Democratic Alliance leaders have reportedly received "hundreds" of phone calls querying the DA's position on various Biblical Issues as depicted on the Christian Action Network Voters's Guide. The Christian Action Network has also received several objections from prominent DA leaders saying that we have "misrepresented" the DA on several issues.
A prominent DA leader requested that we change the Voters Guide to read "Yes/No" in the "Against Abortion", "Against Homosexual 'marriages'" and "For Capital Punishment of Murderers" columns, as the DA allows their members a "conscience vote" on these issues. Our response follows:
Thank you for you email concerening the Biblical Issues Voters' Guide. It is our sincere ministry to provide an accurate and objective Voters' Guide on the chosen Biblical Issues.
Members of the Christian Action Network Executive Committee have discussed the objections you raised and have decided, at this stage, not to make any of the changes you requested for the following reasons:
We have not only looked at parties' policy documents but also at the MPs' voting records. Despite the fact that the DP allowed a conscience vote for their MPs on the abortion bill (1996), several DP MPs voted in favour of the legalised murder of pre-born babies (abortion). The DP was the senior partner in the DA alliance. Since the NNP broke away from the DA, the DA has now effectively become the DP again, just under a different name.
In both the public hearings and press statements regarding the Abortion Amendment Bill (2004 and then again in 2007) the DA did not make any clear statements that we are aware of that supported the Right to Life of the pre-born. In the hearings (which I attended in 2007), the DA representative on the Health Committee, Mike Waters, did make commendable statements that supported mandatory counselling (in which all the risks are explained) for women seeking abortion. However, the DA did not object to the fact that the Bill made abortion more accessible by allowing more clinics/hospitals to perform abortions.
On the abortion issue, the Voters Guide depicts whether the PARTY is AGAINST ABORTION. To be against something means to oppose it. The DA, as a party, has never actively opposed abortion. We are not dealing with whether some members of the party are pro-life. The Scripture verse we quote on the Voters' Guide is " Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering towards slaughter.” Proverbs 24:11. As far as we know, the DA has done nothing significant to rescue the pre-born from the slaughter of abortion in South Africa.
The abortion issue is a 'litmus test' issue for whether a party truly supports genuine human rights. If a party is not prepared to make a clear statement on the most basic right - the Right to Life - of the most innocent and vulnerable of all people - pre-born babies, then the party is not truly a party that supports genuine human rights.
Life begins at conception and every abortion stops a beating heart. The scientific evidence and philosophical/ethical arguments for the legal personhood of the pre-born are overwhelmingly clear. The DA has no excuse for not having made a clear policy statement on this crucial human rights issue. One cannot be neutral on the abortion issue. If one is not for (or pro) life, then one is by default for (or pro) death. If a party is not prepared to issue a clear statement on this issue, then it should be construed as being pro-choice/pro-abortion.
Can you send us any press statements where DA MPs have made any clear pro-life statements, or proposed pro-life amendments ?
The same goes for the issues of homosexual "marriages" and the death penalty. The party has not yet forwarded to us any policy documentation, parliamentary materials or press releases dealing with these issues.
Would you be able to tell us how many current DA MPs are consistently pro-life (against abortion in all circumstances)?
The DA did vote against the Firearms Control Bill in 2000, but then called for Firearm Free Zones in the City of Cape Town buildings . This is inconsistent and therefore warranted a Y/N on the Voters' Guide.
In 1999, John Lott and William Landes published a US study of multiple shooting incidents. They showed that mass shootings occur less often in areas where responsible citizens may carry weapons.
Do mass shootings ever occur in police stations, shooting ranges or at gun shows? Mass murderers select soft targets for their acts of violence. Expecting a suicidal individual to honour a law prohibiting firearms in a gun free zone is sheer utopian fantasy.
Regarding the one page Voters Guide that the ACDP Freestate have been distributing - it seems as if they have been using an earlier draft of the Voters Guide (which did not include "in the Constitution" after Acknowledgement of Almighty God) and had added their own "info boxes". This was done without our permission. I have now communicated with them to refrain from editing, amending or adding in their own information on our Voters Guides. They have also promised to stop distributing those particular Voters' Guides. We are not part of the ACDP and our constitution does not allow executive members to be members of political parties. We thus have no control over parties who prepare their own voters’ guides as was done before by the NP.
As a non-partisan ministry we cannot, and do not, tell people who to vote for, nor are we a mouthpiece for any particular political party.
We have been very impressed with the DA on many issues such as opposing and exposing crime and corruption and are thankful for the many stands taken publicly on various issues.
We would appreciate any documentation you can provide concerning the DA's track record in legislation proposed, and voted on, regarding pro-life, moral and family issues.
Dr Peter Hammond
Africa Christian Action
P.O. Box 23632
Tel: (021) 689-4481
Fax: (021) 685-5884