On the first night of the Democratic Convention, I sat down with twitter on my right and an ice cream sundae on my left (in honor of Michelle Obama’s prime time speech of course). My eyes scanned CSPAN for a glimpse of the Greek columns which adorned the stage during the 2008 DNC. Unfortunately, that opportunity never came as the layout of the 2012 stage was relatively uncontroversial. However, it did not take the Democrats long to show their true colors. As the convention opened, this video was played in which the narrator stated: “Government is the only thing we all belong to.” Immediately, the collectivism meter in my brain went crazy. However, once I got my bearings and stopped binge tweeting my frustration, the statement became more clear.

On it’s face the statement “government is the only thing we all belong to” reeks with collectivism. I halfway expected the delegates to bow down and praise Obama on the spot, the current incarnation of the all-powerful progressive conception of big-government. Instead of wasting my time watching the big government love-fest play out on screen, I took a second to look at the platform for the DNC in 2012. Then everything made sense. In this years’ version of the Democratic platform, Democrats left out two important words. Those two words make all the difference. In more ways than one.

“God Given.” Those are the two words expunged from the 2012 DNC Platform. In 2008, the platform read, in part:

“We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

Those two little words make all the difference. Simply, their exclusion highlights the stark differences between conservatism and progressivism. As a Christian conservative (and follower of the Founding Fathers, mind you), I believe that our rights come from God. I mean, have you read The Declaration of Independence? The words “Nature’s God” and “Endowed by their Creator” should ring a bell. In hierarchical terms, we serve God and government serves us by protecting our God-given rights. Apparently the DNC has it backwards. It should therefore come as no surprise that President Obama himself has omitted the word “Creator” several times while quoting the Declaration.

Thus the opening statement for the DNC actually aligns with the progressive ideology pretty clearly. To the left, big government and its willing spokesman Barack Obama are raised on so high a pedestal no even phony columns from 2008 come close to reaching its impossible heights. This isn’t because the government or the president has oozed perfect success. It’s quite the opposite actually. Rather, the reasoning for this perspective connects back into the seemingly minute language elimination in the party’s platform. God does not have a place in the DNC platform. At all. That’s not to say that there are not God-fearing Democrats in attendance, but the platform they cheered for in unanimity holds no place for the Almighty.

When you remove God from his rightful place and reject the notion of God-given rights and blessings, a void is created. For progressives, government fits easily into that void. In the “absence” of God, government becomes god for progressives. Without a solid foundation on natural law and God-given rights, our foundation crumbles and is subject to the temporary passions of a few power-seeking politicians. If you exclude the concept of God-given rights, rights are seemingly “created” right and left by the all-powerful government. For example, now we are apparently “entitled” to universal healthcare and “reproductive rights.” Or so “private citizen” Sandra Fluke tells me. The government is not our salvation. Mitt Romney hit this nail on the head in his quick response to the DNC video. His statement? “We don’t belong to government. Government belongs to us.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Government was created to serve the people and protect our God-given rights. Should we forget this, we will be prey to a bloated bureaucracy whose massive arms are always grasping for more; more taxes, more regulation; less freedom. Government is NOT the only thing we all belong to. We share a common humanity and a common kinship as Americans. It is government that threatens to tear that apart. Politicians target citizens with political divisiveness and party politics. This election, we need to refocus and flip the political hierarchy upside down. We need to replace the cult-like government worship with an ideology that holds government accountable to the people. It’s not the other way around. Government is not god. Government is here to serve us. We must make ourselves subservient to God and ourfellow citizens, not big government. We built this nation. Government had better get out of the way before the waves of entrepreneurship, hard work, and accountability crash upon their ever crumbling shores.

Amy Lutz | St. Louis University | @AmyLutz4