Dems Reinstate "God" Into Party Platform

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 5 2012 5:39 PM

With GOP Push, Democrats Find Absent God (in DNC Platform)

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Rep. Paul Ryan waves to supporters at Westlake Recreation Center on September 4, 2012 in Westlake, Ohio

Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images.

***Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention.***

UPDATE: Under pressure from Republicans, Democrats on Wednesday changed their convention platform to add a mention of God and to directly declare that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

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The Associated Press with the scene from Charlotte:

"Many in the audience booed after the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ruled that the amendments had been approved despite the fact that a large group of delegates objected. He called for a vote three times before ruling."

The official platform unveiled Monday by Democrats dropped the word God from a section that in 2008 spoke of allowing Americans to "make the most of their God-given potential." Before this evening's change, this year's platform included the same sentiment, but without a mention of the Almighty: "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 change didn't go unnoticed by Republicans, who were quick to point out what they saw as conscious decision by the Obama administration. The GOP platform, for comparison, includes double-digit mentions of God.

CBS News explains the flap over the Jerusalem change:

"The platform released by Democrats Monday evening dropped a clause included in the 2008 platform that read: 'Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.' That platform went on to say, however, that '[t]he parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.'
"The party reinstated the 2008 language into this year's platform to 'reflect the President's personal view,' CBS News has learned."

Original Post 10:02 a.m.: Paul Ryan wants the Obama administration to explain why the Democratic platform doesn't include the word God in it.

"I think it’s rather peculiar," the GOP vice presidential hopeful said during a Fox News appearance on Wednesday morning (via Politico). "It’s not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision. I’d guess you’d have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform. There sure is a lot of mention of government. I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, these purges of God."

For what it's worth, Ryan is correct that the Democratic platform does not use the word "God." It does, however, include a plank on religious freedom that opens: "Faith has always been a central part of the American story." Republicans, meanwhile, used the word "God" ten times in their platform by CNN's count.

***Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention.***

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.