Van Jones: Democratic Party Becoming ‘Party Where You Can Be Spiritual but Not Religious’

By Melanie Arter | September 11, 2012 | 5:01 PM EDT

Former Obama green jobs czar and left-wing political activist Van Jones ( Starr)

( – Former White House environmental advisor Van Jones said the Democratic Party is “becoming this party where you can be spiritual but not religious."

Appearing on CNN last Wednesday during coverage of the Democratic National Convention, Jones chided the Democrats for not including a reference to God in the party platform. The committee later voted to amend the platform to include the word “God.”

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“My advice is to the Democratic platform committee: Just pretend that the draft you submitted that didn’t have the word ‘God’ in it was just a draft, and in fact, the real draft was inclusive of people like myself who are people of faith, who are Christians, who go to church, and who are also progressive Democrats,” he said.

Jones said if the Democrats are going to be “inclusive as a party, then it doesn’t mean that you then leave out people like myself.”

“Dr. King was a Christian minister. Every Democrat loves Dr. King and celebrates him, and yet, somehow, we’re becoming this party where you can be spiritual but not religious,” he said. “That’s gonna be the banner of the Democratic Party. It’s gonna leave out too many people.”

It was an “unforced error and really quite foolish,” Jones said, adding that the Democrats “talk about faith all the time,” even reciting prayers during the convention, and yet, he said, more people in his home state of Tennessee are going to know they took God out of the platform than are going to know anything else about the convention.

The former green jobs czar resigned from his White House post in 2009 amid controversy over his past statements and activism, including for signing a petition from the group, which questioned whether the Bush administration “may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.”