A calculated sequence of "mishearings" surely affected by mic placement, a command from the Commander in Chief himself—these are the reasons cited for yesterday's revision to the Democratic platform to both re-introduce god and re-affirm Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
And for a moment there I thought the Dems had really become progressive.
But I guess it's not hard to capitulate to arguably the most powerful lobby group in the U.S., which has irrevocably rendered the latter nation submissive to and as having a terribly fettered vested interest in Israel and Israeli state matters.
The omission of God from the platform was swiftly emended to re-inclusion. The 2012 original platform reads "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." The revised 2012 platform now echoes its 2008 predecessor ("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.")
As an atheist, I always question the human reliance on a moralized hierarchical figure in order to justify one's ethics. Or, as I ask my students, do you need a God in order to act? In order to act and interact with others compassionately, with respect?
Many of them, to my chagrin, say yes, otherwise, they believe, we'll revert back to some primordial "animal state" whereby we just go around killing people for no good reason. (...the Invasion of Iraq, anyone?....)
I believe a need for a higher power to justify one's actions is a sign of weakness. And so I believe the Democrats re-introduction of God into their platform is likewise a sign of weakness.
But what is also frustrating is the belief that God, by which most people mean the Christian God, is a foundational element of our nation. And, because he's believed to be foundational, he must never be eradicated from our federal laws or our Constitution.
from the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary.
Now, the Founding Fathers were for the most part not atheists but deists who believed in a singular creative force—much like their contemporary, the great philosopher Spinoza, whose Ethics put forth the idea of a single creative force of the universe which one may or may not refer to as "God." This metaphysical belief translated into a politics that abjured religion from state affairs, not sanctifying that relation.
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." —Thomas Paine
"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." —James Madison
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law." —Thomas Jefferson
I have been and continue to be profoundly confused by this over reliance on God and on this belief that religion is integral to our nation's good standing.
When all is said and done, the Democratic platform may not account for much of anything—what's written in the platform need not be championed into law. But it is symbolic. And it is this symbolism that continues to perpetute the belief that religion is foundational to our enterprise as a nation, as a good nation, and as an ethical one.