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My Take: When it comes to 'God' in our political platforms, less is more
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presided over the reinsertion of 'God' into the Democrats' platform.
September 6th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

My Take: When it comes to 'God' in our political platforms, less is more

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I first heard that God had gone missing from the Democratic Party platform from a Facebook friend who rejoiced in a godless platform as a triumph for the First Amendment and the separation of church and state.

I was surprised, however, because since the loss of John Kerry to George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential race, Democrats have gotten religion.

President Obama used the word God five times in his inaugural address. And according to my search of the database of The American Presidency Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he has used it thousands of times more during his presidency.

In remarks at annual National Prayer Breakfasts, Obama called us “children of God” in 2009, spoke of “God’s grace” in 2010, quoted from the Book of Job on “God’s voice” in 2011 and invoked “God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’” in 2012.

The president also invoked the almighty in more prosaic settings, including fundraisers and television interviews and remarks to Super Bowl champions.

This April he used a weekly radio address to talk about Passover and Easter—“the story of the Exodus” and “”the all-important gift of grace through the resurrection of his son.”

And in dozens of speeches over the last two years Obama has spoken of our “God-given potential.”

That is the formulation that found its way back into this year’s Democratic Party platform, after "God" had gone missing in a prior draft.

None of this should really matter, of course. There isn’t any straight line from an affirmation of our “God-given potential” to any particular federal law. But it does matter because we continue as a nation to wage a culture war that goes back to the late 1970s.

That was when Republicans decided to start hammering away at their Democratic opponents on so-called “values” questions and in the process turned U.S. politics into a decades-long referendum on the libertinism of the 1960s.

Foolishly, the Democrats responded as my Facebook friend did, by invoking Thomas Jefferson and the First Amendment and the strict separation of church and state. But being the anti-God party in a nation in which 95% or so believe in God proved to be a losing strategy. So the Democrats reversed course in 2004.

For better or for worse, we now have two religious parties in the United States. The Constitution may be godless, but both parties are hell-bent on presenting themselves as godly.

Is this a good thing? If you believe, as George Washington wrote in his Farewell Address, that “religion and morality” are “these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens," then perhaps it is.

But do we really want “God” to serve as a “prop” of our politics? Apparently, the answer of both parties to that question is yes.

The decision of Democratic Party delegates to reinsert God into their party's platform was clearly motivated by political calculations rather than theological acumen. But are the decisions of the Republican Party any different?

Are the repeated references to "providence" and "God" in its platform proof that its policies are more godly?

In its discussion of the Second Amendment, the GOP platform informs us that our citizens’ “God-given right of self-defense” extends not only to gun ownership but also “the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration.” Really? Is bearing a semi-automatic weapon really the answer to "What would Jesus do?"

Is the fact that the GOP platform refers to “God” twelve times rather than one supposed to prove that Republicans are 12 times more godly?

As a matter of tradition, Americans have always mixed church and state, but they have almost always tried to do so in ways that were respectful of adherents of minority religions and of citizens without any religion at all. So what our two religious parties are doing today runs in the American grain.

Still, I can't help but feel that the now-obligatory references to God in virtually every presidential speech and every party proclamation are more about pridefully asserting one's godliness than humbly asserting one's faith.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his followers not to pray, as the hypocrites do, on the street corners, so they might be seen and admired, but to pray instead in their closets, in secret, with the doors shut.

Today I'd like a little more of that sort of religion, please, and a little less of the street corner hucksterism of the Democrats and Republicans alike.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Church and state • Culture wars • Politics • United States

soundoff (1,491 Responses)
  1. nk

    God exists in politics to get votes. Plain and simple.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • this guy

      god is to votes as the sun is to planets

      September 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  2. steve

    The problem with putting god in the platform was anticipated by our founding fathers. They knew that if god was part of your platform, then the next question is , who god do we endorse?

    September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  3. this guy

    Why do ppl capitalize god and him?

