I’m being told all over the internet, from the GOP the twitterverse, the allegedly liberal media and of course, the favorite morning show of the baby Jesus….Fox & Friends….that the DNC has dropped ‘God’ from their platform.
GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said President Barack Obama’s administration “purged” mentions of God from the Democratic Party platform Wednesday.
“I think it’s rather peculiar,” Ryan said on “Fox & Friends.” “It’s not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision. I’d guess you’d have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform. There sure is a lot of mention of government. I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, these purges of God.”
But in about 45 seconds, I’m able to look at the Democratic platform and find the following:
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. 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. Faith- based 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.
Seems cogent enough…but oddly, the GOP platform’s section on faith doesn’t seem too different [beyond the victimhood theme].
The first provision of the First Amendment concerns freedom of religion. That guarantee reflected Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which declared that no one should “suffer on account of his religious opinion or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion….” That assurance has never been more needed than it is today, as liberal elites try to drive religious beliefs— and religious believers—out of the public square. The Founders of the American Republic universally agree that democracy presupposes a moral people and that, in the words of George Washington’s Farewell Address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
The most offensive instance of this war on religion has been the current Administration’s attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion. This forcible secularization of religious and religiously affiliated organizations, including faith-based hospitals and colleges, has been in tandem with the current Administration’s audacity in declaring which faith related activities are, or are not, protected by the First Amendment—an unprecedented aggression repudiated by a unanimous Supreme Court in its Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC decision.
We pledge to respect the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard the independence of their institutions from government. We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer at public school events in public schools and to have equal access to public schools and other public facilities to accommodate religious freedom in the public square. We assert every citizen’s right to apply religious values to public policy and the right of faith-based organizations to participate fully in public programs without renouncing their beliefs, removing religious symbols, or submitting to government-imposed hiring practices. We oppose government discrimination against businesses due to religious views. We support the First Amendment right of freedom of association ofthe Boy Scouts of America and other service organizations whose values are under assault and condemn the State blacklisting of religious groups which decline to arrange adoptions by same-sex couples. We condemn the hate campaigns, threats of violence, and vandalism by proponents of same-sex marriage against advocates of traditional marriage and call for a federal investigation into attempts to deny religious believers their civil rights.
Surely this is not another case of a politician, party and their myrmidons hyping another meme through the allegedly liberal media?
Lawyers, Guns & Money built a graph depicting the mention of God in GOP platforms since 1856:
A few observations:
1. The 2012 GOP platform is a total outlier, presumably designed to intimidate the Saracen hordes biding their time for Obama’s re-election.
2. Judging entirely by the text of its platforms — for by their words, or works, or whatever, ye shall know them — the party clearly had no use for God from its founding through the 1960s. By my sophisticated calculations, the godlessness of the Republicans from 1856-1956 likely accounts for the successful passage of 93 percent of Progressive Era legislation and 97 percent of the New Deal.
3. I have new-found, albeit limited, appreciation for the Nixon-era GOP.
4. How did Reagan manage to win in 1980 with 66 percent less Jeebus than 1976?
5. How did Bush manage to win in 2000 with 75 percent less Jeebus than 1996?
6. I don’t know what that weird green dash is to the right of the graph, but fuck it! I made a graph!