Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Thank you very much for your prompt response to our Christian Action Network Policy Survey.
The Christian Action Network (CAN) represents 60-member organisations concerned for Biblical Reformation and Spiritual Revival. For over 24 years CAN (formerly United Christian Action) and its members have been committed to making a positive difference in social and moral issues. Since 1992 we have been researching and publishing regular Biblical Issues Voters’ Guides, in several languages.
We have also assisted CAN affiliates in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe to produce Biblical Issues Voters’ Guides for their countries.
Christian Action Network hosts the SA Voters Guide website which, during the last elections, received over a million hits.
The Christian Action Network publishes the Christian Action magazine and conducts Biblical Worldview Seminars.
For over 13 years Christian Action has presented the Salt and Light radio programme, every Tuesday night, on Radio Tygerberg 104fm.
We have also published the Biblical Principles for Africa book, in five editions, in English, Afrikaans and French. For your interest we enclose by mail a copy of the latest edition of BPFA.
Should other office bearers of the UDM be interested in reading this book, please let us know their names, designations and addresses, and we will gladly mail each of them a complimentary copy.
May we offer the following responses to your Policy Survey comments:
We commend you for your stand in accepting the Bible as the inspired, infallible Word of God, for acknowledging the sovereignty of God and your intention to include an affirmation “In humble submission to Almighty God” in the Constitution of South Africa, for recognizing the pre-born child as fully human, for supporting legislation to protect the unborn child from abortion, for recognizing the Lord’s Day, for being “very much against” the availability and distribution of pornography within SA, for supporting the right of parents to supervise the teachers and textbooks that mould and fill their children’s minds, for supporting the right of parents to send their children to the schools of their choice, for advocating Bible-based and Christian orientated education, for your answer to (14) on the policy of your party with regard to the teaching of Creation and the theory of evolution in schools: “The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We fully agree!
We also commend the UDM for standing for private ownership of property and a free market economy. Please do forward to us by post your constitution, manifesto and other relevant policy statements so that we can accurately record your positions.
However, we are concerned over some of your other responses. Under (6) “How does your party intend to protect law-abiding citizens from violence and crime?” Your answer: “Law enforcement through a specialized law enforcement department” is too vague and could be said by any political party across the spectrum. What does this exactly mean?
How does the UDM intend to deal with the crime wave and effectively ensure the protection of law-abiding citizens from the horrific levels of crime and violence prevailing? What practical measures do you propose?
It is impossible for any police force to guarantee the safety of every citizen, at all times. Therefore no hindrance should be placed upon the right of law-abiding citizens to obtain and use firearms for self-defence. It is clear that restricting the rights of citizens to own, carry and use licensed firearms cannot prevent violent crime.
It is dangerous for any state to have a monopoly of force. Disarming the potential victims of crime can only serve the purposes of the criminal. Criminals prefer unarmed victims. We therefore must reaffirm the Biblical rights, and responsibilities, of citizens to obtain, own, carry and use firearms for personal and family defence (Exodus 22:2; Nehemiah 4:14; 1 Timothy 5:8).
May we suggest that the UDM seriously considers advocating Restitution for all cases of theft, arson, malicious damage to property, or culpable negligence. Criminals should be held accountable, and be responsible to pay for their crime. The criminals should work and earn, in money or in kind, for the reparation of what he stole, damaged or destroyed. And this restitution should go entirely to the victim of the crime. The punishment should fit the crime. Yet, under our present system our prisons have become higher institutes of learning for criminals, where they are cross-trained in other branches of crime. Instead of the victim or his relatives receiving restitution, under our present system the victims are forced to pay high taxes, which provide food, accommodation and entertainment for the criminals while they languish in prison.
Restitution would enable property criminals to still stay at home and provide for their own families, while they have to work to repay those they have stolen from. This would relieve much of the burden on the prison services, and on the taxpayers.
Additionally, we would recommend that repeat offenders be make to complete the rest of their sentence before beginning their second sentence.
No bail should be available for repeat offenders.
All violent criminals should bear full responsibility for their actions, whether or not they were deemed mentally competent, drunk, of diminished capacity, or under the influence of drugs.
In response to your answer to (7) “What is the policy of your party with respect to capital punishment for murderers?”, we support the ID’s call for a Referendum. Every indication is that the vast majority of citizens of South Africa support a return to capital punishment for murderers.
Well over 300,000 South Africans have been murdered since the death penalty was suspended and abolished. Surely, any civilized society has the moral right and duty to protect itself from those who have no respect for human life? The taking of a murderer’s life is akin to the amputation of a diseased limb in order to save the rest of the body. All murder is serious and demands capital punishment. Those who show contempt for the right to life of others forfeit their own right to life. Capital punishment is necessary for justice, for the Rule of Law, as a deterrent, and for the protection of the innocent.
Are we to understand that from your response to question (8) “What is the policy of your party with respect to the availability and distribution of pornography within S.A.?” that “Very much against” would mean that you would introduce legislation, and vote for legislation, which would restrict and ultimately outlaw all pornography within the country?
Your response to (9) “What is the policy of your party with respect to education?” seems rather vague and ambiguous. It also only deals with money rather than actual educational policy. “Invest more on education in various categories of professionalism and give bursaries especially to the needy.”
The fact is that our present state Outcome Based Education programme is a failure. Educational standards in this country have plummeted. Merely throwing money at the problem will not solve the crisis. Education needs to be controlled by the parents, aided by the church, but independent of the control of the state. One cannot entrust any state with the molding of the minds of future voters. Education is being politicized.
