If you watched the Democratic National Convention — especially last night — then you undoubtedly saw people talking about their faith and Joe Biden‘s devout Catholicism. There were also invocations and benedictions and smaller faith-based caucus meetings throughout the week. (I joked online about how, when Biden said in his acceptance speech that a miracle wasn’t coming to save us from the pandemic, it was in stark contrast to the religious rhetoric we’d been hearing for two hours at that point.)
Seriously, people who follow religion and politics wrote repeatedly about how one of the big takeaways from the week was that the Democratic Party is no longer willing to cede the issue of faith to Republicans. It’s a smart strategic move! Most Democrats are religious, and unlike Republicans, the Democratic coalition includes people of many faiths and no faith at all. You can respect church/state separation while also recognizing the role that religion plays in the lives of many Americans.
But all of that is news to evangelist Franklin Graham, who told his millions of followers and said there was an “absence of God” during the convention. Which means he’s either lying on purpose or so senile that he watched the wrong channel for four straight nights.
In watching some of the Democratic National Convention on television this week, it has been interesting to see the absence of God. I don’t believe America’s finest hours will be in front of us if we take God out of government and public life. It is God who set the standards we are to live by.
According to the time stamp, he posted that to Facebook during the Convention last night… meaning he may have posted it while someone was talking about faith! The entire evening was practically a church service, yet Graham thinks they were all worshipping Satan or something.
As one Christian responded in a comment:
I saw God continually.
I saw God in calls for justice for murdered black people.
I saw God in demands for access to healthcare for everyone, including the most vulnerable to disease.
I saw God in the call to demand safety for our children when they return to school – both from COVID-19 and from gun violence.
I saw God in desire for better stewardship of natural resources.
I saw God in pleas for kindness and mercy and unity as individuals and as a nation.
Claiming there was an absence of God because God wasn’t shown in the ways that Republicans have used God for decades doesn’t mean God was absent. Maybe you didn’t see God because you don’t know what God looks like.
Even Tony Perkins, the Liberty Counsel leader who’s never on the right side of culture war issues, understood what Democrats were doing. He noted the religious rhetoric, merely claiming there was a “disconnect” between Biden’s faith and policies (which is also a lie, but a different one).
The DNC’s focus on Joe’s faith is encouraging and instructive. Encouraging that the DNC is talking about faith, even in a generic sense. Instructive to know why the disconnect exists between Joe’s faith and his policies. https://t.co/YDDxGUoEhm
— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) August 21, 2020
Perkins thinks True Christianity™ means forcing women to give birth against their will and telling transgender people they’re figments of everyone’s imagination. But, again, that’s how heavy the God-talk was during the Convention. Even Perkins saw it! (Do you know how obvious you have to make something for Tony Perkins to understand it?!)
The religion-talk throughout the Convention was so overwhelming that I saw other atheists online getting annoyed by it. I can understand that feeling. But the point is that the Democrat Party made it abundantly clear that people of faith don’t need to support Trump. Even though Republicans make it sound like voting for Democrats will anger a wrathful God, there’s no truth to it.