Updated at 6:00 pm. on 09/05/12
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, September 5, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After the Democratic party’s decision to remove the last reference to God in the party platform sparked negative media coverage this week, delegates at the Democratic National Convention passed a revised platform that included the Almighty – but not without considerable controversy.
A voice vote took place Wednesday evening on the updated platform, which also included new pro-Israel language; but when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the chair of the session, first called for the vote, he appeared confused when a considerable portion of the delegates shouted “nay,” making the vote inconclusive.
Villaraigosa then called for a second voice vote, which was also inconclusive. After calling for a third vote, which also appeared to have the delegates divided, Villaraigosa declared that the “ayes” had the needed two-thirds majority, a decision that was greeted with loud boos from those opposed to the revision.
Democrat leaders had refused to comment on the initial erasure of the final reference to God in the party’s platform this week, a change highlighted by the media days after Republicans unveiled a platform with twelve mentions of the Almighty.
A 2008 platform paragraph professing that government should give “everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential” was reworked in the now-superseded version, which had exorted that “each one of us … be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.” The 2004 and 2000 Democrat platforms had referenced God seven and four times respectively.
Democrat leaders refused to address the change directly, and denied that the last mention of God was deliberately taken out.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois went on the offensive when asked by Fox News’ Bret Baier about the change, accusing the host of “trying to draw some conclusion that the Democrats are godless.”
“I’m just asking the question, ‘Why was the word taken out?’” Baier asked, to which Durbin responded, “I’m just telling you, you are carping on a trifle.”
“Both Parties are God-fearing Parties. Let’s get on with the agenda about creating jobs in America, about justice in this country,” he said.
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Democratic National Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also refused to address the change when questioned by Piers Morgan. CNN also asked Obama adviser Robert Gibbs about the loss of the term God.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan called the Democrats’ God purge “peculiar.”
“It’s not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision, but I guess you’d have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform,” Ryan told Fox News.
The change touched a nerve with religious conservatives already raw from other apparent hostilities by the Obama administration. Notable avoidances by Obama of mentioning God, such as repeatedly skipping over the Creator in citing the Declaration of Independence and calling America “not a Christian nation,” not to mention the first family’s rare appearances in church, has corresponded with widespread distrust in Obama’s professions of faith. As of July, polls show fewer than half of Americans believe Obama is actually Christian.
“Why should anyone be surprised that the mere mention of the word ‘God’ would send shivers down the spine of the Democratic faithful?” said Catholic League president Bill Donohue in a statement Tuesday. “The Catholic League appreciates honesty and transparency, even when it signifies something pernicious.”
The latest Democrat manifesto also continued a strongly pro-abortion theme, avowing to fight “any and all efforts to weaken or undermine” access to abortion on demand, and supporting taxpayer funding for the deadly procedure.
The platform states: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”
The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack noted that the phrase “regardless of ability to pay” makes sense in light of President Obama’s personal endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortion.