Day two of the Republican National Convention saw the adoption of the 2012 Republican Platform. Each party will develop its own platform which essentially states the ideologies and activities supported by the party and the candidates running for office. Mitt Romney, as the party’s leader, is in support of the Party Platform. This year’s Republican Platform was developed by a committee made up of a Chairman, Co-Chairman, and two committee members from each state. The 2012 Republican Platform is broken down into the following six headings:
- Restoring the American Dream: Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
- We the People, A Restoration of Constitutional Government
- America’s Natural Resources: Energy, Agriculture, and the Environment
- Reforming Government to Serve the People
- Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families, Great Schools, and Safe Neighborhoods
- American Exceptionalism
Three issues that are specifically addressed in the Platform, which affect in particular people of faith, are Traditional Marriage, Religious Liberty, and the Sanctity of Human Life. All three of the issues are listed under: We the People, A Restoration of Constitutional Government. Indeed, all three of the issues are listed under that particular heading because each of these issues deal with Constitutionally protected rights and ideals. Below is a synopsis of the Republican Platform on the three issues of Traditional Marriage, Religious Liberty and the Sanctity of Human Life.
First, the document addresses the issue of judicial activism and the overturning of state constitutional amendments which support the traditional definition of marriage. The document considers President Obama’s actions of not supporting federal law (which he took a public oath to do -uphold the US Constitution and the laws of the land), subsidiary to the actions of activist judges as they blur the separation of powers and “legislate from the bench”. The Platform also supports the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage as between one man and woman. Under DOMA, states, and the Federal government, are not required to recognize same sex marriages performed by another state. The Platform supports a Constitutional Amendment supporting Traditional Marriage, marriage between one man and one woman, and also supports states in their efforts to pass Constitutional Amendments defining marriage between one man and one woman.
The Platform recognizes that the first provision of the First Amendment to the US Constitution states that Congress will pass no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The Platform quotes Thomas Jefferson in saying no one should “suffer on account of his religious opinion or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion….” The platform recognizes that for the Judeo-Christian, one’s faith life informs one’s conscience and their decisions when it comes to all decisions, including those of political nature. The self rule of the people of the United States of America pre-assumes that people of good will, and with an informed moral conscience, will make the heavy decisions of self governance. The Platform recognizes the current War on Religion, which is both perpetuated and instigated by the current administration. And, it recognizes the current administration’s assault on Religious Liberty and their “attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion.” The Platform pledges to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government. It also condemns attempts to perpetrate hate speech, violence, and intimidation against those freely practicing their rights to Religious Liberty.
Sanctity of Human Life:
I’ll have to admit, I was very pleased to see the Republican Platform renew its commitment to the Sanctity of Human Life. It begins with a foundation which affirms that the unborn, and all human life, is guaranteed the basic right to human life and shall not be infringed, as “enshrined’ in the Declaration of Independence. The following is a list of positions that the Platform has taken with regard to the Sanctity of Human Life:
- Support of a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution
- Endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children
- Opposition to public funding of abortion and organizations that perform or endorse abortion
- Opposition to funding or subsidizing health care which includes abortion coverage
- Support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life
- Opposition to the non-consensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm (YES!)
- Opposition to active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide
- Support of legislation protecting the unborn child, including legislation banning gender discrimination in the procurement of abortions
- Support of legislation for infants born alive
- Support for Adult Stem Cell Research
- Opposition to federal funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
- Opposition of killing embryos to harvest stem cells
- Support of Parental Consent Laws
- Support for Crisis Pregnancy Centers
There is much to celebrate about the 2012 Republican Platform under the leadership of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I encourage you to take a look at the Platform, I also encourage you to read Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship and listen to Tim Staples, of Catholic Answers, as he discusses the Five Non-Negotiables. Inform your conscience and get involved as we, the faithful, strive to work for a brighter political future.
For the Dignity of the Born and Unborn,