No Room for God in Demo Platform

In another one of those does this surprise anybody moves, the Democratic Party platform committee has removed references to God from their platform.

According to an article in The Examiner the new party platform removes the word “God” from this paragraph:

We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.

The new paragraph reads:

We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.” 

The change is not significant in itself. I don’t think God is going to fall out of His heaven because a political party expunged His name from a paragraph in its platform. The significance of the change lies in its consistency. A one word change could mean anything, but when it is grouped alongside the HHS Mandate and party position on abortion and marriage, it becomes part of a pattern. That pattern says a lot. 

This change in language has no force of law. Democratic elected officials are not required to do what it says. But as a reflection of the values shift within the inner circle of party activists, I believe it is meaningful. It doesn’t so much change things as it acknowledges the way things truly are. 

  • Dr. Dom

    Hmmm. Still want to have lunch?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Yes! We’ve got plotting to do.

  • http://mychristiancoffeeshop.wordpress.com/ robind333

    It goes to show just how far away our country has gotten away from our Lord….Thanks for the update..Many, many blessings to you…Robin

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I know Robin, it does. Thank you.

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

    That and the removal of support for Israel are both disturbing for exactly the reasons you said so well.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      What you said.

  • Bob Seidensticker

    Doesn’t it kind of make sense to take something as divisive as God out of a political platform? Particularly in a country with a secular constitution?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bob, I think you are making a couple of what I think of as the forced assumptions that seem to be common among many atheist comments I get. First, you assume that the mention of God is inherently divisive. In truth, it is only divisive in the sense that there is a vocal group of people who have decided to make it devisive by means of their persistent intolerance of anyone else saying things that they don’t want them to say. I am thinking specificallty of any mention of faith or the divine in public circumstances or even private conversations. This has, at least in some instances, become so strident and rude that it takes on the characterization of a non-governmental censureship. People chose to fall silent about their belief because they don’t want to be hectored and hassled by complete strangers who pole vault onto their web sites or even private conversations with what appears to be the sole purpose of saying rude and often stupid things about the faith of the other people there. In my opinion, this has become ubiquitous enouogh that it has become a form of social bullying.
      Using this misbehavior to label the subject of God as too divisive to be spoken appears to be a kind of deliberate misinterpretation of events to jusify the next step in social bullying.
      In fact, the vast majority of Americans believe in God, so it is not divisive to mention Him. What is divisive is to use social bullying to attempt to silence people and force them to avoid mentioning their faith to keep from being hassled.
      I have no idea what the Constitution might have to do with this discussion except that it does gaurantee people the right to speak freely in this country, including about their faith.
      I noticed that one of the other bloggers on the Atheist portal wrote a post critical of the Democratic Party Platform because it mentions faith at all. Do you agree with him in this?

      • Bob Seidensticker

        Rebecca:

        Isn’t the mention of God divisive? What if the platform favorably mentioned Satan, Earth spirits, or Xenu—wouldn’t that be divisive? Wouldn’t Christians justifiably ask where they fit into the plan?

        As for where the discussion of God is appropriate, I’m with you in that I’m a rabid defender of everyone’s public speech rights. I certainly don’t complain about a Christian handing out leaflets or evangelizing in public or private. It’s government’s speech rights that are constrained—that’s the relevance of the Constitution.

        Yes, I agree that faith has no place in the statements of a politician or a party platform. Not usually illegal, the point here is that this is simply pandering. The topic is politics, not religion.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Over 70% of the people don’t believe in earth spirits and xenu. However, over 70% of Americans do believe in God. As for Satan, I would doubt that over 70% have a favorable opinion of him. Remember: We are talking here about what is divisive.

          One point that you seem to be missing entirely is that the party platform is, or should be if there is any hope of winning elections, a pragmatic document. It has no force of law. It does not even have the force of custom. It is mostly an advertising piece. Whether or not it is divisive is a question of practical politics. I personally feel that it is ultimately more divisive for the Democrats to have left God out of their platform than for them to have included Him. If you disagree, that’s your opinion and I’m fine with that.

          As for when the discussion of God is appropiate, I would say just about anywhere a free American wants to discuss Him, except when they are rudely interrupting or insulting or otherwise interfering with the lives of other people. However, except in unusual situations that is a social rather than a legal concern.

          I know this may be confusing, but the platform of a political party is not a government document. Political parties are groups of individuals who associate on bases of their own defining in order to support and enoourage certain members of their group in the work of seeking public office. Political parties, political campaigns and all such activities are not and by law can not be governmental activities. As I said, the Constitution has nothing to say about what political parties write in their platforms. It would be tyranny if it did. It is not illegal at all to talk about religious belief in such documents. NOT AT ALL.

          Whether or not it is pandering is a question that each individual voter must decide for themselves. People can vote for or against a political candidate on any basis they chose. Candidates are free to talk about their faith or not, as THEY chose. These are our rights as American citizens.

          What you seem to be saying is that you think it is a matter of bad taste, which is a personal judgement.

          • http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com Wendy Macdonald

            Well said Rebecca! Once again I hear a voice coming from you that is both respectful and reasonable. ~ Wendy

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              {blush} Thank you Wendy.

          • Bob Seidensticker

            I agree that most Americans believe in Yahweh. And the laws of the country give tremendous freedom to believers in Yahweh to think what they want to, set up churches, and talk about their religion. A pretty good deal for Christians, no?

            It becomes divisive when we ignore the Constitution and mix religion and politics. That God was ever in any party platform in a secular democracy is incredible. (I mean—I know why God was added. I realize that politicians do all sorts of stuff to use emotion instead of substance. Still—I don’t care for such Machiavellian tactics.) Doesn’t mean that it’s illegal, just means that it’s crazy.

            The law is very clear about where discussion of God is appropriate; we needn’t reinvent the wheel. I think we agree that any citizen in just about any situation can say whatever God stuff he wants to. It’s when he speaks as a government representative that we have a problem.

            Thank you for dialing it down so that even I understand it, but I quite understand that the party platform is not the government (I tried to touch on that in an earlier post). Nevertheless, presidents, governors, and other politicians can cross the line when they speak about God.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              Bob, there is nothing in the Constitution that says we can’t mix religion and politics.

              As for whether or not an individual politician is being Machiavellian or merely forthcoming by discussing (or not) his or her religious views in any circumstance you might name, there can be no blanket statements which are true. It varies with the indivfidual.

              I have no clear idea what you mean when you say that the law is clear that government representatives may not speak of their faith. If you mean that they may not say something to the effect that I am a Catholic and I am with the government, so you must be a Catholic, then yes, I agree. If, on the other hand, you are saying that they may not say “I am a Catholic,” I do not agree. There is no legal prohbition in this country against individual people exercising their right to free speech by proclaiming their faith. Elected officials enjoy this freedom as do all Americans. As for whether or not presidents, governors, or other polticians “cross the line” when they speak about God, there is no law I know of that creates any such line. Elected officials may speak about God as they wish. If they offend enough people with their religious speech (or lack of it, for that matter) they may lose their next election. But they have the right to say what they want.

              To return to the original question concerning the Democratic Party editing the name of God out of their platform, this is not a question of anything other than whether or not you like what they did or you don’t. I don’t like it. You do like it. That’s ok, either way. We both have a right to our own opinion in the matter.

          • Bob Seidensticker

            Bob, there is nothing in the Constitution that says we can’t mix religion and politics.

            There is something in the Constitution that says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That’s all I’m saying.

            If, on the other hand, you are saying that they may not say “I am a Catholic,” I do not agree.

            Neither do I.

            Elected officials enjoy this freedom as do all Americans.

            Not when they’re wearing the hat of their elected office. Barack Obama, private citizen, can say or do whatever religious stuff he wants. Barack Obama, president, is prohibited from enacting religious legislation. Now, obviously he does (the Day of Prayer comes to mind). It’d sure be nice if politicians would obey the Constitution and just stick to politics.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              Bob, we’ve been over this to the point that it’s becoming repetitive. Also, this discussion is taking up the comments section of this post and may be discouraging other people from commenting. I think it’s time to pack it in.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Please let it be noted that just as there is a no establishment of religion clause in the U.S. Constitution, that same Constitution makes zero provision for either or *any* political parties.

    Thus, it would seem that it is not to to our U.S. political parties, the conduct of which our Constitution is resoundingly silent, that the establishment clause addresses itself, but rather to the actual operational channels of governmental power.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Marion. Well said.

  • http://www.2catholicmen.blogspot.com Ben @ Two Men

    The week of the DNC reminds me of a week without God:
    SINDAY
    “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. (John 9:41)
    MOURNDAY
    “Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.” (James 4:9)
    TEARDAY
    My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:3)
    WASTEDAY
    “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness…(Deut 32:10)
    THIRSTDAY
    “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst…” (John 4:14)
    FIGHTDAY
    “but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” (Act 5:3)
    SHATTERDAY
    “He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.” (Psalm 110:6)

    Seven days without God makes one WEAK!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Very good. We could apply this to life in general as well as political conventions.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    I know this coming from me, a passionate Conservative, is tinged with politics. I can’t help that, and I’m not trying to cherry pick people away. (The few people that might – and I say might because no one really changes their minds over an internet discussion – get lured away don’t add up to any electoral significance) But what the heck is the rationale for religious people to vote for the Democratic party? I just don’t understand.

    • http://www.GodsWordforWomen.Wordpress.com Anna

      Manny, I sense and understand your frustration. I am reminded of Matthew 24:24 “… they shall deceive the very elect.” I truly believe we are in the last days of this world and we are witnessing what God’s Word tells us to expect. As Christians, we must stand strong and do our best to share God’s truths for, “He would that none should perish.” I much appreciate the work that Ms. Hamilton is doing here. God Bless You!

    • AmericanPatriette

      Manny, I have had that same thought many times! How in the world could a Christian support the Democratic platform these days? It is unthinkable to me – it would be like spitting in God’s face.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Here’s my take. If you see a genuine pro life, pro marriage, Jesus-following Christian who is willing to take the guff and pain of running for office as a Democrat, do EVERYTHING you can to help them. They are the tip of the sword. I know that Manny, at least, has reservations about what I’m going to say, but I believe absolutely that we can not and will not ever convert this culture so long as we try to put ourselves in fortresses with other people who agree with us and just shoot arrows at our “enemies.”
        Not everyone is called to this. I know that. But for those who are, we need to help them and then if they get elected, we need to support them emotionally. You can not imagine the isolation and constant verbal attacks, slanders and pressures that pro-life Democrats have to endure. And they have to do it alone. Republicans see then as the enemy — a Democrat. Other Democrats see them as the enemy.
        We need them. They need us.
        The flip side of this — and again, I think Manny disagrees with me — is that the people who have control of the Republican Party are deeply, deeply corrupt. They do not believe ANYTHING that makes you want to be a Republican. They use the party as a front for what is essentially control of the party by multi-national corporations who do not care about this country or any of us. The Republican Party needs missionary work just as much as the Democratic Party does. It should be easier to do there, since so many Christians have been forced out of the Democratic Party and into the Republican Party. They have the numbers. But they’ve got to take their blinders off and accept that all is not perfect in their political home.
        OK. Now fire away at me. :-)

  • Baby M

    “I am Barack Obama, thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

  • charles

    makes you wonder who in the muslim brotherhood is writing the dumbocratic platform ??


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