Howard Dean's view of Christianity.

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Jailminister, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Jailminister

    Jailminister
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    Dean Says Faith Swayed Decision on Gay Unions

    By Jim VandeHei
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, January 8, 2004; Page A01


    MUSCATINE, Iowa, Jan. 7 -- Democratic front-runner Howard Dean said Wednesday that his decision as governor to sign the bill legalizing civil unions for gays in Vermont was influenced by his Christian views, as he waded deeper into the growing political, religious and cultural debate over homosexuality and the Bible's view of it.



    "The overwhelming evidence is that there is very significant, substantial genetic component to it," Dean said in an interview Wednesday. "From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people."

    Dean's comments come as gay marriage is emerging as a defining social issue of the 2004 elections, and one that is dividing the Episcopal Church in the United States and many other Christians and non-Christians. Driving the debate is a theological dispute over the Bible's view on homosexuality and a political one over the secular and spiritual wisdom of allowing gays to marry.

    Dean said he does not often turn to his faith when making policy decisions but cited the civil union bill as a time he did. "My view of Christianity . . . is that the hallmark of being a Christian is to reach out to people who have been left behind," he told reporters Tuesday. "So I think there was a religious aspect to my decision to support civil unions."

    Earlier Tuesday, when he and the other candidates were asked at a debate whether religion has influenced any of their policy decisions, Dean was the only one not to respond.

    In the interview Wednesday, Dean said, "I don't go through an inventory like that when making public policy decisions."

    Dean has been expanding on his religious views in a series of conversations with reporters, but his remarks Tuesday and Wednesday were the first time he has talked about how faith has influenced his policymaking.

    Dean said he does not consider homosexuality a sin but nonetheless opposes gay marriage. The civil unions bill he signed as Vermont governor in 2000 granted homosexual couples the same rights and protections as if they were married. Among the nine Democratic presidential contenders, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio), former senator Carol Moseley Braun (Ill.) and Al Sharpton support gay marriage.

    Republicans are pushing a constitutional amendment against gay marriage, and President Bush has said he would support it if necessary. Religious groups and social conservatives in Congress are planning to push the issue aggressively before the November election, in part, to motivate Christian voters and paint Democrats as out of touch with most Americans. Polls show that a majority of Americans oppose gay marriage.

    Dean, who leads in many polls, is increasingly trying to broaden his appeal by talking about faith and centrist policies such as a balanced budget and tax reform for the middle class. One week ago he said he planned to discuss his faith more openly in the South, but Tuesday he said he would take this message everywhere. "I think we have got to stop thinking about the South as some peculiar region," he said. "I am going to talk about the same things everywhere."

    Some Democrats have said Dean, with roots in liberal Vermont and close identification with the nation's first civil unions law, might appear too secular to win over an increasingly religious electorate.

    Dean, who is a member of the Congregationalist Church, which preaches a liberal brand of Christianity, falls on the side of Episcopal leaders in the United States who recently stirred international controversy by ordaining a gay bishop, and the millions of Americans who do not consider homosexuality a sin. This theological debate predates the questions of civil unions and gay marriage and has divided biblical scholars for a long time.

    In broad terms, it pits Christians who look at the Bible less literally and argue that the Gospels never quote Jesus talking specifically about homosexuality against more conservative Christians who take a more literal approach and point to scripture in the New and Old Testaments that they believe forbids homosexuality. For instance, Leviticus 18:22, according to the King James version of the Bible, says, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

    Polls show voters want a religious president and one who talks about faith. Some Republicans, including a few in the Bush administration, worry that the GOP could overplay its hand by appearing to divide people with hostility toward gays. But if Dean wins the Democratic presidential nomination, strategists from both parties predict it will become a major issue in the campaign.

    At several campaign stops this week, Dean said that if Republicans push gay issues, he will talk "issues that unite us," such as health insurance for every American.

     
  2. Ransom

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    Dean's "Christian views" are so strong that he quit his Episcopalian church over its refusal to allow a bike path cross the property.

    He is a panderer who will say whatever his audience (i.e. voters) want to hear.

    Bush probably goes to bed every night and dreams wonderful dreams about campaigning against him . . .
     
  3. Precepts

    Precepts
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    I owe you an apology, some how I almost pictured you on the Dean "bandwagon". :eek:
     
  4. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Supporters of Bush dream about the Liberal wing of the democratic party nominating Dean. Dean may have support of the NE and California, and I will throw MN and Wisconsin in as well - but apart from those areas I cant think of any place Dean stands a real chance.

    Dean does seem to be showing some weakness, I think the mainstream dems are waking up to the fact that they are about to nominate a guy that makes Dukakkis look like a conservative.

    If Dean wins the primaries look for shenanigans at the demo convention - can you say Hillary?

    In any event out to be a good year for the republicans.
     
  5. Artimaeus

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    Howard Dean will NEVER be President of the United States. :mad: :mad: :mad: Of course, you should know that I said the same thing about a certain dufuss from Arkansas back in '92. :eek: :( [​IMG]
     
  6. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    previously posted...

    Couldn't that be said about most politicians then??? :eek: :D

    God Bless!!!

    Adam [​IMG]
     
  7. HankD

    HankD
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    "Read my lips". ?
     
  8. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    An open letter to Howard Dean
    Jan 9, 2004
    By Brent Thompson
    FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)

    Dear Dr. Howard Dean,

    Please stop. Stop trying to fool American Christians into thinking you know the Bible. You are embarrassing yourself, even though I am sure you are convinced you are executing a savvy tactic by coming out of the Christian closet after all these years of acting like you are a committed secularist.

    If you are serious about your newly expressed Christianity, please take some time and learn a bit more about it before spouting off startling theological statements. Case in point: In a recent interview, you said, "From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people."

    Though you may think us Christians are dumb, we are not THAT dumb. Your statement was so off-base I am sure even many liberal Christian ministers would take umbrage.

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE LETTER

    (Brent Thompson is associate director of communications at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Thompson practiced law in Alaska and Texas before coming to seminary and has taught government and politics at the college level.)
     
  9. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    This is the same guy who claimed to be a Bible scholar and then, in the very next breath when asked what NT character he most identified with, answered "Job."

    Good job, Howard.
     

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