Interview with Former Obama White House Adviser Michael Wear: DNC Convention, Faith in Politics, Abortion, moreAugust 1, 2016
Michael Wear worked on the Obama campaign and in the White House for faith outreach. He has the unique experience of having been involved inside politics and a presidential election. Now, he provides us with insight on the 2016 election and the DNC Convention from a faith perspective. Listen to the entire interview online, but here are some important highlights was we look ahead to the campaign.
Entire interview: https://soundcloud.com/the-reconnect/friday-july-29-2016#t=25:00
Have a discerning heart and ear when hearing the language of religion in politics:
It is important to remember that politicians are not representing us as Christians– they are reaching out to us when they are using religious language. Politics has a way to imply or invoke religion for its own purposes. It is up to us as Christians to sort through the motives and affirm what is good and speak out against what is not. It is important not to lose sight that our politics comes from our faith– not the other way around.
On the role of faith at the DNC Convention and party:
Michael points out the examples from the Convention including the “Mothers of the Movement” to the victims of the shooting at the Emmanuel AME Church who both spoke powerfully to their faith.
For those who want to tell the role of the decline of faith in influence in politics and particularly the Democratic Party, they need to be careful to not erase or not take seriously the influence of African Americans and Hispanic Americans, who now make up a third of the Democratic party. Faith is not going anywhere in our politics any time soon.
Big changes in the DNC party platform on abortion
Since Roe v Wade, the question of abortion has largely centered around the legality of abortion in this country: should it be legal? The Democratic party position has largely been to affirm the legality.
What the Democratic party has done now is to move the focus of the debate off of the legality of abortion to whether the government should be paying for abortion– thereby arguing abortion is somehow in the government’s interest. The DNC party platform for the first time, calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which was signed in law by President Carter and was affirmed as recently as when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010.
But now, that has changed. The official position of the party and party’s nominee is that the funding government should be funding abortion without any sort of limit.
Interestingly, Senator Tim Kaine, the Vice Presidential nominee retains his support for the Hyde Amendment. That will be an interesting dynamic to watch to watch the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees disagree on this issue.However, Michael notes, Kaine’s support for Hyde is of little consolation when the official position of the party is to support federal funding for abortion.
Read more on the significance of this change to the Democratic party platform in Michael’s column in the USATODAY, which he co-wrote with Dr. Russell Moore: Dems need to reverse moral misstep on abortion
Listen to the entire interview for more on religious liberty and how Michael would approach the “Never Trump” group of evangelicals (interview begins 25:00 mark):