Issues

The Christian Civic League of Maine has three key issue areas:

Life

Family and Marriage

Religious Freedom

Please visit the specific issue pages to learn more and find resources in these important areas.

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Policy Statement

of

The Christian Civic League of Maine

Basis of Philosophy and Purpose

A. As the Christian Civic League of Maine, we believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. We believe in the deity of Jesus, to be personally acknowledged as the only Christ and Lord, in His atoning death on our behalf through his shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and that this same Jesus shall personally return in power and glory. We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ has left us His teachings, His example, and has sent us His Holy Spirit, that we should follow in his steps.

B. It is the purpose of the Christian Civic League of Maine to present and maintain an effective, positive, and faithful Christian witness in the public life of our State; to express, through various means, the relevance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God to the social and moral issues of our time; to promote a consistent  and integrated Christian worldview; to have a redemptive impact upon the development of public policy in Maine; to uphold, in all its statements and actions, a biblical standard of justice and righteousness; and to reflect, in all ways, a genuine Christian compassion and respect for all people.

C. This Policy Statement establishes the significant principles which guide the Christian Civic League’s decisions and public pronouncements. The Policy Statement does not seek to represent the Christian Civic League’s position on every specific issue which may come to the public’s attention. However, it does represent the League’s stand on what it considers central sociomoral concerns facing the State of Maine.

 Public Ethics

A. We affirm our belief in the Judeo-Christian moral tradition, which has largely shaped the historic development of western civilization, particularly the American Republic. We affirm our faith in the existence of certain moral absolutes which find their proper source in biblical truth.

B. We believe it to be of central importance that the ethical values of the Judeo-Christian heritage be fostered and encourage in the life of our nation’s leading institutions, including government, business, education, and the Church. These values represent such personal virtues as compassion, honesty, purity, courage, and fidelity.

C. We believe these attributes of character should be consistently taught and practice throughout American life so as to enable the preservation of the unique moral foundation which has led the United States to national greatness.

The Sanctity of Human Life

A. We believe in the God-given sanctity of all human life and that life is a gift from God. We believe that human beings are created for eternal life and that the matter of life and death rests withing the exclusive providence of God the Sovereign Creator. We believe life begins at conception and are opposed to abortion, which we believe to be a clear violation of the will and purpose of God.

B. We affirm both the sacredness and the quality of all human life. We believe all reasonable efforts should be made to insure that every human being is born healthy and secure. We support proper prenatal care for all pregnant women and effective counseling which emphasizes positive alternatives to abortion, including adoption.

C. We oppose euthanasia and infanticide because we believe every human life has intrinsic worth. This includes the lives of the handicapped, the elderly, and the sick.

D. We hold grave reservations with respect to genetic engineering and surrogate parenting. We believe there exist definite limits, beoyond which science should not go, in an attempt to alter of manipulate the God-ordained pattern of human creation.

The Family

We believe the family to be the central institution of any free society. We support all reasonable and effective efforts to preserve and strengthen the traditional family in America. We oppose the redefinition of marriage. We recognize the benefits to families and society of  promoting the definition of natural marriage– one man and one woman. We believe that children have been given as a gift, by God, to parents and that parents should exercise the principle responsibility, under God, to raise, nurture, and educate their children. We believe parents should instill in their children high standards of personal morality and individual accountability. We stand opposed to any undue intrusion into family life by the State. We believe that public policy, including tax policy, should reflect a concern and a respect for the institution of the family.

Education

A. We believe that parents should exercise the ultimate responsibility and authority in the education of their children and that the State should respect these parental rights.

B. We affirm the value of a public educational system in fostering an enlightened society. We also affirm the importance of educational pluralism and the accessibility of educational choices. We therefore support the right of private schools, including home schools, to exist free of undue State interference. We believe private schools should be subject only to those State requirements necessary to protect the health and the safety of students and to insure reasonable academic achievement.

C. We believe that all education should nurture children and that schools should address themselves to this issue of moral development. We therefore support voluntary prayer in the public schools. We support the teaching of moral values and ideals in the public schools, for such teaching is, we believe, central to the preservation and the strengthening of our nation. We believe that educational institutions, at every level, should teach the importance of personal ethics as well as the critical historic role of religion in shaping the American Republic. We support the selection of public school textbooks which do not undermine biblical morality and teaching. We affirm the need for discipline in schools, which fosters respect for others, especially for those in authority.

