Various Christian commentators are upset that the Democratic National Committee removed the word "God" from its platform.
According to David Brody at the Christian Broadcasting Network:
This is the paragraph that was in the 2008 platform:
"We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
Now the words "God-given" have been removed. The paragraph has been restructured to say this:
"We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that 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."[…]
There is one section on "faith" and here is what it says:
"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."
“Some critics will suggest that when you have planks in your platform that support abortion rights and gay marriage then it's no wonder that God's name would be dropped as well," Brody remarked when seeking comments from the DNC.
Bill Donahue of the Catholic League issued a news release:
Why should anyone be surprised that the mere mention of the word “God” would send shivers down the spine of the Democratic faithful? After all, the same platform says it’s a good idea for two men to get married; the public needs to pay for all abortions; there is no demand that Hamas stop terrorism against Israelis; the public must pay for a healthcare policy it manifestly rejects; the Catholic non-profit community must fork up money to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, etc.
The Obama administration has a “God problem.” On several occasions, President Obama has omitted the words “by their Creator” when citing the Declaration of Independence. He has also erroneously said that the national motto is “E Pluribus Unum”; it is “In God We Trust.” Now the Democratic Platform has deleted the word “God” when discussing our “God-given potential.” In 2008, the Platform spoke to the issue of having a government that “gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.” The italics, which I added, have been deleted from the 2012 Platform.
The Catholic League appreciates honesty and transparency, even when it signifies something pernicious. On this basis, we commend the Democrats for being so straightforward.
CNN's Piers Morgan asked DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz about the omission in the Democratic platform, which she said was not intentional. Wasserman Schultz told Morgan, "We have a commitment through all faith traditions that our values are reflected in our policy. And that means that we should look out for the least of these, that we should fight for the middle class, that we should let everybody in America have an opportunity to be successful." When pressed by Morgan, she said that the word "God" was not taken out deliberately.
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was also removed from the platform language. Wasserman Schultz said that President Obama has stood by Israel and always will. Writing for The Huffington Post, Joshua Hersh reported that "officials with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the hardline pro-Israel interest group, had reviewed and approved the language prior to its finalization. 'They loved it,' said the aide who worked on the platform." This has been disputed by a source associated with AIPAC, but the Democratic committee source stood by his comments.