IFAS | Freedom Writer | May/June 1998 | phillips.html

Howard Phillips' speech at CNP

Woody Jenkins introduced Howard Phillips as "the one person we can count on to tell the truth and tell it like it is." What follows is a condensed version of the speech Phillips gave at the recent Council for National Policy meeting held in McLean, Virginia.

* * *

The opinions you are about to hear are not necessarily those of the officers, staff, or the membership of the Council for National Policy. But I appreciate, nonetheless, your forbearance in giving ear to them, and I especially want to thank Foster Friess and Morton Blackwell for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today on a subject to which God has called me to devote every gift which He has given me, including my resources, my reputation, and my life itself namely, the restoration of our once good and great nation to a role of service, example, and leadership in His Kingdom.

It has been my privilege to be part of the Council for National Policy since Tim LaHaye conceived it and invited me and a handful of others to join in advancing his vision some years ago.

There is really only one sound, overriding purpose for political participation, and that is to fulfill our Biblically mandated office to be elders in the gates, even as we are mindful that civil government represents only one area of governance with God's Kingdom.

Politics is an important zone, but not the only zone for Godly governance. Yes, there IS a special role for CIVIL government. As spelled out in the Book of Romans it is to be a ministry of justice and a terror to evildoers. I do not propose that civil government can ever be an instrument of salvation. That is a matter of grace and faith.

Just as no one of us would surrender the law system which governs his family, neither should we, as a nation, surrender the Christian legal heritage which undergirds our civic order.

Neither our own rationalizations, nor even unanimous decisions of the US Supreme Court can make legal what God has declared to be illegal. Homosexuality is an abomination proscribed by the laws of God. No human law should put us at odds with God's instruction. Similarly, the intentional killing of an innocent human being is always illegal to God, whatever may be the opinion of appointed judges or elected politicians always illegal.

Each of the states at the time of our founding had explicitly Christian legal systems rooted in the British common law and traceable to Holy Scriptures. Neither Congress nor any other component of the federal government had any right to interfere with those Christian law systems.

Today, America is in trouble because we have departed from the original premise, the original design, the original contract. It does not have to be this way. We can return to Godly, Biblically based constitutional government.

Instead of determining what kind of cultural messages are emitted by the National Endowment for the Arts, we can and should remove every single penny from its coffers.

Instead of waging rear-guard actions against special legal protections and privileges for practitioners of buggery, we can terminate billions of dollars in federal subsidies which are given to militant homosexuals that they may propagandize for and implement their agenda for evangelization and recruitment in the name of AIDS education.

Instead of merely opposing those abortions which are three inches short of infanticide, we can eliminate ALL legal abortion in the United States by appointing US Attorneys mandated to enforce the constitutional requirement that "no person may be deprived of life except by due process of law," including even those persons who have just recently been conceived in the wombs of their mothers.

However, in order for us to achieve victory, first we must seek it, rejecting the current conservative political strategy of "losing it as slowly as possible," and reminding ourselves that going over the cliff at a slightly slower rate of speed simply delays our arrival at an unwanted destination.

If you are a political leader, you have no moral right to ask anyone else for time, money, or reputation unless your goal is victory for the cause you proclaim. And, if you are a political follower, you are foolish to waste your time, money, and reputation on those who have no objective greater than winning the next election and remaining in office.

Yes, I hear the message that you can do more in office that out of office and I fully agree with that. But, THAT fact IS distinguishable from the false claim that retention in office is, in and of itself, a worthy objective.

A political party which is divided as to principles and policy objectives is a party which cannot lead a coherent, fundamental change of policy direction, even if it has written the rules so as to keep itself on the playing field long after the fans have stopped cheering.

The Republican Party has become the proverbial "house divided against itself." The Republican Party has lost its moral energy, and, indeed, its raison d'etre becomes ever less discernable with each new retreat from principle and betrayal of commitment.

This state of division in the Republican Party is an insuperable problem. No matter how many platforms conservatives write, the division will remain. To unite the Republican Party, Christians and conservatives would be obliged to surrender their agenda, even were they to control its leadership and choose its nominees.

The Republican Party is no longer a coalition to change policy, but rather a conspiracy to hold power. But the conspiracy no longer works because so many of those who have been gathered together under the banner of the elephant are at odds with one another.

However, it is argued that a big tent is needed to gain and hold office. It IS true that status quo Republicans do in fact need Christian and conservative support to stay in office. But it is NOT true that Christians, conservatives, and constitutionalists need to be unequally yoked with those by whom we and our principles are held in profound contempt.

Indeed, it is the "lowest common denominator" MAJORITY strategy of the Republican Party which is at the heart of many of its problems.

The answer for us is to weld together those who are in agreement, to build a new coalition which could elect a PLURALITY president who will govern by maintaining and building on his plurality strength and translating it into sufficient support in Congress to have his vetoes sustained.

It is easier for us to prevail with a united plurality that a divided majority. The genius of our electoral college system under the Constitution is that, in the context of 51 separate electoral contests, a united plurality force, which brings together millions of pro-family voters committed to one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all, and the comprehensive defense of our God-given rights to life, liberty, and property, can win, state-by-state, 100 percent of each such state's presidential electors even while commanding only a plurality of each such state's popular votes.

My friends, it is time to leave the "political Titanic" on which the conservative movement has for too long booked passage. Instead, it is our task to build an ark so that we can and will be ready to renew and restore our nation and our culture when God brings the tide to flood.

Let us act now to prepare and plan for the renewal of America's role as the leading force for Godly leadership in the restoration of western Christian civilization.

But, unless we have a political party of our own, committed to these objectives, our intentions and our efforts will be unavailing. The good news is we have such a party one we have been working to build since 1989 and which came into existence in 1992. It is called the US Taxpayers Party. In 1992, our party's national ticket was on the ballot in 21 states, in 1996, 39 states, and in the year 2000, God willing, ballot status will be achieved in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Ladies and gentlemen, I urge you to join with me in rejecting the politics of retreat, defeat, sellout, and surrender as we raise once again the banner of truth, demanding justice, expecting victory, and marching forward as members of Gideon's Army, faithful to our duty, knowing that God's will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The United States Taxpayers Party is an ark in progress. It was made for you. In its behalf, I invite you to come aboard.

This speech was edited for length.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.