Wednesday, September 5, 2012

God and the party platform

The dictionary defines a party platform as “a document stating the aims and principles of a political party.”

What made the news recently is that the Democrat Party eliminated the word “God” from its platform. This is a slight change from the 2008 Democrat Party convention. The word “God-given” was included in its platform. In 2012, however, it has been eliminated. No doubt, there is a trend developing.

In April of 2009 when President Obama visited Georgetown University, he required that a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name be covered in Gaston Hall. During the same month, at a press conference in Turkey, the president said, "One of the great strengths of the United States is ... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

Most congressmen and court justices who have expressed anti-Christian views and thus acted on their prejudices are, more often than not, from the Democrat Party. Their animus is understandable considering that in order to advance abortion rights, same-sex marriage and the HHS mandate the Catholic Church has to be weakened.

Yet, there are forces in the Republican Party going in the same secular direction. Although the word “God” was in the Republican platform ten times and was more prominently displayed at the Republican convention in 2012, still, there is a push to downplay Christianity within the party. If it were up to the Republican establishment, they would just assume that religion was put on the backburner or taken off the stove altogether.

As for the immediate threat to religious liberty, however, it seems to me that an impartial observer would have to conclude that the Democrat Party has “defriended” Christianity. If the aim of the party is to triumph, it will probably do so at the expense of the Church. For Catholics who, in the past, have possessed strong affections for the Democrat Party, this is a difficult realization; a brutal fact that is yet to be fully acknowledged. But yet, the political forces are what they are and they ought to be seen as such. One party has become a adversary to the Church while the other has become less of a friend.

Politics, it is said, is the art of compromise. At the very least it is a world in which we often choose the lesser of two evils. But if Catholics stand by and allow too much compromise in terms of where God stands in the public square, there will be nowhere to turn. The people of God will be a persecuted lot; yes, even in America.