In the wake of last week’s Republican National Convention, and in the midst of the Democratic National Convention, it is more important than ever for voters to be thoroughly educated on each party’s platform going into the general election season. In two recent posts on the Republican Party platform, (part one, part two) Joe Carter provides a comprehensive summary of the Republican Party’s main stances (we’ll look at some of the Democratic Party’s platform issues in a later post). Some of the highlights of the platform include:
Supports evaluation of poverty programs based on whether they actually reduce poverty and increases the personal independence of its participants.
Supports work requirements for poverty programs. Urge greater state and local responsibility for, and control over, public assistance programs.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Supports the reduction of occupational licensing laws.
Opposes any efforts to tax religious organizations.
Pledges to “defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control.”
Supports laws to confirm the “longstanding American tradition that religious individuals and institutions can educate young people, receive government benefits, and participate in public debates without having to check their religious beliefs at the door.”
Supports the freedom of Americans to act in accordance with their religious beliefs, not only in their houses of worship, but also in their everyday lives.
Supports the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Calls for the U.S. to “stand with leaders” who has protect the rights of Coptic Christians in Egypt, and calls on other leaders across the region to ensure that all religious minorities, “whether Yazidi, Bahai, Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant Christians” are free to practice their religion without fear of persecution.
These points draw attention to some of the basic principles behind the strong correlation between religious freedom and economic liberty. For instance, critically evaluating the efficacy of poverty programs will allow us to change policies that may in fact be continually oppressing the poor. Furthermore, the reduction of occupational licensing laws will eliminate barriers preventing Americans from entering certain fields of work, thus enabling hard-working people to lift themselves out of poverty and giving them the freedom of enterprise that enables people to start businesses. In terms of religious liberty, Jay W. Richards succinctly says in One and Indivisible: The Relationship between Religious and Economic Freedom,
Because the economic and religious realms involve man as an individual, as a member of a family, and as a member of society, it is unrealistic to imagine that we can cordon off our religious liberty from our economic liberty…if we wish to preserve religious liberty, what we need are robust defenses of both economic and religious liberty, framed in a way that makes it clear that these two liberties, these two freedoms, are mutually reinforcing and indivisible.
Accurate perspective and insight is crucial this voting season. If you are watching the DNC this week, or re-watching the RNC, and want to gain a better understanding of the heart of some of these issues, you can read more from One and Indivisible: The Relationship between Religious and Economic Freedom, now available on sale in the Acton Book Shop.