The Democratic National Committee banned dozens of Charlotte churches from distributing gift baskets to delegates because the congregations hold values that are contrary to the party platform, according to local religious leaders.
“They told us our views on women’s rights are contrary to the Democratic party platform,” said David Benham, the lead organizer of the Charlotte714 religious movement.
Charlotte714 is a group of more than 100 churches across the region that mobilized to pray for the Democratic National Convention. More than 9,000 people gathered last Sunday for a time of worship and prayer in advance of the convention.
A gathering of some 200 Muslims praying in Charlotte was given extensive national coverage. The massive Christian received scant coverage.
Benham said the name references an Old Testament passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14 – calling the nation to prayer.
He said 56 churches wanted to “Adopt-a-Delegation.” They put together gift baskets featuring Carolina Pralines and a letter welcoming them to the city and offering assistance in transportation, childcare or spiritual matters.
“We were just trying to display Southern hospitality,” he said. “We wanted them to know we were happy to serve them.”
However, DNC officials conveyed to city leaders that the Christians would not be allowed to present their gift baskets.
“I got a call from the mayor’s office speaking on behalf of the convention and they asked us not to participate,” he said. “They told us our views on women’s rights are contrary to the platform.”
Benham said he was shocked because all the churches involved are mainline denominations ranging from Baptists and Methodists to Assembly of God.
“I was blown away and could not believe it,” he told Fox News.
So instead of gift baskets, Benham asked if they could send welcome letters to the delegates. Again, he said the DNC refused – because the churches hold pro-life values.
“They responded back and said no because our views on women,” he said. “They would not allow it.”
Benham said it is true that all the churches are pro-life – but the baskets did not include a single political or pro-life message. They just wanted to give them regional candies and a welcome letter.
A spokesman for the city of Charlotte referred comments to the DNC. The DNC did not return numerous calls seeking comment.
Benham said it’s no surprise that the Democrats have now removed God from their party platform
“The Democrats have spit in the face of God they spit in the face of unborn children,” Benham said. “They spit in the face of marriage. They are spitting in God’s face. Americans need to rise up and see to it they have their day and are escorted out of power in this country.”
In spite of the rebuff Benham said there are 18 different groups across the city praying at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m.