The Democratic Party continues to rapidly and firmly secularize.
The most recent display was the battle at the Democratic convention to exclude God from the party’s platform. That was no minor moment that should come and go with the latest news cycle.
And while it speaks to so many things, at many levels, it reminds me of the recent battle within the European Union to exclude God. Consider:
About 10 years ago, the EU was in an intense debate over God’s place in its new constitution. The God opponents were the predictable Western European progressives: leftist Eurocrats in Brussels, Labor Party atheists in Britain, German socialists, Scandinavian secularists, and, naturally, the French leadership. The God supporters included new EU member states that survived godless communism—with Poland in the forefront—and the continent’s preeminent religious figure: Pope John Paul II.
The pope, suffering from advanced Parkinson’s, took up the fight with vigor. In the summer of 2003, he devoted a series of Sunday Angelus addresses to this political issue that transcended politics. He made arguments akin to those of the American Founding Fathers, namely: It’s crucial for citizens living under a constitution to understand the ultimate source from which their rights derive. Their rights come not from government but God. What government gives, government can take away. What God gives, government cannot take away.
That brings me back across the Atlantic. That the Democrats, in 2012, would find themselves in a similar battle is no surprise.
I’ll never forget the night Barack Obama won the presidential election, when I turned on CNN and glimpsed an unknown Republican congressman from Wisconsin named Paul Ryan. When asked about Obama’s victory, Ryan said he most feared “the Europeanization of America.”
Ryan had nailed it. By the time of their 2012 convention, the Democrats (following Barack Obama’s lead) embraced everything from unlimited taxpayer-funding of abortion to gay marriage. How does one get to these positions? Answer: by removing God. It’s very … well, European.
For Catholic Exchange dot com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.