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Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College


God, Democrats. and the Europeanization of America

by Paul Kengor,
Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College
 

The battle at the Democratic convention to exclude God from the party's platform
is no minor moment. Do not underestimate what transpired there.

And while it speaks to so many things, at many levels, it reminds me of the
recent battle within the European Union to exclude God from the EU constitution.
That comparison is no mere academic one. It speaks volumes about the ongoing
direction of the Democratic Party, and this nation.

About 10 years ago, the EU was in an intense debate over whether to mention God
in its new constitution. The God opponents were the predictable Western European
progressives: leftist Eurocrats in Brussels, Labor Party atheists in Britain,
German socialists, Scandinavian secularists, and, naturally, the French
leadership. The God supporters included new EU member states that survived
godless communism–with Poland in the forefront–and the continent's preeminent
religious figure: Pope John Paul II.

The pope, suffering from advanced Parkinson's, took up the fight with vigor. In
the summer of 2003, he devoted a series of Sunday Angelus addresses to this
political issue that transcended politics. He made arguments akin to those made
by the [4]American Founding Fathers: It is crucial for citizens living under a
constitution to understand the ultimate source from which their rights derive.
Their rights come not from government but from God. What government gives,
government can take away. What God gives, government cannot take away.

The pope was countered by the likes of French president Jacques Chirac, who
sniffed: "France is a lay state, and as such she does not have a habit of
calling for insertions of a religious nature into constitutional texts." The
"lay character" of France's government and public institutions, according to
Chirac, simply did "not allow" for a reference to God in a constitution.

Chirac displayed precisely the misunderstanding of church and state that secular
liberals in the United States have heartily embraced.

In the end, the EU compromised on a bland statement grudgingly conceding the
continent's "cultural, religious, and humanist inheritance." It was a nod to God
that George Weigel, in his superb "The Cube and the Cathedral," described as "so
bland as to be meaningless."

But, in an important way, it was actually not meaningless. Hilaire Belloc once
said that "the (Christian) faith is Europe and Europe is the faith." Well, it
isn't anymore. Perhaps, then, it was perfectly fitting that the Europeans
excluded God from their platform.

That brings me back across the Atlantic, to Charlotte. That the Democrats, in
2012, would find themselves in a similar battle is no surprise.

I'll never forget the night Barack Obama won the 2008 election, when I turned on
CNN and glimpsed an unknown Republican congressman from Wisconsin named Paul
Ryan. When asked about Obama's victory, Ryan said he was most concerned about
"the Europeanization of America."

"That's it!" I said to myself. "That's exactly it. Who is this guy? He nailed
it."

A further "Europeanization" of America is the best description of what has
transpired under the Obama administration, especially its first two years under
a fully supportive Democratic Congress. In 2009-10, we witnessed incredibly
wasteful Keynesian-style prime-the-pump "stimulus," partial nationalizations,
"[5]Obama-care," explosive public-sector growth and unionization, demonization
of the banking and investment and oil industries, stagnant unemployment,
[6]class-warfare rhetoric unlike anything I've ever heard in this country, and
debt-to-GDP ratios approaching [7]Greece standards. We've experienced a
record-long non-recovering [8]recovery reminiscent not of the American
experience but of Western Europe.[9]

[10]As someone who researches communism, I'm often asked if the Obama
administration is pursuing socialistic or even communist policies. No, no, I've
always said. If you want the closest model to what Obama is doing, look at the
Attlee government in Britain after WWII or Western Europe today generally.

I recently did an interview with the BBC in Ireland. The host asked: "What's
wrong with you Americans? You call Obama a 'socialist' as if socialism is bad.
Here in Europe, we think he's doing exactly the right thing." Likewise, a friend
of mine recently returned from Spain. She was shocked by the overwhelming
support for Barack Obama's policies. It's really no shock at all–not in Spain.

Here in America, the staunchest liberal-Democrat areas, such as California,
Massachusetts, and New England, all have European-level birthrates, divorce
rates, abortion rates, and even church attendance. New England, in many ways, is
a microcosm of Western Europe.

By the time of the 2012 Democratic convention, party delegates had already
(following Barack Obama's lead) embraced everything from unlimited
taxpayer-funding of abortion to gay marriage. How does one get to these
positions? Answer: by removing God. Fittingly, then, the delegates merely need
to take the next evolutionary step: exclude God. It was very … European.

The soul of the Democratic Party continues to change dramatically.

– Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College,
executive director of [11]The Center for Vision ~Values, and author of the
book, [12]"The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack
Obama's Mentor." His other books include [13]"The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and
the Fall of Communism" and [14]"Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have
Manipulated Progressives for a Century."

2012 by The Center for Vision ~Values at Grove City College. The views &
opinions
expressed herein may, but do not necessarily, reflect the views of Grove City
College.

[15]www.VisionAndValues.org | [16]www.VisionAndValuesEvents.com

References

1.
mailto:visandvals@gcc.edu?subject=Publication%2Fcitation%20notice&body=1.%20Submission%20title%3A%0A%0A2.%20Publication%28s%29%2Fmedia%20outlet%28s%29%3A%0A%0A3.%20Tentative%20publication%2Fcitation%20date%28s%29%3A
2.
http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/09/god-democrats-and-the-europeanization-of-america/
3. http://www.VisionAndValues.org/
4. http://www.visionandvalues.org/category/american-founders-luncheon-series-lectures/
5.
http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/04/healthcare-policy-in-the-age-of-obamacare-perspectives-from-a-physician-an-economist/
6.
http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/01/readying-romney-for-the-class-warfare-machine/
7. http://www.visionandvalues.org/2011/09/greece-on-the-brink/
8. http://www.visionandvalues.org/2012/08/the-tale-of-the-hitchhikers-recovery/
9. http://www.visionandvalues.org/author/paul-g-kengor/
10. http://www.visionandvalues.org/author/paul-g-kengor/
11. http://www.visionandvalues.org/
12. http://www.visionandvalues.org/the-communist/
13. http://www.amazon.com/The-Crusader-Ronald-Reagan-Communism/dp/B002FL5ELM/
14.
http://www.amazon.com/Dupes-Americas-Adversaries-Manipulated-Progressives/dp/1935191756/
15. http://www.VisionAndValues.org/
16. http://www.VisionAndValuesEvents.com/
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