D. We believe emphasis should be placed in all schools upon educational quality and the attainment of a high standard of academic excellence.

E. We believe education regarding human sexuality should be the principal responsibility of the home and the church. To the extent that this responsibility is assumed by public schools, we believe that emphasis should be placed on the teaching of values and that unmarried young people should be encouraged to practice sexual abstinence.

Drugs and Alcohol

A. We believe in total personal abstinence from alcoholic beverages. We support strong, consistent, and effective laws which seek to control and restrict the general sale and distribution of alcohol in Maine. We support the vigorous and impartial enforcement of all State liquor laws.

B. We support effective policies and programs designed to provide for the treatment and rehabilitation of the alcoholic and his family. We believe State revenue derived from the sale of liquor should be applied to the cost of such treatment and rehabilitation.

C. We support strong and effective laws against drunk driving and diligent enforcement of such laws.

D. We support alcohol awareness programs and other alcohol educations efforts in all Maine schools.

E. We support strong and effective laws against all illegal drugs and their strict and impartial enforcement. We also support effective programs designed to provide treatment and rehabilitation for the drug addict and his family. We support effective drug education in all Maine schools.

F. We oppose the use of tobacco in any form. We affirm the public’s right to live and work in a smoke-free environment and support reasonable and effective laws to protect the personal rights of non-smokers.

G. we oppose all media advertising of tobacco and alcoholic products as detrimental to the health and welfare of the people.

Religious Freedom

A. We affirm the basic human right of every person to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. We believe religious worship should be free of State interference. We therefore oppose any law or policy which would seek to force a person to deny his religious beliefs. We believe that religious liberty is indivisible and that it under-girds both political and economic freedom.

B. We support the historic Separation of Church and State. We believe that government should enact no law respecting an establishment of religion. Neither should any law restrict the free exercise of religious faith. We believe that in a pluralistic society, religiously-grounded moral values should be permitted free expression in the public life of the community, state and nation.

Human Rights

A. We believe every person is created by God with certain inalienable rights. We affirm the right to life, liberty, and property, and the right of every person to pursue happiness and the achievement of his full individual potential. We affirm our belief that these fundamental human rights are not granted by the benevolence of the State but by the Sovereign Hand of God. We therefore oppose every attempt of the State to circumvent or to undermine these basic God-given human rights. We support full religious, political, and economic freedom for all people and deplore the totalitarianism which would deny these liberties.

B. We believe, in a free, enlightened, and compassionate society, every right implies a responsibility to exercise that right with an understanding of, and sincere respect for, the rights of others.

C. We believe in the principle of equal protection of the laws. We therefore oppose all discrimination on the basis of race, creed, nationality, gender, or religion. We support all reasonable and effective anti-discrimination laws necessary to insure equality of rights for every citizen. We condemn every form of racism, bigotry, or hatred directed against any person or group.

D. We support equal rights for women. We stand opposed, however, to the specific Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. We believe the ERA, as currently written and presented, is unnecessary and disruptive to family life. We support laws prohibiting sexual harassment and guaranteeing equal pay for equal work. We also support equal opportunity in the areas of employment, education, and public life.

Criminal Justice

A. We believe Maine’s criminal laws should be strong, fair, and effective. These laws should be enforced vigorously and consistently and should protect the public safety and property rights.

B. We affirm the biblical teaching in support of the principle of restitution. We believe that criminal punishment should be guided, where possible, by remedial and restorative actions. We also affirm the need, in a free society, for both law and order and for justice. These needs should be kept in balance. We support the full protection of the constitutional due process rights of the accused.

C. We support prison and jail ministries which seek to express Christian compassion and concern for those incarcerated and for their families. We also support programs and policies designed to offer assistance to the victims of crimes.

D. We support the concept of creative and compassionate alternative sentencing and, whenever practical, the treatment and rehabilitation o the criminal offender. We support job training, and educational assistance for criminal offenders. We also support the concept of community service and programs to provide for drug and alcohol treatment for those incarcerated.

