Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gibbs: Religious references included in Dem platform replaces word 'God'

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / September 4, 2012

Robert Gibbs - Robert Gibbs Briefs White House Press Corps 

By Alicia M. Cohn - 09/04/12 08:44 PM ET
Robert Gibbs, a senior adviser for President Obama's campaign, ducked questions on Tuesday regarding whether or not the word "God" was deliberately left out of the Democratic Party platform.

"There's talk throughout the platform about faith and religion and I think that's what's important," Gibbs told CNN.

The platform, released late Monday, does not include the word "God," although it does refer twice to freedom of religion and religious tolerance.

Gibbs said the references to religion "lets people understand and know what this party is all about." But pressed to say whether the omission was deliberate, Gibbs shied away.
"I know there's thousands of God-fearing Democrats here tonight," Gibbs said, counting himself among them. "A lot of us here believe in a higher power."

Constitution cited less in Dem platform . . .

By Pete Kasperowicz - 09/04/12 10:16 AM ET
The Democratic Party released a platform late Monday night that makes just three direct references to the U.S. Constitution, in contrast to the Republican platform from last week that cites the founding document more than two dozen times.

Unlike the GOP platform, the Democratic platform makes no mention of the "Founding Fathers," nor does it mention Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington. The GOP platform refers to the Founding Fathers twice, and mentions Washington three times, Jefferson twice and Franklin once. The Republican platform includes six full pages on the need to restore constitutional government.

These differences between the two platforms reflect the ongoing argument between the two parties for the last few years. During that time, Republicans have increasingly leaned on the Constitution to justify their effort to scale back what they say is an overgrown federal government, while Democrats have largely dismissed these GOP arguments and have said their policy prescriptions are in line with the Constitution.

A related difference can be seen in the use of the word "God" in the two platforms. The GOP platform mentions "God" or "God-given" rights in the context of the Constitution about a dozen times, but the Democratic platform makes no mention of "God," although it twice notes the freedom of religion in the United States.