Dean Now Willing to Discuss His Faith: Campaign Changed Him, Candidate Says
Howard Dean, after practicing a quiet Christianity throughout his political career, said he is talking more about his faith because the presidential race has awakened him to the importance of religious expression, especially to southerners.Is "quiet" like "nonexistent"?
"I am not used to wearing religion on my sleeve and being open about it," the former Vermont governor told reporters aboard his campaign plane late Friday night. "I am gradually getting more comfortable to talk about religion in ways I did not talk about it before."Translation: he'd like to shag a few votes in the South.
Dean said frequent trips to South Carolina, where evangelical Christianity flourishes often in public ways, are prompting him to more candidly discuss his faith. "It does not make me more religious or less religious than before. It just means I am more comfortable talking about it in different ways," he said.
But the best part:
When asked Friday night about his favorite book of the New Testament, he cited Job, about a righteous man whose faith was tested mightily by God through great suffering. After thinking about the scripture, Dean pointed out an hour later that Job is from the Old Testament.That's OK, Howie! The reporters didn't know either. But where'd you find a Bible to look it up on such short notice?
He rarely attends church services, unless it is for a political event.Since that's illegal, I wonder how that works?
UPDATE: The NY Times has some Deano "clarifications" in Dean Narrowing His Separation of Church and Stump:
A cover story in The New Republic last month, headlined "Howard Dean's religion problem," called him "one of the most secular candidates to run for president in modern history," and suggested this would "mark him as culturally alien to much of the country." A rash of columns followed with similar warnings, and voters have begun to inquire about the issue at town hall meetings.There's also a more elaborate explanation of the Job fiasco and afterwards:
"I'm pretty religious," he responded the other day in Waterloo, Iowa.
Asked again about his favorite part of the New Testament, Dr. Dean said, "Anything in the Gospels."I believe ya, Howie!
Dr. Dean grew up spending Sundays in an Episcopal church, and attended religious boarding school, but became a Congregationalist after the Episcopal church he belonged to in Burlington, Vt., refused to yield land for a bike path around Lake Champlain that he championed. His wife is Jewish and their children observe both traditions, though the family stopped attending services years ago after scolding sermons about once-a-year attendees.Typical! I bet they get grumpy when you take change for the parking meter out of the plate they pass around too!