Please Reconsider: An Open Letter to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

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Recently by Joel Poindexter: What It Really Means To Support theTroops

     

Recently it was announced that a number of Evangelical Christian leaders met in Houston to choose their candidate for president. This group decided to endorse Rick Santorum, a decision that mirrors your own the week of the Iowa caucuses. It is my hope that the two of you will reconsider your choice of candidates this election season, and instead of backing Santorum, use your influence in support of Dr. Ron Paul. Below I’ve outlined many very important reasons why Dr. Paul is the best choice for Evangelical Christians.

I’ll begin with an issue very dear to our hearts: the subject of children. A family man, Dr. Paul has been married to his wife Carol for more than fifty years, and together they have five children, eighteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. As you may know, Dr. Paul is a medical doctor, specializing in obstetrics. During his career in the medical practice he’s helped deliver over 4,000 babies.

A champion of the unborn, Dr. Paul believes that “unless we understand that life is precious we can’t protect liberty.” Because he recognizes the federal government never had the proper legal authority to decide the issue, he has repeatedly proposed legislation to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction. Such an act would effectively and immediately overturn Roe v. Wade. Working to appoint sympathetic justices to the Supreme Court who will hopefully overturn that decision at some point in the future has been fruitless thus far. Also, it is constitutionally speaking, not the proper remedy. We can't hope to have lasting change by circumventing the legal system and forever having the prospect of another court ruling overturn the previous decision.

A constitutional amendment is also, practically speaking, a difficult if not impossible task. Instead, Dr. Paul believes it is with the states that the issue should be dealt. Ultimately however, it is up to the traditional, as well as Biblical, pillars of morality — the Church and the Family — to change the culture. In the Book of Jeremiah we are told that: "…Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm…." Dr. Paul writes in The Revolution that “[w]e seriously mistake the function of government if we think its job is to [...] supplant the role of all those subsidiary bodies in society that have responsibility for forming our moral character.”

It is perhaps adherence to the constitution that most sets Dr. Paul apart from his peers in the congress and the remaining presidential candidates. He holds his oath of office in the highest regard and has never supported any measure which cannot be justified under that charter. Whether it is in matters of foreign policy or domestic legislation, nothing which he votes for violates his oath to support and defend the constitution. In this way he has remained faithful to the instructions in Numbers 30:2: "If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth."

As you're aware, Article 1, Section 8 prescribes in detail the specific powers granted to the federal government. In this way, arbitrary rule is meant to be curtailed. Dr. Paul notes the importance of this when taken in the context of 1st Samuel, Chapter 8, where Israel asks to be ruled by a king. God warns that by rejecting His rule and looking instead to man, that is arbitrary governance, much hardship and suffering will follow. He warns the people of Israel that war, conscription, taxes, and slavery will be imposed by the king. In the same way, without respecting the limits enumerated in the constitution, the very same problems will blight the American people, as history has shown.

The principled protection of innocent life does not end with abortion, but is consistently applied to foreign policy as well. A subscriber of St. Thomas Aquinas' Just War Theory, Dr. Paul reserves his support for committing troops only when such actions are in accordance with the doctrine. The action must be purely defensive in nature, have clearly established objectives, target only those responsible for aggression, and be lawfully declared by congress. In accordance with this he voted to deploy troops in Afghanistan to bring those responsible for the 9/11 attacks to justice. In such matters he believes the U.S. government must observe the Golden Rule and keep in line with the teachings from Matthew 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Israel, and America's support for her people, is a principal issue in modern politics. Again, Dr. Paul is at the forefront and, perhaps counterintuitively, is the most supportive of the Israeli people. Often criticized for his strict opposition to foreign aid, detractors infer that cutting such aid will jeopardize the security and wellbeing of the Israelis. This is hardly the case.

It's important to note that as a whole, Israel's neighbors, some of whom are hostile, receive vastly more aid from the U.S. than does the Israeli government. Eliminating aid to all countries, as Dr. Paul advocates, would on net benefit Israel, which has a much more vibrant economy. Our aid payments make up a small fraction of that country's Gross Domestic Product. And, like other forms of welfare, the aid only encourages dependency. Such dependency on foreigners runs counter to the principles on which the present state of Israel was founded, namely Independence and Self Reliance.

During the 1980s tension between Israel and Iraq came to a head, and when the U.S. congress addressed the conflict, Dr. Paul was the only congressman who voted in favor of Israeli sovereignty. If Israel is to be an independent nation than the U.S. should not be dictating her trade relations, the terms of her treaties, or under what conditions she may defend herself.

As with many other issues, Dr. Paul has been virtually alone on the national stage in his support of home schooling. In fact, he’s the only candidate to list the freedom of parents to be in charge of their children’s education as part of his platform. His dedication to protecting the rights of home school families is unmatched among the presidential contenders. This comes from a fundamental belief in the family being essential to the education and upbringing of a child.

During his time in congress he's sponsored legislation to provide tax credits for home schooling families in order to help pay for school supplies and tutoring. Additionally, he has put forth legislation to ensure the diplomas of home school graduates are recognized at the federal level. As president, Dr. Paul promises to veto any bill which interferes with the rights of parents to choose the educational path for their children.

For too long the federal government has been living beyond its means, and like a household, it must be disciplined to prevent insolvency and ensure independence from outside control. Dr. Paul understands all too well the wisdom found in Proverbs 22:7 that “…the borrower is servant to the lender.” For this reason he has proposed one trillion dollars in budget cuts his first year in office, with the goal of a balanced budget by year three.

No other candidate has proposed such dramatic cuts, nor have any contenders displayed such a principled position regarding government finances. In all twelve of his terms in the House of Representatives not once has he ever voted for an unbalanced budget and he has never voted to raise taxes. Out of principle he refuses to participate in the congressional pension, returns unused funds from his congressional office budget to the Treasury each year, and as president will accept no more than the median U.S. salary of $39,336.

Lastly, Dr. Paul is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He writes that he "[has] accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate." Raised in the Lutheran Church, he is now a Southern Baptist. When asked about his faith Dr. Paul will at times demure, having said that he "[doesn't] speak on it in great detail during my speeches because I want to avoid any appearance of exploiting it for political gain." He instead lets his actions reflect his faith, and "[lets his] light so shine before men, that they may see [his] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven," as we are called to do in Matthew 5:16.

I admire the example each of you set as Christians, as loving parents, and as a devoted couple. I hope to continue learning from your example both on your television show and in your writing. I urge you to further research Dr. Paul's ideas by visiting his website, viewing his speeches on YouTube, and reading his books, The Revolution, and in particular, Liberty Defined. Thank you for taking the time to read my appeal.

Joel Poindexter [send him mail] is a student at Johnson County Community College working toward a degree in economics. He lives near Kansas City with his wife and daughter. See his blog.

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