God “Removed” From Democratic Party Platform

Apparently, this is today’s outrage of the day among some segments of the right:

Guess what? God’s name has been removed from the Democratic National Committee platform.

This is the paragraph that was in the 2008 platform:

“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-givenpotential.”

Now the words “God-given” have been removed. The paragraph has been restructured to say this:

“We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth – the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.”

Yes, and? So one bland and meaningless sentence has been replaced with another bland, meaningless, and much longer sentence, and the only difference is that one word is missing? This is supposed to outrage me?

I suppose the other question I would have is what is an reference to a god of any kind doing in the platform of a political party of a nation whose Constitution expressly provides that there shall be no religious test for office? But, then, that’s just me.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Religion, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Vast Variety says:

    Doug, your a mean god hating liberal….

    /end sarcasm. =)

    I really don’t understand the right’s God obsession.

  2. Dan says:

    Thank God.

  3. Fiona says:

    Much ado about nothing.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    If I believed in God, I would thank her.
    However I do not believe in an infinitely old, infintely powerful, omniscient being that we have no evidence of.
    However Marco Rubio made it clear last week at the RNC Convention that I lack the most important qualification of an American…which I guess makes me un-American in Republican eyes.

    “…We are special because we’ve been united not by a common race or ethnicity. We’re bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have…Our national motto is “In God we Trust,” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all…”

  5. Septimius says:

    It’s good to see the Democrats reaching out to religious voters.

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Actually, I’m seeing a lot more discussion of the plank calling for unrestricted government-funded abortion.

    Protecting A Woman’s Right to Choose. 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.Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.

    Note, also, the change of language from “safe, legal and rare” to “safe and legal.”

    The God thing? Nice cover for the abortion changes.

  7. PD Shaw says:

    I find it more interesting that the Democrats removed “working people” and replaced it with “middle class.” This is obviously not my Grandfather’s Democratic Party, it is less small “d” democratic and more open to the idea that a person’s “talent and drive” should be rewarded.

  8. Tony W says:

    I wonder how many more years before we see a out-of-the-closet athiest elected to the presidency? Why is it mandatory that all viable candidates insist that they have invisible friends with mystical and magical powers?

    John Lennon had it right.

  9. Gustopher says:

    Wait, God’s name is God? That’s like naming a cat Cat. I just assumed He had some other name that wasn’t mentioned out of deference or something.

    God’s parents really screwed up this naming thing.

  10. PD Shaw says:

    The phrase appears to originate from the introduction to the 1996 Democratic Platform:

    In 1996, America will choose the President who will lead us from the millennium which saw the birth of our nation, and into a future that has all the potential to be even greater than our magnificent past. Today’s Democratic Party is ready for that future. Our vision is simple. We want an America that gives all Americans the chance to live out their dreams and achieve their God-given potential. We want an America that is still the world’s strongest force for peace and freedom. And we want an America that is coming together around our enduring values, instead of drifting apart.

  11. Me Me Me says:

    Excellent start.

    Now can someone explain to me what the pedophile-protecting Cardinal is doing on the speaker list?

  12. C. Clavin says:

    “…an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way…”

    Actually that sounds like a Conservative position. Which makes sense as todays Republicans are not Conservative.

  13. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Right up until you get into the issue of when the fetus is human enough to have the right to not be killed, and then it’s the government’s duty to protect that life.

    And note the contradiction; there is no place for government or politicians to do anything but pay the bill.

  14. MM says:

    I’m pretty sure that if there is an all-powerful super sentient being in charge of the universe, he’s not nearly as hypersensitive as his defenders in the blogosphere think he is.

  15. CSK says:

    @Tony W:

    Well, we do have one openly atheistic member of Congress: Pete Stark from California. He came out in 2007.

    It probably will be quite a while before we see a president who’s an open atheist or agnostic, though we’ve had plenty of them, I’m sure. Even irreligious Americans seem to want the chief executive to be religious. Certainly the religious have no lock on morality or ethics, as we have also seen.

    I have no statistics to back this up, but I’m sure Stark has a lot of company. What currently amuses me is the frenzied effort on the part of the fringe right to retro-fit the Founding Fathers into fundamentalists.

  16. al-Ameda says:

    Clearly, God does not care much about anything that goes on here on planet Earth, so why pander to such a disinterested deity?

  17. Tony W says:

    @CSK: That is great info – did not know about Rep. Stark. Wish he served my district….

