama is because of his position on Israel, and I have a clearer idea of where you are. Yeah, that's good reason to like the guy...forget his stance on abortion...

I think that I've used enough of your space, so I'll sign off. Thanks for letting me sound off.

Cat said...

If you trust government to use the tax money of immigrants, and spend it wisely, then you need a reality check.

Just as I don't want my kids dependent on my husband and me for the rest of their lives, I also don't want a culture of reliance on the government. Do you honestly believe that the government is altruistic in their intent to legalize Hispanics? Or, do you not think that the reason is more sinister, i.e., that they represent a voting bloc that just might help them win elections? What the government does is encourage a dependence on them (via US, the taxpayer, via the government) so that they have people on public assistance for YEARS. How does that produce people who want to work, and be productive, and self-reliant? The government knowingly creates a culture of dependence, and then takes advantage of those who live according to that dependence. There are people of all ethnic backgrounds trapped by the same bondage. I believe that those in power are snakes, and wolves in sheep's clothing, and like all of us, will one day stand before God. I don't pretend to be a spokesperson for God, but I think of James 5, in which the writer warns that God hears the workers who have been ripped off, and He will (eventually) take action.

I would be curious to know whether or not you've lived around the illegal culture in the US, and where? I have, as I wrote in my initial comment. I also worked in the mortgage industry, and I can't tell you how many times we would work a loan (meaning hours and hours of resources) for Hispanic homebuyers, only to learn that their SS #s were fraudulent. This is business as usual in the illegal immigrant culture. One of the borrowers for whom we tried to process paperwork, was about to lose a $3000 deposit because of a false SS #, and a loan that fell through as a result. He went to an agency that represented Hispanics, and we were threatened with all kinds of nonsens (no bodily threats or anything of that nature), even though that was clearly written in the contract. My husband and I lost a deposit for the same reason, i.e., we made an offer, and then rescinded it. We had no agency to whom we could plead our case.

Are you as much of an advocate for people here illegally from different countries? If you want your tax dollars spent supporting them, great. I don't, however, choose to spend my money that way.

Do not misunderstand what I'm saying. I completely agree that many Hispanics here illegally are hard-working, gracious folks. My daughter, a college student, is fluent in Spanish, and loves the culture. All of my kids go annually to Mexico on missions trips, and come back sans cool jackets, sports hats, visors, etc., having given them away. Almost everyone who asks money of us, gets it (we are decidedly not flush), from the panhandler, to kids who are going on missions trips who write letters asking for money. I think that the church should be the entity by which people are helped, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. Our church has a Spanish ministry, and has recently opened a resource center (in the area in which I used to live where there are illegal immigrants) to assist with clothing, food, etc., regardless of citizenship. Those kinds of questions aren't asked before helping them. I am all for that. BUT, I still don't think that laws should be broken in the name of "helping" people. You're naive if you think that the government doesn't have an agenda.

How 'bout you going off on the Mexican government for their Draconian immigration laws?

Finally, all you had to say was that one reason that you like Obama is because of his position on Israel, and I have a clearer idea of where you are. Yeah, that's good reason to like the guy...forget his stance on abortion...

I think that I've used enough of your space, so I'll sign off. Thanks for letting me sound off.

Kacie said...

Well, if you don't trust the government to use the tax money of immigrants, it means you don't trust the government to spend the tax money of regular people, and in general don't trust their financial dealings period... so then how do you expect any government action on the immigrant problem to make any positive difference any direction? It seems as though you're arguing that any action the government takes will be hidden evil.

Do I trust the government? Not necessarily. I do, however, appreciate our representative system. I have known people that were put in elected office, and they were usually elected because they were liked in their area. I do believe power corrupts, I believe we also have a great many good people in our government as well. It's not that I like our government or dislike our government. I like and dislike policies. I certainly don't believe they are all snakes or wolves in sheeps clothing, though I'm sure some are.

I have indeed lived around the illegal culture in the US. That began in high school when my family came back to the US and lived in a suburb of Chicago that was 60% Hispanic. I actually loved the school I went to and enjoyed being in a majority Hispanic school much more than I'd enjoyed my majority Caucasian school in Kansas. When I returned to the US again for college I lived in downtown Chicago. The jobs I took to work through college often had me working alongside immigrants - legal and illegal. I stood and watched one of the largest immigration reform marches in US history - my office emptied for it, and I supported them. Those people were my friends.

I also work with refugees - people who arrive here legally but don't gain citizenship automatically. That's a different perspective on the story - it's immensely difficult for them as well.

I do believe the church should help people. I also believe that in a country where our government represents the people, the government's agenda should reflect the heart of the people. Thus, if the country cares about the poor, the immigrant, etc... so should the government.

I have no desire to go off on the Mexican government on their immigration laws because I am not a citizen of Mexico. I am an American. I care about American policies. Again - since our country has a representative government, I think it is me responsibility to push as much as possible that our government act justly. The Mexican government should too, but I have no say in their country, and I do have say in mine.

This isn't the spot to talk about Obama. During the election I had a number of long discussions and online blogs and debates about Obama, etc. I wasn't going to vote for him, then after studying policy I chose to. As a Christian. I don't believe he is a perfect man, obviously. I do, however, hate the slander and gossip that I see Christians put out about him.

Cat said...

I merely wrote about Obama, because you brought up how his stance on Israel made you like him all the more. Nothing more, nothing less.

And, yes, I don't trust government to spend tax money wisely. I don't think that you have to look too hard to understand why.

Oh, man, I didn't realize that one of my comments was repeated throughout the comment. Sorry 'bout that. And, no, it isn't because I thought it was worthy of repeating...not even a little.

Enjoy your weekend.

All Best.