White Democrats are invoking God far less than their predecessors, referring to religious faith as a source of division rather than unity, according to an analysis by Professor Peter Beinart of the City University of New York.
A striking quality of the presidential campaign announcements by leading white, progressive candidates from the Democrat Party is the absence of any positive mention of faith, wrote Beinart, a liberal political commentator, in the Atlantic Friday.
Unlike Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and even Hillary Clinton — who all invoked God in their presidential announcement speeches — the new batch of Democrat presidential wannabes avoided any mention of the divinity except to warn Americans how religion can be used to divide people.
In his 1992 convention speech, Bill Clinton cited the Pledge of Allegiance to underscore American unity: “There is no them; there’s only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Similarly, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton all ended their presidential announcement speeches by invoking God’s blessings on the nation, as did Barack Obama at the close of his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
Nothing like this was in evidence in the recent presidential announcements by Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Kirsten Gillibrand, Beinart observed.
On the contrary, O’Rourke said that during his Senate campaign, “people allowed no difference, however great or however small, to stand between them and divide us. Whether it was religion or gender or geography or income, we put our labels and our differences aside.” For her part, Elizabeth Warren referred to faith just once in her announcement speech, recognizing that “we come from different backgrounds. Different religions.”
Bernie Sanders stayed away from the God question as well, except to call for an end to “religious bigotry.”
“While white progressives once described religion as something that brought Americans together, they’re now more likely to describe it as something that drives them apart,” Beinart concluded.
In part, Democrat candidates’ distancing from God reflects a new demographic reality in the party, Beinart, suggested, since more and more white Democrats claim no religious affiliation. As Democrats become more secular, God talk is no longer met with approval.
For black Democrats like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, things are different. Ms. Harris finished her campaign announcement speech with the words “God bless you, and God bless the United States of America,” while Booker wrapped up his speech at the 2016 Democratic Convention by declaring, “God bless America,” Beinart noted.
As Breitbart News reported in 2018, the Democrat party is sharply divided along racial lines when it comes to religion, with non-white Democrats more closely resembling the GOP than the whites of their own party.
Black and Hispanic Democrats are more similar to Republicans “on a host of religious measures,” the Pew Research Center found, and non-white Democrats are far more likely to believe in God, regularly attend church services, pray daily, and call themselves Christians than white Democrats.
Regarding Christianity, a similar pattern emerges, Pew revealed, with non-white Democrats roughly twice as likely as white Democrats to say they believe in the biblical God (61 percent vs. 32 percent).
Here, too, non-white Democrats more closely resemble Republicans, among whom 70 percent believe in the God of the Bible.
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