(Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking)
CHARLOTTE – The Democratic National Convention has removed any reference to "God" from the party's platform, or as some call it, the party's 24,000-plus word mission statement.
The Democratic Party's 2008 platform mentioned "God" once, in this passage: We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.
Delegates approved the final version of the platform Tuesday afternoon including language that supported same-sex marriage and almost unlimited abortion rights for women.
When asked about the change, a DNC spokesperson said, "The 2008 platform reference is 'God-given' and is about growing the middle class and making America fair, not actually about faith."
In July, the Platform Drafting Committee, chaired by former Governor Ted Strickland, met in Minneapolis to receive input from the public and to write the first draft of the platform. Then on Aug. 11, members of the Platform Committee, chaired by Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker and retired Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, met in Detroit where amendments to the draft were submitted before the committee unanimously approved it and sent it to Charlotte for the vote by delegates.
There is no mention of God in the 2012 platform. President Obama's name is used over 100 times in the platform.
The word "God" or "God-given" appears 10 times in the Republican National Committee Platform.
For example, a phrase in the beginning of the RNC platform reads, "We offer our Republican vision of a free people using their God-given talents, combined with hard work, self-reliance, ethical conduct, and the pursuit of opportunity, to achieve great things for themselves and the greater community."
Another sentence states: "We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen's God-given right of self-defense," and "We condemn decisions by activist judges to deny children the opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance in its entirety, including 'Under God,' in public schools and encourage States to promote the pledge."
Also absent in the DNC platform are the three references to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Instead, the White House has publicly endorsed a two-state solution for Israel.
"The Obama Administration has followed the same policy towards Jerusalem that previous U.S. Administrations of both parties have done since 1967," a DNC spokeswoman said of the change in platform language. "As the White House said several months ago, the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved in final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians – which we also said in the 2008 platform. We will continue to work with the parties to resolve this issue as part of a two-state solution that secures the future of Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland of the Jewish people."
There are other religious terms in the DNC platform including "faith," mentioned 11 times; "religion," nine times; "church," two times and "clergy," one time.