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Nov 19th

Crossroads & the Tale of Two Party Platforms

 Democrats?  -  Voting Our Values  -  Republicans?

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”(President George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796)

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  (President John Adams, 1798)

“Without God, there is no virtue, because there's no prompting of the conscience. … Without God, there is a coarsening of the society.  And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”  (President Ronald Reagan, 1984)

The November Election:  Why the Confusion?

Listen to the Radio Broadcast Audio HERE

With just two months to go, many voters remain uncertain about which of the parties and their respective candidates deserve our support and our vote.  Which of them seems to identify most closely with America’s Godly Heritage, with our core values, and with our vision for the future of America and for our families?

How do we decide when none of the presidential candidates has earned our total confidence?  Do we just sit this one out and not even go to the polls on November 8?  Or do we just close our eyes, cross our fingers, and mark our ballots for the one that seems least objectionable?  Where can we go for help?

The Party Platforms – and Why They Matter

There is one tool that might help us make up our minds.  That is the platforms that both the Republican and Democratic Parties adopted at their national conventions in July. 

These platforms clearly reflect the basic beliefs, core values, and fundamental principles on which each party and their candidates have taken a stand.  They, perhaps as much as the candidates themselves, present two very different visions for America and a clear choice for us in November – not only for the presidency but for all candidates who are standing for election this year.  

And that is what Rita Dunaway and I will be presenting this weekend on our Crossroads radio program, drawing directly on language contained in each of the platforms. 

To help us break down the 50-plus pages in each platform, we will look at the positions they take in two basic categories that embody the very heart and soul of what has made America such an exceptional nation for the past 400 years and on which it must continue to be guided for its continued survival.

The first category is their treatment of the core Judeo-Christian values of Life, Faith, Marriage and the Family, and Freedom.  The second category is how they address the enduring Constitutional principles by which America has been governed.   Both of these categories are referred to in the quotes cited above.

At the end of the program, we will give both platforms a numerical score from 1 to 10 on each of these two categories as an indicator of where they stand -- and encourage you to do the same.

Listen to the Radio Broadcast Audio HERE

Where They Stand on Basic Judeo-Christian Values

1. On Life:

Republicans: 

-- “We believe the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed.  We also oppose use of federal funds to perform/promote abortion or for organizations like Planned Parenthood (or) for healthcare that includes abortion coverage.  We support the appointment of judges who respect … the sanctity of human life.”

Democrats: 

-- “Every woman should have access … (to) safe and legal abortion.  … We will oppose and seek to overturn laws that impede a woman’s access to abortion as well as laws that would defund Planned Parenthood.  … We also believe that safe abortion must be included in America’s global health programming.  … We will support sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world.”

2. On Faith:

Republicans:

-- “We urge reversal of the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and oppose government discrimination against those who decline to participate in activities that violate their beliefs.  We also believe that a good understanding of the Bible is indispensable for the development of an educated citizenry and therefore that it should be included in a literature curriculum as an elective in America’s high schools.”  (Comment.  The platform includes frequent references to God as the source of our inalienable rights and for His blessing and His help in the days ahead.)

Democrats: 

-- “Democrats will fight for sex-discrimination laws to cover LGBT people … We reject the misuse of religion to discriminate (and) will fight efforts by any nation to infringe on LGBT rights.”  (Comment:  It mentions God only three times in the entire document, each time in a reference to “our God-given rights”.)

3. On Marriage and the Family:

Republicans: 

-- “The cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman.  Children raised in two-parent households tend to be healthier, do better in school, less likely to use drugs and alcohol, engage in crime, or become pregnant outside of marriage.  … Every child deserves a married mom and dad.  … We do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and urge its reversal.”

Democrats: 

-- “(We) applaud last year’s decision by the Supreme Court that recognized LGBT people … have the right to marry the person they love.”  (Comment.  The platform devotes a lengthy section to LGBT rights with repeated references throughout the platform, including “sexual orientation” as a protected category equal to that of race and religion.  However, it does not mention the importance of encouraging marriages that would give every child a loving father and mother.)

4. On Freedom:

Republicans: 

-- “To protect religious liberty, we will ensure that faith-based institutions do not face discrimination by government.  … We urge repeal of the 1954 Johnson Amendment (that placed limits on the pulpits’ freedom of political speech and activity.) … We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act to bar government discrimination against faith-based groups.  … We encourage states to resist federal guidelines that would allow men to use women’s restrooms.  … The constitution gives the federal government no role in education.  Therefore, we oppose national standards and Common Core.  In its place, we support choice-based, parent-driven, local control of our schools.”

