OMG at the DNC


In the theater of the absurd known as political conventions, the DNC played football with god this week.  As you probably heard, the initial platform left the word g-o-d, out in favor of the word f-a-i-t-h.  In fact, faith was a whole plank in the platform, which argued among other things that:

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. … Blah, blah, blah…

That does not sound very secular to me or to many others.  However, the DNC platform did not explicitly use the three-letter word g-o-d.  This was in contrast to the RNC platform had 12 mentions of g-0-d:

Reaffirm that our rights come from God; May God continue to shed his grace on the United States of America; God-given talents; God-given individual rights; God-given, inalienable,inherent rights; God-given right of self-defense (which is why we have the right to bear arms); taking advantage of all our American God-given resources; be good stewards of the God-given natural beauty and resources; God-given talent and motivation; and finally, we condemn decisions by activist judges to deny children the opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety, including “Under God,” in public schools and encourage States to promote the pledge.

Fox News made the God differential  a huge issue, but then Media Matters looked at past platforms and found that historically it was the RNC, not the DNC, which was soft on g-o-d language.

You might also note that the Fox News count of 12 was wrong.  Two of the ten were from phrases that were highlighted in the margins.  Clearly, Fox News didn’t read the document. They just did a simple word count.

To make matters worse, the DNC buckled to the pressure and in a very awkward and controversial voice vote added:

We need a government that … gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God–given potential.

along with the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is another religiously charged issue.

So, why do politicians keep pushing the God agenda given that secular America is now 19% of the population?  As Annie Laurie Gaylor from the Freedom From Religion Foundation noted:

Supporting gay marriage was considered a political kiss of death for a presidential candidate . . . until suddenly it wasn’t. Maybe someday not too far away, we’ll increasingly hear public officials praise Americans for being able to believe or disbelieve as they like.

We got a small taste of such basic social acceptance in Rep. Jared Polis’ speech on Tuesday, when he added:

“. . . ladies and gentlemen, now is our chance to tell the dividers no, tell the special interests and cynical Washington insiders no, tell the lobbyists and PACs no, and tell our fellow countrymen and women, gay and straight, Christians, Jews, Mormons, Muslims and nonbelievers, rich and poor, black and white, Latino and Asian, east and west, north and south; it is time to tell them yes, together we are stronger, together we are better, together we are America.”

Be sure to read the whole essay, as Annie Laurie makes some powerful points.  Secular Americans are simply asking to be recognized and not belittled.   The God fixation has got to stop.  In 2016, let’s move beyond the grandstanding and discuss the issues that really matter to ALL Americans.

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About SamStone

A Steel City Skeptic who thinks science and reason is the light that we should follow to find our way in this world.
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3 Responses to OMG at the DNC

  1. Pingback: The History of God, Part 2 | Steel City Skeptics

  2. Dan says:

    The only thing that us Joe and Jane media viewers get exposure to is what the Dem’s and Rep’s want us to have exposure to. And all they want to do is either reinforce current votes or swing opposing votes. Non-believers just aren’t popular. “Athiest” , “agnostic”, “non-believer” – screw it, we’re just heathens.

    We don’t have big money and we don’t own the elections. Corporate owned media does. Similar in nature, look at Nader’s struggle in the 2004 debates. He couldn’t even get a podium because that’s the way the powers that be wanted it. This was eye opening when I first read of it: http://www.thenation.com/article/169635/open-presidential-debates.

    The concerned electorate, I fear, is content entrenching their viewpoints on either side of the Dem v Rep fence, and are dismissive of outside the box viewpoints. It’s easy to rationalize “If it’s so widely accepted, I’d have heard of it by now…”

    Worse still, the heathen-athiest correlation continues to be reinforced with each dollar contributed to both sides. “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful” – E. Gibbon. Kudo’s to Laurie for taking a positive viewpoint. She’s more resiliant than I.

  3. revelmundo says:

    “The God fixation has got to stop.”

    Yea, that would be an immense help. But I wouldn’t count on it happening any time soon; the mind virus that causes this fixation is what is behind the fixation.

    I would rather see the bulk of the concerned electorate get off their asses and make sure that the wackjobs living among the sane and reasonable do not prevail.

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