Comparisons of the Democratic and Republican Platforms on Values Important to Christians
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
CHARLOTTE — First God is out and now He’s back in to the national Democratic platform after a series of close votes followed by a chorus of “boos” Wednesday night at the party’s national convention when Democrats also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The controversy has put party platforms into the spotlight perhaps more than they have been in recent years, prompting the Christian Action League to take a look at what both the DNC and the GOP say they believe with regards to a few of the most significant issues.
Sanctity of Human Life:
The Democrats endorse taxpayer-funded abortions. Their platform says they “strongly and unequivocally support Roe v. Wade” regardless of ability to pay, quite a change from 2004 when the party said abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Democrats for Life, a dying breed, said just four years ago a quarter of Obama supporters self-identified as pro-life, but pro-life Democrats couldn’t even persuade the DNC Drafting Committee to recognize that a “diversity of views” on abortion exist.
Republicans, in their platform, “assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” The GOP affirmed its opposition to public funding of abortion as well as its aversion to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
In a historic move, the DNC not only endorsed same-sex marriage but announced that it opposes “federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection under the law” to same-sex couples.
“Earnest Christians should take particular notice that the party platform of the Democrats is not simply an endorsement of same-sex marriage; it’s a covenant by Democrats to work for the repeal of state constitutional amendments protecting marriage as one man and one woman. In other words, if the Democratic Party has its way, North Carolina’s constitutional marriage amendment that passed in May of this year would be repealed” said Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “They’re saying they promise to work with homosexual activists to bring about that end. So the fight goes on and we must ever be vigilant.”
In contrast, the Republican platform called the activist judiciary’s role in redefining marriage in several states “an assault on the foundations of our society,” and reiterated its support for the Defense of Marriage Act as well affirmed the rights of states not to recognize same-sex relationships legalized outside their borders. “We applaud the citizens of the majority of states which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns under way in several other states to do so,” the platform reads.
The Democrats say they will stay the course with the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known to most as Obamacare, which won approval from the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in June. Admitting that “no law is perfect,” the platform says Democrats stand “willing to work with anyone to improve the law where necessary.”
The Republicans say that a GOP president would use his waiver authority to halt the health care reform act on his first day in office. “From its start, it (Obamacare) was about power, the expansion of government control over one sixth of our economy, and resulted in an attack on our Constitution, by requiring that U.S. citizens purchase health insurance,” the platform reads.
The Democratic platform includes a section on faith, saying that it has always been “a central part of the American story, and it has been a driving force of progress and justice throughout our history.” It credits people of faith and religious organizations with doing amazing work and says that the party believes in finding ways to support that work “where possible.” The one mention of God that was added back to the document this week is in a sentence calling for a government to give “everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
The Republican Party supports the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of the nation’s history and Judeo-Christian heritage and affirms the rights of students to pray in school.
“We assert every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs,” the document reads as it also affirms support for the right of public school children to recite the entire pledge to the American flag, including the phrase “under God.”
The GOP platform mentions God a dozen times including references to “God-given” rights, talents, and natural resources.
Overall platform themes:
According to Constitution Daily, which ran the documents through a few comparison programs, the most popular theme in both the Democrat and Republican Party platforms is “America,” with the second most-popular theme “President” for Democrats and “Government” for the GOP.
Republicans mentioned the Constitution 62 times, dedicating their platform to its framers, compared to six Constitution references for the Democrats. Obviously, more than just an historical focus, the Democrats seem fixated on their current leader as they mentioned President Obama no less than 141 times in their platform. The GOP included Mitt Romney once in their document’s preamble.
Connie Mackey, president of Family Research Council Action PAC, told the Christian Post she wasn’t surprised when the Democrats removed nearly every mention of God from their platform.
“I think it was easy … given their support of issues such as abortion on demand and same-sex marriage go against what God’s word says on these issues,” she said. “We’ve been fighting to keep the definition of marriage and pro-life language in the Republican platform because people do read it and they do care what it says.”
The documents, 25,570 words for the Democrats and 33,000 for the Republicans, are not quick reads by any stretch. But a study released last month by the Pew Research Center shows that more people (52 to 55 percent) are interested in platforms than in what happens at conventions (43 to 44 percent).
“The real question is what will happen after the election. These platforms are not binding on the candidates, but they are undeniable statements of intent and goals by the Party. It used to be people would say, “Well, I don’t vote for the Party, I vote for the man. But Party can’t be ignored. When lawmakers caucus they plan their strategies according to the goals of their Party. So legislators, whether on the federal or state levels, are in some way always influenced by their Party, even controlled by it in certain situations. Christians need to compare Party Platforms to what they know is biblically sound. Party does matter,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Comparing Party Platforms, looking at a candidates record, as well as his or her promises, and measuring comprehensively these considerations with the Word of God, is all necessary for Christians to cast an intelligent and faithful vote as a follower of Christ.”