Democrats should keep God out of platform
Secular government, not religious, in best interest of country
The Democratic National Committee took place a couple weeks ago, and like most such gatherings it was mostly fluff that did little more than give pundits something to blather endlessly about. Like it’s Republican counterpart, I consider the DNC to be the political equivalent of a group masturbation session. Politicians gather, tell each other exactly what they want to hear, and pat each other on the back for essentially accomplishing nothing worthwhile.
Still, there were a couple events that grabbed my attention, mostly because they were completely contradictory. First off, the Democrats added support for same-sex marriage to their party platform. Kudos for them. The more steps taken in this direction, the faster we can step out of the dark ages and give everyone in this country the rights they deserve.
However, in a move I’m substantially less ecstatic about, the Democrats also saw fit to wedge God into their platform. Initially they just planned to promote faith as a strength, which I dislike because I don’t feel our elected officials should be relying on faith, but rather rational thought and discussions that utilize good, solid problem solving techniques. After all, relying on faith results in politicians who refuse to acknowledge global warming because they’re convinced that God won’t let the world burn.
A lengthy paragraph promoting faith wasn’t enough, though. It had to mention God, too. Just absolutely had to. A few critics within the party, as well as many from the excessively religious GOP, have taken the Democrats to task for not explicitly mentioning God, and so, in true Democrat style, they caved to the pressure and held a vote. It was an extremely messy vote, with the required two-thirds vote not being clearly met, but it was passed anyway and they managed to wedge God into the platform.
So why is this a problem? For starters, our elected officials are supposed to represent their entire constituency, not just the Christian ones. The platform doesn’t mention a generic god. It doesn’t reference Allah, Ganesha or Buddha. It says God, with the big capital ‘g’ that clearly makes it a reference to the Judeo-Christian deity.
Secondly, the inclusion of God in politics, which seems to have become increasingly popular, conflicts with the Constitution. Despite claims to the contrary, this is not a Christian nation, a fact that cannot be any better than through an examination of the document on which our government was founded. The only time it makes reference to religion is when it’s attempting to keep it away from politics. Such language exists because politics and religion don’t mix.
One of the delegates who wasn’t able to cast the “no” vote she wanted to puts it best. Barbara Herz of Wyoming said, “I think the best thing we could do is separate religion and politics. We should let every person make their own religious decisions and keep it out of the platform.”
Finally, the inclusion of God in the party platform conflicts heavily with the inclusion of support for same-sex marriage. After all, the biggest proponents of marriage rights for homosexuals comes from the religious sectors of the country. Demonstrating this more clearly than I ever could was Cardinal
Timothy Dolan who spoke at the DNC. What did he speak about? Well, several things, but in particular he took the time to criticize the Democrats for their support of same-sex marriage. The disconnect couldn’t be more obvious.
This attempt to appease the dissenters is a step in the wrong direction for the Democrats. It’s easy to listen to the screams of outrage from the vocal members of the Christian population every time a small bit of their privilege is challenged and believe that they need to be appeased, but that’s not the case. Everyone should be free to follow the religion of their choosing, but no one religion should be granted dominance over the others. A secular nation serves all religions best, and the next time the Democrats meet they should think hard about being the party that not only intends to lead our nation into a future of equality, but also one free of religious privilege.