Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Dean's Jesus talk is ringing false in the South
Tallahassee Democrat ^ | 8-Jan-2004 | Kathleen Parker

Posted on 01/08/2004 6:14:57 AM PST by stainlessbanner

Dr. Howard Dean's God problem is like his Confederate flag problem. The more he tries to explain himself, the worse it gets and the further from political grace he strays.

First Dean swears he's committed to Jesus
Christ, then says he'd rather not talk about it. Except in the South, where he promises he'll be saying more and more about religion.

Which doesn't come easily to him, he reminds us, because he's from the Northeast where people don't wear their religion on their sleeves, as do those good folks down yonder.

But, well, when in Rome - Georgia, that is - praise Jesus and pass the grits.

From the boys in pickup trucks with Confederate flag stickers to the Bible-thumping Jesus bloc, one wonders what's next? Beauty queens, golfers and deer hunters? Look for Dean in camo, teeing off at Myrtle Beach with Miss South Carolina while tailgating on venison stew. Better make it an SUV, Bubba.

Dean's latest problem, however, isn't really about religion. It's not about whether he can accurately quote scripture or knows to which Testament the book of Job belongs. Recently Dean said Job was his favorite book in the Bible and placed it in the New Testament.

No, Dean's problem is far more complicated, and potentially more politically crippling, than the measure of his Christian content. The elephant in his front parlor is class. When he starts talking about Jesus to Southern religious folk, Dean betrays his upper-class dimness and insults the less privileged he hopes to attract.

Dean saying he's uncomfortable talking about religion because he's from the Northeast and his people don't talk openly about religion only reminds Southerners that he's from "off." And, let's face it, it underscores that he knows as much about poor people as he does about Job.

Personally, I have no problem with rich people. I don't think humble origin makes one more qualified for any job or that poverty endows greater virtue.

It's admirable when people make it on their own, to be sure. We love that in America. But given that we all strive to improve our lives materially, and hope that our children fare even better, it's contradictory to issue demerits to those who prove the American dream true.

Besides, only a generation or two separates the rich from the poor in the United States. As Joan Didion once wrote, it's not as though Americans have been gazing down 600 years of rolled lawns. We're all cut from the same cotton duck.

I also don't think Dean deserves to be beaten up for misplacing Job in the New Testament. Speaking extemporaneously is tricky, especially after months on the road, and slips of the tongue are both expected and forgivable.

But Dean's biblical slip, which merely underscored his awkward foray into the religious realm, damages most for casting light on his blinding insincerity. One day he scolds the South for casting votes around guns, God and gays. A few weeks later, he confesses to devotion to Christ and starts invoking the Lord.

He's like the carnival barker who says what potential suckers want to hear: "You want Jesus? Have we got Jesus!"

What Dean doesn't seem to "get" - and perhaps this is owing to his privilege - is that out-front religion in the South is often as much a function of social class as it is of faith. Among many poor blacks and whites, church is the cocktail party without the booze, the social club without the pedigree.

You don't find Southern Episcopalians, who prefer Chardonnay with their communion wafers, standing on street corners imploring passersby to prepare to meet Jesus. They're as lock-jawed and emotionally taut as any Park Avenue Yalie.

In other words, Dean's New England excuse is just another backhand to the poor voters he courts.

Here's what I've noticed having lived much of my life in the Bible Belt: Southerners have a bird dog's nose for artifice. And one sure-fire ticket to damnation, regardless of faith or denomination, is to be a fake.

That's why George Bush and Joseph Lieberman can talk about their faith with impunity. Faith is part of who they are rather than something they dust off at election time. The same was true of Jimmy Carter, but not of Bill Clinton, who brought out the Bible only when his tear ducts needed priming.

Dean would have fared far better had he stuck to his true grit, rather than his Southern impression. Religion is personal, he might have said, and even Southerners could understand that. What they can't understand, and are less likely to forgive, is a man who bears false witness.

Proverbs. Old Testament.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2004; christian; confederate; dean; deanschristianity; dixie; dixielist; god; howarddean; kathleenparker; south; southernstrategy
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-60 next last

1 posted on 01/08/2004 6:14:58 AM PST by stainlessbanner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: *dixie_list; CurlyBill; w_over_w; BSunday; PeaRidge; RebelBanker; PistolPaknMama; SC partisan; ...
Ping
2 posted on 01/08/2004 6:16:03 AM PST by stainlessbanner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
14 Georgia 495.00
15
33.00
439
1.13
160.00
12

Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

3 posted on 01/08/2004 6:18:55 AM PST by Support Free Republic (If Woody had gone straight to the police, this would never have happened!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
There's no way Dean would take one state in the South. If the Dems nominate him the South will be a complete write off for them. If Clark gets the nod they have a chance in some Southern states and he could cause more trouble in the general ( no pun intended ) election.
4 posted on 01/08/2004 6:20:03 AM PST by Arkie2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
And his most quoted statement about Jesus, the one that ends with the words "when you think about it", leaves the listener thinking that Dean is a guy who doesn't "think about it" very often. His tone is hollow, his words are hollow and his delivery is hollow. And not just on this subject.

