By Tony Perkins
Before they got caught and scrambled to fix it, the Democrats’ Platform as approved by their Platform Committee suggested that America has forgotten or should forget God. The Party’s guiding document didn’t just refuse to acknowledge our Creator as the one who endows us with our rights; the version originally signed off on by the full Platform Committee excised any mention of God from its pages. But, amid boos and jeers on the convention floor, delegates were required to shoehorn in last minute “technical corrections” to remedy the oversight. It sure wasn’t done with amazing grace.
In the past, the Democratic Platform made many references to God. In 2000, the Democrats invoked the Almighty four times. In 2004, seven times. In 2008, it spoke of God only once, but it said each one of us should be free to achieve our “God-given potential.” Four years later even that passing reference to God is gone.
We’ve seen other examples of this troubling trend from our current political leadership. Atheizers succeeded in scrubbing the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington of any quotes in which this Christian leader acknowledges God. From the beginning of his work for Civil Rights, the Reverend Dr. King made it clear what inspired his crusade: I want it to be known throughout Montgomery [Alabama] and throughout this nation that we are a Christian people…And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight, until justice runs down like water and righteousness as a mighty stream.
There, from the outset, Dr. King put his Southern Christian Leadership Conference under God. The video the Democrats offered speaks of government as “the only thing we all belong to.” This is a dangerous concept. Where did they get that idea? It’s certainly not in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution.
The Constitution begins with “We the people.” It states eloquently that we seek to insure “the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Those blessings come from whom? John F. Kennedy knew. He said it with passion in his great Inaugural Address: “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God .” (Emphasis added.)
According to the latest Democratic Platform, human rights do come from the generosity of the state. Maybe that’s why the party recognizes a “right” never recognized before: the right of persons of the same sex to marry. Two persons. Three persons. What does it matter? And the right to life is subordinated to the right to choose. The rest of us have only the right to pay for that lethal choice.
This is not the first time that the Democratic Platform has spelled trouble for the country.
In 1852, the Democratic Platform dropped any reference to the Declaration of Independence. Why? Well, that Declaration said “all men are Created equal, they are endowed by their Creator” with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Obviously, for a party in thrall to the Slave Power, there could be no mention of being created equal. There could be no reference to God-given potential for millions of Americans held in bondage.
This is why these platforms are so important. These platforms speak to the deepest values of those who seek to lead us. They express the ideals by which we will be governed.
President Obama is the first leader of this country to say that America is not exceptional. Or, more accurately, that America is no more exceptional than any other country. Mr. Obama is the first to bow before a desert despot who beheads any of his subjects who convert to Christianity or Judaism. He is the first to go to Egypt, to Al Azhar University, to proclaim the Koran “holy” and say that Islam was “revealed.”
This was a sharp break from history. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, was the first chief executive to meet with a king of Saudi Arabia. He invited King Abdulaziz to meet him on board the USS Quincy in 1945. FDR made sure the king saw him attending divine worship services. The church pennant flew atop the mast of the navy destroyer. President Roosevelt did not find it necessary to apologize for his faith, and for the faith of tens of millions of Americans. The faith of FDR impressed the Saudi king.
British author G. K. Chesterton pointed to the danger of expelling God as the most recent Democratic Platform nearly did. “Once abolish the God, and the Government becomes the God.” We saw that attitude when Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the opening of the new Capitol Visitors Center. There was no reference to God anywhere in that vast cavernous building.
It was as if “in Government we live and move and have our being.” Only when Sen. Jim DeMint, Reps. Todd Akin and Trent Franks and others vigorously protested, and when Americans of faith cried out, did the Architect of the Capitol relent. Now, there is a most elegant inscription at the entrance to the Capitol Visitors Center: In letters of gold it says: “ In God We Trust.”
Why does it take a power play from the convention chair – ramming through changes that very evidently did not gain the required two-thirds assent – for a Democratic Platform to acknowledge our nation’s motto?
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council Action.