An Atheist group protesting at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week has revealed that its prime motivation is to raise awareness for the importance of the separation of church and state.
The Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics (CAA), an American Atheists affiliate, held its first protest late Tuesday afternoon at the corner of Stonewall Street and Caldwell Street, where members from the group spoke about the necessity of freedom from religion.
"The main goal was to demonstrate for the separation of church and state. We feel strongly that keeping religion out of government benefits all citizens, the religious and secular alike," Shawn Murphy from the CAA shared with The Christian Post in an email.
About Tuesday's protest, he added: "The event went very well. Despite the rain, we had a good turn out and plenty of positive interest. I was disappointed that the stage was not covered in any way. We got quite wet. I was delightfully surprised by the level of dedication of our speakers and audience who took the weather in good humor."
The atheist group clarified that its members were not necessarily protesting the Democratic Party, but using the widely-publicized event as an opportunity to draw attention to their mission.
"There is a need, even at the DNC, to make our voices heard in opposition to the overwhelming influence of religion in our political system. True, the Religious Right has a stranglehold on the Republican Party, and they are a huge threat to us, but there are also those in the Democratic Party who refuse to separate their religion from their office," the atheists explain on their Facebook page centered around the protest.
A host of other religiously motivated groups have also made their voices heard at the DNC, before and during the three-day event. On Friday, a confrontation between pro-abortion activists and a pro-life group that had come to pray for aborted babies at the site of the convention resulted in an 11-year-old pro-life girl being brought to tears, after which she wrote a letter describing her ordeal.
Meanwhile, delegates at the convention voted to reinstate the word "God" back in the Democratic National Convention's platform, although it took three roll calls to do so.
"If the narrative that's being presented on your station and through your channel and your network is that Democrats are godless people, they ought to know better. God is not a franchise of the Republican Party," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin as he criticized Fox News in its coverage of his party striking the words "God" and "Jerusalem" from its platform.
"If you're trying to draw some conclusion that the Democrats are godless, present your evidence. Present your evidence," he added.