Which is why I will be registering rat this spring and voting for Dean in the rat primary. Dean is the opponent I want George Bush to face in the fall.
5 posted on 01/08/2004 6:21:51 AM PST by samtheman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner

The Conversion of St. Howard on the Bike Path to Burlington

6 posted on 01/08/2004 6:22:25 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
What they can't understand, and are less likely to forgive, is a man who bears false witness.

Proverbs. Old Testament.

Clever line. And true.

7 posted on 01/08/2004 6:22:40 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (REAL men aren't Liberals)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
I've heard a lot about Dean placing Job in the NT, but I haven't seen or read a direct quote. Anyone know when and where it was said? This I've gotta see, what a maroon.
8 posted on 01/08/2004 6:23:41 AM PST by Hillary's Folly (Imagine there's no Hillary. It's easy if you try.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
Excellent and right on the mark.
9 posted on 01/08/2004 6:24:58 AM PST by ShandaLear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: billorites
LOL!!!!!!
10 posted on 01/08/2004 6:30:43 AM PST by TomServo ("She wouldn't have me on a silver platter." "How about on an air mattress slathered with butter?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
It won't work on this Wild Eyed Southern Boy, that man is a Lunatic.
11 posted on 01/08/2004 6:37:16 AM PST by HELLRAISER II (Give us another tax break Mr. President)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
he's from the Northeast and his people don't talk openly about religion only reminds Southerners that he's from "off."

Actually, the proper phrase around these parts is "he ain't from around here."

Southerners don't like outsiders telling them what to do. It's in our DNA. The more Dean tries to "fit in" the more he looks like a baboon.

12 posted on 01/08/2004 6:38:12 AM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004! www.2asisters.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2
Howard Brush Dean III, child of privilege, Birkenstock doc, and beneficiary of some $3.8 million in trust funds, equities and financial instruments, just can't get those Southerners to cut him any slack. Spoiled rich kid, waltzing in and playing at being a "good ol' boy", without a clue how to relate his world to theirs.

Life is hard, and the degree of hardness is so much of the time, of one's own making.
13 posted on 01/08/2004 6:39:50 AM PST by alloysteel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
You don't find Southern Episcopalians, who prefer Chardonnay with their communion wafers, standing on street corners imploring passersby to prepare to meet Jesus. They're as lock-jawed and emotionally taut as any Park Avenue Yalie.

Ahem.

Why is it no OK to say that every Baptist is a Bible-thumpin', three-toothed, hard-drinkin' Southern redneck, but it is perfectly all right to say that every Episcopalian is a lock-jawed, emotionally taut, repressed block of ice?

OK. I'll climb down off my soap-box now...

14 posted on 01/08/2004 6:40:00 AM PST by gridlock (There's no such thing as idiot-proof, only idiot-resistant. The ingenuity of idiots knows no bounds)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hillary's Folly
Try this thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1051118/posts
15 posted on 01/08/2004 6:40:20 AM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004! www.2asisters.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2
As soon as John Q Southern Voter steps into the booth and contemplates "President Clark" he/she will think Democrat but vote Republican. Even Arkansans will vote Bush over Wesley unless they are true democrats, meaning Govt supported leeches.
16 posted on 01/08/2004 6:40:24 AM PST by kinghorse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: gridlock; stainlessbanner
You don't find Southern Episcopalians, who prefer Chardonnay with their communion wafers . . .

A second Ahem.

It isn't Chardonnay. It's cheap New York State jug port (at least it is around here.) Port being a fortified wine kills the germs.

And Southern Episcopalians aren't like Yankee Episcopalians at all.

For one thing, most of us (barring the Bishop of Atlanta and a few other heretics) actually believe in the Bible.

17 posted on 01/08/2004 6:43:27 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: kinghorse
Clark would carry Arkansas and I think you misunderestimate the respect for the military in the South. Clark would give Bush a run for his money in the foreign policy area for those folks who don't listen hard to what the candidates say on the issues and there are plenty of those. In any case, Bush would carry the South, just not unanimously.
18 posted on 01/08/2004 6:45:29 AM PST by Arkie2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Hillary's Folly
I believe Dean was asked for his favorite book from the Bible, and replied "The Gospels". Then he was asked for his favorite book from he New Testament and launched into a "scholarly" discussion of Job. I don't think he ever phrased a sentence starting with "My favorite book from the New Testament is..."