E. We recognize that prisons are necessary for those who commit dangerous, violent crimes. We also believe, however, that every opportunity for rehabilitation should be offered those who must be confined. We support an enlightened penal system which is marked by remedial and restorative policies rather than those which are merely punitive.

Poverty and Economic Justice

A. We affirm the biblical teaching regarding society’s responsibility to the poor. We believe every Christian has a moral and spiritual duty, before God, to demonstrate genuine compassion for all those in true need, including the aged, the sick, the homeless, and the mentally and physically handicapped. We believe that no person in this state should lack the basic necessities of life, including food, shelter, and clothing.

B. We support policies and programs which provide employment training and educational opportunities for those who are able-bodied. We believe those who are able to work should be expected and required to work. Therefore, we support reasonable and effective initiatives, in both the public and private sectors, to encourage those who are dependent upon public assistance to become self-sufficient.

C. We believe that private volunteer and charitable organizations should bear a significant responsibility in caring for the poor. We believe the Church should set a positive and compassionate example in this regard. We support church sponsored programs to help feed, house, and clothe the needy.

D. We support programs to help the poor which encourage and foster individual responsibility, human dignity, personal initiative, and self-confidence. We believe that the ultimate objective and expectation of such programs should always be, whenever possible, the financial independence of the individual.

E. We support programs, both public and private, which provide for those unable to care for themselves. These programs should be administered in a humane and compassionate manner and demonstrate a genuine respect for the dignity of each person.

F. We believe that the free market economy of Democratic Capitalism offers the working poor their greatest opportunity for the achievement of economic freedom and the full potential of human dignity.

G. We support the right of every worker to be paid justly and treated honorably in the workplace. We also support the right of every employer to earn a profit. We believe employer/employee relationships should be marked by mutual respect, honesty, and decency. We affirm the need for sound business ethics and stand opposed to every form of greed or exploitation either among employers or employees.

H. We believe that economic health, progress and justice can best be achieved by free people in a free economy. We therefore oppose undue state regulation of, or interference in, the free enterprise economic system.

The Environment

A. We affirm the biblical teaching concerning man’s responsibility to care for and preserve his physical environment. We believe that God has committed to each individual the careful and thoughtful stewardship of the earth’s natural resources. We believe man is accountable to God the Creator for that stewardship, and it should therefore be exercised wisely and responsibly.

B. We support these public policies which reasonably and effectively seek to preserve and enhance the environment. We deplore the wanton and irresponsible pollution of our natural resources.

C. We support the effective development of safe, clean, and renewable energy resources, consistent with the practical and economic considerations which are necessary.

Political Involvement

A. We believe the Bible teaches that civil government is an institution ordained by God and that the Christian is to honor and respect government. We support every citizen’s right to participate openly and fully in the political life of the community, state, and nation. For the Christian, we believe such participation is a moral responsibility.

B. We shall endeavor, by all means at our command, and in cooperation with other existing agencies, to educate the people in good citizenship, to elect honest and competent officials, and to secure good laws and their impartial enforcement.

C. We support the principle that in a free and open society, public issues should be debated and decided publicly by all the people. We therefore support both the letter and the spirit of the Maine “Right to Know” law. We also support so-called “sunshine” laws which require that the public’s business be conducted openly.

D. We affirm the primacy of the spiritual. Therefore, we believe that no political or economic program of ideology must ever be permitted to take the place of personal evangelism and individual salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian owes his first allegiance to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. No other loyalty must ever divide that allegiance. We also believe that Christianity should impact every avenue of human endeavor and that persons changed through the transforming power of Christ can change society. We believe the Holy Scriptures clearly assign to the Christian the message and the mission of fundamental change.

E. Even as we affirm the Christian’s duty to participate in politics, we convey our deep and abiding respect for the right of others to participate also. We honor political differences in a free society. We stand opposed to any attempt to circumvent the democratic political process through censorship of protected free speech or the imposition of ideas or policies against the will of the majority. We believe that political freedom can only be preserved by the free minds of free men and women. We therefore affirm our support for political tolerance.

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