God got jeered and booed in Charlotte this week, providing at least one memorable moment in an otherwise forgettable convention.
Wednesday’s now-infamous vote reversing the Democratic Party’s intended omission of God from the platform turned into an utter fiasco. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presided haplessly over the sham vote. He asked the delegates three times to accept the reinstatement of God in the platform. But they refused. Loud boos followed each vote.
The bottom line is that God lost. This rebuke is surely a first in the history of American political conventions. The nays were far louder than the ayes, making it clear that rank-and-file Democrats approved of his deletion from the platform and support an unapologetically secularist party.
If it weren’t for all the bad publicity, party bosses wouldn’t have cared about the omission either. Senator Dick Durbin’s Tuesday tantrum on Fox News—in which he refused to answer Bret Baier’s question about the omission and ranted about the “narrative” of the Democrats as godless—now looks even worse. Durbin had called the omission a “trifle.” A day later party officials considered it so important that they were willing to silence delegates on the matter.
President Obama is conscious of the need to con the religious into voting for his reelection. And so he apparently ordered the change. As Obama learned from the methods of Saul Alinsky, one must never turn the heat up too quickly lest the specimens jump out. He knows that if the party is too obvious about its atheistic aspirations Americans will turn on it.
Democrats blamed John Kerry’s loss in 2004 largely on his open secularism. “Values voters” overwhelmingly supported George W. Bush, leading even Nancy Pelosi to grumble about Kerry’s secularism: “I know that many of the people who are in politics on the Democratic side do so according to the gospel of Matthew and indeed the Bible, but we don’t demonstrate it clearly enough and faith is such an important part of the lives of most people in our country. They want to know that we identify with that.”
Keenly aware of Kerry’s stumble, Obama made sure to avoid the same mistake in 2008 by touting his “post-partisan” appreciation for matters of faith. By adopting a tone of quasi-religious uplift and shoehorning his socialism into several scriptural passages, Obama succeeded in poaching many Catholic and Protestant voters from the religiously indifferent John McCain.
This background explains the panic on Wednesday. Obama doesn’t want to lose any swing states over a platform edit.
Nor is it a coincidence that on the same day delegates booed God party officials gushed endlessly about “Sister Simone Campbell,” a Soros-subsidized stooge they trotted out to bless Obama’s big spending. Normally the Democrats whine about “priests and nuns who meddle in politics.” But they always make an exception for the ones who identify “social justice” with the party’s platform.
Without DNC officials and compliant journalists incessantly calling her “sister,” few viewers would have even known Campbell’s religious affiliation, as she appeared on stage without her habit. While she has dropped her otherworldly attire, she clings tenaciously to her otherworldly title, as it gives added propaganda value to her left-wing opinions presented as church teaching. She didn’t seem to mind that she was sharing the stage with Sandra Fluke and abortion lobbyists. Abortion, she told a reporter without apparent irony, is above her “pay grade.” Obama no doubt approved of this answer. He used the same line at Rick Warren’s civility confab in 2008.
That the bishops let “sisters”—such as Campbell and Sister Carol Keehan (whose pay grade as a liberal lobbyist is near a million dollars a year)—work for the reelection of the most anti-Catholic president ever is an open disgrace. But such is the surreal drama around the cult of Obama, whose acolytes in Charlotte made history by voting down God.
This column first appeared September 7, 2012 in RealClearReligion.org and is reprinted with permission.