Charlotte (CNSNews.com) – Just hours before the Democratic National Convention cast a divided vote to amend the party’s platform to include the word “God,” the party’s point-man on religion said Democrats “don’t have to make any apologies for our platform.”
“As Democrats, we’re stepping out into this campaign, stepping forward with a real commitment to values expressed by people of faith, the broad spectrum of faith in America, and I’m happy about that,” the Rev. Derrick Harkins, director of faith outreach for the Democratic National Committee, told CNSNews.com. “I’m happy about the fact that we don’t have to make any apologies for our platform. We don’t have to make any apologies for what we as Democrats believe is the importance of faith.”
Harkins said the party’s deeds are more important than its words:
“I’d say while maybe there are several words that have been edited, the reality is we have an entire plank in our platform that speaks of the importance of communities of faith, of faith-based institutions, the importance of faith in American life,” Harkins told CNSNews.com. “So somebody mentioned (something) a little while ago that bears repeating. There is a wonderful little old Baptist thing that says, ‘May the works I’ve done speak for me.’ So I’m a lot more concerned about the prospects that we as Democrats live out the ideas and values of caring for one another and making sure people have a fair chance.”
Harkins is the pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday, by a contentious voice voice, Democrats restored language from the 2008 platform that said, "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."
Democrats gathered in Charlotte also voted to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Many Democrats in the audience booed the decision to amend the platform.
President Obama reportedly intervened directly to get the language changed both on Jerusalem and to reinstate God in the platform, according to the Associated Press.