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2008 Platform (filtered to advances religious doctrine)

This is a plank-by-plank review of the 2008 platform. Use the links at right to narrow it down, or explore alternate views:

original version
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Showing only planks with advances religious doctrine fault: Parts of these only promote limited religious viewpoints. (show all planks)
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Marriage and Divorce

Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health > Celebrating Traditional Marriage > Marriage and Divorce
We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the integrity of this institution should be protected at all levels of government. We urge the Legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws. We support Covenant Marriage.
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The problems that cause divorce cannot be solved with more red tape. This is a problem for the church and the people.

No-fault in fact ended the chicanery and legal fictions that enabled the practice anyway.

Furthermore, personal morality is the prerogative of the church and the individual, not the government.

There is no credible movement to change marriage other than the ongoing debate about gay marriage, and that is handled in the Family and Defense of Marriage plank.


Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health > Celebrating Traditional Marriage > Homosexuality
We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples." We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, refuse to recognize, or grant special privileges including, but not limited to: marriage between persons of the same sex (regardless of state of origin), custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values

Homosexual acceptance is increasing in America, even among conservatives and Christians. An anti-gay crusade cannot help the Republican's relevance to society.

That being said, many thoughtful people see homosexuality as a personally destructive lifestyle choice. While government's job is not to decide morality or affirm either viewpoint, it must fully affirm one's right to hold and express their chosen viewpoint. Furthermore, conservatives support the Constitutional right to free association, which in part means sectarian and noncommercial movements have a right to define their own moral codes that may prevent their association with what they view as improper moral choices.

Marriage is handled in a different plank, and the courts have been clear about our constitutional right to free association.

Texas Sodomy Statutes

Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health > Celebrating Traditional Marriage > Texas Sodomy Statutes
We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy.
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Regulation of private bedroom behavior on moral grounds is government expansionism.


Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health > Celebrating Traditional Marriage > Pornography
We support laws that restrict minors' access to pornography and prevent sexually oriented businesses from operating near neighborhoods, schools, and established businesses and institutions that cater to minors.We urge our governmental bodies to enforce laws regarding all forms of pornography. We urge more stringent legislation to prohibit all pornography including virtual pornography and operation of sexually-oriented businesses.

Complete bans on pornography are subjective, unconstitutional, and only come from a desire to have government decide individual morality. However, conservatives support community standards that usually separate intensive pornography businesses from places where children congegrate.

Textbooks and Curricula

Educating Our Children > Textbooks and Curricula
The SBOE must have sole authority over textbook content and state adoption, and this process must include public hearings. We urge the Legislature to give the State Board of Education authority to establish textbook adoption standards. We oppose the replacement of textbooks by laptops. We support competitive pricing as part of the textbook selection process by independent school districts and oppose standard maximum pricing schemes.
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Textbook content adoption must have checks and balances. Otherwise textbook standards will entirely be created by an unelected committee.

The anti-technology provision is silly and contradicts other parts of the platform that affirm technology.

Furthermore, by limiting textbook authority to the SBOE, this plank contradicts other planks that call for local control.

Let's be frank about what this is about: some see the SBOE as the best hope for replacing science with religious doctrine or presenting a politically-biased, revisionist view of history. They keep trying but always fail.

Textbook pricing problems can be greatly alleviated by eliminating Texas's unusual, centralized control of textbook adoption and purchasing. Let the free market work, let local control work, let local districts purchase their textbooks like the rest of the nation. Fortunately that has already started.

Theories of Origin

Educating Our Children > Theories of Origin
We support objective teaching and equal treatment of strengths and weaknesses of scientific theories, including Intelligent Design. We believe theories of life origins and environmental theories should be taught as scientific theory, not scientific law. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.
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Scientific literacy is key to a good education. It must include robust knowledge of prevailing scientific theories. This includes evolution, the only commonly accepted science on the origin of life.

Intelligent design is a form of creationism. As a nonscientific religious belief, creationism does not belong in science classes.

Furthermore, creationism is a limited view within Christianity. Most American Christians belong to denominations that do not endorse this viewpoint.

Sexual Assault

Promoting Individual Freedom and Personal Safety > Protecting Citizens From Crime > Sexual Assault
Punishment options for rape should include death. AdultsAdults convicted of sexual molestation of a minor should receive mandatory prison sentences without probation or parole. We support increasing the penalty for failure to report child sexual assault cases, and we urge vigorous prosecution of such failure. We urge the Legislature to eliminate from the child sexual assault law the "affirmative defense" when there is less than 36 months of age difference.

Rape is serious, but it is unclear why it deserves equivalent punishment to capital murder. Why just rape? How about all the other serious crimes that leave lasting harm on their victims?

It is likely this is just advancing a limited religious viewpoint.

The 3 year boundary is arbitrary and imperfect, but it is not clear why it is the wrong boundary or why a different (or no?) boundary is better. There is no popular movement to change this law.


Restoring American Sovereignty and Leadership > International Relations > Israel
The United States and Israel share a special relationship. We support military and economic assistance and recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. We encourage peace talks between Israel and Palestinians in the context of Israel's fundamental right to exist. We support the continuation of non-recognition of terrorist organizations.We believe that the United States and Israel share a special long-standing relationship based on shared values, a mutual commitment to a republican form of government, and a strategic alliance that benefits both nations. Our foreign policy with Israel should reflect the special nature of this relationship through continued military and economic assistance and recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths. We believe that the US Embassy should be located in Jerusalem. In our diplomatic dealings with Israel, we encourage the continuation of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but oppose pressuring Israel to make concessions it believes would jeopardize its security, including the trading of land for the recognition of its right to exist. We call on the U.S. to cease strong arming Israel through prior agreements with the understanding of delivering equipment to them to defend themselves in exchange for future diplomatic concessions, such as giving up land to the Palestinians on the West Bank. We support the continuation of non-recognition of terrorist nations and organizations. Our policy is based on God's biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.

The plank is terribly wordy.

The Biblical citation is a quite literalist Biblical interpretation. It does not represent a consensus view even within Christianity and is utterly inappropriate for a platform document.