Thursday, December 25, 2003
Dean Touts His Christianity
''Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised, people who were left behind,'' Dean said. ''He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything . . . He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2000 years, which is pretty inspiring when you think about it.''
...''It's not a bad thing to have churches involved in delivering social services, but I think the president has used it to reward certain churches and make it less likely for others churches to prosper,'' he said.
Asked whether a presidential candidate could win without talking about religious faith, Dean said, ''Dick Nixon and Ronald Reagan never said much about religion. I think it's important, and you have to respect other people's religious beliefs and honor them, but you don't have to pander to them.''
He added, ''That's why I don't get offended when George Bush or Joe Lieberman talk about their religion . . . I have a feeling it has something to do with them as a human being, and they are entitled to talk about what makes them human.''
He acknowledged that he was raised in the ''Northeast'' tradition of not discussing religious beliefs in public, and said he held back in New Hampshire, where that is the practice. But in other areas, such as the South, he said, he would discuss his beliefs more openly.