This week, in the US, at the Democratic National Convention, Senator Barack Obama will be adopted as the official Democratic Presidential candidate.
It’s no secret that Obama is religious – in his own words, he’s “a Christian [with] a deep faith. I'm rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”
And today saw the first-ever interfaith gathering held at the Convention. A gathering that has specifically excluded those thousands of Democrats who are of no faith, despite the Democratic Party’s much heralded need for inclusiveness and bridge-building after this summer’s long-drawn-out battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton to become the party nominee.
Ron Millar of the Secular Coalition for America wrote to Leah Daughtry, CEO of the Democratic National Committee and organiser of the interfaith event, to ask where “people of no faith” should go while other Democrats are being unified.
Apparently, Daughtry didn’t have the Christian courtesy to reply to Millar. She did, however, speak to the Associated Press: “Atheists speaking at an interfaith service … does that work? I don't quite know. But they’re part of the party, you treat them with respect.”
First, how did she think she was treating “people of no faith” with respect by lumping them all together as atheists?
How did she think she was treating “people of no faith” with respect by not inviting even one secularist to speak at the “unity” event?
And, finally, how did she think she was treating “people of no faith” with respect by claiming that “Democrats have been, are and will continue to be people of faith – and this interfaith gathering is proof of that”?