He did, however, claim to know a lot about the Bible.
19 posted on 01/08/2004 6:48:09 AM PST by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2
Dean's killing himself with his "Osama is innocent till proven guilty," "We're not safer with Saddam being caught," "It doesn't matter to me where Osama is tried," and his pathetic pander to Southerners.

This is why Clark is catching him.
20 posted on 01/08/2004 6:52:35 AM PST by Guillermo (All Puns Intended)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
Dean saying he's uncomfortable talking about religion because he's from the Northeast and his people don't talk openly about religion...

My Mother, a Wellesley grad from Lawrence,MA apparently never got the "Don't ask/ Don't tell" memo on religious discussion among northerners...or maybe Catholics are exempt?

21 posted on 01/08/2004 6:57:02 AM PST by Dutchgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Hillary's Folly
Said Dean:

"I really enjoyed the part about Moses sailing the Ark of the Covenant around and saving the animals. And I really enjoyed the part about Jesus being resurrected. But gosh, who knew that Jesus was hispanic?"

22 posted on 01/08/2004 6:59:05 AM PST by Enterprise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
Yes, we southerners wear our religion on our sleeves. It's honest and defines who we are. We are comfortable with it. Northeasterners must be equally uncomfortable with their religion crammed down their pants.

I'm sick of these insults.
23 posted on 01/08/2004 7:00:17 AM PST by whereasandsoforth (tagged for migratory purposes only)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
IOW Dr. Dean is figuring he can be briefed into sincerity. If clinton could feel your pain, dean must think he could feel your religion.
24 posted on 01/08/2004 7:01:21 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Balding_Eagle
'Bearing false witness' was first mentioned when Moses came down from the mountain top with the stone tablets. Solomon's Proverbs have their precedence in Genesis.

8- )
25 posted on 01/08/2004 7:01:33 AM PST by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Guillermo
The folks in Iowa are famous for their contrariness when it comes time to vote and the People in New Hampshire don't suffer fools gladly. I think Dean will lose in both. That will finish his campaign since SC is next. All those poll #'s for him up to this point are fluff since no one starts thinking about the election until it's almost on them. If I'm right it's bad news for Bush as he'll have to run against a more capable Dem.
26 posted on 01/08/2004 7:02:02 AM PST by Arkie2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: alloysteel
CARPET BAGGER .There is a large percentage of folks in the South that hold firmly to the beleif that politics and religion do not mix. Thar 'aint much pulpit poilitic'n goin' on 'round her'.
27 posted on 01/08/2004 7:03:24 AM PST by ping jockey (It only takes $.13 to do the job correctly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Arkie2
Bush does not want to run against Clark.

Clark might beat him, because Clark will run to the right of Lefty Bushy.
29 posted on 01/08/2004 7:07:39 AM PST by Guillermo (All Puns Intended)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
It is indeed tough, being born with a silver spoon in your mouth, never having to mingle with the unwashed masses, and then when you decide you want to be president, you have to actually speak to those people. It is too much, wanting power and the only way to get it is via the unwashed masses votes. One should not have to stoop to begging for votes from such people. How horrible.
30 posted on 01/08/2004 7:08:01 AM PST by cynicom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: billorites
LOL! That is the funniest thing I have seen in awhile.

(I'm going to steal it if you don't mind.)

If somebody skilled in Photoshop used the Michelangelo or the Gustave Dore version of this episode - or one of the old German engravings with Christ in the clouds saying, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest!" (so that Paul's face is towards the viewer) it would be a relatively easy matter to strip in Howie's face . . . wish I had the smarts to do it . . .

31 posted on 01/08/2004 7:09:54 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
In other words, Dean's New England excuse is just another backhand to the poor voters he courts.

Only 'cuz the Yankees still have all our jewelry and silverware.

32 posted on 01/08/2004 7:10:29 AM PST by 4CJ (Dialing 911 doesn't stop a crime - a .45 does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Guillermo
Bush beats any of the Dim candidates easily, just some more than others.
33 posted on 01/08/2004 7:16:23 AM PST by Arkie2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2; All
If Clark gets the nod...

Yup... I'm smelling this too. The Clintons want him bad 'cause he's their suck puppet. Dean won't dance to their tune. Clark will place 3'rd in Iowa and 2'nd in NH... not bad and still in striking range. A win in SC and he becomes a real boil on Deans ass. >>JMHO

34 posted on 01/08/2004 7:20:37 AM PST by johnny7 (“If you are being murdered, raped or molested... please hold... ”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
You sure can't talk about God on this northern campus, at least not in front of professors. They are extremely uneasy. It's as bad as talking good about Bush (smile).
35 posted on 01/08/2004 7:22:47 AM PST by Marysecretary (,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: cynicom
Well, he is a doctor after all. He's seen much more of the unwashed masses than most of us have. He's still a jerk.
36 posted on 01/08/2004 7:25:28 AM PST by Marysecretary (,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
Dean saying he's uncomfortable talking about religion because he's from the Northeast and his people don't talk openly about religion

Those who have been touched by the Holy Spirit are never uncomfortable about religion. "His" people must lack this experience. Its the vocation not the location that matters.