    September 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dallas

      Don't you know that a bunch of illiterate mo r 0n post on CNN??? They just do not know any better and, for that matter, even care.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  4. rhondajo3

    You can leave God out of politics if you want to, but the God believers and God lovers are going to seek out which candidate stands for Him and His word and His morals every time.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Horus

      "his word and his morals" as defined by?....bronze era middle easterners....you know, the ones who wrote the bible?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • nk

      it is rather unfortunate, isnt it?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bob

      rhondajo3, you really shouldn't look to Christian god for morals, when according to the Christian book of nasty, AKA the bible, he wants you to do or he does horrid stuff like this:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      September 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Tarheel Guy

      The people you describe are OBVIOUSLY not voting for Romney......Right?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Really tho

      No matter how wrong the party is as long as they believe in god. Please just don't bother voting.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Pheadrus

    Let me preface this by saying that I am an atheist. A militant atheist.

    Here’s the thing. The collective intelligence of Democrats (something missing from Republicans) know that God gave people ‘free will’. People have a God given right to make decisions, right or wrong, and suffer the rewards, or consequences, of their actions.

    God does not play politics. God does not care about politics. God doesn’t care about political platforms… God doesn’t even care who is elected. God doesn’t care where a capital of a country resides; God doesn’t give a hoot whether one country is predominantly Muslim, or Christian. God doesn’t care if the color of one’s skin is black, red, yellow or white.

    What God cares about… what God demands… is that we live a life of humility and humanity. Political affiliation, platforms, geographic boundaries, and a whole slew of other things are nothing except distractions from this message.

    Democrats, for the most part, know this. They try to live the ‘love one another’ command and embrace humanity. There is no need to shout out, or proclaim what they live. In fact, Matthew 6 distinctly expresses that doing so is not acceptable in the eyes of God.

    Republicans feel the need to turn their politics into some kind of religious struggle. That they think God cares about their political crusade is hubris. That they invoke the name of their Lord to justify every bad decision is merely ‘free will’ taking a very, very, bad turn.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Odd that you purport to speak for that which you hold does not exist

      September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Sally

      Well said!!

      September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Pheadrus

      From Bill Deacon – "Odd that you purport to speak for that which you hold does not exist"

      Yes... It is. But one must know his enemy intimately to fight a winning battle.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Sacmar

      Great post.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Eliezer Mateo

      You've spoken like a true ignorant. You call your self an atheist, an have the audacity to describe what God cares and not cares about. How can you describe someone you don't know. Sounds awfully ILLOGICAL, coming from someone who preaches logic. Do me a favor feel free to not believe in God if thats what you wish, but don't put words in his mouth.... Foolishness....smh

      September 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Pheadrus

      To Eliezer Mateo –

      I see. So you are saying that everything I said about your god is false?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Fernando

      Bill – "Odd that you purport to speak for that which you hold does not exist"
      I don't believe he ever said he was speaking for God. Rather he is relating how people of faith characterize their god and faith so it isn't odd at all.
      A professor of mythology can expound on the gods of Olympus with great authority yet not believe in their existence.
      You know all this very well. Why then is it so common for people of faith to mischaracterize what other people say? This is a form of lying and isn't it considered a serious sin? Please do not respond that I am accusing or condemning you. I just want to find out why it is so common for people like you to lie. Ends justify the means?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Logic

      Well, that's not entirely true that the god that most of the friendly folks on this message board claim to believe in only demands that we live a life of humility and humanity. Actually, if I remember correctly from my scholarly pursuits in the bible, god demands constant gratification and praise, god demands punishment of everyone for the sins of a few, god demands mass sacrifice of human life (see book of Judges), and the list goes on.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Really tho

      If there was truly any so called god why is there so much suffering in the world? Why does it let this happen? Easy because it does not exist! So keep the two apart. No Religion in State

      September 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  6. Joe

    My problem with this article is this...let"s say you are mugged twice in one day. Is it reasonable to only be outraged at at and file charges against second person who mugged you? In this case the second person watched your response to the first mugging. Don't you think you could have made the second mugging less likely had you responded more appropriately to the first mugging?

