Platforms Disclose Differences On Issues That Should Concern Christians

  • Rick Scarborough
  • Sep 5, 2012

The platforms adopted by the National Nominating Conventions of the Democratic and Republican Parties reveal a huge gulf between them on issues of concern to most Christians.

It’s often said that party platforms are meaningless – empty rhetoric and election-year sloganeering to snare unwary voters. This is an injustice to both political parties. While all of a party’s promises aren’t enacted into law, platforms do provide a general guide to how a party will govern if its presidential candidate is elected.

Party platforms are often reflected in cabinet and judicial appointments, as well as in policy initiatives. We ignore the promises – and threats – in party platforms to our peril.

On three issues which committed Christian care about deeply, the contrast between the major parties could not be more vivid.


Democrats pledge unhampered access to abortion under the rubric of a “woman’s right to choose.” They maintain this is an intensely personal decision on which no restrictions should be placed. They also support continued public funding of abortion providers, such as Panned Parenthood. Finally, they support the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare.

Republicans declare that the right to life, including the lives of the unborn, is one of the “self-evident truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.” Consequently, their platform supports the Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They oppose the use of public revenues to promote abortion, support the appointment of judges who will defend human life at every stage, and “salute the many states that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods and health-protective clinic regulation.”


Democrats offered their “first formal support for same-sex marriage rights.” Thus, they favor repeal of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which would force states to recognize homosexual “marriages” contracted elsewhere and pledged to continue to oppose a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Republicans affirmed the right of states and the federal government not to have a “court-ordered re-definition of marriage” forced upon them. It described said judicial activism as “an assault on the foundations of our society, which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.”

Further, they support DOMA, describe the president’s refusal to defend the law in court as “making a mockery of … (his) inaugural oath,” and proclaim their support for a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

First Amendment Freedom of Religion

After pledging their support for abortion-on-demand (including public funding) and requiring religious institutions to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs through their health care coverage, Democrats affirmed their support for religious freedom, including “the freedom of churches and other religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.

Republicans pledged “to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government.” They also voiced support for repeal of the contraceptive mandate, public display of The Ten Commandments (as “part of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage”) prayer at public-school events, and the Boy Scouts right to freedom of association.

Space does not permit contrasting the Democrats’ and Republicans’ respective positions on other vital issues, including taxes, deficit spending, immigration and gun ownership.

I urge you to scrutinize and contrast their positions on these and other matters by examining their platforms directly.

Click here for the 2012 Democratic Platform and here for the 2012 Republican platform.

A party’s platform is a pledge, a promise, a vision and, in a way, a contract. Christians should take them seriously.

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