The faith-based press release for the Democratic National Convention in Denver makes it clear: The Democratic Party now envisions itself as a religious party with the goal of using the power of government to establish and promote religion.
The document begins by asserting “Barack Obama’s personal commitment and the commitment of the Democratic Party to put faith in action”. The Democratic Party is committed to put religion into action? Before reading this press release, I didn’t realize that enacting religion through government was one of the goals of the Democratic Party. I thought that the Democrats were a political party, not a religious party.
The press release continues, “‘Senator Obama is a committed Christian, and he believes that people of all faiths have an important place in American life,’ said Joshua Dubois, Obama For America Director of Religious Affairs.” And what about people of no faith? Apparently, we do not have an important place in American life, as far as Barack Obama is concerned.
Barack Obama also seems to believe that part of the duties of the President of the United States is to make governmental decisions about “religious affairs”. Whether those White House religious affairs include delivering Bush-style religious sermons, establishing official forms of worship, or just channeling public money, through expanded faith-based initiatives, back to the churches that supported his campaign, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Apparently, the new position of the Democratic Party is to deny that any of its members are now or have ever been nonreligious. The press release quotes Leah Daughtry, a Pentacostal minister and Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee “Democrats have been, are and will continue to be people of faith.” That’s just plain wrong. Democrats include people of faith, but many Democrats choose to live within the bounds of reason and humanist values instead of following the murky path of faith.
All week long, the Democratic National Convention is holding official religious prayer ceremonies and organizing the leaders of tax-exempt religious organizations to make plans for how those tax-exempt organizations can be involved in the Democratic Party’s campaign, and then use the power of government to enact religious policies that please those organizations. Secular, non-religious leaders asked to be allowed to be part of these events and meetings, so that the interests of non-religious Democrats would be heard. Those requests were denied.
This year’s Democratic presidential convention excludes not just non-religious Americans, but also religious Americans who support the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America and the separation of church and state. The Democratic Party isn’t just ignoring us – it’s working against us. The Democratic Party has begun to work, at its highest levels, on taking down the wall between church and state.
Now that the Democratic Party attacks our constitutional right to live under a government that gives nonreligious Americans an equal position under the law with religious Americans, it is against the interests of nonreligious Democrats to remain Democrats. Atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, brights, skeptics and just plain unreligious voters ought now to leave the Democratic Party. Religious Democrats of good conscience should leave too.
It’s what I’ll be doing today. Earlier this year, I registered as a Democrat, because I hoped that the Democratic Party would pull out of its position of accommodating the right wing agenda of the Republicans. However, since that time, I have seen the Democratic Party get worse, joining the Republicans in working to undermine the separation of church and state and to attack the equality of nonreligious Americans.
I will be going down to my county’s Board of Elections office today and re-registering as a voter of no party – because there is no political party that recognizes and defends my right to equal protection by our constitutional, representative government as a nonreligious American. The Democratic Party has decided that people like me don’t matter enough to bother with, that we’re not as important as religious Americans. Let’s see if they’re right.
Whether it makes any difference to the Democratic Party that I am leaving its ranks matters less to me than knowing that I am not contributing to the new Democratic Party goal of using government to establish and promote religion. There’s a word for the form of government the Democrats now seek to promote. It’s theocracy, and I will not join the Democrats’ support of it.