Where We Stand on the Issues
ABORTION / EUTHANASIA
DEFENSE / FOREIGN POLICY / ISRAEL
FREE SPEECH / CENSORSHIP
RELIGION / SCHOOL PRAYER
RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
TAXATION / GOVERNMENT SPENDING
UNITED NATIONS / SOVEREIGNTY
WELFARE / FAMILY DISINTEGRATION
ABORTION / EUTHANASIA
If the Declaration of Independence states our creed, there can be no right to abortion, since it means denying the most fundamental right of all to human offspring in the womb.
The Declaration states plainly that we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with our basic human rights. But if human beings can decide who is human and who is not, the doctrine of God-given rights is utterly corrupted. Abortion is the unjust taking of a human life and a breach of the fundamental principles of our public moral creed.
Some people talk about "viability" as a test to determine which human offspring have rights that we must respect, and which do not. But might does not make right. So the mere fact that the person in the womb is wholly in its mother's physical power and completely dependent upon her for sustenance gives her no right whatsoever with respect to its life, since the mere possession of physical power can never confer such a right. Therefore, medical procedures resulting in the death of the unborn child, except as an unintended consequence of efforts to save the mother's physical life, are impermissible.
As for the so-called "right to suicide," and related practices such as euthanasia: whatever emotional arguments we make on their behalf, they represent a violation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
Our rights, including the right to life, are unalienable. If we kill ourselves or consent to allow another to do so, we both destroy and surrender our right to life. We act unjustly. We usurp the power that belongs solely to the Creator, and deny the basis of our claim to human rights.
DEFENSE / FOREIGN POLICY / ISRAEL
As the leader of the free world, America has a right and a duty to do all in her power to eliminate international terrorism and resist the threat of tyranny at home and abroad. We must vigilantly defend our sovereignty, independence, and identity as Americans. In doing so, we must be certain that our policies, military might, and foreign relationships are executed with prudence and justice.
The Constitution places on the federal government a solemn obligation to provide for our nation's "common defense" and to undertake those policies that best fulfill that goal, including the nurturing of alliances with friendly nations.
We believe that our best and most trustworthy alliances are cemented in shared principles. The nature of America's special relationship and commitment to Israel, for example, is a moral obligation – not a matter of real politik, or of calculation of the military odds, or of strategic advantage.
America's friendship with Israel reflects a moral truth about who we are and what we stand for. In our foreign policy and international alliances, we must never be subservient to merely pragmatic considerations of money, oil, or any other expediency. We must set our course mindful that we are morally obligated to always stand foursquare with those who fight on the front lines of freedom and representative government – especially if they do so with the kind of decency, courage, and integrity demonstrated by the valiant people of Israel.
But in order to maintain our ability to respect an essentially moral commitment in our foreign policy, we must ensure – first and foremost – that we remain respectful of the moral commitments that we owe to ourselves and to our posterity.
The greatest danger that we, Israel, and our other true allies face today is that America has already embarked upon the abandonment of those moral principles that are meant to guarantee the liberties that we cherish as a people, and that we hold up as the better destiny of the world.
Our national creed, the Declaration of Independence, tells us that our rights come from the Creator, yet we have forbidden our teachers in the schools even to mention His Name. All our claims to liberty and legitimacy as a free people rest on the premise that our rights should be exercised with respect for the authority of the Creator, yet we have practically expunged the very concept of Him from our public discourse.
We squabble over and even deny those ideas that constitute the basis of our moral character and our moral decency. This betrayal eats away every day at our integrity, at our conscience, at our moral self-confidence. And that has very real and practical consequences, because moral self-confidence is part of what is required to sustain our claims to liberty, and to embolden us to fight in its defense. It is very hard to sustain the claim to rights and liberty if we believe we're not decent enough to use them well.
And, when confronted by ruthless aggression, it is very hard then to remain a reliable ally.
This is the real crisis that all who love and respect America, and who seek to defend true allies like Israel, are facing. And this crisis will eventually – if we do not resolve it rightly – destroy the confidence we need to hold on to our freedoms at home and to defend liberty and decency abroad.
American "free trade" policy in recent years has increasingly involved grants of excessive authority to international organizations of questionable political legitimacy. The GATT/WTO agreement was a big mistake. The World Trade Organization undermines America's sovereign international economic interests.
The American people must repudiate the policy of establishing unelected international bodies that act like the Supreme Court of the United States, striking down our domestic laws. We must repudiate disgraceful, profit-driven alliances with the despots in Beijing. And we must refuse to permit our representatives in Congress to volunteer for Constitutional impotence by granting "fast track" authority to the president to strike back room trade deals without the advice and consent of the Senate.
