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Friday, November 2, 2012

Election 2012: In Their Own Words.

This is directed towards those with a Judeo/Christian belief system and/or similar values. All are welcome to read on, of course. But if your values are not formed by the Bible or the Torah this will likely be of little or no use to you. For the sake of honesty and accuracy I am only repeating what each nominee and Party have affirmed as their own beliefs via their own platforms. (Since both parties are prone to exaggerate the other party's positions.) I challenge us all to look at the scriptures given and the words of the candidates and the party platforms and determine which candidate/party adheres most closely to each of our value systems.

Where The President/Democratic Party Stand

The Bible on Jesus:

John 14

6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Speech:

President Obama on Jesus/Christianity:

Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what's possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It's the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God's edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one's life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing. Finally, any reconciliation between faith and democratic pluralism requires some sense of proportion. This goes for both sides.

Even those who claim the Bible's inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages - the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ's divinity - are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.

The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.

Interview

FALSANI:
What do you believe?
OBAMA:
I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith.
On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences.
I lived in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, between the ages of six and 10.
My father was from Kenya, and although he was probably most accurately labeled an agnostic, his father was Muslim.
And I’d say, probably, intellectually I’ve drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith.
(A patron stops and says, “Congratulations,” shakes his hand. “Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Thank you.”)
So, I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.



FALSANI:
Who’s Jesus to you?

OBAMA:
Right. Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he’s also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.
And he’s also a wonderful teacher. I think it’s important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.
FALSANI:
Is Jesus someone who you feel you have a regular connection with now, a personal connection with in your life?
OBAMA:
Yeah. Yes. I think some of the things I talked about earlier are addressed through, are channeled through my Christian faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

FALSANI:
The conversation stopper, when you say you’re a Christian and leave it at that.
OBAMA:
Where do you move forward with that? This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.
FALSANI:
You don’t believe that?
OBAMA:
I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.
Part of the reason I think it’s always difficult for public figures to talk about this is that the nature of politics is that you want to have everybody like you and project the best possible traits onto you. Oftentimes that’s by being as vague as possible, or appealing to the lowest common denominators. The more specific and detailed you are on issues as personal and fundamental as your faith, the more potentially dangerous it is.



FALSANI:
Do you get questions about your faith?
OBAMA:
Obviously as an African American politician rooted in the African American community, I spend a lot of time in the black church. I have no qualms in those settings in participating fully in those services and celebrating my God in that wonderful community that is the black church.
(he pauses)
But I also try to be . . . Rarely in those settings do people come up to me and say, what are your beliefs. They are going to presume, and rightly so. Although they may presume a set of doctrines that I subscribe to that I don’t necessarily subscribe to.
But I don’t think that’s unique to me. I think that each of us when we walk into our church or mosque or synagogue are interpreting that experience in different ways, are reading scriptures in different ways and are arriving at our own understanding at different ways and in different phases.
I don’t know a healthy congregation or an effective minister who doesn’t recognize that.
If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.
FALSANI:
Do you believe in heaven?
OBAMA:
Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?
FALSANI:
A place spiritually you go to after you die?
OBAMA:
What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.
When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.
FALSANI:
Do you believe in sin?
OBAMA:
Yes.

FALSANI:
What is sin?
OBAMA:
Being out of alignment with my values.
FALSANI:
What happens if you have sin in your life?
OBAMA:
I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.



The Bible on Jesus:

John 14

6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Where Mitt Romney/Republican Party Stand:

On Jesus

"When you're off in a foreign place and you only talk to your parents once or twice a year by phone -- that's all that's allowed -- and you're out speaking to people day in and day out about your faith and your religion and differences between your faith and other faiths... you say, 'OK, what's important here? What do I believe? What's truth? Is there a God? Is Jesus Christ the son of God?'" he told Borger.

"These are questions that are no longer academic. They're critical because you're talking about that day in and day out. And so I read scripture with much more interest and concern and sought to draw closer to God through my own prayer. And these things drew me closer to the eternal and convinced me that in fact there is a God. Jesus Christ is the son of God and my savior, and these are things that continue to be important in my life, of course."

If all this is of no consequence and reflects your values and where you stand on the issues so be it. But if it does not I beg you to pray and consider your choices in this and every election.

The Bible on Abortion:

Leviticus 18

21 " 'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

President Obama on Abortion:

News article with quotes:

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama says the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is the chance to recognize the “fundamental constitutional right” to abortion and to “continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court nationalized abortion law, prohibiting states from deciding on the matter. In his written statement, Obama acknowledged that abortion has been a divisive political issue.

Obama, while serving in the Illinois State Legislature and as president of the United States, has taken a hard line on abortion rights.

