Statement of Principles
- 1. God is the Creator and the giver of rights. The inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inherent in man's nature because God, the Creator, has given each human being freedom of will.
- 2. The purpose of government is to secure mankind's God-given freedoms, not to be the provider for every need.
- 3. The Bible contains knowledge of "all things that pertain to life and godliness." (II Peter 1:3), including the basic principles of freedom and good government. By searching the Scriptures, we can find solutions to problems of governing. The Scriptures provide a wealth of knowledge concerning how leaders should conduct themselves, how nations should be governed, how freedom can be secured for mankind and information on a wide array of issues and subjects that can be used to establish wise governmental policies.
- 4. The family is the basic unit of society, not the individual. Individuals each have God-given rights, but in the family the process of learning is begun and the development of moral character takes place. The family is the most important educational institution. Families should be committed to the principles of the Bible in order to have a full and healthy family life and a strong and healthy nation. Without the moral compass maintained by strong, healthy families, it becomes difficult to maintain a strong republic.
- 5. The education of the citizen is the key to maintaining our liberty, our republic and our free enterprise economic system. A moral code or system of ethics must be part of this training. Biblical or Christian ethics, a system based on the Bible, was at the basis of our founding as a free nation. A system of Christian ethics offers a set of standards that are based on unchanging truths that honor God and man. It is vital that Christian men and women in our nation take actions that are consistent with biblical ethics. As it has been said, "The surest way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
- 6. A basic understanding of the principles of freedom and an understanding of what constitutes good government should be part of the education of every citizen. In addition, each citizen has a responsibility to inform her or himself about the actions of our government so they can make sound decisions when voting to elect our governmental leaders. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
- 7. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are based on biblical principles, which are the real genius of these documents. When principles of the Bible are used in framing and operating a government, the people are blessed and the nation prospers.
- 8. Government in the United States derives its power from the consent of the governed, as the Declaration of Independence so eloquently states. When government abuses its power, it is the right of the people to elect new leaders who will serve with integrity and protect the liberty of the citizens. Government is to be the servant of the governed. The people do not exist to serve the government and its interests.
- 9. The United States Constitution established a republic or a representative form of government. It is not a democracy, which is a system of government ruled by the majority. Our republic is based on the rule of law and is grounded in principles of liberty, justice and the rights of property. The rights of the individual are protected from the whims of a misguided majority, thereby securing great personal freedom. The Constitution guarantees many of these freedoms in the Bill of Rights.
- 10. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from making any law that respects an establishment of religion or prohibits the free exercise of religious freedom. This does not mean that the First Congress that approved this amendment meant to eliminate all Christian influence from the political life of our nation. The intent was to guarantee that no religious group would be given preference over another and that all citizens would be free to participate in the religion of their choice or no religion at all. The founders of our nation, most of whom were Christians themselves, naturally assumed that Christianity would be part of the life of our nation and provide the foundation for the morals of its people.
- 11. Because man has a sin nature, the powers of government must be limited so no single public official or public body can infringe on the liberty of the citizen. Through a system of checks and balances, our Constitution helps to preserve our liberty and protect the citizen from the effects of unchecked governmental action.
- 12. The republic established by our founding fathers was to be limited in nature. The responsibilities of national defense, a system of courts for the administration of justice, and local services such as police and fire protection are legitimate purposes of government. It is the right of the people, acting through their elected representatives, to limit the powers and authority of government, thereby protecting the rights and the property of each citizen and the fruits of their labor.
- 13. Government governs best when it is closest to the people. The maintenance of local and state governmental institutions is critical to the maintenance of liberty and the health of the nation. The federal structure of government in our nation requires that local governments administer local programs and decide local matters; that states administer state programs and state affairs; and that the federal government focus on matters that are truly national in nature.
- 14. The free enterprise economic system, also referred to as the free market, is the companion to the republic. Both representative government and free market principles are based on freedom of will or freedom of choice. Through the power of free choice, we elect our leaders. Through individual, free-will decisions, we vote with our dollars in the marketplace and make choices about goods and services. A government that supports and protects the free enterprise system is a government that respects the liberty of the individual and helps to secure the prosperity of our nation.