The GOP's G-O-D Platform

The word "faith" shows up 17 times in the Republican platform.

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Editorial Cartoon

That was not a GOP platform Republicans approved at their national convention. It was a G-O-D platform.

God is not only in the details of the 62-page document laying out the Republican vision for America. He's omnipresent. The word "faith" shows up 17 times (not including the part where the GOP says young people "have lost all faith" in Social Security). It shows up in healthcare policy: While Democrats decry a so-called "war on women," the GOP sees a "war on religion" in the Obama administration's insistence that faith-affiliated institutions follow the same rules as everyone else and provide health insurance that covers contraception. The platform, notably, does not suggest that these schools and hospitals stop benefiting from student aid and Medicaid from the government.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Catholic contraception controversy.]

Medical practitioners, the platform said, should be offered a "conscience clause" so that they don't have to provide health services of which they don't approve (such as abortion). But they should not be able to use their individual judgment, moral or otherwise, to decide who lives and who dies, the platform chides. Apparently, doctors and nurses can play morals police, but they can't play God.

Faith-based organizations, too, are seen in the platform as the answer to a series of social obligations and troubles—counseling for traumatized veterans, schooling of children, foster care, and rehabilitation of prisoners. The current government is chastised for promoting a "homosexual rights agenda" in places such as Africa where gays and lesbians are discriminated against and even jailed and worse. Faith-based groups, the platform charges, are denied the right to government grants to do good works abroad because they oppose abortion and gay rights.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

Liberal people of faith note that Jesus might well have had a problem with some of the items in the platform. Faith-based groups do tremendous acts of charity and goodwill both here and around the world, but that doesn't let the government off the hook for taking care of its own citizens. Cuts in Medicaid, dramatic reformation of Medicare, and a slap at welfare recipients (based on the discredited notion that the Obama administration has removed the work requirement for welfare) are all part of the Republican plan. Jesus wanted to help the poor, the sick, and the troubled. The GOP platform is perhaps not God's plan after all.

  • See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.
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