Three Times, They Said No to God

Allen West has this new commercial out about the Democratic delegates at the DNC voting against including “God” and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in their platform.  Click here to see the unedited version of the video.

 

About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • Brantley Gasaway

    Good grief. This ad is so distorted it’s not even worth deconstructing.

    Nancy, would you post such a video if it appealed to people’s fears of Mormonism? If not, then why are such ads appropriate when they appeal to fears of atheism? You should be helping us rise above this ridiculousness, not perpetuating it.

    • David French

      Brantley, Mormonism and atheism are not morally equivalent. Mormonism is a force for virtue in our culture. Atheism is not. Besides, the cries of “nay” for adding God into the platform betray a vast cultural divide between the Republican and Democratic parties, a divide that should be exposed.

      • Ryan S.

        “The fanaticism which discards the Scripture, under the pretense of resorting to immediate revelations is subversive of every principle of Christianity. For when they boast extravagantly of the Spirit, the tendency is always to bury the Word of God so they may make room for their own falsehoods.”
        -John Calvin

        But David, atheism is a force for virtue, its an acid that eats away the idols in our culture. Most Gods are “gods” in the full sense of the word, they are idols. I’m not for running around and screaming heretics but its disconcerting to me (being a Canadian) how many Reformed thinkers are “softening” the edges of their faith in order for a cultural war.

        “Adding God into a platform” cannot be done. God is not added unto anything. I do believe there are more atheists in the Democratic Party, but I also believe there are many “Christians” in the Republican party that don’t have any clue who Jesus is.

        This is precisely the point that I make above. Mormonism isn’t a force for virtue in a more significant way than Atheism. Calvin would be astonished that you would say so. Barth would be astonished. They would be puzzled as to why you wish to construct Asherah poles rather than demolish them.

        • http://www.NancyFrench.com Nancy French

          Mormonism isn’t a force for virtue in a more significant way than Atheism — really? Tell that to the millions upon millions of Chinese people who starved to death under Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” as he strove to drive the Chinese further into communism/atheism.

          • Ryan S.

            Firstly, just a heads up that I am a Christian and a fairly conservative one. I’m not communist and I have no leanings towards that. However, that is just a bad argument. Look at serious apologists and see if they attribute those deaths to “atheism.” I’m not talking about Dinesh D’Souza here. Escape the punditry nonsense. Mao was an atheist but all atheists are not communists. Secondly, many people starve as an indirect result of economic capitalism to this day. Thirdly, David and yourself are astonishingly syncretic in your views. I don’t have a problem for a Christian voting for Mitt Romney, but softening the edges and attempting to convince other’s that Mormonism “isn’t that bad” compared to other belief systems just seems to be over the line.

            David’s view of Brantley’s comment is illustrative. His logic. Atheism is worse than Mormonism, therefore we are allowed to fight it with tactics that we hypocritically reject when they are applied to Mormonism.

        • Diane Godbout

          Jesus Christ is the son of God and savior of all mankind,without him,there would be no christianity!

        • Brandon from NJ

          Everything, including atheism, can have an extreme, militant, side if gone untamed and unquestioned. I don’t feel that all cases of atheism are extreme. Second, people within a religion vary in opinion. It happens, it’s reality. I would say Mormonism is a culture that certainly is somewhat different in theory than much of society is today, and also can be something that, in effect, does raise awareness on standards of Christianity that sometimes get ignored.

    • Evan Maughan

      As a Mormon, I believe in letting men/women have their free agency and chose who they serve – even if it is the secular ideal of no god. However, this nation, our constitution, is founded upon the ideal of God. It is not government that gives us our rights – they come from God and no man should try and take those rights from us! The very bedrock of this nation is a belief in God – without such a belief, the constitution becomes meaningless.

      Atheism is a dead end belief (no pun intended). If their is no afterlife – our short lives in comparison to eternity have ZERO significance (recall your calculus if you doubt me). To illustrate, George Washington and Mao are dead – for the rest of eternity – neither has any knowledge of self thus anything they did in life is worthless to them, they’re gone! Any good or evil they did in life is meaningless to them forever more. Dr. Hawking was one of the few atheist that I have ever heard who truely understood the implications of his beliefs – he understood that a temporal life is meaningless. Thus, with atheism, there is no good or evil (not saying people who claim to be atheist are amoral) we simply bags of chemicals that are self aware for just a brief moment in eternity – then gone forever.

