In Brief: the 2008 GOP National Platform – Values

Last but certainly not least in our series is the Republican Platform‘s chapter on Values. Here are the title and section headings:

Preserving Our Values

Upholding the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Ensuring Equal Treatment for All

Protecting Our National Symbols

Freedom of Speech and of the Press

Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life

Preserving Traditional Marriage

Safeguarding Religious Liberties

Preserving Americans’ Property Rights

Supporting Native American Communities

Here’s the intro:

From its founding, America has been an idea as much as a political or geographic entity. It has meant, for untold millions around the world, a set of ideals that speak to the highest aspirations of humanity. From its own beginning, the Republican Party has boldly asserted those ideals, as we now do again, to affirm the rights of the people under the rule of law.

I like very much that the Second Amendment is included as a value! The section “Upholding the Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms” includes this (emphasis added):

We uphold the right of individual Americans to own firearms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller affirming that right, and we assert the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms…

We call for education in constitutional rights in schools, and we support the option of firearms training in federal programs serving senior citizens and women. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to returning members of the Armed Forces who have suffered trauma during service to their country…

We recognize that gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens, and that such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime.

Here is the sentence that follows the “Freedom of Speech and of the Press” section heading:

We support freedom of speech and freedom of the press and oppose attempts to violate or weaken those rights, such as reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine.

What follows is most of the section pertaining to abortion with a couple of points of emphasis added:

Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life

Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, 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 have made progress. The Supreme Court has upheld prohibitions against the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. States are now permitted to extend health-care coverage to children before birth. And the Born Alive Infants Protection Act has become law; this law ensures that infants who are born alive during an abortion receive all treatment and care that is provided to all newborn infants and are not neglected and left to die. We must protect girls from exploitation and statutory rape through a parental notification requirement. We all have a moral obligation to assist, not to penalize, women struggling with the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy.

At its core, abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life. Women deserve better than abortion. Every effort should be made to work with women considering abortion to enable and empower them to choose life. We salute those who provide them alternatives, including pregnancy care centers, and we take pride in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.

Here are excerpts from two the last four sections:

Preserving Traditional Marriage

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…

Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress. A Republican Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of states not to recognize same-sex “marriages” licensed in other states. Unbelievably, the Democratic Party has now pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which would subject every state to the redefinition of marriage by a judge without ever allowing the people to vote on the matter.

Safeguarding Religious Liberties

Our Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion and forbids any religious test for public office, and it likewise prohibits the establishment of a state-sponsored creed. The balance between those two ideals has been distorted by judicial rulings which attempt to drive faith out of the public arena…

We affirm every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious objects or symbols, or becoming subject to government-imposed hiring practices. Forcing religious groups to abandon their beliefs as applied to their hiring practices is religious discrimination.

Congratulations to those National Platform Committee members for a job well done. Now it’s up to our Republican elected officials, candidates, and rank and file GOP voters to keep this Platform as the summation of their agenda. Without the Platform, the Republican Party is only a vehicle to promote selfish individual political careers.