[Now with Second Bonus Update below! -tk]
[Note: Updated below – tk]
Well, that was quick.
Last week it appeared that Republicans had made a tactical decision to shed their stuffy, country club image by reaching out to women, minorities and the poor. But, like so many other conventioneers from a myriad of industries, it turns out that the GOP faithful were simply taking advantage of a week away from the home and the family, and spicing things up with a little role-playing. Now that Tampa has come and gone, it’s back to the standard-sound-bite grind. And a good thing, too! Because it turns out that this week the Democrats have finally unleashed their plan to have the government shut down our churches, make Christmas illegal, and blackball Kirk Cameron.
According to FOX News, the Democrats are “purging” God from their platform. In fact, here is a handy graphic they’ve had up on and off over the past 24 hours:
As you can see, the Democratic platform does not contain the word God not at all, while the Republican platform repeats the word God twelve times.* Fox quotes The Catholic Association to show that this purging is evidence of “the hostility President Obama and the Democratic Party establishment have toward religion and people of faith.” Even Paul Ryan jumped on board:
Sounds pretty scary, this dismantling of our long history of religious tolerance, doesn’t it? It sure does – until you read the actual Democratic platform, that is:
Faith. Faith has always been a central part of the American story, and it has been a driving force of progress and justice throughout our history. We know that our nation, our communities, and our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith and the countless acts of justice and mercy it inspires. Faith-based organizations will always be critical allies in meeting the challenges that face our nation and our world – from domestic and global poverty, to climate change and human trafficking. People of faith and religious organizations do amazing work in communities across this country and the world, and we believe in lifting up and valuing that good work, and finding ways to support it where possible. We believe in constitutionally sound, evidence-based partnerships with faith-based and other non-profit organizations to serve those in need and advance our shared interests. There is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution, and a full commitment to both principles is essential for the continued flourishing of both faith and country.
Did you catch that one bit about how religious faith should have no part in American politics, or that part that talked about wanting to eliminate religion from this once-great country? Yeah, me neither. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Paul Ryan supposed to be the wunderkind whose detailed knowledge of policy was going to negate the need for inaccurate politicking and replace it with nothing but the facts?
In addition to the new Democrats Hate God meme, this week saw the release of this new pro-Romney political ad meant to counter potential Democratic convention-driven momentum:
(Side Note: I have to tell you, I love this ad so much. I should give the ad’s producers the benefit of the doubt and assume that the actors they hired are terrible, but I want to pretend that the male actor has Paul Newman-like skill at revealing complex emotions with the smallest of facial movements. Because when I watch the bit at the 17-second mark, I see a whole story-line of a man trapped in a loveless marriage realizing that he’s about to be free to find the love he’s always dreamed of, and then a quick realization of where he is as he rushes to agree with his wife so as not give up the game. And if the actress were Meryl Streep, you would see how the pointed, wooden way she’s telling her husband that a marriage is between a man and a woman reveals that she already knows his terrible secret. I have never seen a political ad reveal so much about it’s characters, even if it did so because it had hired terrible talent that telegraphed the opposite of what they were supposed to convey. But I digress…)
The Republicans seem to be doubling down on the concurrent strategies of pretending their candidate doesn’t exist, and hoping against hope that appealing to the very tip of its base will lead them to the oval office. I had really thought after last week’s convention speeches that they were coming back to the light of reality, but I now fear I might have been premature.
*BTW, if you’re wondering why FOX has never compared the number of times “God” is mentioned in the two party’s platforms before now, it might have something to do with this:
UPDATE: Thanks to Jason M., who noted the correlation that the party that uses the word God the least in the past elections shown has won. This means nothing of course, but it is a really cool statistic nonetheless, and I’m kicking myself for not catching it. Feel free to insert your own Pat Robertson joke here.
UPDATE II: Good news for those who are both hoping for an Obama win, but still trying to avoid a plague of locusts eating their rose bushes or having 1,000 years of darkness mess with their vacation plans to Aruba:
Looks the the Dems have put the word God back in to the platform. Witnesses near Satan at the time of this announcement report him shaking his fist, saying “Curses! You win this round, God. But I’ll be back!,” and then muttering something about those meddling kids.