    September 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  7. my2cntsworth

    The unfortunate truth is that religion will never be eradicated. As long as we continue forcing our children to attend church, where they are indoctrinated with fables, we will never allow them to question the need for religion. Gods such as Thor, Poseidon, Buddha, Jesus, etc. are all creations of Man. This is how we were able to explain away lightning, the moon, the stars, storms, droughts, disease and so forth. Oh, and by the way, morality and religion are separate. You do not need to be religious to be moral. As a matter of fact, being religious is not a guarentee you will be a moral person. I'll leave it at that.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • independent jim

      for proof of that look at the catholic church where pedphiles are protected and women have no rights ..and to the televangelists that prey on their congregations women and men then when they get caught they proclaim they have repented and go about their business as usual ..no religion makes or keeps anyone with evil intentions moral

      September 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  8. OldSchool

    I have a problem with religion and politics, I do not see religion as something that is out of bounds and above scrutiny. I approach EVERYTHING with the same level of reason and skepticism, it defines my world view.

    The current Republican candidate subscribes to a religion that was created by a known con-man within recent human history. This religion claims that god is from/near a planet called "Kolob", and that Jesus visited the Americas... Anyone who objectively views this absurd and bizarre cult as somehow plausible needs to have their head examined as far as I am concerned.

    I AM FRIGHTENED when I am reminded that someone who so woefully lacks the capacity for reason and logic could realistically become our president.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • sam

      Most religions have equally nutty foundations and myths.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • OldSchool

      Oh absolutely, it's just that the age of the "big 3" at least lend them SOME air of credibility (although they all crumble under scrutiny, none of them are historically accurate). It's just that Mormonism is so new that it can be much more thoroughly vetted.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Johnny MoMo

      Actually, sam, that is not true... some religions have foundations in philosophy, modern atheism has its foundations in the enlightenment. It is true that the foundations of Hinduism are shrouded in myth and tradition. Buddhism grew out of Hinduism. Mormanism and Islam do have frightening and "con-man" like origins.

      Christianity, on the other hand, though hard to believe for many has its foundations in the resurrection of Christ, which has proved to be historical fact and impossible to disprove for those who have seriously looked into it. Of course, if you begin with an anti-God (or Jesus) presupposition you'll be disinclined to agree.

      Every religion is very different.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • OldSchool

      @Johnny MoMo – I'm sorry, I can't let that one slide.

      "...the resurrection of Christ, which has proved to be historical fact and impossible to disprove for those who have seriously looked into it."

      I would love to see the evidence that you have of this that is accepted by contemporary historians, using sources other than the Bible from the period of time that Jesus would have lived. The only accounts of the "Jesus" claimed by the Bible are from after the time he would have lived, which are not acceptable evidence. The Romans were meticulous record keepers, we have peoples TAX RECORDS from Roman times, yet there are no equivalent records for any such person who would have made the kind of impact that this Jesus was said to have made.

      I'm sorry, but the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim, and to date no evidence of any veracity has been presented.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • independent jim

      Romney is a mormon and until it was assured he would get the nomination the Evangelicals said he belonged to a cult and they would not in good conscience vote for him....but since he is now the republican candidate they would rather back and vote for a cult member than a christian

      September 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Johnny MoMo

      Its all there if you care to look. Do a google search and focus on reading stuff with an open mind that you disagree with. That's how I start. There have been many books written on it as well.

      The main point I was making (to Sam) was that every religion is very different.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Johnny MoMo

      Jim,
      What is a cult? Somone with whom you disagree?
      Frankly, due to the connotations, its not a useful word anymore. Look it up in the dictionary. You could call just about anything a "cult."

      Frankly, if you are a Christian and think of the Republican party as a "Christian" party, you're bound to be dissapointed.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • sam

      @Johnny and yet my point still stands – different, yet with supernatural beginnings that favor the ruling class of the time. Burning bushes, talking snakes, parting seas...great.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Johnny MoMo

      Sam,
      I certainly understand you anti-supernatural viewpoint. I used to share it. Now, I am all in favor of 'burning bushes, talking snakes and parting seas." That made me laugh.