    In terms of that ‘lock’ on ethics – I find quite the inverse to be true. Athiests tend to be far more morally astute than religious folks in areas like human rights and equality before the law — Ironically, the areas of ethics upon which Jesus supposedly preached the most clearly. That same-jersey / mob-rule mentality takes over religious groups even more than it does sports fanatics!

    I have always thought that if an athiest takes a bullet for you that means a heckuva lot more than if a religious person does….

  18. David M says:

    I could see thinking it was big deal if “God-given” was the only text removed, but the entire thing was rewritten. Like that it doesn’t really seem worth noticing.

  19. CSK says:

    @Tony W:

    Here’s the difference:

    1. Atheists do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

    2. Believers do the right thing because the boogyman will get them if they don’t.

    So? Which is nobler? Or should I say who is nobler?

  20. swbarnes2 says:

    I suppose the other question I would have is what is an reference to a god of any kind doing in the platform of a political party of a nation whose Constitution expressly provides that there shall be no religious test for office? But, then, that’s just me.

    Maybe, if people stopped voting for the party (at all levels, not just the presidental) whose base is full of theocrats, things would change.

    But I don’t see that happening, do you?

  21. Ron Beasley says:

    @CSK: My late father, who was a believer, used to say something similar.

  22. CSK says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    A man after my own heart. What was his conclusion?

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Wait, God’s name is God?

    No no no no no.”He is, who shall not be named.” I know, because I drive by a barn with that message every day (that I work). Wake up Gus! Come to the Bible Belt.

  24. michael reynolds says:


    I thought he who shall not be named was Voldemort.

  25. An Angry God says:

    Hey, they took my name out of the Constitution, too!

    Wait. . . What? That long ago?

    Man, I have to check in more often.

  26. michael reynolds says:

    Yeah, that whole ‘funny pseudonym’ thing works so much better when the avatar doesn’t show up.

  27. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @PD Shaw: We’re all Objectivists now. You’re either a producer or a parasite and that’s all there is to it.

  28. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You are SOOOOOO busted.

  29. MattT says:

    As a progressive atheist I wish all references to invisible magical beings were eliminated from all party platforms. But unfortunately, while the Dems did remove this one example of “God-given” they still have a whole section of their platform singing the benefits of faith and faith based programs, excerpted at Washington Monthly.

    So while the Right may make a bigger hullabaloo about praising their particular favorite magical being, they’re still breaking one of his commandments here by bearing false witness.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yeah, that whole ‘funny pseudonym’ thing works so much better when the avatar doesn’t show up.

    Hmmmm…. oddly, I think that the funny pseudonym bit works great!

    Especially if you think that “michael reynolds” is funny.


    (Sincerly, Lib Cap.)

  31. Anderson says:

    A silly slip by the Dems; who else could be so tone-deaf as to fail to anticipate this spin? Better not to have edited out the G-word.

  32. michael reynolds says:
  33. bill says:

    wow, abc getting into the solyndra scam….i’m stunned they even bothered.

  34. ElizaJane says:

    If this is all that the right-wing blogosphere can find to raise a fuss about, Obama is going to win by a landslide.

  35. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You’ve never given a flying f**k about protecting life, as evidenced by your repeated calls for murdering anyone whom you peronally dislike. No one believes you give a damn about the life of a fluid sack called a fetus.

  36. Addie2U says:

    @Tony W: And yet . . . Lennon’s dead. Wonder what he said when he came face-to-face? Don’t knock something you know nothing about.

  37. Addie2U says:

    @Ben Wolf: Men!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Arrogant fools. I care about the “sack of fluid” . . . I lost 3 of them . . . so yes, ALL life is precious . . . even murderers.

  38. Addie2U says:

    @ElizaJane: Would that from the “land” that the dead people have to come out of to vote????? How’s that job going for you? The economy? Wasn’t it Obama who said if he didn’t get it done in 4 years, it was a one term proposition???? Yet he knew . . . African Americans who can’t get up and go find one of those minium wage jobs . . . can sure drag their butts outta’ bed to vote.

  39. Addie2U says:

    @MattT: You have the right to your choice . . . but why demand that a country, founded by God fearing men, who didn’t want a government telling them whom to worship, chose to word the Constitution “Freedom FROM religion and freedom OF religion . . . why do atheists get their panties in a wad and throw hissy fits and file lawsuits demanding God be removed?????? You don’t wanna’ hear it . . . there are enough places in this country where you don’t have to. You don’t wanna’ say it . . . no one is forcing you.

  40. Bob2 says: