Saturday, January 31, 2004



Yesterday, I made a post on my daily blog In Today's News announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America in a newly formed "Catholic Peace and Justice Party".

OK,...., I'm not really serious, but if elected, I will serve and try to stay true to my principles. Anyway, if the post gets people thinking outside of the boxes the two parties put us in, it serves its purpose. I've recreated the post here so you can email my campaign easily via hyperlink. Here is the post...

Disputations Challenges Catholics to Start Their Own Party
"I've decided that, from now on, whenever I see or hear someone write or say, "We need a political party that is good on all aspects of Catholic social teaching," I will reply, "So start one."
With this challenge, I have decided to announce the formation of the Catholic Peace and Justice Party, and as its first (and only present) member, I hereby nominate myself for President of the United States.

On Foreign Policy

As your President, I will apologize openly to the U.N. for the war in Iraq, and specifically to France, Germany and the people of Iraq. I will then beg and grovel the U.N. to send support to help stabilize the region so that we can bring our military troops home as quickly and safely as possible.

In the place of military troops, I will send Peace Corps volunteers paid with federal funds, and I will encourage Catholic Lay missionaries to join them (but the feds won't pay for the Catholic lay missions - sorry folks, we've got to preserve some religious liberty and separation of Church and state under Vatican II guidelines (see GS 76)).

I will meet with leaders of North Korea and Iran on neutral territory and ask them what we can do to mutually disarm. I will commit to the elimination of the huge stockpile of WMDs held by the world's only superpower (us). I may try to bribe the Koreans and Iranians to hold up their end of disarmament in their own nations with USAID if all else fails. I will also invite Muslim clerics to the White House to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Oh, and the Pope can come on Easter if he wants.

I will also commit to a peace strategy in Israel. If Israel withdraws from the occupied territories, I will increase USAID to Israel and Palestinians. If Israel does not withdraw, I will withdraw all U.S. support to Israel. If Israel withdraws and Palestinian terrorism continues, I will go to the U.N. to request an international law enforcement effort to shut down Palestinian terrorism.

I will increase the individual pay of soldiers, but cut military spending by at least 30 percent by reducing discretionary spending on technology designed to find new ways to kill people. The savings will be diverted to expanding Peace Corps operations. We'll wage the war on terror with love, generosity and forgiveness, the way the Lord Jesus wants!

Life Issues

I will support a amendment to the Constitution for the Right to Life that will outlaw all applications of the death penalty, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and any abortion that does not meet the principle of double effect (ie - it will be permissible to remove uterine cancer that threatens both mother and child simultaneously, even though removal of the cancer unintentionally terminates the pregnancy).

I will also support strict gun control: absolutely no handguns, and no firearms that can be easily concealed and are not used routinely for hunting. I will support universal background checks, and devote increased funding to maintaining a federal data-base . I will also require combination safety locks on all permitted weapons. Bullets that are not routinely used for hunting will be outlawed (no "eagle claws", or amour piercing bullets, or "cop killer" bullets, etc...). I will support laws requiring gun manufacturers to retro-fit magazine cartridges so that no more than ten bullets at a time can fit in the magazine (and I may want to reduce this to six).

We will reduce violent crime further by tackling the root causes of crime, such as poverty. We will target our social services particularly at unwed mothers.

I will strictly enforce existing laws forbidding cruelty to animals, and stop all federal funding to animal testing. OK, this last one comes form the left wing of the Church, but why fight me unless you got something against chimpanzees or something?

Women's Issues:

Just to demonstrate that my pro-life commitment is not aimed at holding women down, I will appoint an all female cabinet and all women Supreme Court Justices. She doesn't know it yet, but pro-life feminist lawyer, Helen Alvare will be my first appointment to the high court if she accepts the position.

I will also support an ERA amendment that does not include a pro-abortion provision. We will fight for equal pay for equal work and equal opportunity.

We will aggressively fight sexual harassment. We will make mandatory life sentencing without parole for anyone who is convicted of rape.

We will also eliminate all forms of marriage penalty tax and provide a tax credit to families with children who live on one income (whether the mother or the father is the stay at home parent, we are encouraging someone stay home with the kids).

I also support mandatory paternity leave for fathers of newborns that matches the benefits currently awarded mothers. It must be mandatory so that men will not use forfeiture of their rights as an unfair advantage over women in the work-place. We can make it mandatory for women too if need be.


The requirement for citizenship to the United States will be restored to the requirements of our original founders. Just show up, and consider yourself a citizen. America will exercise the Biblical virtue of hospitality like no nation prior.

However, new citizens will want to register their names at the social security administration, as our newborn children do. This will help ensure that we you receive any entitlements due citizens of this great country.

Likewise, we will offer free health exams and vaccinations to new citizens, because, while we want to be hospital to people, we do not want to be hospital to foreign diseases.

Health Care, Social Security, and the Budget:

Good service costs money when you turn to private enterprise, and the same holds true with the federal government. Some of my opponents in 2004 (one in particular) claim you can have a safety net for the poor without paying for it.

It's a sin to tell a lie, so I won't lie to you. I'm going to raise taxes. I will repeal 100 percent of Bush's tax cuts and put the money to use in health care. In order to save social security, I may even need to go a bit higher than pre-Bush days, unless we can get those budget surpluses going again.

