Every year (beginning in 1988) the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has published a comparison of the two major party platforms to assist Southern Baptists and other people of faith as they seek guidance in the decision for whom to cast their ballots in the presidential election.
This Party Platform Comparison Resource has been one of our most popular resources among rank-and-file church members. Hundreds of thousands of copies have been distributed or downloaded during the presidential elections over the past 20 years.
Instead of seeking to provide an analysis of the two major parties’ positions, the ERLC prints the two parties’ own statements of their positions on the various issues within our purview as the moral concerns and public policy entity of Southern Baptists. People can then decide for themselves, after comparing the two party platforms side by side, which one more accurately reflects their values.
For example, the Democratic Party platform includes the following statement on homosexuals in the military:
“We support the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ and the implementation of policies to allow qualified men and women to serve openly regardless of sexual orientation.
“Democrats will fight to end discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and disability in every corner of our country, because that’s the America we believe in.”
Conversely, the Republican Party platform includes the following statement on the same issue:
“Military priorities and mission must determine personnel policies. Esprit and cohesion are necessary for military effectiveness and success on the battlefield. To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America’s Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timeliness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service.”
Compared side by side, the contrast between the two parties on homosexuals in the military is clear–“Waterford” crystal clear.
Each voter can then make an informed choice based on which platform more accurately reflects their values and convictions.
Two of our greatest former Presidents offer words of wisdom, which are quoted in our Party Platform Comparison Resource.
President (1801-1809) Thomas Jefferson said the following:
“I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”
And as President (1861-1865) Abraham Lincoln said over a century and a half ago:
“Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”