In his recent article, Professor Charles Camosy wrote about the need for a political party with a consistent ethic for life. As the chairman of the American Solidarity Party of Virginia — the only political party in the U.S.A with a consistent life ethic explicitly in their platform–in Virginia I was elated.
That is, I was elated until I read his piece.
Camosy is an eminent theologian and writer, and I could not hope to write a reply that could match his expertise. I shall, however, offer a defense for the people he has wronged by his rash judgment.
Camosy states that his main objection to the ASP is “the mealy-mouthed language which supposedly addresses abortion….” This is a rather serious if somewhat crass accusation, and I shall present the offending passage: “We support constitutional and legal measures that establish the Right to Life from conception until natural death.”
The ASP supports a constitutional life amendment. This would define, once and for all, that life begins at conception and ends in a natural death. Our very first plank is taking the issue of abortion off the table entirely by making a radical affirmation rather than a condemnation.
We affirm that all have a right to life from conception to natural death. Thus, we do not merely oppose abortion, but we support life. It says more than mere opposition ever could. It is a bold and firm stand for life, not merely against abortion.
The affirmation of the inalienable right to life is the cause of all opposition to the various threats to life and so we go straight for the gold: enshrining the right to life in the Constitution along with such rights as freedom of speech, bearing arms, and voting. In short, we cannot be “mealy mouthed” when we are taking a much more restrictive and bolder stand.
An important fact about the ASP is that every member is unequivocally against abortion. There is no debate over its immorality and the need to remove such a great poverty from our nation. We differ from every single other political party by requiring that all new members affirm the sanctity of human life prior to joining.
Even if our platform seemed to Professor Camosy to lack strong language on abortion, the truth of the matter is that the party itself, i.e. its members, are so staunchly pro-life and opposed to abortion that Camosy’s objection seems trivial in comparison to the general will of the party.
As for myself, I joined the ASP and dedicated so much time to its growth precisely because of the affirmation of the right to life. After seeing both political parties—one faster than the other—shedding total opposition to abortion, I looked for a place to call my political home.
With the very first plank in our Right to Life platform being the advocacy of a life amendment, I decided I had found my home.
I am not alone in this either. Many of our members became disillusioned with other parties due to their lack of support for life. Other came to the ASP because pro-life became synonymous with anti-abortion and wanted to take an even stronger stand.
Being political refugees, most of us are not politically savvy and our platform reflects that. Efforts are being made to clarify the platform which would include a more explicit condemnation of abortion. The difficulty lies in the fact that we are in the middle of a political campaign and we are not a one man band, or small cabal of people pretending to be a political party.
We are an actual party with a platform created during our national convention. We cannot now change the platform without invalidating the will of the party and behaving like some other major parties we could mention. Instead, we are working on publishing clarifications and expansions on our platform to dispel confusions.
Yet, though it could be attributed to mere ignorance, it cannot be denied that Camosy made a rash judgment. How could he come to this conclusion, while other eminent writers can specifically praise us for our pro-life stance?
Such a judgment does a disservice to party members like me who see the plank as the stand for the sanctity of life that we have been waiting for, the bold call to be a witness to the Truth without compromise.
Camsoy is perfectly free to disagree with other parts of our platform and we welcome such disagreement. He cannot, however, oppose our plank on the right to life without it seeming trivial and quibbling.
It is my hope that this clarifies the true position of the ASP, and leads to a greater dialogue between pro-life voters so we can finally end the Culture of Death.
Stephen S. Ferry is the Chairman of the American Solidarity Party of Virginia, a legal secretary, a member of the DC Army National Guard and, above all, a fervent husband and father.