Posted: 09/05/2012 at 9:03am
Dems Scrub 'God' References from Party Platform
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Democrats took to the floor in Charlotte to hear speeches and also take part in a traditional ritual: approving the party's platform.
But this year something's different. The Democrats have dropped all references to God from the document.
The move comes after CBN News spoke with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz about the Democrats' relationship to the faith community.
"We really think it's important that we not allow the Republicans to corner the market on the faith community," she said.
Yet the party's language seems to be moving in the opposite direction.
In 2004, there were seven platform references to God. Then in 2008, there was only one mention stating how everyone had "the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
This year the platform simply says, "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 to some, the lack of reference to God is not a problem.
"I wouldn't worry about it," Mississippi Delegate Albert N. Gore said. "It doesn't bother me from the standpoint that I know where I stand and I know that there is one and that's it."
The party's platform is a document that doesn't carry any weight. It doesn't set policy. It just lays out principles.
But a Pew Research study shows that Americans actually are more interested in the platform itself than they are in the speeches from President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Some ministers are definitely paying attention.
Rev. Michael Stevens pastors University City Church in Charlotte. Many of his members are still struggling with whether to support the president this time around because of his support for same-sex marriage. That position is also reflected in the 2012 party platform.
"It makes me feel as a pastor that all respect and reverence for the Church and clergy has been removed from the Democratic Party," Stevens told CBN News.
"They're willing to roll the dice and say, 'We can win without their votes, and we can win even if it means full-frontal and being offensive,'" he said.
Unlike in 2008, this platform also leaves out any mention of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel -- an issue that's important to the Christian community.
Democratic officials noted there is a paragraph on the importance of faith in the party platform.
"The fact that we talk about faith more than 20 times in our platform, I'd go toe-to-toe with anybody about how we see the significance and importance of faith in American life," DNC Faith Outreach Director Derrick Harkins told CBN News.
"I think it's a non-issue when you consider the fact that we directly address the importance of faith for every American who chooses to be an American of faith," he said.
Democrats have been holding daily prayer services at the convention, but so far the only headlines on faith coming out of Charlotte have not been flattering.