Thursday, September 10, 2020


Republicans from all over the country gathered last month in Charlotte, North Carolina, for our GOP convention. The first order of business was to re-nominate the Trump-Pence ticket. Because no Republican Platform Committee was able to convene this year due to the pandemic, the second most important step by the Republican National Committee was to keep the solidly conservative 2016 party platform in place.  

There are many contrasts between the two major political parties and their respective candidates, but nothing provides more vivid detail of the divide than the GOP and DNC platforms. As we approach a politically and culturally decisive election less than 10 weeks away, it’s worth taking a look at what both platforms say about crucial issues.

First, the GOP declares itself “proud to be the party that protects human life and offers real solutions for women” and “strongly oppose[s] infanticide.” As Abraham Lincoln declared in 1858, “nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows.”

In addition to many other pro-life specifics, the Republican platform calls for a ban on the “use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood.” The GOP’s pledge to end the forced partnership between the nation’s largest abortion provider and taxpayers stands in stark contrast to the Democratic platform, which calls for government funding of abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy and to “overturn … federal and state policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion.” 

It is ironic that a party that claims to be “pro-science” ignores the objective and undeniable science showing that an unborn child is a person from conception onward. Persons deserve the right to life, and their mothers deserve better than the predatory abortion industry.

Second, the Republican Party stands, as it always has, for individual freedom against the encroaching power of the state. “The Bill of Rights lists religious liberty, with its rights of conscience, as the first freedom to be protected,” says the Republican platform. It affirms that this liberty “protects the right of the people to practice their faith in their everyday lives,” and it calls for legislation to prohibit government discrimination against persons, entities and faith-based institutions that do so. 

The Republican platform supports, for example, the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health care plan providers that do not want to participate in morally objectionable services like abortion. If the freedom of religion is restricted to allow intellectual beliefs with no application to how we live, it is really no freedom at all. While the left seeks to marginalize and censor religious expression, conservatives understand that genuine faith is an inseparable guide for a person’s character and daily conduct. 

Third, the Democratic platform’s radical agenda regarding human sexuality is far out of step with most Americans. It endorses, for example, the Obama-Biden administration’s redefinition of “sex discrimination” in Title IX to mandate transgender bathrooms and showers beginning in elementary schools and onto university campuses. Applying common sense, the Republican platform calls that policy “at once illegal, dangerous, and (disregarding of) privacy issues.” 

Democrats envision a government so powerful that it can actually redefine what it means to be a man or a woman and forcibly command obedience to its redefinition. If their policies are enacted, that omnipotent government could, at will, redefine, remove and enforce whatever “rights” or types of conduct it conceives.  

By contrast, the Republican platform echoes the Declaration of Independence and acknowledges that our rights do not derive from government, but from our Creator: “If God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail.” 

While Democrats apologize for America, Republicans still believe — and boldly proclaim in our platform — American exceptionalism and greatness. Our duty is to preserve “this nation, under God,” as Lincoln put it, so “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” The only way to do that is to preserve and advance our core foundational principles, and there is only one party left that still believes it.  

The differences between the two parties’ platforms are stark — just like the choice for president in 2020. President Trump has been more effective at advancing the party platform’s pro-life and pro-religious liberty policies than any president in our memory. A Biden-Harris administration will be just as committed to undoing these faith-and-family friendly policies and implementing the radical Democratic Party platform. Nothing less than the future of faith, family and freedom in America is on the ballot this year.

• Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council Action and a Louisiana delegate to the RNC Convention. U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, Louisiana Republican, is chairman of the House Republican Study Committee. 

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