We are a staunch defender of free enterprise and an opponent of the domineering bureaucracies, both national and international, which try to suffocate it. But we cannot stand with those so-called conservatives who believe that "free trade" is more important than free government, or the "fiscal conservatives" who seem to believe that money and economic advantage matter more than our right to constitutional, elective self-determination. Trade socialism must be defeated root and branch, even when it is called "free trade."
FREE SPEECH / CENSORSHIP
Questions involving prior censorship or restraint need to be approached with great care. We must exercise care in such matters because the power to censor can easily fall into arbitrary or dictatorial hands. Our country is safer when no one holds that kind of power.
We are inclined, therefore, to respect the fact that people should be free to say and do certain things that others don't like. Nonetheless, we as a society – through our representative government – have an obligation to articulate and uphold standards of public decency. This means, first, that we must legally define what a "public place" is. The most valid definition would be any place to which our children may gain unimpeded access. This definition is reasonable because it reminds us of why we have such standards.
Society is then entitled to establish clear standards and define the kinds of behavior or things permitted in a public place, so that we won't need to fear that our children will be polluted in a such an environment. We proceed to set up barriers in public libraries, on the Internet, in bookstores, and in movie houses and segregate the things that we don't want to give our children access to.
Such public policy doesn't require government or its agents to restrain free expression. It simply requires society's delegated representatives to organize the distribution of the results of that expression, so that we can keep public places free of what are regarded as offensive influences or materials. This kind of approach doesn't, itself, involve censorship and abuse – it simply involves maintaining basic standards of public decency, so that we are able to act and work and live in such a way as to avoid those things we believe to be offensive, and can also act on the assumption that our children will, by and large, likewise be able to avoid them. That's what responsible parents and citizens have a right to ask for, at least at the state and local level. Such legislation of public standards is less a federal responsibility, except regarding such broad influences as the Internet.
We should not countenance the notion, whatever form it takes, that it is the business of the government to provide health care for all the American people. In the Clinton era of stealth socialism, the favored camel's nose was some version of the proposal to provide comprehensive government health care for America's "children." This was a classic stalking horse argument that the former president and others used to disguise the ultimate goal of health socialism. They would start with children and go to old people, and on to the rest of us. The root principle of a government guarantee of health care is that we are not a self-governing people, but must have the necessities of our lives provided by the government. If we accept this principle, there is no natural limit to the corrosive solicitude of government.
The vision of Liberty Tree Alliance does not include a federally-funded health program. But as we begin to move federal health policy away from the agenda of incremental socialism and back toward a policy based on confidence in the capacity of free citizens to order their own affairs, we should choose particular policies that are consistent with that goal. For those who have already been reduced to dependence on federal money to meet their health needs, a shift to health insurance vouchers would be consistent with this principle as an interim step toward federal disengagement from the provision of health care.
By way of public policy, the relations between providers and consumers of health care in the private market should be governed by the process of choice and competition that already produces the best health care in the world. Citizens generally have the right to sue those they enter into contracts with, unless they enter into agreements to resolve disputes in other ways. The government should not paternalistically "protect" us from entering into such relationships with our health care providers or anyone else.
Our priority is to remove the obstacles that an interventionist and politicized federal "research" agenda inevitably causes for innovative research and practical development. We would make it a high priority to remember that the government of the United States should not have "medical research priorities." Rather, the government should have the single priority of fulfilling its Constitutional role, so that the American regime of ordered liberty can flourish. Medical research, and the rest of the important activities of this free people, will thrive accordingly.
In terms of civil rights discrimination, it is wrong to treat sexual orientation like race, for race is a condition beyond the individual's control. Sexual orientation, however, involves behavior, especially in response to passion.
If we equate sexual orientation and race, we are saying that sexual behavior is beyond the individual's control and moral will. We cannot embrace such an understanding of civil rights without denying the human moral capacity, and with it the fitness of human beings for life in a free society.
The effort to equate homosexual and lesbian relations with legal marriage represents a destructive assault on the heterosexual, marriage-based family.
Respect for the blessings of liberty and the rule of law commands that immigration reform and enforcement be just – not only to those coming to America, but to all those who have come before, and who wait patiently and lawfully to enter. We must ensure that America welcomes those who are committed to the goal of becoming part of our nation, and properly rejects those who come only to exploit economic opportunities while proudly flaunting their allegiance to a foreign flag.
