Democrats under fire for removing ‘God’ from party platform

The word “God” is nowhere to be found in the Democratic national platform this year, an omission Republicans have seized … Continued

The word “God” is nowhere to be found in the Democratic national platform this year, an omission Republicans have seized upon as a failure of their opponents to appreciate the divine’s place in American history.

GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took to the airwaves Wednesday (Sept. 5) to blast the change from the Democrats’ 2008 platform. “I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, these purges of God,” Ryan said on “Fox & Friends.”

Ryan also attacked the Democratic platform’s failure to affirm Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, an issue important to some American Jews and conservative Christians.

“(I)t undermines our nation’s support for our ally, Israel,” Ryan told Fox News.

God is mentioned 12 times in the 2012 GOP platform. The 2008 Democratic platform made one reference to God: the “God-given potential” of working people. The 2004 platform had numerous references to God.

Melanie N. Rousell, national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, called the issue a “faux controversy” and referred to a section in the DNC platform on faith.

“Faith has always been a central part of the American story, and it has been a driving force of progress and justice throughout our history,” the section reads in part. “We know that our nation, our communities, and our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith and the countless acts of justice and mercy it inspires.”

Roussell noted that the platform “mentions ‘faith’ 11 times, ‘religion’ or ‘religious’ nine times, ‘church’ two times and ‘clergy’ one time.”

The Democrats’ emphasis on “faith” as opposed to “God” is unlikely to please many atheists, according to Hemant Mehta, chairman of Foundation Beyond Belief.

“The Democrats could have at least suggested that people without faith also care about progress and justice and that we support or volunteer with organizations that work toward those ends,” Mehta wrote on his “Friendly Atheist” blog. “Instead, they ignored us.”

On cutting “Jerusalem” from the platform, the Republican Jewish Coalition decried the omission of “critical pro-Israel language.” But the National Jewish Democratic Council called the change inconsequential. “Jewish Democrats know full well that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel,” said council president David A. Harris.

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  • acxsmith

    May I just offer this as a point to consider: when your platform consists of the values common to all major religions, and when it states a commitment to providing food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, care for the sick and those imprisoned, and is about striving to find ways to release those held captive to all sorts of social and economic ills, it just might be more acceptable in God’s eyes than a platform that promotes bigotry, hate, misogny, and the all-out pursuit of wealth at any cost. To quote from my own tradition: “‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” #JustSayin’

  • Iwas Here

    Also Matthew 25:31-46 is still a thing, right?

  • dlkend07

    Well said, acxsmith. I don’t study the Bible as much as I know I should — in fact, I had to look it up to find that you were quoting Matthew 7:21; however, remembering what I learned in Sunday School I do strongly believe that God is more concerned with the way that both parties keep bashing each other trying to sway votes their way more than He is keeping track of how many times His Name is mentioned in their platforms.