Religion raises divisive specter at Democratic National Convention
In addition to the platform's lengthy section on faith, a party official told CNN that the Dems document contains the word "faith" 11 times, "religion" or "religious" nine times, "church" two times (one time appearing within a quote), and "clergy" one time.
Still, Obama reportedly wondered himself why the politically disasterous changes were made from 2008.
"When he learned of the absence of the word God from the platform, Obama reacted by saying, 'Why on earth would that have been taken out?' three Democratic sources told CNN," the network reported.
Get Religion's Mollie Ziegler Hemingway had an answer and urged journalists to look deeper into intra-party politics over faith.
"Religious activists in the Democratic Party after 2004 fought for greater inclusion and got it in 2008. They have been complaining about how the party handles religious outreach and they would be willing to speak on the record and have done just that for interested reporters in recent years. I believe that they would look at this platform issue less as a major problem and more as indicative of how sometimes party leaders are tone deaf to how religious adherents feel they are treated."
The voice vote to restore God and Jerusalem to the 2012 platform was an indication of the divisions within the party, although most of the delegates quoted in news stories were more upset over the Jerusalem inclusion than a reference to the Almighty.
"It took three attempts from Democratic National Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa before the platform was amended, and a loud chorus of delegates yelling 'no' met each attempt to pass the changes by voice vote," CNN reported.
Beyond the platform flap, stories and blogs were monitoring the religious tone of the respective conventions.
After watching the first night of the DNC gathering, Zeigler wrote that "it included quite a bit of God talk. In fact, the speakers were far more likely to discuss God than at the Republican Convention — one even mentioned making the sign of the cross — even if they were also discussing abortion, which was the theme of the first part of the evening."
The Religion News Service noted Strickland's "Old Testament jeremiad against Mitt Romney’s offshore wealth: 'In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. My friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the United States of America.'”
Jacques Berlinerblau, an associate professor and director of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, wrote in the Washington Post that the second night of the convention "was a coming out party for the New Democratic Theology, a liberal theology, a theology of togetherness (and a theology whose internal tensions were evident in a disastrous day two)."
"Perhaps the 2012 Democratic National Convention will be remembered as the moment that a liberal theological worldview roared. That it did so having to shout down longstanding divisions about godlessness and Israel is altogether fascinating."
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