      But, I fail to see how Jesus in any way favors the "ruling class of His time." Or any time, for that matter. Certainly today is does not seem to me that Jesus supports our "ruling class." And, I'm not even sure who our "ruling class" would be. Harvard grads? Oprah? Obama? Jon Stewart?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • sam

      It's not an anti-supernatural stance. And Jesus didn't write the bible – it was written by and then *translated* by people with specific agendas. The King James version is a case in point.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  9. KCRick

    Seems fairly logical since the motto of our country is "In God We Trust". Also, the most famous line in the Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. You could argue "creator" is not God, but we all know that is what the founders meant. So, why should it not be in our platform. It is not a Christian thing as much as the fact that most major religions of the world recognize God.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • MD

      "In God We Trust" is not the motto of the U.S. and wasn't on our money until 1955.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  10. Wondering

    Why can't we do the moral,right thing (what ever you won't to call it) for each other without having to be commanded by GOD isn't that what free will is,isnt that what he tried to teach?I think GOD would be very angry about being used in this way,for money and votes.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  11. Johnny MoMo

    First, what you or I think about God has absolutely no bearing on whether He exists or what He is like. God either is or is not. And, if He is and is active like the Bible says He is then He certainly is involved in politics, whether we like it or not. And, if He is invloved in politics and has something to say, it would be wise to listen to Him... as much as is possible. That is, if He exists.

    The really dumb thing to do is to believe that God exists and cares and then give him lip service and barely a mention... which is what the Dems did. Look, if you believe that God is really there you'd better sit up, respect Him and obey. If you think He's not around, then ignore Him. You cannot have it both ways.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  12. Righteousness

    Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For so persecuted they the prophets which were before you!!

    September 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      Check the mailbox, your meds should be in.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  13. kenny

    god weakens societies because religion disguises reality... the most religious countries in the world are all the poorest and weakest. the reason is because religion gives false explanations for reality, they are more simple and pleasant, but false all the same and so people don't understand reality and therefore have less ability to control it which is the basis of power... control through understanding...

    "God leads people to believe they understand things that they actually are far from understanding" Einstein

    September 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  14. R.Smith

    It never ceases to amaze me how incrediblely interested atheists are about God. For not believing, they spend a tremendous amount of time and effort chasing God. Just mention God in any comment and atheists flock like bugs to light for the opportunity to diss God just one more time. I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, but I don't feel the urge to debate his/her existence at every drop of his/her name. I don't think children are naive just because they believe. I easily accept atheist's lack of belief. Why do they feel the need to belittle me for mine? Despite their claims, I am not a stupid man. I have five college degrees, two of them earned doctorates. I say that not in boast, but to illustrate that I am perfectly capable of pondering the intellectual considerations of belief in God. I must also say I have never met a stupid theologist. I chuckle at the "having God shoved down our throat" comments, mostly from individuals who are perfectly capable of walking, or running, away from those doing the shoving. I believe this behavior is an extention of our "evolved" political system in that everyone considers their view correct and everybody elses not only wrong, but stupid and insane as well. We have sunk to a social level in this country that is terribly unbefitting our history. Apparently, the melting pot has melted. Sad. Please, ladies and gentlemen, continue not believing. I didn't mean to interupt your not believing. Sorry!

    September 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • sam

      Well, here's the thing. We get very interested in something when one religion's beliefs start being pushed by legislation that would cause everyone to have to live the way that one faction of society believes.

      It's pretty simple.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Adam

      I, for one, have seen enough people hit the wall at 400mph to know that what people believe about the Creator of the Universe matters, and it matters on the level of behavior, and this behavior matters to me, and to our world.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Horus

      There are plenty of average, and even intelligent religious people. I would argue that it's not always ignorance and stupidity, but compartmentalizing logic to soothe dissonance from which they suffer.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I disagree with the standard issue comment that atheist are here to argue about legislation coming from a religious impetus. If you were truly interested in the law, you would be on a legal blog. If nothing else your effort to disprove God in order block religious people from affecting the political climate is a very illogical use of your efforts. I think the response is BS.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Easter Bunny (I am a Hare out of place)

      " I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, but I don't feel the urge to debate his/her existence at every drop of his/her name."

      Suppose we pass a law saying you have to believe in me? Let's put my face on money, and close every store on my favorite day, and start letting people go from their jobs if they don't have Easter Eggs all year round. Let's increase the price of gas and food in honor of the Easter Bunny! You'd become an Easter Bunny Atheist in a year or two, no doubt. Stop trying to run my life and I'll stop caring about your delusion.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Tom

      I think we are using our GOD given brains to ask questions and think for ourselves like I think HE would have wanted or we would still be dumb monkyes.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Wes Scott

      If people who claim to hold religious beliefs actually practiced what they preach, then they might win a few more converts to their dogma. R. Smith is a perfect example of why I shun religion. He does not understand "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

      Religion is the opiate of the masses because it dumbs people down to accepting on faith fairy tales that no rational, sane person would ever accept as truth. There is zero proof of the existence of god. There is zero proof that Jesus was ever crucified, though there is a large and growing body of evidence to suggest that the whole crucifixion thing was an elaborate fraud designed to fulfill a prophecy.