I will consult Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan to come up with a sound plan, and probably let Hillary be my female cabinet member in charge of this stuff. If she only wants health-care, maybe I'll ask Geraldine Ferraro to lend a hand. We might borrow some ideas from Gephardt, Kerry and Edwards as well.

Our plan on tax increases will target the wealthier folks and big corporations, because only in America, with our infrastructure, can a person amass so much wealth. They owe us, because we made them. The tax investment will go to people and infrastructure. We will declare war on poverty!

Civil Rights:

We will support two separate affirmative action programs in colleges and universities. We will support a class based affirmative action program that ensures the poor are provided an opportunity go to the best colleges, and we will support race and ethnicity based affirmative action that ensures cultural diversity on our campuses.

Big Labor:

Love you guys and gals. You gave us back the Sabbath and increased job security and raised wages. Yet, we think you need to get busy. The service industry, and particularly IT service and Wal-Mart needs unionized. And we need to export unions too, especially when corporate America is off-shoring their mistreatment of workers.


We'll restore Headstart that was cut under Bush, as well as re-funding school lunch programs.

Mandatory testing? Baloney.

We want our kids to know how to pass the test of life, and life ain't standardized.

We'll increase Pell grants, support a moment of silence in public schools, and entertain the notion of school voucher (why should parents of Catholic school children pay twice for their child's education - once to the state, and once to the Church).

We'll spend more than Bush and promise better results. But if you want real success, get involved in your kids education too, and support local levies. Get our teachers a living wage!

Family Values:

I'll do what I can as President to restore the value of traditional marriage in many ways. There will be a tax credit for being married that increases with time married. I will actively support the restoration of "fault divorce" (is that what it was called before "no fault divorce" came along? )

I will allow federally funded abstinence programs. Yet, I believe some training on contraception also should be permissible to public schools alongside of abstinence programs. I'll be the first to admit that I share many questions with the secular world about Church teaching on contraception. Nevertheless, I will support legislation that would force contraceptive companies to advertise only in print media like cigarette companies. There will be no federal funding of contraceptive technology or distribution. I support our freedom to choose on this matter, but pay your own bill and don't expect a government entitlement.

On gay marriages, I'm going to have to break from my own party line (ie - the Church). I'll appeal to Church teaching on the primacy of conscience, and the Catholic Church's encouragement to "take a stand" under pressure from others. Afterall, y'all want a leader, and not a follower.

I'll leave it to the theologians whether a gay union can be called sacramental in the strict sense of the world, and the state cannot force gay marriages in a church. However, it would be wrong for the state to discriminate in the application of benefits due to everyone in civil matters. Gays and lesbians living in an arrangement that in every way mirrors marriage, even including children, should enjoy the same legal and tax benefits as other unions. This is especially true when children are involved!

The War on Drugs

Let's stop the cost ineffective method of spending on more and more policing just to wind up only arresting small time peddlers and focus our money on rehabilitation and drug counseling. Marijuana can be legalized for medicinal purposes under strict controls that apply to all prescription drugs.

The Patriot Act

We do not support it. If it passes renewal, I will not sign it. Indeed, I'm thinking that we may use an executive order to bring John Ashcroft up on war crime charges. Just a thought.....

The Environment:

I haven't yet picked the woman who will run this department, but we'll have Ralph Nader and Al Gore assisting her. It might be interesting to get Libby Dole on this one to create a tri-partisan effort going between Dems, Reps, and the newly formed Catholic Peace and Justice Party.

Cloning and Stem Cell Research:

No federal funding of either, and I will sign a bill to prohibit either if it came across my desk. BUT, if a human being is ever cloned, do not abort it!

I will increase funding to adult stem cell research.

Vice President:

I know it's early yet, and I haven't really cleared it yet with the potentials. How about Sister Joan Chittister?

If her order doesn't let her, maybe I'll just have to ask my wife or my mom.

Church and State?

I will obey the bishops in all private morality, and respect the democratic process in the governance of the state publicly. Secularist have nothing to fear: I'm not going to put bowling balls around the statue of liberty to form a rosary. If these ideas stand on their own, whether you are Catholic or not, vote for me!

I also will refrain from publicly stating my more theologically liberal views. As President, I can probably get a private audience with the Pope anyway. Maybe in a one-on-one, he can help me understand why women can't be ordained.

Or, maybe once we have our little face-to-face, he'll say, "You know Mr. President, you're absolutely right. Don't know how I missed it before. I'm going to ordain Mother Angelica tomorrow before its too late! Thanks Mr. President, you saved the Church from grave error!"

I say "Mother Angelica" because, if I were Pope, I would issue a statement allowing women's ordination, then bind her under obedience to be the first. The conservatives would hate me for ordaining a woman, and the liberals would hate me for ordaining her first. I'd sit back the rest of my papacy and watch the fireworks.

Ooohhh. But I'm not running for Pope (yet, anyway).

Remember: write "Joe Cecil (jcecil3)" in for President of the United States of America in 2008, and support the rest of the "Catholic Peace and Justice Party" as we grow!

Peace and Blessings!

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