(CNN) – Democrats omitted the word "God" from their 2012 platform, a change from the party's 2008 document and a noticeable split from Republicans, who mention God ten times in their official party stance.
In 2008, Democrats wrote, "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."
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The paragraph extolling the value of hard work in 2012 reads, "We gather to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth-the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us."
David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network first reported on the exclusion of the word "God" in the Democrats' platform.
Democrats did include a section in their 2012 platform specifically devoted to faith, writing faith "has always been a central part of the American story, and it has been a driving force of progress and justice throughout our history."
"There is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution, and a full commitment to both principles is essential for the continued flourishing of both faith and country," the document reads.
A Democratic official pointed out that 2008's reference to God was not specifically about faith, but rather about growing the middle class, and that the 2012 language specifically referring to faith was identical to 2008's document. The official also noted that the word "faith" appears 11 times in the document, "religion" or "religious" 9 times, "church" 2 times (one time appearing within a quote), and "clergy" 1 time.
The lack of references to God in the 2012 platform is a change both from the 2008 document, with one reference to God, and the 2004 platform, which mentioned God seven times, as noted by The Blaze.
In 2000 the Democrats' official party platform mentioned God four times.
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said the exclusion of "God" in the Democrats' document was a step forward in including non-religious Americans in the official party stance.
"We are obviously happy that the Democrats are taking these positive steps," Silverman wrote. "We are looking for the inclusion of everyone and we are hopeful that that inclusion will continue to the point that we can depend on Mr. Obama to repeal the faith based initiatives and reinforce the separation of church and state."
"It comes as a pleasant surprise," he added. "It is something that we have been pushing for and is certainly a positive step. But it is only one step and I would like to see action more than words."
"God" is the second conspicuous omission from the Democrats' 2012 platform. The party also removed a 2008 reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a diplomatic flashpoint that Republicans decried as a slight to the Jewish state.
In the Republicans' official 2012 party platform, God is mentioned ten times in various forms, including seven cases of the phrase "God-given."
CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.