If there is one takeaway from the gaudy liberal-fest at the virtual Democratic National Convention in mid-August, it would be that the liberals have a God problem.
It’s not a problem with His existence. The convention was hardly a collection of the unchurched, atheists and agnostics intent upon eradicating religion from America. The nation is much too religious to tolerate such a rejection of God. Many convention participants, including the candidates, profess some kind of faith.
Notoriously liberal religious figures like Fr. James Martin and Sister Simone Campbell prayed at the convention—although Sister did not mention God but referred to a “Divine Spirit.” Many speeches ended with the traditional “God bless America” closing. The organizers made a special effort to showcase religion at the event.
An “Under God” Problem
Thus, most liberals have no problem with God or a god (with various pronouns) as long as that god remains personal, unimposing and vague.
Their real problem with God is different. Two minor incidents at the Democratic Convention spoke volumes about this problem and help define the debate around religion in America.
Two caucus meetings at the convention began by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance that omitted the phrase “under God.” The online caucuses represented Muslim and LGBT members and were posted on social media. The omission was hailed with approval and applause by those who commented upon the postings.
The omissions revealed that radical liberals do not have a God problem but an “under God” problem. The addition of the word “under” changes everything. It introduces many concepts that offend liberal’s sensibilities. The term “under” clashes with lifestyles and habits that turn God into a creature of one’s whims.
The Egalitarian Objections
Liberals’ objections to “under God” fall into several categories. The first involves their egalitarian metaphysics. It exalts the individual and makes each a god with nothing above or below the person.
Thus, they have a problem with “under God” because it recognizes God’s sovereignty over the universe. It means God has control over humanity, and humanity has obligations to God due to the relationship between Creator and creature. This offends the radical individualism of the liberal order, which falsely contends no need to acknowledge dependence on a superior being.
“Under God” highlights the inequality that exists between God and humanity and insinuates other natural and just inequalities that make up the social hierarchies and harmonies that should exist in society. Such a conclusion offends the liberal’s radical egalitarianism that sees all natural inequalities as unjust and the basis for class struggle.
“Under God” speaks of a transcendent order in which there are spiritual values and realities above the materialistic order of things. It is consistent with the spiritual side of human nature. This superior side is what makes every person unique. It gives rise to political, social, cultural, and religious activities that tower above the pleasure-seeking world of self-gratification of modern times.
The Liberal Objections to “Under God”
The second category of objections falls under the restrictions imposed upon creatures that liberals see as being contrary to freedom. “Under God” presupposes a set of laws that establish God’s rights over humanity. God’s Law is the instrument by which humanity thrives in accordance with nature. It is to be loved and obeyed as a key to happiness. This is contrary to the individual’s quest to determine a personal law and truth by which each enjoys life yet often ends it in misery.
“Under God” reflects God’s Justice, by which those over which He rules are rewarded for good deeds and punished for evildoings. To be “under God” is to accept the sweet yoke of His objective rule as to what is just and not the subjective determinations so often fantasized by liberal social justice warriors.
The Mantle of His Love
A final objection applies to how God governs humanity under the mantle of His love. “Under God” is an affirmation of God’s loving Providence by which He protects and provides for the needs of humanity as all act to glorify Him. To be under God is to be under His protection and care. This vision of human development runs so contrary to the liberal model of random and spontaneous evolution that defies rational scientific explanation and deprives life of meaning and purpose.
“Under God” is an expression of God’s immense charity by which He loves humanity beyond all measures even to the point of death on the Cross. God wishes to communicate His goodness and the fruits of Redemption to all who know, love and serve Him. Indeed, the expression “under God” contains the faint echoes of the Catholic teaching on the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
So much is contained in that single word “under.” Political party conventions usually deal with platforms, promises and strategies for governing. However, as America strays ever farther from the path of righteousness, such issues are increasingly irrelevant. When we abandon being “under God,” everything falls apart. The real questions revolve around how America deals with the word “under.” The future depends upon whether the nation embraces or rejects that powerful and liberating truth.