Citizenship is the proper fruit of immigration, and thatís what makes it good for America. Accepting the presence of large numbers of people who maintain their allegiance to a foreign flag, a foreign language, and a foreign culture, and who mean to claim many of the benefits but none of the responsibilities of citizenship, is effectually not immigration, but colonization – a dangerous departure from the tradition that built this nation, and the culmination of inept policies that will end in its dissolution.
Each week, thousands of illegal immigrants cross our southern border. Although some presumably have good intentions, at least twenty percent (20%) of southern border-crossers are known criminals, drug dealers, sex traffickers, and gang lords. Most frightening of all, mingled with those menaces are potential terrorists from countries hostile to the United States.
America does not need another reminder, as we had on 9/11, that lax immigration law enforcement opens the door to our enemies. Of the 19 hijackers who attacked us that day, 3 were here illegally, and 15 were on visas that should have been revoked under immigration law. Many of the hijackers obtained fake ID's from illegal aliens. 
Terrorists have exploited our immigration weaknesses. We continue to leave our borders open to impending catastrophe. The majority of U.S. citizens understand this threat, and know that national security cannot be achieved without border security, strict adherence to existing immigration law, appropriate use of the deportation system, and close monitoring of such privileges as visas.
The public supports stronger controls. Our elected officials know this, but they have been reluctant to fix the problem. Author Michele Malkin explains the reason:
In California, for example, the overflow of foreign-born illegal residents has given our state the most crowded cities in the country. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) states that poverty increased more in California than anywhere else in the nation over the past decade, particularly in areas of our state with large migrant populations. The influx of low-skill immigrant workers may well have already vastly exceeded the demand for low-skill labor, and many economists and analysts not enamored of free-market theory argue it has caused lower average incomes overall and increases in unemployment. 
Irresponsible hirers of the "undocumented" tend to be less morally accountable and more exploitative in their treatment of illegal workers than their law-abiding business competitors are of their employees. Those who systematically cheat the system can pay lower than the minimum wage, abuse their illegal employees, and commit tax fraud – all outside the purview of government. An undocumented worker does not necessarily know his rights under U.S. law, and would tend to be afraid and reluctant to contact authorities regarding abuse and exploitation.
The smuggling of aliens is itself inhumane. Death is a frequent consequence of illicit border-crossing attempts. Those who survive often suffer disease, starvation, dehydration, and abuse from their smugglers. Women are raped, and even children are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
This is incompatible with the vision Americans have for their country. More than any other country, we extend a hand of compassion to the tired, poor, and needy. But we do it under a system of law, order, equality, and protection of human rights.
That's the American way: the shining torch of liberty and justice we exemplify to all the world.
The supposed economic benefits from illegal immigration are not worth the costs to our national unity, our prosperity, our security – and most importantly, to the integrity of the principles of justice and responsible self-government enshrined in our Declaration of Independence.
The idea of the "pursuit of happiness" in our great Declaration presupposes the right of property, a right our Founders understood was inseparable from all other unalienable rights. Without the right to pursue our individual version of the American Dream – independent of unjust interference from government or other sources – there can be no right to life or liberty. The individual pursuit of sustaining wealth and the control of that wealth is central to a free, open, and healthy society.
The right of property has long been threatened not only by unsound schemes of taxation, but by intrusions into the personal control of private property. The result has been a pervasive loss of opportunity in the marketplace for the common man and a disruption of normal principles of supply and demand, those necessary to competition and to the creation of fair prices for such things as housing, undeveloped property, and a broad range of goods and services. Today, disruption of the right of property is threatened additionally by extreme environmental values that place greater importance on the so-called "rights" of animals, trees, and streams than on the legitimate and essential needs of mankind – extreme notions that increasingly strip human beings of normal and reasonable economic opportunity. We support responsible human stewardship of God's creation, but we also whole-heartedly seek to include in that stewardship conscientious and vigilant respect for the fundamental human right of property.
RELIGION / SCHOOL PRAYER
The "separation of church and state" doctrine is a misinterpretation of the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibition of established religion aims at forbidding all government-sponsored coercion of religious conscience. It does not forbid all religious influence upon politics or society.
The free exercise of religion means nothing if, in connection with the ordinary events and circumstances of life, individuals are forbidden to act upon their religious faith.
We will do everything in our power, through public discourse and persuasion, by proposing legislation, and by careful scrutiny of the candidates for judicial appointments, to turn the tide against constitutional rulings that undermine religious freedom.
