Celebrated Christian pastor Franklin Graham denounced the total absence of God in this week’s Democratic National Convention, calling on Americans to bring God back into public life.
“In watching some of the Democratic National Convention on television this week, it has been interesting to see the absence of God,” Rev. Graham wrote on his Facebook page early Friday. “I don’t believe America’s finest hours will be in front of us if we take God out of government and public life.”
Graham went on to assert that it is God “who set the standards we are to live by,” noting that much of U.S. law has its roots in the Ten Commandments, including our laws against murder, theft, and perjury.
“It is God who said, ‘You shall not murder,’” he wrote. “It is God who said, ‘You shall not steal.’… It is God who said, ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’”
“God created us and this earth we live on. Who do we think we are to try to rewrite the rules and run things apart from Him? Who do we think we are to try to take Him out of everything?” Graham asked.
“When One Nation Under God becomes One Nation Apart from God, expect the consequences,” Graham wrote, citing American pastor Dr. Tony Evans. “That’s true in our individual lives and for our nation.”
Rev. Graham’s indictment of the Democrat Party echoes a growing perception that the Democrats have a serious God problem, which has left religious believers out in the cold.
Last fall, the Pew Research Center revealed that more than twice as many Americans view the Democrat Party as “unfriendly” toward religion than the Republican Party, while fewer than one in five U.S. adults said the Democrats are “friendly” toward religion.
Pew found that nearly a third (31 percent) of all U.S. adults believe that the Democrat Party is actually unfriendly to religion, while only 13 percent said the same of the Republican Party. On the other hand, more than half of Americans (54 percent) said that the Republican Party is friendly to religion, while only 19 percent said the same of the Democrats.
In a similar vein, Catholic League president Bill Donohue noted last October that the Democrat debate has grown openly hostile toward people of faith, which manifests itself in the candidates’ severity in dealing with religious freedom issues.
It is clear that “none of the Democratic candidates wants to be tagged as religion-friendly,” Donohue declared.
The Democrats’ growing hostility toward religion is most evident in their attacks on “traditional religious exemptions in law,” Donohue observed, which have existed since the nation’s founding and up until recently were “considered uncontroversial.”
“All of the candidates incline against religious exemptions — some more than others — making them the least religion-friendly candidates for president in American history,” he said.
Yet conservatives, Christians, and research centers are not the only ones concerned with the Democrats’ abandonment of religion.
Last year, Professor Peter Beinart of the City University of New York, a liberal political commentator, noted with concern in an essay in the Atlantic that white Democrats are invoking God far less than their predecessors and tend to refer to religious faith negatively rather than positively.
Past Democrat candidates like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and even Hillary Clinton all invoked God in their presidential announcement speeches, Beinart noted, and yet the leading Democrat presidential candidates for 2020 avoided any mention of God except to warn Americans how religion can be used to divide people.
The Democrats’ reluctance to mention God reflects a new demographic reality in the party, Beinart suggested. Since more and more white Democrats claim no religious affiliation, God talk is no longer met with approval.
In his analysis of the 2016 election results, the former director of Barack Obama’s faith-outreach efforts, Michael Wear, said that the Democrats have become tone-deaf toward religion, which explained why people of faith voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump.
Wear argued that the Democrats’ alienation of believers was tied to the party’s close partnership with the abortion industry.
“Reaching out to evangelicals doesn’t mean you have to become pro-life,” Wear said. “It just means you have to not be so in love with how pro-choice you are, and so opposed to how pro-life we are.”
“The Democratic Party used to welcome people who didn’t support abortion into the party. We are now so far from that, it’s insane,” he added.