Thomas Gallatin / May 14, 2019

Democrats' Growing Problem With God

A House Dem omits "so help me God" from an oath — symptomatic of a larger issue.

The U.S. was founded upon the assertion espoused in the Declaration of Independence that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” These rights are bestowed by the highest of all authorities, God, and therefore no mere human government or institution has the authority to remove these rights. No government has greater authority than God, and all humanity, including governments, are ultimately answerable to God.

The Left asserts that the separation of church and state is essential to keep God out of government, but that is in fact the opposite of the Founding Fathers’ rationale in the First Amendment. The intention was to keep the state from dictating to the Church what it could teach and believe concerning God, faith, and religious practice. The Founders recognized that if the Church was not protected from the state, the state would eventually seek to use the Church to dictate what was taught about the nature of God and the relationship of God to the state.

That setup leads us to the recent controversy reported by The New York Times. House Republicans objected to Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee, leaving off “so help me God” from the honesty oath she administered to a witness. DeGette’s response was dismissive: “This is the oath we use and that’s the oath we’re going to use today.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) defended DeGette’s decision, arguing, “I think God belongs in religious institutions: In temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque — but not in Congress. God doesn’t want to be used.” It is true that God doesn’t want to be used, but diminishing His authority and presence is something He doesn’t want either. He is present not merely in houses of worship but everywhere, including the halls of Congress.

The fact that God’s existence and authority was recognized by our Founders in instituting our government is the very rationale that undergirds the rights that all Americans enjoy. Failure to acknowledge God as the source of our rights will inevitably lead to statists seeking to usurp divine authority on behalf of the state. The rule of men always leads to the eventual loss of rights and tyranny.

Democrats sought to remove any acknowledgement of God from their platform at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, only reversing course after an outcry from their own constituents. Clearly, there are those within the party leadership whose aim is to remove any reference to God, and by doing so remove any notion of an authority higher than the state. If the statists are successful, the Founders’ declaration of “unalienable Rights” will be attacked as a dangerous usurpation of religious interference into government. In fact, it already is.

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