Inch by inch, the Democratic Party continues to ostracize Christians. Its latest attack consists of forcing any Christian who would like to support the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) platform to betray his deeply held religious beliefs on the issue of marriage.
Back in May, when President Obama personally came out in support of same-sex “marriage,” I spoke to a group of pastors in Maryland, all of them serving minority communities. The vast majority of those pastors were lifelong Democrats, so they were very concerned. The one thing that gave them hope was that the president had gone out of his way to make sure everyone knew that his support reflected merely his personal beliefs.
Several of us saw right through that and cautioned the pastors that the distinction seemed to be a political calculation more than anything else and that the next logical step would be to amend the DNC platform, forcing each and every one of them to “evolve” along with the president in religious beliefs on marriage. The majority reflected on it. A few thought we were blowing things out of proportion.
We were not.
For the first time in history, the DNC’s platform committee voted on Aug. 12 to endorse same-sex “marriage.” The language calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which, for federal purposes, defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The language is set to go for approval at the Democratic National Convention in September.
It was sad to read quotes from Minnesota state Sen. Scott Dibble, a committee member, explaining the decision in the Christian Post. “Young people are looking for a political home right now,” he said. Forget whether or not it is the right thing to do; it will bring young people.
Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, a committee co-chairman, expressed similar sentiments: “This campaign is not going to turn on ‘gay marriage.’ This campaign is going to turn on who has the best ideas for the economy.”
It is simply amazing that this is their concern while they trample on the sincere Christian beliefs of many of their own members. Those are not important if Mr. Obama still can win.
Their arrogance is not unfounded. Many devout Christians (a lot of them within the minority communities with whom I am most familiar) have endured previous attacks on their religious beliefs and have continued to retain their party affiliation. They still will vote for Mr. Obama.
Others are saying “no more.” They have endured the exclusion and ridicule of anyone who does not toe the party line when it comes to abortion, for example. The recent violation of religious freedom under the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate is another example. Now they will be painted as bigots because of their religious beliefs by the people they are expected to support.
Christians are not to worry, the Democrats say. The platform also reads, “We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.” Yes, they accept the freedom of churches and religious entities. Apparently the First Amendment was created only for pastors and churches.
That language is the most insulting of all. It is, indeed, worse than the support of “gay marriage,” because it shows a complete disregard for religious liberty in the broader sense. It shows a complete lack of understanding of the First Amendment and, more important, shows us once again that they are not done. Christians will continue to be pounded under this poor view of religious freedom.
As we discussed when the president made his “personal” remarks, they will not change the platform just to repeal DOMA; the Democratic Party will be working to enact laws that will make sure Christians are silenced on this issue of marriage, at least outside the church walls (to start).
Overblown? I think not.
Mario Diaz is legal counsel for Concerned Women for America.