Democrats put god back into their platform.

It was so close.  It was too good to be true that a political party in the United States could grasp the concept of neutrality, thereby releasing a platform that painted all its citizens as equals.

No such luck though.

Democrats voted to update their party’s platform Wednesday evening at their convention to include a reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, as well as the insertion of the word “God,” neither of which was included in their platform this year but was in previous platforms.

President Barack Obama himself intervened regarding the Jerusalem language, a senior Democratic source told CNN, adding, that he thought the original draft was “a strong statement and he didn’t want there to be any confusion about his unshakeable commitment to the security of state israel. The issue of the day is Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.”

The change, proposed by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland immediately after the convention was gaveled into order on Wednesday, required a two-thirds voice vote, but was declared as adopted after three voice votes which brought delegates to their feet, shouting their yeas and nays. Democratic sources told CNN prior to the vote that it was to take place by acclamation.

“I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is central to the American story and informs the values we’ve expressed in our party’s platform,” Strickland, who chaired the party’s platform committee, read. “In addition, President Obama recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and our party’s platform should as well. “

Faith and belief in god informs their values?  Let’s take one of the parts of their platform: marriage equality.  Are we really to believe that faith and belief in god supports marriage equality?

The Republicans don’t have much right, but they’re right about what the bible says about gay people.  Their reliance on that book instead of what best serves human dignity is what makes their policies abrasive to the 21st century, and I’m sad to see the Democrats trying to be more like the party of lies and outdated values.

Seriously, just say it: there are some moral choices that are more compassionate than others, and those are the ones we’ve gone with.  That’s far more noble, and it places the credit directly where it should be: on people, not faith.  You want to pander to the population?  Tell them they’re good people, and don’t need directives from the first century to make them good.  They’re good all on their own.

Then again, this god-drunk populace, so convinced by Christianity that humans are despicable by nature and need to be redeemed, would probably be insulted by the notion that the same human beings who created weather radars are, at the very least, just as morally good as the god who made hurricanes.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Heather

    This post made me sad. I don’t really know how else to say it. If only we didn’t have just two parties that had any chance of winning.

  • Gordon

    I don’t think the “yes” shout was anywhere near 2/3rds.

  • Mindy Rose Tyler

    Unfortunately, not mentioning god could have cost Obama the election, no matter any headway he may have made with womens rights, health care, jobs, etc., what he could have or did accomplish during his Presidency with war, economy etc,. or how good he may or may not have improved certain aspects of our lives. It simply doesn’t matter. Religion is a *base issue.

    Perhaps initially the DNC believed this would be a good opportunity to try to divorce with religion because of Mitt being Mormon and the Christian response hasn’t been enough to kick Mitt out of the race. Let’s face it. Between pollsters gathering unfavorable reviews concerning the speech without religious implications and the wealthy threatening to withdraw large sums (sounds like some influential Jews are also in the mix with Obama’s insert), this was bound to happen. Although its disappointing, it’s not surprising. This is a political race and political decisions were made to improve odds.

    I’m not saying I believe it’s “right and good and true”, just pointing out that the expectation for Obama to hold out on religion when the race is so close goes against *his* ultimate goal.

    However, we can’t forget that this *was* attempted and the headway we must be making for this even to be considered. Thank you, JT. :-)

  • Matt Prorok

    I’m with Bill Clinton on this one. Why do I say that? Because I think we can take a lesson from a line in his speech that has bigger implications than it seems at first: “When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better.” Guess what? Putting god back into the party platform was good politics. But I’d rather see the Democrats deal more with the real world.

    • Glodson

      I would like to see them deal more with the real world too. They could start by standing by the original omission. Not because there’s no god, but rather it is time to start killing off this myth that we are a christian nation. They should have made it clear that our government is entirely secular, and having a religion is one thing, but trying to cram the precepts of that religion down our collective throats is another. Instead, they caved to the wingnut outcry.

  • Jasper

    Please please let’s implement second choice voting so I can vote for third parties without accidentally picking Republicans. It’s the only way third parties are ever going to have a chance.

    • Epinephrine

      Which of the two parties getting elected will make a move to allow third parties a chance at winning? We’ve had groups pushing for electoral reform in Canada, but it’s simply not going to happen while either of our two big parties are winning. We’re actually worse off in some ways now that there is a third party with some clout – it’s the most left wing of the three parties and it splits the left-leaning vote, so that despite the majority of Canadians (60%?) voting for parties left of the current government, the conservatives got in with a majority. If we had a system with second choice/ranking the parties I suspect we’d have seen a liberal or (could it be?) new democratic PM. It sucks to have to try to game the vote in your are, knowing that split votes in the left wing are allowing your worst choice to get in.

  • Baal

    I agree with the politicos who say it’s good politics but it does really stick in the craw. I look forward to Dems growing a backbone and maybe in the next convention, having a speaker who clearly lays out the ties between xtian conservatism and the heinous impacts that those policies have on real people. Or maybe point out that Allah, YHWH, or some other not GOD god could just as easily wind up on the platform(s).

  • Kyle

    Here’s a video of the voting, for those who haven’t seen it.

    JT, I am surprised that you are not more upset about what seems to be the clear hijacking of the platform by the chairman against what seems to be the divided will of the party. It certainly doesn’t sound like there was a 2/3 majority of ayes…

    • John Horstman

      You’re right, and he re-voted twice when he didn’t get the results he wanted. He seems very shocked that there wasn’t an overwhelming AYE vote. And then he ignored all three. This just killed my begrudging acceptance of having to vote Democrat to avoid the horror of a Republican administration – the leadership isn’t even listening to its delegates. This is the clearest message I’ve ever gotten that the party doesn’t want me as a member.

  • Epinephrine

    “I’m sad to see the Democrats trying to be more like the party of lies and outdated values.”

    I like to see them win, though. While irksome, it’s much better than giving an election away. I look forward to the day when it isn’t necessary, but until then I can live with it.

  • Amyc

    I heard this last night while listening to the radio, and it really made me mad. It doesn’t make any sense. Only the crazies who wouldn’t vote for Dems anyway even cared about it.

    • Kyle

      Yeah, it seems that way. I really am surprised that there is not more concern about what is seemingly a blatant hijacking of a very simple democratic process…on national television, nonetheless.

  • bill

    You all are funny. Do you think that denying the Almighty God will make Him go away? He will remain God long after both parties are gone.

  • alex villanueva

    if we are no longer one nation under God we wont endure. Well look at where our country is today? our country continues to push away from God, people are trying to take out “one Nation under God” from the pledge, and “in God we trust” from our currency. and we have never been in this bad of shape as a country. as much as you dont want to believe it, God is the Answer, and we will Fall if we continue to push him away

  • bill

    go Alex!!!