Thursday, December 20, 2007

HSLDA and Mike Huckabee

For over a generation HSLDA has been a standard bearer in the Christian homeschool community, shining a beacon of hope and encouragement to many families seeking to honor the Lord in the education of their children. They have worked tirelessly and very successfully in the federal and state legistatures and judicatories to remove legal impediments to homeschooling.

However, their leadership with respect to the executive branch has been less helpful and even downright dissapointing. I was disappointed when they so strongly supported President Bush in the 2004 election instead of the much more qualified Michael Perouka. The disasterous presidency of George Bush in waging an unbiblical (unjust) war, promoting and signing secret unconstitutional laws in the name of preserving the very constitution he's destroying, and in significantly increasing the already astronomical debt has justified that concern and disappointment. According to Jesus, "...wisdom is justified of all her children." (Luke 7:35)

Recently their PAC endorsed Huckabee on the pragmatic grounds that he is the only candidate that can beat Clinton. However Huckabee has a number of troubling deficiencies in his positions and record as Governor.

These are not the sorts of positions that comport with either a constitutional or biblical understanding of civil government. The Club for Growth sums it up well in their overall assement of Huckabee saying,

Governor Huckabee’s record on pro-growth, free-market policies is a mixed bag, with pro-growth positions on trade and tort reform, mixed positions on school choice, political speech, and entitlement reform, and profoundly anti-growth positions on taxes, spending, and government regulation.

The best spin one could put on this mixed bag is that in trying to be all things to all people he has lost his bearings and ceased to be a man of principle and integrity. This is not the character of a man I would like to see in the White House. How else could one claim to be a friend of homeschooling and a friend of the NEA? The NEA attempted to shutdown homeschooling nationwide in 1994 by forcing all teachers (including parents ) to be certified. Thankfully HSLDA was instrumental in getting those provisions of HR6 removed.

He doesn't even believe in the Genesis account of God creating the world in 6 days some 6000 years ago. If he wasn't an ordained gospel minister, I might not mention this. But his lack of belief undermines the gospel of which he claims to be a minister. If one doesn't accept a relatively young age for the earth, there are two choices and neither of them good. If he believes there were long ages before Adam, then he has death before the fall. This undermines the integrity of the gospel message that death is the result of sin. If he believes there were long ages after Adam then he undermines the integrity of the Genesis account of history. If you tell me I can't trust the Bible to be 100% accurate in Genesis, how do you expect me to believe that the NT message of Christ's death and resurrection is 100% accurate?

Some might ask, "Wouldn't you rather have him over Clinton?" Well, I'm no fan of Hillary; but if I were to compare 12 years under the Bushes to the 8 years under Bill Clinton, I'd take Bill. Why? Because Christians realized they had a man in the house they needed to keep an eye on and they did. It was under Clinton's watch that republicans finally regained control of the house after 40 consecutive years under Democratic control. Clinton did a number of bad things; many people associated with him mysteriously die. But the cumulative damage he did to America's economy and national sovereignty pale compared with the damage done by the Bush team.

Thus the following open letter to HSLDA:

December 20, 2007

Michael Smith
President, Home School Legal Defense
One Patrick Henry Circle
Purcellville, VA 20132

Dear Mr. Smith:

As a long time member of HSLDA and former CAP volunteer who was part of the defeat of HR6, I was very disappointed to receive the HSLDA PAC endorsement of Mike Huckabee for President. I grant he is a better candidate than some. But as one who has lobbied senators regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and authored a homeschooling polemic from the field of money, it is clear to me that of all the candidates, Ron Paul has both the best understanding of the issues facing our nation and the best solutions to those issues.

While Governor Huckabee appointed a home-schooling father to the Arkansas Board of Education, he also signed legislation that lowered the compulsory age from 6 to 5, as well as HB 1724, a bill which even HSLDA opposed (Court Report V15N3). While his supporters argue that signing the bill was necessary to prevent a worse bill from passing, I disagree. He could have vetoed it or let it become law without signing it. His signature on that bill demonstrates an unwillingness to stand on principles or an inability to stand up to those who don't. Even more troubling, the NEA, an organization inimical to homeschooling, has endorsed Governor Huckabee. Dr. Paul, on the other hand, wants to dismantle the federal Department of Education. He will never get an NEA endorsement because that desire is not an empty campaign promise. He consistently votes in accordance with his principles and has never voted for a tax hike. Such unwavering integrity has earned the respect of even those colleagues who disagree with him.

It's encouraging to know that Governor Huckabee is opposed to the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child, but I prefer Dr. Paul's constitutional stance rejecting all UN resolutions and getting us out of the UN. And while Governor Huckabee believes that the Fair Tax would be better for homeschooling families in comparison to our current tax system, Dr. Paul's plan to abolish the IRS and repeal the fraudulently ratified 16th amendment would do even more to decrease our tax burden.

As a graduate of the Naval Academy, a former submarine officer, and student of military ethics, I appreciate Dr. Paul's clear understanding of just war and his willingness to apply this Biblical doctrine to our foreign policy. The depth of his thinking in this area stands in sharp contrast to Mr. Huckabee’s inability to give a constitutionally correct answer when asked about initiation of war during a recent debate. While Dr. Paul may not wear his Christian faith on his sleeve, I think many of his positions are far more Biblical than Mr. Huckabee's. In addition, Dr. Paul's family represents the fruit of a godly man.

Pragmatic support of a candidate with significant deficiencies because he is the best “electable” candidate is not the type of thinking that threw off British tyranny and won our independence. "Give me liberty or give me death" type of thinking rallied Americans to the cause of freedom. As Patrick Henry College’s namesake said, “It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentleman may cry peace, peace – but there is no peace. The war has actually begun. ... Is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery [aka The Patriot Act]?”[1]
But far from being unelectable, Ron Paul is a top tier candidate. He recently raised more actual money in one day than any other primary candidate in US history, he has more grass roots support than any other candidate (what other candidate can raise $6MM in one day from small individual donations), he has motivated more unregistered citizens to register than any other candidate, he has more meet-up groups than any other candidate, and has such strong support that he places on political polls in which he is not even listed. Ron Paul is uniting a divided country.

I have followed Ron Paul's voting record since his first Congressional term in the mid 1970's. His consistent principled voting won my admiration then; his unwavering commitment to those same principles 30 years later has only increased my enthusiastic support, and made him the first political candidate to whom I have ever donated. Dr. Paul is a upright man who fears God, hates covetousness (big government), and speaks the truth regardless of what the polls might be saying. I will vote for Dr. Ron Paul for President of the United States knowing this is one man I can depend on to do after the election exactly what he promised before the election.

I ask the HSLDA PAC to reconsider their endorsement in favor of Dr. Ron Paul.

Thank you for your time.
For Christ’s Crown & Covenant,

Peter S. Allison

[1] Henry Wirt, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches, Vol. 1. , [Charles Scribner & Sons, 1891], p 266.