How Will Faith Matter In The 2012 Democratic Convention

by Gwen Ashby

By Believe Out Loud

Many people use the phrase, “Separation of Church and State,” to describe their ideal version of the United States of America. They want people to have the freedom to chose their own religion, or to not practice any religion at all. They want religion and government to be separate.

The American Atheists Incorporated (AAI) want religion and government to be separate, specifically at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. AAI posted billboards a few days before the conventions, in hopes of getting the attention of the public, and it has done just that. Some feel the billboards attack the Christian and Mormon religions, and have no place in the political conventions.  Just as some people feel the billboards are out of place, David Silverman, President of AAI, feels religion has no place in the political conventions. He said, “We are not a Christian nation; we have never been a Christian nation and we never will be,”.

Although many would like to have a political convention with out the involvement of religion, this year that will not be the case.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) did decline Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s offer to give a blessing, after they learned that he would be speaking at the Republican National Convention. Another Cardinal will be speaking at the DNC.

However, the Democratic National Convention decided to host “Jummah at the DNC” which begins on August 29th with two hours of Jummah prayers. The DNC hopes this pre-convention weekend will bring in thousands of Muslims to the convention (September 4th-6th).  In addition to a large turnout, Jibril Hough, spokesman for the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA), said the purpose of hosting “Jumma at the DNC” is, “to hold political parties accountable for issues that affect Muslim-Americans”.

With a Cardinal speaking during the convention, and the pre-convention “Jummah at the DNC” weekend, this Democratic National Convention will be full of religion and faith, although not how some people would have guessed.

Image Flickr Wikipedia 2012 Democratic National Convention

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