      Making laws based on secularism means that they can be no real good or evil – thus the laws become more attuned to simply what those in power want – or what they feel will keep them in power. The Republic was founded on the higher ideals, throw those ideals out, and it will crumble.

  • Brantley Gasaway

    David, I’m not as ready as you to paint atheism and Mormonism in such black and white hues. Of course there is a cultural–and religious–divide between our two major parties. But I believe–and traditionally, the U.S. Catholic bishops have agreed in their voters guides–that the platform of neither party has a monopoly on morality. In fact, apart from abortion (which you’ve argued here on your blog should be the decisive issue that trumps all others–but not all Christians agree), the Democratic platforms have better aligned with Catholic social teaching.

    But back to the ad Nancy posted–I stand by my previous assertion that it is a gross distortion that degrades democratic dialogue. It suggests–based on deceptively edited footage–that voters should not support the Democratic candidate merely because his party “denied” God three times. All of us–regardless of partisan preference–should expect more and criticize these types of ads.

    • Evan Maughan

      It is much more than that – denying God is just so symbolic of the way the Democratic party is shifting towards secularism in almost ALL areas.

  • Jeffrey Kramer

    Rejecting platform language which has the word “God” in it is not “denying God.” Would you expect RNC delegates to cheer for a platform amendment which prayed for God to smite American Muslims? If they didn’t, would you accuse them of “denying God”?

  • Maddy

    This is so stupid. They didn’t deny god, they just didn’t want it to be put back in the platform. Republicans were the only ones upset about that in the first place. This is why republicans can’t attract non-Christian voters. They are so incredibly exclusive it’s sickening.

    • Evan Maughan

      Maddy, from the beginning of this nation we have been fighting culture wars. The Democrats seem to always be on the wrong side of the issues from a religious prospective. Which party was pro slavery? Who supported segregation, Jim Crow laws, and opposed civil rights? Members of the KKK were almost all members of this party. Which party strongly supports abortion – millions now dead because of this parties influence? Which party wants to redefine marriage to include homosexual relationships? Which party broke the 1st amendment with the Sedition act of 1918 and put 10s of thousands of americans in jail as political prisoners? Which party was the only party to order the extermination of a whole group of American citizens – simply because of their religion?

      The fact that they are calling to get God out of their platform is loooong over due in my opinion!

      • Jeffrey Kramer

        Which party was pro slavery?

        The one which put God in their constitution.

        • Evan Maughan

          Ignorance abounds with that statement. Learn your history and pay close attention to the constant friction between the words and intent of the Constitution and the desire for union. The Civil War was a result of that continued and growing friction.

          And for you Jeffrey, where do you believe our rights come from and what protects those rights?

          • Jeffrey Kramer

            Ignorance abounds with that statement. Learn your history

            Ignorance of what history? (I am certainly ignorant of many things, but I do try to overcome my ignorance when I get the chance.)

            and pay close attention to the constant friction between the words and intent of the Constitution and the desire for union. The Civil War was a result of that continued and growing friction.

            That’s one possible interpretation, or one way of summarizing, the causes of the Civil War. And supposing it’s the best possible interpretation… what follows? That it isn’t true that the Confederacy deliberately added “God” to their Constitution?

            And for you Jeffrey, where do you believe our rights come from
            Our status as thinking, feeling beings who have hopes, experience pain and disappointment, and can emphathize with our fellow thinking, feeling beings.

            and what protects those rights?
            Institutions (including “government”), laws, public awareness, traditions.

        • Evan Maughan

          Oh – and just in case you did not know the answer Jeffery – it was the Democrats who were pro slavery and willing to dissolve the Union. They did not like the idea that all men are created equal by God – they even catagorized blacks as lesser then men. Like today, they would use “God” as a political tool, but that pesky Constitution was just too much for them to live under.

          • Jeffrey Kramer

            Unless you think that political parties are cursed for eternity on account of what their forbearers did, it’s entirely irrelevant what the “Democrats” did in 1861. Or do you think you can make some sort of rational case for why we should base our vote on that calculus?

            Like today, they would use “God” as a political tool.

            And which party today — not 1861, but today, last week — was most blatantly using “God” as a political tool by saying “We’ve got God in our platform, and you don’t”? Despite the fact that you implicitly acknowledge — that putting God in the platform is not at all a sign of any kind of righteousness, that people who are trying to excuse the very worst and ugliest political crimes — slavery — were perfectly capable of calling on God in their writings?

      • Jeffrey Kramer

        If you vote Republican because abortion and same-sex marriage are the issues that matter most to you, and today’s Republicans are on your side and today’s Democrats are on the other side, that’s perfectly reasonable. If you vote Republican because of what Stephen Douglas (D) said in 1858, or what Woodrow Wilson (D) did in 1918, that’s perfectly silly.

        And if you think the Clinton administration “ordered the extermination” of Branch Davidians “simply because of their religion,” you are a delusional hysteric.

        • Evan Maughan

          Nope – just showing a pattern. The Dems seem to be a chronically nasty party.

          • Jeffrey Kramer

            What does “chronically nasty” mean, when describing an “entity” which consists of people whose grandfathers were all long dead when the “nastiness” took place? Is it, literally, inherited? If not, how is the “nastiness” strain passed on? Do all delegates to the DNC sign an oath pledging to uphold the principles of “their” forbearers like Jefferson Davis? (Strange that so many blacks would sign such an oath, isn’t it?) Or what?

            If we really took this kind of thinking seriously, we would always vote for the party which has the least nastiness on its historical record, wouldn’t we? Logically, then, we would always vote for the newest party, because it is least tainted by its past. That presents a problem; each party would only have a half-life of one election cycle at best.

            Or, instead of trying to tally the weight of hundred-year-old offenses, we could just look at what each party has said and done recently, and decide which one would be most likely to do the most good and/or least harm to the country now and in the immediate future. It’s a crazy plan, but it just might work.

          • Jeffrey Kramer

            (Should have been “whose grandfathers weren’t even born,” of course. My bad.)

      • Jeffrey Kramer

        If you vote Republican because abortion and same-sex marriage are the issues that matter most to you, and today’s Republicans are on your side and today’s Democrats are on the other side, that’s perfectly reasonable. If you vote Republican because of what Stephen Douglas (D) said in 1858, or what Woodrow Wilson (D) did in 1918, that’s perfectly silly.

        And if you think the Clinton administration “ordered the extermination” of Branch Davidians “simply because of their religion,” you are inhabiting an alternate reality with only the barest resemblance to our own.

        • Jeffrey Kramer

          (Well, obviously I tried to rephrase my original to make it less insulting, but somehow had both versions posted. I do apologize for the language of the first comment.)

  • DanS

    “All men are endowed by their creator with unalienable rights”. That statement presupposes a creator. It assumes rights are not granted by the state, but are inherent to the human condition because of a creator. Removing God from the platform exposes a fundamental difference in political philosophy. Rights granted by the state cannot be unalienable. What the state gives, the state can take away. What God gives the state cannot rightfully take away. The Democratic platform is a departure that signals a turning point toward a full embrace of statism. And the only way it got put back into the platform was by a blatant parliamentary maneuver that clearly pulled a 2/3 vote out of thin air. This is very significant, not for exclusively religious reasons but because of a clear shift in political values.

  • Jeffrey Kramer

    No, a failure to state in a political platform that rights are inherent to the human condition because of a creator does not imply a rejection of the idea that rights are inherent to the human condition because of a creator. A failure to state during the weather report that the rain comes from God does not imply a rejection of the idea that the rain comes from God. A failure to state in the history book that the defeat of the Axis was God’s will does not imply a rejection of the idea that wars are decided by God’s will.

    It may be that the writers of the platform/weather report/history book do reject theism, but this simply cannot be deduced from the absence of the word “God.” If that were true, then the Republican party under Eisenhower and Nixon must have rejected the idea that rights come from the creator, because the Republican platforms of 1956 and 1972 don’t have the word “God” in them either.

  • Jeffrey Kramer

    The Democratic platform is not an atheistic “departure”: both parties have repeatedly adopted platforms that failed to invoke God. (Not to mention that the U.S. Constitution fails to invoke God.) And even if one could somehow determine that the platform was atheistic, based on this reasoning, it would not at all follow that it “signals a turning point toward a full embrace of statism,” because it is flatly false that most atheists or secularists are “statists” (people who believe that it is only the state which gives people rights). And the assumption that putting “God” in the platform proves a genuine belief in human rights is absurd. The Confederacy’s constitution “improved” on the original U.S. Constitution by adding the phrase “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God” to the preamble. Did they understand the sources of human rights better than the North, then?


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