God and the Political Conventions

I love the beginning of Hendrik Hertzberg‘s essay on the role of God at the DNC in this week’s New Yorker:

If you happen to be a Republican campaign operative and/or a Fox News Channel chat host, that unexpectedly joyful Convention in Charlotte the other week made for glum viewing. One of the few points of light on the right was the discovery, just as the festivities were getting under way, that the Democrats had drafted a platform that — like George Washington’s farewell address, Abraham Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech, and the Constitution of the United States — does not mention God by name.

Aw, snap!

The rest of the piece includes a nod to American Atheists’ Dave Silverman as well as Republican hypocrisy in general.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Octoberfurst

     Personally I was disgusted by how the DNC leadership rushed to include God in the Democratic platform.  It was a cowardly and craven spectacle.  Oh no, Fox News noted that we don’t have God in our platform! Panic! Panic! Panic! Gotta put it in right now!
      Why do we have to mention God at all in our conventions?  Why do they have to have closing prayers?  And why do politicians–both Democrat and Republican–feel the need to end speeches with “God bless you & God bless America”?  Frankly I am sick of it. Don’t the rubes know that all this God talk is just for show?  Yes I know that America is a “religious” country and it makes the Bible-believers feel all warm and mushy inside when they hear politicians make references to God but is it really necessary?
      I wonder what would happen if some politican said, “May Allah bless America”?  How would that go over? (Especially at the GOP convention!) I’d guess that there would be howls of outrage.  “How DARE you say Allah bless America! Are you trying to promote Sharia?”  Let’s hope for the day when God isn’t mentioned at all in either platform.  

  • allein

    Quoting Paul Ryan: “There sure is a lot of mention of government,
    and so I guess I would just put the onus of the burden on them to answer why
    they did all of these purges of God.”

    Mentioning government at a convention for people running for government office? What the hell?!

  • machintelligence

    Personally I was disgusted by how the DNC leadership rushed to include God in the Democratic platform.  It was a cowardly and craven spectacle.

    Especially since the voice vote to change the platform failed to win a simple majority, let alone a two-thirds majority.

  • Helanna

    They seem to be under some sort of crazy idea that you can run a government without forcing God into every crack and crevice! How could we possibly trust these people to be in office?!

  • allein

    That’s just nuts.

  • Guest.

    “The god of governmental spackle”  (the lesser cousin of the god of the gaps)

  • allein

    I do like the word “spackle”… :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

    Mention “God” by name? The way good Christians are NOT supposed to?

  • Bad_homonym

    Quick question from a Canadian cousin here. Doesnt the first ammendment hold any sway while these polititians are campaining? there seems very little separation here!