Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments today on the role that atheists are seeking at the Democratic National Convention:

“The Democrats are in a jam. Long the party of choice for atheists, they have profoundly alienated people of faith from joining their ranks, so much so that they have lost the last two elections because of these so-called values voters. But now that they are reaching out to the faithful, however clumsily, they have angered the atheists.

“No one is in a jam more than Leah Daughtry, the religious point-person for the Democrats and CEO of the Convention. She has been boasting a lot lately about her effort to have the first Democratic convention start with a religious service, but not only is her boast unwarranted, it has drawn fire from atheists.

“To begin with, the Democratic Convention is not starting with a religious service: it is being held on August 24, the day before the convention begins. It is still not clear whether clergy will be allowed to wear religious garb, but the venue has been decided. According to the New York Times, ‘the service [will] be held in a theater, in neutral, secular space, so as not to offend anyone.’ Among those who are already offended by the watered-down event is the Secular Coalition of America.

“The Coalition says the meeting ‘excludes nontheistic Democrats’ and is ‘divisive rather than unifying.’ Accordingly, they have asked Daughtry for an invitation to be there, adding, naturally, that ‘this whole situation could be avoided if no interfaith gathering existed in the first place.’ Daughtry, sporting her inclusive stripes, questioned, ‘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.’ She still hasn’t answered.

“Meanwhile the Freedom from Religion Foundation is posting a billboard near the Convention Center that says, ‘KEEP RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS.’ Looks like they may have scored one with the Dems.”

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