37 posted on 01/08/2004 7:26:46 AM PST by kidd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blueflag
'Bearing false witness' was first mentioned when Moses came down from the mountain top with the stone tablets. Solomon's Proverbs have their precedence in Genesis.

Except that would be Exodus.

38 posted on 01/08/2004 7:28:23 AM PST by nepdap
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2
Unfortunately, Iowa uses a causus system that rewards organization and money rather than a primary system that reflects actual votes. Since Ashley Wilkes Clark is skipping the Iowa caucus, Doc Howie is quite likely to win decisively there.

When it comes to the general election, that is a whole new ball game!
39 posted on 01/08/2004 7:28:38 AM PST by RebelBanker (Deo Vindice)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: nepdap
Except that would be Exodus.

I firmly believe that all Bible citations on public forums should be allowed a plus or minus one book tolerance.

Of course, in Howie's case, that would need to be expanded to plus or minus one testament. :=)

40 posted on 01/08/2004 7:40:38 AM PST by Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: nepdap
Moses' and 'bearing false witness' is indeed Exodus 20:16, but I guess I over-abbreviated my post.

Bearing fasle witness as a phrase does not have its origins in Proverbs, but rather with Moses receiving the 9th commandment from God. That was my first point.

Second point was about Solomon's wisdom going back to mankind's original perfect relationship with God -- in Genesis.

I can see how my post implied error. I'll be more precise in the future. ;-)
41 posted on 01/08/2004 7:42:15 AM PST by Blueflag (Res ipsa loquitor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: RebelBanker
When someone saves your life and is the center of your life, then you don't just "talk" about HIM...Jesus is VITAL to me like blood is to my heart pumping - for Dean to try and "put on Jesus" is beyond an insult - but then, he'll have to face Jesus someday and that will be Dean's biggest problem...
42 posted on 01/08/2004 7:48:05 AM PST by princess leah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: kidd
Does the spirit speak to you as it did the 3000 or so that were baptized at pentecost?
43 posted on 01/08/2004 7:54:26 AM PST by ping jockey (It only takes $.13 to do the job correctly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
Professing themselves to be wise
they became fools

Romans 1.22
44 posted on 01/08/2004 7:56:10 AM PST by tubebender (Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2
Just gotta ask yourself how much more of his Crap is his base going to take...

Discretionary spending growing at a rate 3 times faster than under Clinton (Over 10% growth per year)

$480 Billion deficits.

A $400 Billion (projected, actual costs will probably be closer to $4 trillion) over 10 years, brand spanking new entitlement program.

Campaign Finance Reform.

Billions in new Federal spending on Education.

Amnesty for 10 million+ Illegals (did the speech with the Mexican Gov't officials on stage make you want to puke as well?)
45 posted on 01/08/2004 7:57:49 AM PST by Guillermo (All Puns Intended)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: princess leah
...but then, he'll have to face Jesus someday and that will be Dean's biggest problem...

I wholeheartedly agree, but must point out that the general election is likely to be a somewhat more immediate problem for him even if it does pale in comparison.

BTW, I am not sure I follow the connection from my post to yours. I do not mind at all, but must admit that you seem to have thrown me a bit of a non-sequitor.

46 posted on 01/08/2004 7:57:56 AM PST by RebelBanker (Deo Vindice)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: PistolPaknMama; stainlessbanner
"he ain't from around here."

Thats the truth. The more he talks,,,the worse it gets.

47 posted on 01/08/2004 8:01:22 AM PST by SCDogPapa (In Dixie Land I'll take my stand to live and die in Dixie)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Guillermo
I've already said on this forum that I have no intention of voting for Bush. At best he's Dem light. I do think however that his reelection is pretty much a done deal.
48 posted on 01/08/2004 8:08:15 AM PST by Arkie2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Blueflag
Total agreement on both of your points -- we're on the same side here! :-)
49 posted on 01/08/2004 8:31:13 AM PST by nepdap
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Arkie2
I am with you Arkie2.

As sick as it may be I am actually considering voting Democrap this time as GWB has proved that he is a 100 times more liberal than any demofilth.

So far his tax cut & excellent handling of the Iraq event are the only thing he has done that I agree with.

Just like Clinton he is selling out the American people for his own personal advancement. IMHO GWB is a truly evil person and even though I voted for him in 2000 it will not happen again.
50 posted on 01/08/2004 8:44:52 AM PST by Cardini
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-60 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson