An event this coming Sunday is to be a first for the Democratic Party. At exactly two pm at the Denver Convention Center the Democratic party will kick off the only “inter-faith” service it’s ever played host to.
This gathering will include clergy of a variety of faiths, Democratic leaders, elected Democrats and community leaders. It’s alleged purpose is to “showcase our nominee, our strength, our diversity and our shared values”.
If it were merely a side event it’d be easy to ignore for the most part. It is, however, not a side event. It is the first official event of the convention itself and it’s not only a religious service, but one that actively excludes all non-theists from kicking off the week long celebration of Democratic diversity.
On July the second Ron Miller of the Secular Coalition sent Leah Daughtry, the Pentecostal minister running the convention this year, a letter addressing this. It was a pretty nice letter too. After expressing his concern Miller asks
Is this event open to Democrats who do not hold a god-belief? I assume your answer is yes, but I would be very interested to know how you plan to make the nontheist community feel welcomed. Without an inclusive plan you will make nontheistic Americans feel like second-class citizens at the convention.
Things were quit for a while, then Eric Gorski of the AP wrote an article wherein he explicitly implied that we atheists had attacked Daughtry. His exact words (cached version):
Daughtry, 44, was preparing for an Aug. 24 interfaith service that will open the Democrats’ gathering here — a first for a party that hasn’t always gotten God. Before her was an angry letter from a secularist group that wanted to know whether atheists would be on the podium.
Now it’s possible that’s exactly how Daughtry described it, but I’ve got my doubts. The common theme, especially in the media, is that we atheists are raving lunatics who snack on poor little theists for no reason whatsoever. They were just standing there, minding their own business when this pack of angry atheists just jumped ‘em. It’s like the wild wild west meets Bill Donahue’s severely altered reality.
Daughtry, whom Gorski apparently described as “befuddled“, said she’d get back with Miller. That was more than a month ago today. Daughtry’s apparently still befuddled. That didn’t stop a certain editor though. He might be many things, but befuddled isn’t one of them.