Editor's Note: The following opinion piece from Dr. Richard Land is written from his perspective as a private citizen with decades of experience as a Christian leader and in public policy. Though Dr. Land is executive editor of The Christian Post and president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, his endorsement is solely his own, and not on behalf of either organization, and represents a break from his 24-year-old tradition of not endorsing presidential candidates.
Every four years we have pundits and political gurus tell America, "This is the most important presidential election in a generation." They are most often wrong. However, once a generation they are right. The 2012 presidential election on Nov. 6 is at least the most important election in a generation. It is perhaps the most important election since one that occurred on Nov. 6, 1860, when in the providence of God Abraham Lincoln was elected president, preserved the Union, and expunged the evil of slavery from our land.
America is at a fork in the road and must choose between a President Barack Obama who wants to remake America in the model of a European welfare state and a Governor Mitt Romney who wants to restore a more economically vibrant and traditionally moral America.
The stakes could not be higher morally, socially, or economically. When one turns to the platforms of the two parties, one finds radical differences on issues that deeply divide American society.
On the sanctity of human life, the Republican Party's platform proclaims, "We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed." Further, the Republican platform endorses both "a human life amendment to the constitution" and "legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."
The party platform also addresses the assaults on life at its various stages, declaring opposition to "the non-consensual 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."
Conversely, the Democratic Party's Platform declares that it "strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion." And they "oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."
On the question of marriage, the Republican Party's Platform supports "a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman." They also affirmed their belief "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." Further, the Republican platform promises to "enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Armed Forces as well as in the civilian world."
The Democratic Party's Platform, by contrast says, "We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples." The party platform also declares Democrats oppose "discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples." They also "support full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act."
Thus, on the issues of the sanctity of human life and traditional marriage versus same-sex marriage, the contradiction could not be more stark and revealing.
For Christians of traditional religious faith there cannot be more fundamental issues than the protection of the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death and the defense of marriage as a divinely-ordained institution between one man and one woman.
In addition, we have a financial crisis that has increased our national debt by nearly 60 percent in the last four years. As a nation our federal government is borrowing over 40 cents of every dollar it spends, an unsustainable ratio of debt to spending that, if not curtailed almost immediately, will permanently circumscribe and attenuate our children and grandchildren's economic futures. We are currently engaging in generational theft by incurring astronomical debt that future generations will spend their entire economic lives redeeming.
For these reasons Gov. Romney, pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, is the man best equipped as president to lead us out of the moral and economic morass that threatens to engulf our nation. Gov. Romney understands that the size of government must decline and that the private economy must grow vigorously in order to address our economic crisis.
On Thursday, October 18, the great American and evangelist Billy Graham took out a full page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal in which he declared "it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles…I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman."
It is for all these reasons and more that I endorse Gov. Mitt Romney for president of the United States. In doing so, I am personally breaking a 24-year tradition of not exercising my right as a private citizen to endorse a candidate. I am endorsing Gov. Romney because he endorses my values and convictions on the issues discussed in this column.
Yes, this election is that important.
P. S. I'm doing this in my individual capacity as a citizen of the United States and this does not reflect or constitute an endorsement by any other institution or organization with which I am affiliated.