Kamala Harris Perfects Her ‘God Talk’

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Kamala Harris is the Democratic nominee for vice president. (Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Kamala Harris is the Democratic nominee for vice president. (Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Democrat Party, as every survey shows, is the party of secularists, some of whom are Christian bashers.

Tagged with being anything but religion-friendly, Democrats have resorted to “God talk” to woo voters. The latest to do so is Kamala Harris.

After the presidential debate, Harris was interviewed by Jake Tapper of CNN. After Tapper lied about President Trump—saying he refused to denounce white supremacists (when Chris Wallace asked Trump if he was prepared to condemn them, Trump answered, “sure, I’m prepared to do it”)—Harris was asked to share her thoughts: 

“The president of the United States in the year of our Lord, 2020, refuses to condemn white supremacists.”

Forget that Harris also misrepresented what Trump said (the president told Wallace “I’m willing to do anything—I want to see peace”), the issue for the Catholic League is her “God talk.” Is there anything wrong with such language? Not if it is sincere. 

There is no record of Harris ever using such language before she became a senator and a presidential hopeful a few years ago. For example, in her seven years as district attorney in San Francisco (2004-2011), and her six years as attorney general of California (2011-2017), there is not a single media report of her saying “in the year of our Lord” when talking to reporters. 

The first time she used that line was in June 2017. Harris was asked about the speculation surrounding her run for the White House. “Listen, 2020 is in how many years? We are in the year of our Lord 2017.” 

Her next invocation of this line was reported by the New York Times on Sept. 9, 2019. When asked to comment on criminal reform, she said, “But hey, if you’ve got, in the year of our Lord 2019, all the major candidates running for president of the United States” pushing for these reforms, that is a good thing.

On Nov. 20, 2019, Harris appeared on MSNBC to discuss equal pay for women. “We passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, but fast forward to the year of our Lord 2019….” On June 8, at a news conference on crime, Harris said “just last week in the year of our Lord 2020….”

How can we be sure that this is a game and not a sincere expression of her religiosity? On the 4th of July, 2019, when the issue of racial integration came up, Harris was criticized by former Obama operative David Axelrod for changing her position. Harris’ Here is what Axelrod was told. “The debate [Democratic primary debate] was about opposing busing in 1970. It is now 40 years later in the year of our Lord 2019.”

It was not Harris who said that. It was her communications director, Lily Adams. She is lily white, the granddaughter of Texas Democrat Ann Richards. This certainly suggests that in the year of our Lord is a line right out of the Harris campaign’s playbook.

Harris’ father is Christian and her mother is Hindu. Her husband is Jewish. When they got married, only Harris’ mother’s religion was acknowledged: her husband wore a floral garland around his neck honoring her Hindu upbringing. 

More important are Harris’ positions on religious liberty. She opposed the Hobby Lobby high court ruling affirming the religious liberty of Christian-owned businessmen not to pay for birth control in their healthcare plans. She objected to the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Little Sisters of the Poor to abstain from paying for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plan. She backs legislation that would weaken the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

Harris is no friend of religious liberty. Her recent decision to exclaim in the year of our Lord, which has been conveniently picked up by her staff, is a ploy designed to appeal to unassuming Christian voters impressed by “God talk.” As the old adage says, actions speak louder than words, and on this score, Harris fails to convince.

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.

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