I never want people to think that I believe “Republican = Christian” and “Democrat = Heathen.” I think that Christians of goodwill can have political beliefs that range from tree-huggingly liberal to gun-polishingly conservative.
However, it is time for Democrat Christians to recognize the fact that their party leadership has a serious problem with God. As exhibit A, let’s look at the donnybrook that resulted from the absence and subsequent addition in the party platform of a reference to God (along with an acknowledgement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel). It’s an interesting story, and makes an interesting point.
The set-up is this: After what I’m sure was considerable effort from many committees and sub-committees, the Democratic Party put forth their 2012 platform. Surprisingly, some people actually read it and discovered it contained no mention of God or recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even though both are recent staples of major party platforms in America.
And here’s where the surface starts to get scratched. In spite of regular and passionate statements about the importance of faith and traditional values, Democrats have a longstanding and growing reputation as the godless party. You can tell it’s a reputation they don’t want by their reaction when asked why they don’t mention God in their platform.
So, knowing that they have to at least pay lip service in order to avoid more uncomfortable religion questions, they decide to amend the platform with a passing reference to God (mentioning Americans’ “God-given potential”), along with an acknowledgement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
But what was supposed to be purely a window-dressing amendment turned into an embarrassing floor fight (or at least a floor scuffle), as most of the delegates didn’t get the memo that they weren’t supposed to express their true feelings about these issues in public.
Let’s break down the video from the vote as convention head Antonio Villaraigosa has to try three times to ram through this nothing amendment. This tells us worlds about the state of the Democratic party in 2012.
First, everything’s chugging along fine, and Villaraigosa throws out what he thinks is a routine amendment full of boilerplate political blah-blah:
Hey-ho, that’s clearly not the reaction he was expecting. In fact, the “aye” vote is so clearly not 2/3 that it throws even a committed party hack like Villaraigosa off balance. You can see the wheels turning in his head as he thinks, “Hey guys, we need this to cover us from attacks from religious nuts. So, c’mon, let’s hold our nose and show some pretend enthusiasm!”
On the other hand, all the hard-core religion-haters at the convention–the ones who also know this is a lip-service, CYA amendment and who just voted “no” out of spite–realize suddenly that, hey, there might just be enough of us to actually vote this down! They’re emboldened now.
Villaraigosa tries again:
Whoa! Not only was that not 2/3 “aye,” the “no’s” might actually have won that one. The flop sweat begins to rise to the surface of Villaraigosa’s scalp as he realizes that the shmucks aren’t going to play along.
Meanwhile, the anti-religion (and anti-Jew) rank-and-file in the arena are just getting more fired up. These are the down-in-the-trenches true-believers that make the Democratic party go, and they don’t care about CYA politics, and they’re tired of playing kiss-up to religious kooks. This is their chance to make a statement, dammit!
This could’ve gone on all night, but luckily for Villaraigosa, an angel from the formerly Solid South lights on his shoulder and tells him, essentially, “Forget about appearances. Just ram this through and let them pitch their fit, Sugar.” (As long as I’m paraphrasing, she sounded like someone who calls people “Sugar” a lot.)
Here, everyone in the arena fully realizes what’s going on. The delegates who have a little bit of a grip on reality are thinking, “Hey, this is making us look really bad, so we better speak up and try to overwhelm the agitators.” The protest voters hear the volume of the “aye” vote and double down themselves. An unbiased observer would call this at least a tie and probably a win by the “no’s.” But Villaraigosa follows his stage direction well and just declares the measure passed.
Amazingly, a large number of the delegates then begin to boo–loudly, unapologetically–an amendment that was added to the platform for the sole purpose of demonstrating that Democrats don’t hate God or Israel. Voting against the amendment isn’t enough. They must also resort to booing to make sure they aren’t mistaken for people who give a rat’s ass about the concerns of traditionally religious Americans.
It’s not like a Democratic administration is going to actually do anything to act on this politically necessary boilerplate. But the mere presence of these statements gripes the delegates so much that they can’t bear it.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is your Democratic Party in 2012: a significant percentage of the party leadership, quite possibly a majority, isn’t even willing to pretend to care about religious middle America anymore.
If you’re a Christian, having one of the two major political parties write you off is a problem. If they can do it and still win–if they’re not punished for showing Christians the back of their hand–it will become even more of a problem.