In his statement on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling, Obama said it reflects the broader principles of America.

“As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters,” Obama said. “I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right.

“While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue -- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption,” Obama said.

“And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

As a state lawmaker in Illinois, he voted four times against legislation to protect the life of a baby that survived a botched abortion. He voted against such legislation at the state level in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

The 2003 bill was assigned to the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee, which Obama chaired at the time. It mirrored a law passed by Congress, which said nothing in federal law should be construed to undermine the Roe v. Wade ruling.


(Democratic Party Platform)

Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose.

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports

Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legalabortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy;there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.


Barack Obama on Reproductive Rights, Sex Education, and Abortion

The Christian Right has fought hard to deny women the ability to make reproductive choices through restrictions on abortion, sex education, emergency contraception, and contraception generally. Barack Obama supports reproductive liberty and reproductive choices for women. He supports a woman's right to choose, even when it comes to late term abortions, and he supports federal funding of both contraceptives and sex education for teenagers.

The Bible on Abortion:

Leviticus 18

21 " 'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

Abortion:

The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life

Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of 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 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 or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes

abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the nonconsensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide. Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend health care coverage to children before birth. We urge Congress to

strengthen the Born Alive Infant Protection Act by enacting appropriate civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers who fail to provide treatment

and care to an infant who survives an abortion, including early induction delivery where the death of the infant is intended. We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its

most lethal form—and to protect from abortion unborn children who are capable of feeling pain; and we applaud U.S. House Republicans for leading the effort to protect the lives of pain-capable unborn children in the District of Columbia. We call for a ban on the use of body parts from aborted fetuses for research. We support and applaud adult stem cell research to develop lifesaving therapies, and we oppose the killing of embryos for their stem cells. We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.


We also salute the many States that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic

regulation. We seek to protect young girls from exploitation through a parental consent requirement; and we affirm our moral obligation to assist, rather than penalize, women challenged by an unplanned pregnancy. We salute those who provide them with counseling and adoption alternatives and empower them to choose life, and we take comfort in the tremendous increase in adoptions that has followed Republican legislative initiatives.


The Bible on Same Sex Marriage/Homosexuality:

(I bring up this particular topic NOT to single it out as a greater sin than others, but because of the cultural and policy implications that are a part of our current political climate.)

Leviticus 18

22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Romans 1

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men,



President Obama on Same Sex Marriage/Homosexuality:

Obama said in an interview with ABC News, "At a certain point I've just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

Obama once opposed such marriages. He later indicated his views were "evolving."

"I had hesitated on gay marriage, in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient," the president said. "I was sensitive to the fact that -- for a lot of people -- that the word marriage is something that provokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs."

A retired Army chaplain says homosexual sailors have been able to choose their bunkmates on board Navy ships as a consequence of the repeal of the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military. as a spokesman for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. When asked by The Washington Times to write an op-ed on the consequences of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," he was quick to point out that "toleration does not cut both ways."

"The Department of Defense is continually bringing forth homosexual soldiers and military personnel to do press conferences and talk about how wonderful it is," Col. Crews notes. "And then they allow military personnel to march in a gay pride parade in San Diego. But yet those who hold biblical values are silenced."

The Chaplain Alliance spokesman adds that homosexuals are now demanding and receiving special privileges in the military, including one egregious example aboard Navy ships.

"Same-sex sailors were able to choose their bunk mates," he reports. "When some heterosexual sailors wanted to choose bunkmates, they were denied that and it caused a morale problem."

That, Crews says, is just the tip of the iceberg. His Washington Times piece is titled "Homosexuals in the military demand special privileges."

On Marriage:

Mitt Romney on Same-Sex Marriage:

"Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve opposed same-sex marriage, but I’ve also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference. Americans are a tolerant, generous, and kind people. We all oppose bigotry and disparagement. But the debate over same-sex marriage is not a debate over tolerance. It is a debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage and it is a debate about activist judges who make up the law rather than interpret the law." - Mitt Romney 12/14/06 National Review Online

Summary: Mitt Romney on Same-Sex Marriage

Marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Supports a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

In favor of recognizing domestic partnerships that include the opportunity for shared health benefits and rights of survivorship.

Every child deserves a father and a mother.

Defending Marriage Against An Activist Judiciary

A serious threat to our country’s constitutional

order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other

branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several States. This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and

the transmission of cultural values.

A Sacred Contract: Defense of Marriage

That is why Congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other

jurisdictions. The current Administration’s open defiance of this constitutional principle—in its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base,

and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts— makes a mockery of the President’s inaugural oath.

We commend the United States House of Representatives and State Attorneys General who have defended these laws when they have been attacked in the courts. We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their

constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so.

Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage

The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by

both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more

likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many

burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.

The Bible on Israel:

Genesis 12

1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Genesis 27

29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."

Numbers 24

8 "God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them. 9 Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse them? "May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!"


President Obama on Israel:

Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed -- more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, it is ignorant, and it is hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction -- or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews -- is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.

On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people -- Muslims and Christians -- have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they've endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations -- large and small -- that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.

At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. (Applause.)

And Israel must also live up to its obligation to ensure that Palestinians can live and work and develop their society. Just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be a critical part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.

Romney on Israel:

"The idea of pushing on the Israelis to give something up to get the Palestinians to act is the worst idea in the world.”

Our Unequivocal Support of Israel

Israel and the United States are part of the great fellowship of democracies who speak the same language of freedom and justice, and the right of every

person to live in peace. The security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States; our alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also shared values. We affirm our unequivocal commitment to Israel’s security and will ensure that it maintains a qualitative edge in military technology over any potential adversaries.

We support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with secure, defensible borders; and we envision two democratic states—Israel with Jerusalem as its capital and Palestine—living in peace and security. For that to happen, the Palestinian people must support leaders who reject terror, embrace the institutions and ethos of democracy, and respect the rule of law. We call on Arab governments throughout the region to help advance that goal. Israel should not be expected to negotiate with entities pledged to her destruction.

We call on the new government in Egypt to fully uphold its peace

treaty with Israel. The U.S. seeks a comprehensive and lasting

peace in the Middle East, negotiated between the parties themselves with the assistance of the U.S., without the imposition of an artificial timetable. Essential to that process will be a just, fair, and realistic framework for dealing with the issues that can be settled on the basis of mutually agreed changes reflecting today’s realities as well as tomorrow’s hopes.

Democratic Party Platform:

At the Democratic Convention this year the words "God given" were excluded and Jerusalem were initially not acknowledged as the capitol of Israel in the party platform. (The official statement of where the part stands.) They moved to reinstate those items on the convention floor. This has to be done with a 2/3 vote. Three times the call was made for yes or no to put these statements back into the platform, again by 2/3 vote. Each time the vote was virtually even. There was never a clear 2/3 majority. It was then moved to accept the changes in the platform. And the decision to affirm God and Israel was met with booing. I believe the booing was also against the way the issue was resolved. There are two very large issues here regarding faith and the law.


1. The fact that God and Israel had to be put back in the platform is very frightening and telling as to where the heart of the party is.

2. The fact that they openly forced the measure through without the required 2/3 vote shows a blatant disregard for the truth and their own bylaws and procedures.


Republican Party Platform:

Freedom of Religion:

The First Amendment:

The Foresight of Our Founders to Protect Religious Freedom

The first provision of the First Amendment concerns freedom of religion. That guarantee reflected Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious

Freedom, which declared that 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….” That

assurance has never been more needed than it is today, as liberal elites try to drive religious beliefs— and religious believers—out of the public square. The Founders of the American Republic universally agree

that democracy presupposes a moral people and that,

in the words of George Washington’s Farewell Address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

The most offensive instance of this war on religion has been the current Administration’s 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. This forcible secularization of religious and religiously affiliated organizations, including faith-based hospitals and colleges, has been in tandem with the current Administration’s audacity in declaring which faith related activities are, or are not, protected by the First Amendment—an unprecedented aggression repudiated by a unanimous Supreme Court in its Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC decision.

We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government. We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer at public school events in public schools and to have equal access to public schools and other public facilities to accommodate religious freedom in the public square. We assert 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 symbols, or submitting to government-imposed hiring practices. We oppose government discrimination against businesses due to religious views. We support the First Amendment right of freedom of association of the Boy Scouts of America and other service organizations whose values are under assault and condemn the State blacklisting of religious groups which decline to arrange adoptions by same-sex couples. We condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage against advocates of traditional marriage and call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights.

That is where each party stands in their own words.

While neither Mitt Romney nor the Republican Party are always biblically sound in word or action, they are not openly at war with the Word of God. The Republicans are not actively as a party aligned with groups who are engaged in battle to eliminate God from the public discourse and influence over our nation.

Neither candidate has fully biblical worldview. But only one is repeatedly anti biblical in word and practice. Is that really who you want to align yourself with? And what about Israel? Most of President Obama's and the Democrats' actions and policies are much closer to being a curse to Israel than a blessing. I do not claim that if you are are a Christian or a practicing Jew you must be one party or the other. I do do believe that one party clearly expresses hostility toward God and His Word and the other merely often fails to live up to the challenge of heeding His Word. You don't have to trust yourself or me. Look it up in the Word and discern who is more closely aligned according to their own words.

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