In apparent acknowledgement that the party has a “God problem,” the Democratic National Committee has hired a religious outreach director and will hold listening sessions with faith leaders leading up to the 2020 election.
FoxNews.com recalled a headline during the Democrats’ 2012 presidential convention, “Democrats boo God,” and the heckling of a preacher during an opening prayer in 2016. Further, in 2016, nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign was criticized for not reaching out to faith groups.
Now, the DNC has hired a former pastor, Rev. Derrick Harkins, who held a similar position in 2012. He’s a former senior vice president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, which recently celebrated “rejoicing in the queerness of God,” Fox News pointed out.
“We take seriously the relationships that we have with faith communities around this country,” Harkins told Religion News Service.
He said faith “will be a priority going into 2020, but even more importantly, beyond 2020.”
Democrats have further alienated themselves from many religious voters by promoting abortion and same-sex marriage. In 2016, Trump won 80 percent of the white evangelical vote.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has questioned the faith of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
In April, Buttigieg, an Episcopalian, said in a speech to the LGBTQ Victory Fund “the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand … if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me – your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”
During the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, delegates booed, jeered and shook their fists when the chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, declared that an amendment to the party’s platform that restored a mention of God had been adopted.
Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, told Fox News Religion Correspondent Lauren Green “there is a strong progressive Christian voice that is being spoken and lifted up and demanding to be heard.”
Alex McFarland, founder of Truth For a New Generation, told Green he believes Democrats realize they’ve made a mistake by alienating the majority of voters, “so they’re having to try and invoke God because their platform has eliminated God.”
“It’s certainly not the god of the founders or the god of the Bible,” he said. “It’s a god of the 21st century, pluralistic, relativistic of our own making.”