Four years ago, the Democratic Party platform included this passage:
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.
This year, the platform plank at issue reads as follows:
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.
But why no mention of God this time?
A party official tells ABC News: “The 2008 platform reference is ‘God-given’ and is about growing the middle class and making America fair, not actually about faith.”
Ah, but the theocrats on the political right are in high dudgeon over what they see as an inexcusable snub of the Man Upstairs. THIS GUY, for example, says “Democrats are playing up to Atheists and Communists.”
Well then, one can only wonder how this alleged appeal to godless commies is served by the following passage from this year’s Democratic platform:
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. 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. Faithbased organizations will always be critical allies in meeting the challenges that face our nation and our world – from domestic and global poverty, to climate change and human trafficking. People of faith and religious organizations do amazing work in communities across this country and the world, and we believe in lifting up and valuing that good work, and finding ways to support it where possible. We believe in constitutionally sound, evidence-based partnerships with faith-based and other non-profit organizations to serve those in need and advance our shared interests. There is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution, and a full commitment to both principles is essential for the continued flourishing of both faith and country.
There’s one last thing to remember about all of this: The Democratic platform’s omission of any reference to God by name makes it identical, in that regard, to the U.S. Constitution.
FOOTNOTE: The image at the top of this post comes from the Fox News Web site. Big surprise there, right?
FOOTNOTE II: It’s also worth noting that yesterday’s session of the Democratic Convention began and ended with a prayer. Moreover, various convention speakers, including keynoter Julian Castro, referenced God in their remarks.
One speaker even began with this line: “I’m not here tonight as a Democrat or a Republican, but as a man of Christian faith.”
Oh, and the convention will end with a benediction by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York.