The post-Christian party
“Essentially a technical oversight.” That was how Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic Party chairwoman, explained the exclusions of “God” and “Jerusalem” (as the capital of Israel) from the official Democratic Party platform last week.
But they weren’t careless or trivial omissions. They were intentional exclusions that reflect the changing values of an increasingly secular party that’s hostile to Israel and America’s Judeo-Christian character.
Both the Obama State Department and the White House press secretary have refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The original platform language omitting Jerusalem was merely an extension of that refusal.
After news of the exclusions threatened to dominate the media’s coverage of the convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, serving as the convention chairman, called for a two-thirds voice vote to amend the platform and reinsert the deleted language. But every time God came up for a vote, it was clear that the “nos” were louder than the “ayes.”
So Villaraigosa simply overruled the delegates and declared that the amendments had passed. This prompted a chorus of boos and hisses from the Democratic delegates. The same convention that cheered a parade of speakers from the abortion industry touting the right of mothers to kill their unborn children booed a passing reference to God.
The restored language called for a government that “gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.” According to press reports, Obama personally intervened to get God back into the platform.
Some top Democrats were critical of the omission. “I was very critical of the original version,” Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) told Human Events. “It didn’t reflect what is widely felt by Democrats.” But two recently-released opinion surveys underscore how the Democratic Party is increasingly become the party of the non-religious.
A Gallup tracking poll of registered voters finds that Obama leads among those who describe themselves as “nonreligious” by 46 percentage points, 69 percent to 23 percent. Mitt Romney leads among Catholics, Protestant and evangelical Christians as well as those who say they are “highly religious” or “moderately religious.”
Republicans have historically enjoyed more support among the faithful. But that advantage is increasing. A recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey found that white non-Hispanic evangelicals are more likely to identify with the GOP than with the Democratic Party than they were in 2008. Ditto for white mainline Protestant voters and white Catholics.
Historically, a majority of Jewish voters associate with the Democratic Party. But as Pew notes, the “size of the Democratic Party advantage (among Jewish voters) has diminished from 52 points in 2008 to 38 points today.” And among orthodox Jews, the GOP is already the party of choice.
The GOP has gained with registered voters who attend worship services at least once a week. Such voters are now 14 points more likely to identify with the GOP (from 5 points in 2008).
At 24 percent, the religiously unaffiliated make up a larger share of the Democratic Party than any other religious demographic. Catholics are roughly 18 percent of the party, followed by Black protestants (16 percent) white evangelicals (9 percent) and white mainline protestants (14 percent).
Republicans and Democrats used to be nearly identical in their belief in the existence of God. But a June Pew survey found that Democrats have experienced a steady turn away from faith over the past decade. Among white Democrats, for example, the share that say they never doubt the existence of God has dropped from 85 percent in 2002 to 68 percent in 2012.
God wasn’t completely ignored at the DNC. During his convention speech on Thursday, Obama was careful to nod in God’s direction. Quoting Lincoln, Obama said he had been “driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
But too often God was used to justify the Democratic Party’s obsession with abortion and same-sex marriage. “As a Catholic woman,” Caroline Kennedy said in her convention speech, “I take reproductive freedom seriously, and today, it is under attack.”
Obama has a history of hostility to religious belief. On the 2008 campaign trail, he accused blue collar Americans of “clinging to religion.” Months into office, Obama denied the Judeo-Christian foundation of America. Traveling in Turkey, he announced, “One of the great strengths of the United States is we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Muslim nation.”
Obama has routinely omitted “endowed by their creator” from the well-known passage of the Declaration of Independence whenever he recites it.
More egregiously, Obama’s first term has been one long assault on religious freedom— from his revoking of conscience protections for medical personnel who have moral qualms about participating in abortion to his decree under Obamacare that religious employers must pay for their employees’ birth control.
Conservatives often argue that the Democratic Party is in the midst of a clear turn toward European-style socialism. This year’s DNC was the most conspicuous sign yet that the Democratic Party is also pivoting toward post-Christian, European-style secularism. For Obama and the Democratic elite, government has replaced God.
The Democratic elite have spent the last decade abandoning God, which is why the faithful will continue to abandon the Democratic Party.