Casting Stones

Casting Stones

The Party Platforms: Instructive Guides to Informed Voting – Part 3

posted by Dr. Richard Land

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.”

McCain, Obama, and the Military

posted by Dr. Richard Land

Which candidate for president enjoys the most support among the military, active and retired?
The Military Times recently released the results of a poll of their readership (Active Duty military, Reserve-National Guard members, and “military retirees”). They found that among “Active Duty” military John McCain enjoyed a clear advantage over Barack Obama (67% to 24%). McCain’s advantage over Obama was even larger among “Guard & Reserve” members (71% to 21%) and “Retirees” (72% to 20%).
Senator McCain’s advantage among present and past members of the military proved to be pervasive across service boundaries: Army (68% to 23%), Navy (69% to 24%), Air Force (67% to 24%) and Marine Corps (75% to 18%). Senator McCain also enjoyed similarly high levels of support from both enlisted (67% to 24%) and officers (70% to 22%).
The age of the service members did not appear to diminish Senator McCain’s level of support vs. Senator Obama’s. Among service members 18-34 years of age, McCain enjoyed a 65% to 27% advantage, and among those 35 and older, it was McCain (70%) and Obama (21%).
The only two groups that departed from the pervasive support McCain garnered from the military were women and African-Americans. Among women service members McCain was favored by only 53% to 36% over Obama, a drop of 15% from his support among all service personnel.
African-American service members, however, provided the most dramatic departure among the military in terms of support for Senator Obama. African-American service personnel supported Obama over McCain 79% to 12%. By comparison, among Hispanic service members, support for McCain was 63% to 27% for Obama.
Those numbers reflect the fact that African-Americans are providing overwhelming support for Senator Obama this election cycle. Polls show that African-Americans are registering and planning to vote in record numbers for Senator Obama. The startling dissonance between African-American service members’ voting preference vs. their fellow service members’ reflects this larger societal trend.
There is a another phenomenon in American presidential elections that is analogous to this phenomenon. In 1960 John F. Kennedy benefited greatly from being a Roman Catholic. Although his faith was considered quite controversial, in the end he received almost the same number of votes from Protestants (who were thought to have grave reservations about his Catholicism) that previous Democratic presidential candidates had received. However, Kennedy received unprecedented and overwhelming support from the Catholic community, similar to the support Obama is currently receiving from the African-American community.
In other words, being Catholic helped Kennedy win and Obama’s ethnicity is benefitting him similarly in the 2008 election.

The Party Platforms: Instructive Guides to Informed Voting – Part 2

posted by Dr. Richard Land

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 “Same-Sex Marriage”:

“We support the full inclusion of all families, including same-sex couples, in the life of our nation, and support equal responsibility, benefits, and protections. We will enact a comprehensive bipartisan employment non-discrimination act. We oppose the Defense of Marriage Act and all attempts to use this issue to divide us.”

Conversely, the Republican Party platform includes the following statement on the same issue:

“Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it. In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives.
“…We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and California.”

Compared side by side, the contrast between the two parties on “same-sex marriage” is clear–“Waterford” crystal clear.
Each voter can then make an informed choice based on which platform more accurately reflects their values and convictions.

The Party Platforms: Instructive Guides to Informed Voting

posted by Dr. Richard Land

Ever since my election as president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission in 1988, the commission has published a party platform comparison guide to assist Southern Baptists and other people of faith as they seek to decide for whom to cast their ballots in the presidential election.
This Party Platform Comparison Resource (iVoteValues.com) 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 trying to analyze the two major parties’ positions, the ERLC just prints the Democrats’ and Republicans’ own statements or positions on the various issues within our purview as the moral concerns and public policy entity of Southern Baptists. Then people can 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:

“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
“The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to comprehensive affordable family planning services and age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions.
“The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.”

Alternatively, the Republican Party platform includes the following:

“We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception.
“…we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity and dignity of innocent human life.
“…we oppose the non-consensual withholding of care or treatment from people with disabilities, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, which endanger especially those on the margins of society.”

When they are compared side by side, the contrast between the two parties on “life” issues is stark and clear for all who have eyes to see–pro-life and pro-choice alike. Each voter can then make their choice accordingly.
One thing people who read the platforms of each party cannot say is, “I cannot tell any difference between the parties.”

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The Party Platforms: Instructive Guides to Informed Voting - Part 3
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 ele

posted 1:44:04pm Oct. 31, 2008 | read full post »


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