Democrats:  

-- In the context of addressing persecution of religious minorities overseas, “We will do all we can to protect religious minorities and the fundamental right of freedom of religion (and) bolster groups and individuals who fight for fundamental human rights.”  (Comment:  The Platform makes no mention of the need to protect the rights of Christians in America who oppose government policies and LGBT activities that violate their conscience.)

Where They Stand on Enduring Constitutional Principles

On Limiting the Power of Government:

Republicans: 

-- “We support independent institutions that stand between the citizen and the government and (which) create spaces where the power of government should not intrude. … We affirm the 10th Amendment defense of state sovereignty and condemn federal assaults on our liberties, including voter ID laws, immigration law enforcement, school bathroom policies, universal health care, climate change policies, judicial activism, and discrimination against those who refuse to participate in activities that violate their beliefs.

Democrats: 

-- “We will ensure that any new spending programs are offset by higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy so as not to add to the national debt.”  (Comment:  The overall thrust is for bigger government, expanded powers, and greater dependency on government at the expense of individual liberty and responsibility.)

On Securing Fundamental Human Rights and National Security:

Republicans: 

“We uphold the 2nd Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms.”

Democrats: 

-- “We support workers’ right to form and join unions and oppose ‘Right to Work’ laws, … and recognize  sexual orientation and gender identity as protected groups entitled to equal rights under the law.”

On Promoting Individual Liberties and Free Enterprise:

Republicans:

-- “We promote Right to Work laws and reducing the national debt, and condemn government’s actions to overregulate all sectors, including war on coal, blocking the Keystone pipeline and nuclear industry development, and imposing insupportable ‘climate change’ policies and regulations.”

Democrats: 

-- General comment:  The Platform opposes privatization and suppresses individual liberties in preference for greater government control, more individual dependency, a higher minimum wage, and free tuition for working families to attend public colleges and universities.

Scoring the Platforms

Now for the final assessment.  Based on our comparisons of their adherence to Judeo-Christian values and to Constitutional principles, we scored the two platforms as noted below, on a scale of 1 to 10 for each category. 

However, please note that these assessments and calculations reflect only our own personal observations. They do not represent an endorsement by the Valley Family Forum of either party or any of its candidates.   

On Judeo-Christian Values:                  

•             Republican Platform

Rita:     9

Dean:  10

Total:  19

•             Democratic Platform

Rita:      2

Dean:    1

Total:     3           

On Constitutional Principles:                 

•             Republican Platform

Rita:      7

Dean:     8

Total:   15

•             Democratic Platform

Rita:       1

Dean:     1

Total:     2  

Final Combined Score:  

•             Republican Platform 

Rita:    16

Dean:  18

Total:   34

•             Democratic Platform  

Rita:      3

Dean:    2

Total:    5

If you would like to conduct your own review of the complete text of both party platforms, go to www.demconvention.com/platform/ and to www.gop.com/the-2016-republican-party-platform/.

In addition, for another independent, non-partisan summary of the issues addressed in both platforms, go to www.billygraham.org/story/2016-party-platforms/.  You can also check out yet another review of the platforms at http://townhall.com/columnists/robertknight/2016/08/02/a-tale-of-two-platforms-n2200849.  Mr. Knight is a fellow at the America Civil Rights Union.

Finally, if you need more help, please go to http://www.commit2vote2016.com/ for some useful suggestions and resources from Focus on the Family that you can share with friends on the road to November.

Crossroads & the Party Platforms

This is such an important election, and these platforms tell us a lot about both parties.  Therefore, I hope you will join Rita and me this weekend for our Crossroads’ review that will air on WBTX (1470) at 4:00 p.m. Saturday and again on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., followed by WSVA (550) and WSVA/FM (92.1) at 8:30; and WNLR (1150) at 11:30. You can also listen online HERE anytime.

Crossroads is entirely listener supported.  Therefore, if you would like to help, please send your check to Crossroads at PO Box 881, Harrisonburg, 22803.  All donations are tax-deductible and deeply appreciated. 

From the Crossroads Team, for God and Country!

Dean



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