Sunday, August 27, 2006

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Your Katherine Harris update for the week

It appears Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Katherine Harris has stepped into some more hot water, according to the Associated Press:

U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a weekly religious journal that God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws" and made other comments that have drawn criticism in recent days.

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected to political office politicians will "legislate sin," citing abortion and gay marriage as two examples in an interview published Thursday.

Harris made the comments - which she clarified Saturday - in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. The publication interviewed political candidates, asking them questions about religion and their positions on issues.

Let's go to the actual Florida Baptist Witness interview to see what she said... yes, yes I believe I have found the problematic answers:
Q: What role do you think people of faith should play in politics and government?

A: The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers. And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women and if people arenít involved in helping godly men in getting elected than weíre going to have a nation of secular laws. Thatís not what our founding fathers intended and thatís certainly isnít what God intended. So itís really important that members of the church know peopleís stands....

Q: Why should Florida Baptists care about this primary election?

A: ....the real issue is why should Baptists care, why should people care? If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if youíre not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin. They can say that abortion is alright. They can vote to sustain gay marriage. And that will take western civilization, indeed other nations because people look to our country as one nation as under God and whenever we legislate sin and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they donít know better, we are leading them astray and itís wrong. ...

Harris' campaign has issued a "statement of clarification" in response to the brouhaha:
In the interview, Harris was speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government. Addressing this Christian publication, Harris provided a statement that explains her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values.
The statement would also appear to explain her shallow grounding in American history.

[This entire post was just an excuse to link to this Ana Marie Cox post, wasn't it?--ed. Nolo contendre.]

posted by Dan on 08.27.06 at 08:11 PM


I don't know about Harris' future, but I do know that the English/Malay version of that iGallop one was played nonstop during the World Cup down in Malaysia, and it brought the house down every time. Unintentional comedy gold.

posted by: cure on 08.27.06 at 08:11 PM [permalink]

However shallow her grounding in American history, it's a shallow grounding that is shared with many people, especially here in Florida.

She'll have no problem getting elected to the Senate. Hopefully there she can work to rid these great United States of sin and elections.

posted by: James on 08.27.06 at 08:11 PM [permalink]

The "statement of clarification" is hilarious.

Rather than apologizing for her blatant disregard
for American history, the clarification focuses solely on Harris's record on Israel and her never-ending devotion to both Israel and American Jews. Clearly some Floridians might have been offended by Harris's discussion of how the "don't know better" than to embrace gay marriage, abortion and the like, so Harris felt it necessary to explain that her beliefs come from a "Judeo-Christian" tradition.

Notice she didn't retract the statements themselvies, nor make any attempts to mollify other (non Judeo-Christian) audiences.

Is there any chance that she and Mel Gibson share a PR-firm? The denials look awfully similar.

posted by: kchik on 08.27.06 at 08:11 PM [permalink]

The chance that Ms. Harris will get elected Senator is De Minimis as this point. She has run one of the worst election campaigns know to man (or woman) for that matter. Karmic payback ?

posted by: erg on 08.27.06 at 08:11 PM [permalink]

I wonder which Judeo-Christian value Katherine Harris was extolling while sitting in Congress in the following clip...

You're not going to believe this. Look behind the speaker.

posted by: Sarah on 08.27.06 at 08:11 PM [permalink]

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