About the Author
Opinion Archives
E-mail Scott
Scott's Links

Why I do not follow the 11th Commandment

By Scott Tibbs, June 19, 2004

Some Republicans argue that Republicans should not criticize each other, in the name of "party unity". This is a view that is becoming more prevalent in the Monroe County Republican Party.

On the surface, "party unity" is a good idea. However, "party unity" often means that some Republicans (especially conservative Republicans) must sacrifice their principles in order to advance the interest of the party.

I cannot agree with this, and thus cannot subscribe to the so-called "11th Commandment". I am a Republican and I support the Republican party, but I am a Christian conservative first and foremost.

Allow me to highlight one issue specifically: abortion. When a "Republican" supports the killing of unborn children (or votes to give taxpayer money to an abortion provider like Planned Parenthood) pro-life Republicans are well within the bounds of reasonable political discourse to criticize that "Republican".

Read the following verse from Scripture, which is eternally true:

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? Proverbs 24:11-12

As I read this verse, I am convicted that God commands me to stand up for the unborn. What the Bible does not say is that I am only to stand up to people who support legalized child killing if they are Democrats.

I am not in the Republican Party to advance the interests of a social club or a clique. I am in the Republican Party because I have a set of principles that in which I believe. I cannot agree to never criticize a fellow Republican when they take action in opposition to my principles.

Update: April 5, 2004

Here's a quandary for the "Thou shalt not criticize another Republican" crowd: what if a Republican candidate is a neo-Nazi? An unabashed supporter of eugenics is running for Congress in Tennessee. The Leaf-Chronicle has an editorial here.) James Hart believes that "if blacks were integrated centuries ago, the automobile never would have been invented."

Nearly everyone would agree that it is appropriate for Republicans to be campaigning against a fellow Republican in a case like this. But those same people would think it inappropriate for Republicans to criticize other Republicans for going "off the reservation" on issues like abortion.

What makes this case different? On one hand, you have the indiscriminate slaughter of millions, and on another, you have racist garbage. Seems like Republicans who support eugenics or abortion would be fair game for criticism by their own party.