The old saying, “you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep,” may not be quantifiable, but in general, there is some validity to it and there are myriad examples of like-minded people gravitating toward each other. Whether it is because of similar interests, ideology, or a person’s profession, it appears to be a matter of familiarity, compatibility, or safety in numbers that attracts people together. At the Republican National Convention last week, it did not take a world renowned sociologist to realize that those in attendance were angry, white, and prone to religious extremism, and it is in direct contrast to this week’s Democratic Convention where delegates and speakers alike are upbeat, hopeful, and inclusive that gave an accurate picture of America. If watching the people and speakers at the RNC failed to convince observers this was an unpleasant and uncomfortable group, then the Republican platform certainly defined the party’s adherence to guns, greed, and god as its ideological foundation with a major emphasis on god.
Yesterday, Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan demanded that Obama explain why the Democratic platform doesn’t include the word god, and it demonstrated the arrogance of religious extremists in the Republican Party who pant to impose their bible-based beliefs on Americans. Apparently, Ryan took umbrage that Democrats dropped the word “god” from a section in 2008’s platform that spoke of allowing Americans to “make the most of their god-given potential,” and besides insulting non-believers, it is another instance of Republican’s forcing Christianity on America.
The language this year omitted the deity, but contained the same sentiment: “the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us.” Ryan said on Fox News that “it’s not in keeping with our founding documents, our founding vision. I’d guess you’d have to ask the Obama administration why they purged all this language from their platform. There sure is a lot of mention of government. I guess I would just put the onus and the burden on them to explain why they did all this, these purges of god.”
Late yesterday, Democrats forgot the admonition from Deval Patrick to “grow a backbone,” and did what they do best; acquiesce to the “party of god, guns, and greed” and put back the language from their 2008 platform, but not until a large group of delegates objected prompting convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa to call for a vote three times before ruling the amendments had been approved. However, Democratic spinelessness notwithstanding, there is a serious problem with Ryan’s lie that “our founding documents” had any mention of god or Christianity. Maybe Ryan should take a few hours and read something besides his mentor and Atheist fiction writer, Ayn Rand, and scour the Constitution and Bill of Rights to see for himself that god is not in our founding documents in keeping with the Founders’ belief that there must be a “wall of separation” between church and state.
Republicans have been on a tear to rebrand America as a Christian nation, and their persistent assertions that this country was founded on Christianity is an absurd notion to justify imposing bible edicts on Americans by way of theocratic legislation. Their standard assertion is that the Founding Fathers’ implied America was to be governed by Christian principles, but if they looked at America’s historical documents, they would find a Founders’ statement confirming that Christianity had no basis in the founding of America.
On March 30, 1795, President George Washington (a Founding Father) appointed David Humphreys to negotiate a treaty with the Barbary powers (of Shores of Tripoli fame) and the ensuing Treaty of Tripoli (written in Arabic) was ratified by the United States on June 10, 1797. In Article 11, President John Adams (another Founding Father) included in his signing statement a single sentence that belies Republican assertion that America was founded as, or will ever be, a Christian nation. Adams wrote, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws (Sharia), religion, or tranquility of Mussulmen (Muslims).”
It is incredibly difficult to glean any other meaning out of President John Adams statement than America is not founded on Christianity and yet the GOP and their extremist Christian cohorts have spent the past three years lying to Americans to promote the drive to theocracy. If Paul Ryan had taken his head out of Ayn Rand’s fiction for 30-seconds and investigated historical literature, he would never have repeated the lie that America is founded on god, the bible or Christianity, but Ryan, like his running mate is a pathological liar who is incapable of telling the truth and he was finally called out last night by former President Bill Clinton on myriad issues.
In an electrifying and fact-based speech, Clinton dissected a wealth of lies Ryan and Romney have proffered since Romney chose Ryan as his running mate. The only thing the former President omitted was Ryan’s claim that god is prevalent in America’s founding documents. However, he did debunk every other lie Republicans have put forth over the past six months and it was the example of backbone that Deval Patrick called for on Tuesday. Clinton even mentioned that the Romney camp said “our campaign is not based on fact-checkers,” and now that a national audience heard from a beloved former President that everything Romney and Ryan says is “just not true,” the Republican machine will find themselves in an unenviable position of either continuing to lie as a matter of course, or begin telling the truth. Unfortunately, Romney and Ryan have surrounded themselves with a familiar and comfortable crowd of habitual liars, religious sycophants, and gun-toting angry white people who no more represent the American people than god is from the planet Kolob, and if there was one thing to take away from the DNC, it was that those in attendance gathered together because they are familiar and comfortable with minorities, women, gays, and a party that is willing to tell them the truth.