For three hours a dozen candidates debated one another in our nation’s largest televised Democrat presidential debate. Only three candidates referenced God during the event: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ). The overwhelming absence of God in a discussion about America’s future speaks volumes, but perhaps it is the five references to God that are even more telling.
Senator Corey Booker flippantly invoked the name of God amid lamenting how women today have fewer opportunities to kill their unborn children:
I’m having deja vu all over again because we have another health care debate, and we’re not talking about the clear and existential threat in America that we’re in a state that has had two Planned Parenthoods close. We are seeing all over this country women’s reproductive rights under attack. And God bless Kamala, but you know what? Women should not be the only ones taking up this cause and this fight. And men… [interrupted] It is not just because women are our daughters and our friends and our wives. It’s because women are people. And people deserve to control their own bodies.
Why would God bless someone for murdering our nation’s most innocent? A healthy fear of the Lord would never presume that God would bless the destruction of His creation and sacred image. Indeed, Corey Booker demonstrated an ignorance of the Bible’s teaching that God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Prov. 6:16–17), that the shedding of innocent blood makes a nation guilty in God’s sight and pollutes the land until the guilt of that murder is purged from the land (Deut. 19:10; Psa. 106:37–38), and that God judges nations for such actions (Jer. 19:3–6).
Similarly, when discussing the possibility of adding Justices to the Supreme Court to protect the right of women to kill their unborn children, Joe Biden failed to say, “God forbid that our nation’s highest court would preserve the killing of our country’s most innocent.” Instead, Biden expressed far more concern over the prospect of a Supreme Court Justice retiring from the bench, saying:
When I defeated Robert Bork, I made sure we guaranteed a woman’s right to choose for the better part of a generation. I would make sure that we move and insist that we pass, we codify Roe v. Wade. … Reproductive rights are a Constitutional right. And, in fact, every woman should have that right. … And by the way, if, in fact, at the end of this—beginning next year, if, in fact, one of the justices steps down, God forbid, in fact, I would make sure that we would do exactly what McConnell did last time. We would not allow any hearing to be held for a new justice.
Former Vice President Joe Biden carelessly invoked the name of God two other times during the evening. Responding to a question about Senator Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) tax cut, Biden declared, “I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate, of 39.5 percent. I would double it, because guess what? Why in God’s name should someone who’s clipping coupons in the stock market make—in fact, pay a lower tax rate than someone who, in fact is—like I said—the—a schoolteacher and a firefighter? It’s ridiculous. And they pay a lower tax.”
Equally flippant, Biden concluded the event with the exhortation, “We are better positioned than any country in the world to own the 21st century. So for god’s [sic] sake, get up. Get up and remember, there is the United States of America. There’s nothing, nothing we’re unable to do when we decide we’re going to do it. Nothing at all. Period.”
Only Representative Tulsi Gabbard referenced God in a manner that was neither flippant, nor immoral: “You know, where I come from in Hawaii, many of you know, we greet each other with ‘aloha.’ It’s not a word that means hello and goodbye. It actually means something much more powerful than that. It means I come to you with respect and a recognition that we’re all connected, we’re all brothers and sisters, we’re all God’s children.”
Quite telling is that no candidate included God in their explanation of morality, despite repeatedly framing their arguments in moral terms. Neither did any candidate indicate that God has a role in influencing public policy or resolving national difficulties. Indeed, three quarters of the candidates did not even pay lip service to God with platitudes like, “God bless America.”
Certainly, there is varying fault in this regard among all political parties, but the Democratic Party has been particularly brazen in recent years. God only appears three times in the Democratic Party platform. In every case, He appears in the phrase “God-given potential.” However, in 2012, the party removed God entirely from its platform before feeling pressured to amend it. The vote to re-include the word God was called three times, and despite being impossible to determine whether the “ays” or “nays” were louder, the chairman allowed the amendment to pass as a two-thirds majority voice vote—resulting in an explosion of booing and chaos throughout the arena.
Not surprisingly, the religiously unaffiliated within the Democratic Party has risen from 19% in 2007 to 33% in 2019. On August 24, the Democrat Party unanimously passed a resolution championed by the Secular Coalition of America and the Freedom from Religion Foundation that recognizes the “value” of the “religiously unaffiliated,” describing them as the “largest religious group in the Democratic Party.” According to the resolution, “Religiously unaffiliated Americans overwhelmingly share the Democratic Party’s values,” resulting in “a record number of openly nonreligious candidates [that] are running for public office.”
Perhaps this is why when Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives earlier this year, one of their first rule changes included omitting “so help me God” from the oath witnesses swear before testifying. Chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Steve Cohen (D-TN) opined, “I think God belongs in religious institutions: in temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque—but not in Congress.”
It is telling that one of our country’s largest political parties no longer feels the need to even give the appearance of considering God’s expectations set forth for nations, communities, and individuals. If, as we believe at Forerunners of America, our nation’s greatest difficulties are rooted in our spiritual rebellion and failure to adhere to God’s commands, then this development signals trouble. Only those willing to align our national policies with God’s moral laws have any chance of truly succeeding in Washington D.C. We must not forget that the solution to our nation’s troubles is ultimately a spiritual matter. As Jeremiah 18:7–10 says:
“At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.”
If we seek God’s blessing upon our nation, then we cannot exclude Him from our politics.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.