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Cal Thomas: Democrats dodged truth, God and Jerusalem

  • Tribune Media Services
  • Published Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2012, at 6:12 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012, at 6:57 a.m.

In a speech resembling a TV rerun, President Obama accepted his party’s nomination for a second term. In doing so, he made the most ludicrous claim of this campaign, indeed, of his presidency: “You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth.”

With this president, truth telling remains an unfulfilled promise. Telling Democrats what they want to hear was what the convention was all about.

Perhaps its only truth teller was Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York. In his benediction, Dolan stood against the anti-life tide of the Democratic Party when he prayed: “Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.”

It was a gutsy move by Dolan.

But Media Research Center’s NewsBusters reported that “the only networks respectful enough to show the prayer in its entirety without interruption were Fox News, Fox Business and C-SPAN. ABC, CNN and PBS kept it in the background, while talking over it. MSNBC completely ignored it.”

Dolan’s prayer was also a rebuke to a convention that failed to include the word “God” in its party platform. The three voice votes appeared to favor omitting any reference to God in the Democrats’ platform. But because of how it would look to some religious voters, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention chairman, declared the necessary two-thirds majority vote. The response? Boos from the crowd.

The party platform would be more truthful had it left God out. Would God approve of abortion on demand and same-sex marriage? Not according to the Book that delegates could consult in their hotel rooms.

I would be perfectly fine if both parties stopped talking about God. In fact, I would prefer politicians end their speeches with something other than “God bless you and God bless America.” What’s wrong with “thank you for listening and good night”? Why should God bless America? What are we doing that would earn His favor? This is sloppy theology that any first-year seminary student, or serious layman, could dissect.

Then there is the matter of Jerusalem. In the Democratic Party’s 2008 platform, distinct reference was made to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel,” it stated. That language went missing in 2012, though it was later reinstated. The 2012 platform addition now reads: “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”

Why was the language omitted in the first place? Could the omission have been a reflection of the Democrats’ desire for Muslim votes?

A major reason why the Obama acceptance speech was regarded as dull is his overexposure. He’s on TV too many times a day, every day. We’ve heard it all before.

Friday’s jobs report didn’t help the president’s claim of an improving economy with better days ahead in a second term. The official percentage of unemployed declined slightly from 8.3 to 8.1 percent, but that may be because many of the unemployed have stopped looking for work.

If voters elected this president to tell the truth, can he be fired for not telling it? We’ll know in two months.

Cal Thomas, a columnist with Tribune Media Services, appears in Opinion on Wednesdays.

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