Is God a Democrat or a Republican?

How many times must God's name be mentioned in a political platform to earn that Party His vote?

FLOWER MOUND, Texas, September 15, 2012 — If God were a “mere mortal,” He would certainly be impressed with the attention He is getting in the 2012 presidential campaign. It doesn’t seem to be Donald Trump or Bill Clinton that is the King maker at all—but God. As a “mere mortal” this would thrill His sense of self-worth.

We surely don’t think the number of times His name appears in the platform will garner His favor. The Republicans cast the name of God twelve times in their platform while the Democrats attempted to delete His name altogether. They did hasten to remind us that they were for God before they were against Him. 

President Obama came to the rescue. Just hours after the Democratic platform removed the term “God-given talent” and amid the torrid outcry from both Democrats and Republicans, God was reinstalled upon His throne in the democratic platform. 

The change came with hesitation and vocal opposition. The original platform omitted the name of God: “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.” It was replaced with: “… and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.” The atheists endorsed the move.

Convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa called for the vote three times to reinstall the term “God-given.” The first two voice votes seemed too close to call and the third was gaveled with a great deal of confusion. When Villaraigosa announced “the ayes have it,” loud boos erupted across the arena. 

While it is always popular to point out one’s support of God, does it reflect conduct? Did the adoption of a credit-to-God line in the Democratic platform change anyone’s behavior or attitudes about anything? Apparently not.

We hear a lot about the Bible’s Ten Commandments. They state basic morality tenants of the Judeo-Christian faith. One of them is “Thou shalt not lie.” 

Adding the word “God” to a platform doesn’t seem to make any difference in behavior.   

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC and national convention organizer, quoted Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren as saying, “what the republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel.”Ambassador Oren categorically denied saying that. In an interview with Fox News Debbie denied her quote. She went on to blame the reporter, “And unfortunately, that comment was reported by a conservative newspaper. It’s not surprising they would deliberately misquote me.” 

Unfortunately for Wasserman Schultz a tape was released of her conversation and she did indeed say it. She was caught in a deliberate and disgraceful lie. The presence of “God” in her Party’s political platform didn’t make Wasserman Schultz an honest woman. 

It is not necessary to list the moral imperfections of many politicians: idolatry, misusing God’s name, dishonoring parents, lying, sexual immorality, stealing, and other violations of common and New Testament morality. Putting God in a document is a political statement designed to appease voter sensibilities; it doesn’t seem to help place confidence in the character of our leaders.

It is not helpful to suggest both sides do it. It should be that both parties seek moral and cultural standards that issue from our Constitution and years of history.       

The word “God” does not appear in the Constitution. It is included once in the Declaration of Independence, along with the term “Creator.” The early settlers of America not only claimed Christianity as their faith, but practiced it. We should not be so naïve as to claim our founding fathers were saints or even conservative Christians, but we can claim that American history reveals Americans have sought to include God in their writings, symbols, and code of conduct.  

Everyone should be concerned with the moral and ethical behavior of the men and women who lead the country. Judeo-Christians are most impacted by the statements of Scripture and should build their ethical system around the moral teachings from the Bible. Non-Christians and atheists should be as interested in ethical and moral conduct as anyone else. The foundation of modern society depends on truthfulness and, dare I say it, the teachings summarized in the Ten Commandments. 

We don’t know who God would vote for, but we do know He is the “king maker” (Rom 13:1). Neither political party has a corner on hypocrisy, but to the non-political observer, the DNC, by making a political issue of God in its platform, leaves a more recent bad taste in the mouth. The future of our country is important enough that we should demand that our leaders embrace and practice the truth they claim to follow. 


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Donald L. Brake, Sr.

Donald L. Brake, Ph.D., is Dean Emeritus of Multnomah Biblical Seminary, past president of Jerusalem University College, Israel; author of A Visual History of the English Bible: The Tumultuous Tale of The World’s Bestselling Book; Baker Books, 2008 (a 2009 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist), A Visual History of the King James Bible: The Dramatic Tale of the World’s Best-Known Translation, Baker Books, 2011, A Royal Monument of English Literature: The King James Bible 1611, Credo House Publishers, 2011; and antiquarian collector with his extensive collection of rare and significant Bibles and artifacts currently at the Dunham Bible Museum, Houston Baptist University, Houston, Texas.

Contact Donald L. Brake, Sr.


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