Sunday, September 9, 2012

Boo.



In what appeared to be a made for Fox News spin moment, at the Democratic National Convention last week, delegates booed God. Or Jerusalem. Or both. Which really doesn't matter to many conservative Evangelicals, because to be against either is anathema.

So here's a rundown of the story from various POVs from across the web:

From The Christian Post:
"Political analysts tracking the mood of minority groups such as African Americans and Latinos, especially those within the church community, say the Democrats did themselves no favor when it came to matters of faith during the national convention.

Black and Latino Christians have been put in a difficult position over the DNC platform, according to several stories posted at BCNN1.com, an online site "dedicated to reporting breaking news from a black, Christian perspective for the glory of God."

... "My message is this could cost us our election," said Fernando Cabrera, a New York pastor and a city council member from the Bronx. "I see myself as a reformer, and I'm hoping that we can put enough pressure (on the party). And as you know one of the biggest issues is gay marriage."
As was first reported by CBN News, Cabrera believes a pro-life stance and support of traditional marriage are views that members of the Latino and other minority communities hold high."

From Catholic Culture:

"... The boos from the floor were aimed at Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was running the convention at the time, and asked for three separate voice votes on the amendment that restored a mention of God. On the 3rd vote, Villaigosa ruled that the “Ayes” had won—by a two-thirds majority.

That ruling from the chair was an obvious abuse of power. It was impossible to say, simply from the volume of voices, whether the “Ayes” outnumbered the “Nays.” To assert that the “Ayes” predominated by a 2-to-1 margin was simply absurd. Quite understandably, many delegates objected to the ruling. So their boos were aimed at Villaraigosa, not at God.

But it’s not quite that simple. This vote didn’t occur in a vacuum. In drafting the original platform, Democratic leaders had removed references to God (and to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel). They didn’t merely forget to mention God; in updating previous party platforms, they made a conscious decision to remove Him. When that decision was brought to the attention of ordinary American voters, outside the orbit of the Democratic Party apparatchiks, it was unpopular. It didn’t play in Peoria. Belatedly, the Democratic leaders realized that they should put God back in the picture. So an amendment to the platform was place on the convention’s agenda.

And here’s where things get interesting: That amendment was controversial! Quite a few delegates opposed the mention of God. Some, no doubt, were primarily concerned about the mention of Jerusalem. Party leaders might have simplified matters by introducing two separate amendments: one to restore a mention of God, the other to name Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But that tactic would not have suited the purposes of the party strategists. They didn’t want an open debate on God (or on Jersualem) during the convention. They didn’t want to give American voters the opportunity to see just how radical the Democratic party has become. They wanted the amendment approved quickly."

Jake Tapper, of ABC News, wrote:

"GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Wednesday that taking the word "God" out of the Democratic platform proved that the party is "veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don't recognize."

After Wednesday's voice vote, Romney's spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, said in a statement that the vote was "unclear" and called on "President Obama to state in unequivocal terms whether or not he believes Jerusalem is Israel's capital," which Saul claimed Obama had not done.

Romney's vice presidential runningmate, Paul Ryan, said Wednesday that the omission of God in the DNC platform was "rather peculiar" and "is not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision."

But the word "God" does not appear in the Constitution and is printed only once in the Declaration of Independence, which states "the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle" people. The Declaration of Independence also mentions the "Creator."

 


Wintery Knight wrote simply:

"Democrats support abortion and gay marriage. And they haven’t done enough to protect Israel from Iran. But they have to pretend that they are moral people and good allies of Israel in order to get elected, even if their hearts are elsewhere. I understand that."
From Dustin Stockton:

"After three votes, where the vocal votes from delegates were obviously half-yes and half-no, Mayor Villaraigosa, despite needing a two-thirds majority, ruled to include the amendments and the crowd showed their immense displeasure with “boos” and other jeers.

I honestly don’t know which is worse: that the crowd “booed,” or that the Democrats had to pull some Chicago-style politics to get God His honorable mention."
From The New Republic:

"Here is a fact: the 2008 Democratic platform contained a reference to God, as in “We need a government that…gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.” The 2012 Democratic platform does not contain that line.

Here’s another fact: the 2012 Democratic platform dropped another sentence from the 2008 version. That sentence? “We will ensure that public funds are not used to proselytize or discriminate.” It refers to the Bush-era policy, which President Obama has continued, of allowing faith-based organizations to discriminate when hiring employees using federal funds. Most religious conservatives fiercely support that policy (although they do so now silently) on the grounds that it protects the freedom of religious institutions.

Fact: this second and actually substantive omission has not been mentioned by any of the conservatives gleefully accusing Democrats of banishing God. Nor was it reported by David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who has been busy promoting his “exclusive” about the disappearance of the phrase “God-given.”

Rachel Held Evans wrote:

"Now, I’m a Christian, who loves Jesus and who hopes to honor God with my life, but frankly, after hearing about 100 “God bless Americas” shouted between the two conventions, and dozens of biblical references dropped by both parties, I was just fine with seeing God’s name removed from yet another piece of political propaganda.

Because God is not a flag pin.

God is not a beam in a political platform.

God’s name is not something to use to score political points. It's not something to throw around lightly or to use as a weapon against a political opponent.

As Christians, we need not be threatened by alterations to the wording of a political platform because we don’t measure Kingdom growth by where we find God’s name, but by where we find God’s presence. And no political party has a monopoly on that."

Where do you stand on this? Massively wrong or meh? For non-Christians or non-theists, what's your opinion?

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