America first? Not for this Christian. For me, it’s Jesus first.

And what was Jesus about? The children. The poor. The outcast. The traitors and “losers” of society.

Foster children.

I have never put my political party before my faith. I never will.

I have never put loyalty to the GOP above the teachings of Jesus. I never will.

If I’m going to err, I will err on the side of the poor, the outcast, the persecuted.

That’s what Jesus did.

To be Christian means to be Christ-like —  imitate what Jesus said and did.

I ran as a candidate for US Congress. I ran as a Republican in California’s 48th congressional district primary. I was tired of the Democrats being the only ones who spoke out boldly and consistently for human rights, for civil rights, for social justice.

I didn’t advance to the midterm election, which is held today, November 6, 2018.

I didn’t win, but I’m certain I did and I wrote about it here.

Err on the side of the poor. That’s what Jesus did.

Character matters in leadership. Integrity matters in leadership.

Our children and grandchildren watch what leaders do.

Leaders are role models. All of them.

Our children are watching. Our children and grandchildren will remember us by what we stoof for, and stood against.

Republicans and Democrats rarely agree on anything. But in 2012, 92 United States Senators and 89% of House Members voted for a bill called The Magnitsky Act. The bill sanctioned a bunch of rich Russian thugs for torturing and murdering a Russian tax attorney named Sergei Magnitsky. A husband and father with two young children, Magnitsky uncovered a $230 million tax scheme. He tried to expose it to Russian authorities. The thieves didn’t like it. Neither did Vladimir Putin. So they kidnapped, tortured, and murdered Magnitsky.

But so incorrigible was the evidence, that the bill was passed with overwhelming support of both parties.

The next day, as “retaliation,” Putin suspended the adoption of Russian orphans. Many of these orphans suffered for HIV, fetal alcohol syndrome, spina bifida, and other illnesses.

In effect, Putin murdered countless children to “penalize” the U.S. Tens of thousands of Russian citizens took to the streets of Moscow in protest.

Then Dana Rohrabacher, the 30-year congressman who I ran against, went to work. He did everything in his power to lobby for Putin, a man who murders orphaned children, a man who executes his political opponents, even when they live on foreign land. Dana went to Moscow, was given a propaganda video made by The Kremlin that sought to deny the death of Magnitsky. He brought the video back. Tried to show it to members of Congress. They told him — his own Republican colleagues — that the video would not be showed.

So he promoted a public event in DC, the “premiere” of the “documentary.” He worked in tandem with Natalya Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who, by her own admission, is a Russian informant.

Dana has failed. The Magnitsky Act is still the law in the U.S. And the pioneer of the bill — the man who hired Sergei Magnitsky — financier and human rights crusader, Bill Browder, has worked to get the act passed in other countries.

In the early stages of my campaign last year, I learned of The Magnitsky Act. I learned of Browder. I learned of those innocent sick orphans and how Putin had effectively sentenced them to death. Then I learned how Browder had, through his work to sanction these murderers, had become known globally as “Putin’s #1 Enemy” — how Putin wanted him dead.

I marveled with bouts of rage about how a sitting U.S. Congressman would endorse and advocate for the agenda of a murderous dictator. I didn’t purchase any polls to determine what to make my campaign about. I knew what my campaign would be about because I know who I am.

If I’m going to err, I will err on the side of the poor, the outcast, the persecuted.

I made my campaign mainly about Putin’s human rights abuses — the abuse of Russian orphans — and about how our Congressman, my opponent, enabled the thug who sentenced them to death.

Bill Browder formally endorsed me on March 28th of this year:

“Putin has found a backdoor way into American politics through Dana Rohrabacher. Orange County is now one the key flash points in the global proxy war between Putin and the West. Paul Martin sees this and I wish him Godspeed in his quest to stop Putin and Dana Rohrabacher from compromising the integrity of American democracy.”

This was one of the greatest honors of my life. If you don’t know anything about Bill Browder, just google his name. You will be amazed. Because it’s one thing to talk a big game about human rights, it’s another to lay down life for a friend.

Bill Browder with photo of Sergei Magnitsky

I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC a few weeks ago. And I cried. But not when I was on the third and second floors — where you learn of and see photos and video of Hitler’s gruesome mass murder of Jews, dark-skinned people, and homosexuals. I cried on the floor the tour starts — the fourth floor, where you read about the years of Hitler’s attacks on institutions of power, his hate speech, his bigotry, his charismatic promises to restore Germany to economic prosperity. To “Make Germany Great Again.”

One of my mentors is a retired Jewish man. A conservative Jew who teaches Hebrew at his synagogue. I see him often at the local coffee house. I told David about my visit to DC. He had tears in his eyes.

Two days later, I saw him at the local CVS Pharmacy. Our cars were ironically parked right next to each other and when I got out I almost bumped right into him. It was the day after the Pittsburg massacre in the synagogue.

He could not hold back tears.

“Paul, this is not supposed to be happening. My people are scared. Neo-Nazis want to destroy us. There are not ‘very fine people on both sides.'”

I hugged him.

I have never put my political party before my faith. I never will.

I have never put loyalty to the GOP above the teachings of Jesus. I never will.

If I’m going to err, I would err on the side of the poor, the outcast, the persecuted.

“Paul, you give me hope.”

My mentor told me in a CVS parking lot that I give him hope and it humbled me so much.

Sometimes people tell me I need to switch parties, become a Democrat or an Independent. No. Issues of human rights and civil rights and social justice should be championed equally by all political parties.

A friend named Michael Wear worked for President Obama. He headed up his faith-based initiatives program, working closely with many leaders of all faiths. Michael is a devout Christian. And even though he’s a Democrat, he believes people should stay in their parties in order to help reform those parties. He recently wrote a piece in Time Magazine titled Don’t Quit The Republican Party. Stay And Fight. An excerpt:

“When you register to join a political party, there is no fine print that reads, ‘I hereby sign over my conscience to every jot and tittle of my party’s platform.’ There is no loyalty pledge involved.”

I hereby sign over my conscience to every jot and tittle of Jesus‘ platform. Because there is a loyalty pledge required.

 

 

(I saw David this morning at the coffee house. Then I quickly wrote this. I asked if he’d let me take a photo with him. “Paul, I like to stay out of the spotlight but I commend you for using your voice.”)