      I was born and raised devout christian, and from the time I was 6 until after I turned 25 I actively studied the wholly babble in deep detail. I probably know that book far better than 98% of those who claim to be such strong adherents to it. And if there is one thing I know it is that Jesus taught a far different version of humility and humanity than is practiced by the GOP and its minions. If you want to lead, then try leading by example. Otherwise, people just assume that you are the fraud and hypocrite that you truly are.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • sam

      Bill, really? You're just being argumentative as usual. The BS starts with religion; why go fight the symptom on a legal blog when you can fight the cause?

      That really was weak, even for you.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  15. sam

    Can someone do me in the butt PLEASE?????

    September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Everyone, all together

      "No."

      September 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  16. Michael Schmidt

    Jesus is all powerful. However it is true, the only thing he cannot do is make you love him. That is a choice all mankind must be willing to make. Have no doubt that all shall bow down before HIM and praise him and acknowledge HIM as God. If man does not go to his knees freely, the Lord God shall force him there one way or another through times of trouble and tribulation in his life to forge his character and prepare him for a better day. Sorry if this offends anyone, but truth hurts.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • zap

      You and David Koresh. Just go away.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Grand Ole Party of Christian Taliban

      Not truth...truth is based in fact and evidence....you have none. What you do have is your perspective and opinion, which has about as much value as a dried dog turd.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      If the truth hurts, you've NEVER experienced pain.
      I see no reason to love any god that is like the one you describe. He seems like a judgmental dick.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " If man does not go to his knees freely, the Lord God shall force him there one way or another through times of trouble and tribulation in his life to forge his character and prepare him for a better day. "
      You literally do not know what you are talking about. What a bunch of schmidt. Short of killing my family, what else could your sky demon do to me? You have no idea of who I am or what I've seen and been through. I do not go to my knees in times of trouble, and no one is big enough to force me down.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Carole

      The truth does indeed hurt, sweet cheeks but there was not a word of it in your post. If you choose to be delusional you have that right. Someone once said, religion is like a penis, it's ok to have one, it's even ok to be proud of it but don't go waving it around in public and whatever you do don't shove down my throat.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Wes Scott

      If Jesus truly is all powerful, then would it be possible for him to create a boulder so large and heavy that not even he could move it?

      Your statement is absurd, unfounded and unsupported by fact. It is merely what you choose to believe.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  17. nyresident

    But even if 95% of this country believes in a god, religion shouldn't even be a topic of discussion at any political convention in the USA. The Puritans didn't establish our government; the Founding Fathers did, and here's what one of them had to say on the topic:

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State." -Thomas Jefferson

    Based on the inclusion of God in our political platforms, we are on the verge of creating a whole new government. So much for the Enlightenment.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  18. Bible Clown©

    Wait until we elect someone president who practices VooDoo or Santeria. Public sacrifices at dawn, then chicken for lunch.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  19. Grand Ole Party of Christian Taliban

    You will submit to God's Will

    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      That's better than Will's God. I think Will worships a snake.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • sam

      I heard about that Will guy. It's not even a snake, it's a giant earthworm!

      September 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  20. Stephen

    If people are so upset with the democratic parties choice to put God back on the platform then they should just vote for somebody else. Nobody is stopping them from casting a vote for another candidate. To those that believe religion does not have a place in politics then vote your conscience and vote for a candidate who feels the same way.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      I would, if I thought for one second that the religiophiles would vote for the BEST CANDIDATE, and not simply someone who swallows the same line of religious malarkey they do.
      Whether we like it or not, Xtians have a lock on the Presidency for the foreseable future. Not because they deserve it, but because most Xtians would pee themselves if they didn't have a Xtian as a President too.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Wes Scott

      If we measure Presidents by their actions rather than their words, then we have not had a truly god-fearing President since Jimmy Carter, and we are not going to have one after this election, either!

      September 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.