The control of education should be placed back into the hands of parents and the content of education must be moral and character developing. Education cannot be neutral. Ideas have consequences. Actions flow from thought patterns.
We trust that the UDM supports the right of parents to supervise the teachers and textbooks that mold and fill their children’s mind.
In this respect we are concerned over your response to (13) “What is the policy of your party with respect to sex education in schools?” Your answer “Transparency is key to child development” would seem to indicate that you support sex education? Surely sex education is the responsibility of the parents?
A school principal showed me an official letter sent to principals through the country by the Minister of Education some years ago. This Ministry of Education letter complained about the habit of too many teachers coming to school late, and leaving early, to go to shabeens and brothels, often returning drunk, or failing to return at all!
The Minister of Education also warned in this letter against “the prevalent practice” of teachers forcing students to have sex with them! That this child abuse was commonplace in government schools was a terrible indictment, but that the Department of Education was apparently not firing or prosecuting these rapists and child abusers was, if anything, even more shocking!
Sex education in our schools has been a catastrophe. We have never had more premarital pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases than we do at present. Plainly, state controlled sex education is about the only subject in which the learners seem to be doing their homework.
We would do well to follow the example of the Ugandan model where they have succeeded in reversing the spread of AIDS, and lowering the percentage of HIV in country, by abstinence education. Abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage has been the winning strategy of the Ugandan government.
In our country we have an excellent organisation: True Love Waits (www.truelovewaits.org.za) which is well worthy of support in providing values based sex education. You may also be interested in contacting Doctors For Life (www.doctorsforlifeinternational.com) for their professional opinion of the abuses of our present sex education programme in state schools.
Most troubling is the extremely vague response to (15) “What is the policy of your party with regard to the demands of homosexual and lesbian groups to recognise homosexual ‘marriages’ and adoption of children?” Your response seems like political double talk, which fails to answer the question: “National constitution should be guiding legislation. Adoption of children blends well with our culture.” In what way does homosexuality blend well with any culture in Africa?
The UDM 1999 Election Manifesto said you will “not tolerate discrimination and/or harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.”
We are also concerned that you did not actually answer question (17) “Does your party advocate any socialist policies, such as a centrally planned economy, nationalization and redistribution of land and wealth?” Your answer “We believe in a mixed economy” seems to contradict your response to (16) where you claimed that the UDM stands for private ownership of property and a free market economy.
Which is it? Free market or a mixture of socialist state interference in the market?
The UDM Economic Proposals seem to advocate a policy of intervention by the state.
We are most concerned over your answer, or lack of answer, to the important question (18) “What limits does your party plan to make on civil government and its powers?” Your answer is extremely vague and meaningless: “Should be guided through legislation that recognises the roles of civil society.”! What exactly does that mean?
Recognising that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, Western civilisation has always recognised that rulers cannot be trusted with absolute power. The solution cannot be the pagan Greek utopia of democracy – where man rules – the tyranny of the majority, where 50% plus one can choose to oppress or exploit the rest – but a Constitutional Republic – where Law rules.
The Reformers of Western civilisation strove to build their republics upon the unchangeable moral Laws of God. The freest and most productive nations on earth were built on the separations of powers, the Rule of Law and decentralisation. Switzerland, Great Britain and the United States of America are examples of these principles.
Instead of rulers they elected servants – civil servants – bound down with the chains of the constitution. They favoured decentralisation and erected a system of checks and balances to divide the power and responsibility into a Trinitarian model of executive, legislative and traditional branches of civil government. Each branch is to be restricted to constitutional limits.
The main point is to ensure that no one is able to abuse and centralize excessive power. This is the principle of Lex Rex – the Law is king. The concept that civil government is a servant of its citizens is a uniquely Christian idea that originated from the teachings of Jesus Christ (Matthew 20:25-28 and Luke 22:25-26). Civil government is described in the Bible as ministers/deacons/servants of God (Romans 13:1-4 and 1 Peter 2:13-14). Most responsibilities and powers need to rest on local government, the family and the individual.
Jesus Christ taught that we are to “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22:21. Civil government has certain legitimate rights and responsibilities, but these are always to be very limited. We are to pay taxes (but the Bible defines taxation as high as 10% as “oppressive” 1 Samuel 8:10-18), to serve in the military when required, to testify in court as a witness to any crime, and respect the life, property and reputation of our neighbours.
However, our worship of God, the education of our children, our private property, our individual enterprise, and our personal views (including freedom of worship, freedom of education, freedom of speech, free enterprise) are clearly not made in the image of Caesar and are outside of the lawful jurisdiction of a constitutional state.
Considering the devastation caused by overly centralized governments, such as in Cuba and Zimbabwe, the need for serious constitutional restrictions and checks and balances to ensure the Rule of Law, and to prevent any individual or party usurping excess, power is vital.
The Christian Action Network would also seriously urge the UDM to re-evaluate (19) your support for Affirmative Action. South Africa is the only country in the world that has Affirmative Action in support of the majority. In every other country where Affirmative Action is practiced, it is to protect minorities from majorities! In any event, Racial Quotas were wrong under apartheid, and they are wrong today. Racial discrimination is always wrong, no matter what the excuse. It is also counter-productive economically and leads to loss of investment and less jobs.
We commend the UDM for your response to (20) “What is the policy of your party with respect to freedom of religion and the non-interference of the state in religious matters.”
Should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be willing to meet with representatives of the UDM should you wish to discuss any of these matters further.
We do intend to publish the results of these surveys, in the Christian Action magazine, the Voters’ Guides, on radio, and on the SA Voters Guide website.
May the Lord continue to be your joy and strength.
Yours for Faith and Freedom
Dr Peter Hammond