We oppose any efforts to use government power to impose views that contravene religious conscience on matters such as abortion and homosexuality.
RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
We strongly support the 2nd Amendment.
The right to keep and bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights so that when, by a long train of abuses, government evinces a methodical design upon our natural rights, we will have the means to protect and recover those rights.
In fact, if we make the judgment that our rights are being systematically violated, we have not merely the right, but the duty, to resist and overthrow the power responsible. That duty requires that we maintain the material capacity to resist tyranny, if necessary – something that is very difficult to do if the government has all the weapons. A strong case can be made, therefore, that it is a fundamental DUTY of the free citizen to keep and bear arms.
The gun control agenda is based on the view that ordinary citizens cannot be trusted to use the physical power of arms responsibly. But a people that cannot be trusted with guns cannot be trusted with the much more dangerous powers of self-government. The gun control agenda is thus an implicit denial of the human capacity for self-government and is tyrannical in principle.
The court-initiated prohibition of school prayer is only the symptom of a deeper problem – the neglect of moral education and character formation. The value-free education offered by the government-run schools has all too often proven to be education without value. This is especially true now that Outcome Based Education has been used as an excuse to establish curricular elements that amount to the politically correct brainwashing of our children.
Government money is increasingly used to enforce a low quality, crass form of vocationalism in the School-to-Work scheme, while the same educrats debase traditional academics with such fads as Whole Language Learning and Fuzzy Math. Parents and local citizens often know better than their educrat masters, but find themselves unable to resist the power of an entrenched and costly monopoly. Education reform is thus a question of liberty and self-government.
We strongly favor school choice approaches that empower parents to place their children in schools that reflect the parents' faith and values. We not only need prayer in schools, we need schools that are in the hands of people who pray. Above all, we must break the government monopoly on public education.
TAXATION / GOVERNMENT SPENDING
Tyrannical taxation, and excessive government spending and borrowing, are not only threats to our economy – they erode the resource base of our freedom and our moral responsibility.
The income tax is a twentieth-century socialist experiment that has failed. Before the income tax was imposed on us just 85 years ago, government had no claim to our income. Only sales, excise, and tariff taxes were allowed. We need to return to the Constitution of economic liberty that our Founders intended to be a permanent bulwark of our political liberty.
The income tax in effect makes us vassals of the government – the politicians decide how much income we can keep. No mere "reform" of this slave tax, such as flattening the rate, can correct its fundamental denial of control over our own money.
Only the abolition of the income tax will restore the basic American principle that our income is both our own money and our own private business – not the government's.
Replacing the income tax with a national sales tax would rejuvenate independence and responsibility in our citizens. True economic liberty and moral revival go hand in hand.
A national sales tax would also put the American citizen back in control of fiscal policy. The best way to curtail government spending is to cut taxes, because they can't spend what they don't get. With a sales tax, we could deny funds to a spendthrift government – and give ourselves a tax cut – whenever we make the private choice to alter our spending and saving habits.
But we must also take away the government's credit card. With limits on both tax revenue and borrowing, the Federal government would finally be forced to get serious about spending cuts. That's why a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, with barriers to both borrowing and spending, is the best way to secure budget discipline.
UNITED NATIONS / SOVEREIGNTY
The fundamental goal of American statesmanship must be to maintain an independent sphere of sovereign American interests and principles, and to pursue them in the world with prudence and courage, retaining the awareness that the United States is responsible for its own destiny.
Whatever benefits of international cooperation and consultation the United Nations has made possible, it has from its flawed founding been a source of dangerously naive globalist dreams. Some American politicians have been so corrupted by the internationalist ideal that they cannot resist the temptation to elevate the United Nations into a supra-national entity that threatens American sovereignty.
Should this pernicious tendency persist, the United States will have to withdraw from the United Nations, and yet firmly maintain our ongoing international responsibilities as a sovereign nation and world leader.
Ultimately, it is more important that the United States of America should survive in freedom than that the United Nations should survive at all.
WELFARE / FAMILY DISINTEGRATION
Most of our costly government welfare programs aim to deal with problems related to the breakdown of moral standards and self-discipline. We will go bankrupt as a nation if we continue trying to pay the ever-increasing costs of society's moral disintegration. We must end government programs like the family-destroying welfare system and sex-education courses that encourage promiscuity. These programs actually hasten the moral breakdown.
Our first priority should be restoring the moral and material support for the marriage-based, two-parent family. The disintegration of the family is the major contributing factor in poverty, crime, violence, the decline in educational performance, and a host of other expensive social problems.