Skip to comments.[Katherine]Harris' religion comments draw fire
Posted on 08/27/2006 10:20:17 AM PDT by dukeman
MIAMI -- 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 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.
Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, adding that separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."
"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris added.
Among those critical of the comments were U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, and State Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton. Both are Jewish.
Wasserman Schultz told the Orlando Sentinel that she was "disgusted" by the comments, and Slosberg demanded an apology.
Republicans also criticized Harris, calling the comments offensive and not representative of the party.
"Congresswoman Harris encourages Americans from all walks of life and faith to participate in our government," said a brief statement from Harris' campaign, responding to the criticism. "She continues to be an unwavering advocate of religious rights and freedoms."
Harris' opponents in the Sept. 5 GOP Senate primary also gave interviews to the Florida Baptist Witness but made more general statements on their faith.
The interview also included Harris' reasons for running and response to issues like stem cell research, the Terri Schiavo case and other topics.
She sounds like a straight talker. She goes to a Baptist church and tells them about sin. Is it anyu different than Hitlery talking about the plantation owners? She just came down on the non "PC" side of things, that's all
This woman is an embarrasment. No wonder the administration wouldn't back her. Hey I don't believe in the separation of church & state the way the left and ACLU have made it either but that doesn't mean it's because I think somebody is going to pass "sinful" laws I just think we shouldn't have God elimintaed like the ACLU has managed to do.
For once Harris gets it right. Of course Christian is a little bit limiting, especially considering the Jews but also other sincere people of faith. But her points are correct.
The MSM is out to destroy Rep. Harris.
> I'm curious to see the complete questions posed and the complete answers given by Harris.
Maybe, but "If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin" is a dumb and offensive thing to say. This is a slap to moral Jews with conservative values. I can't think of a context in which this statement would be OK. Can you?
No doubt about it. They are threatened by God-fearing people.
The lefts Political Correctness propaganda is nothing but the forced acceptance of all sin.
Good for her. She's a keeper!
Here is the link to the article.
Why are you the best-qualified candidate? And I have proven that I will not kowtow to the media and all the pressure. I wont kowtow to even the part of the elite in my own party when they want to do something thats not right for Florida. And I think that I have a history that proves Im not going to do whats popular. I am going to do whats right. The other candidates have no records and while they have certain stands there is no evidence that they are going to be able to stand as I have proven.
What is your personal religious faith?
I am Christian.
Are you involved in a local place of worship? If so, in what way?
Calvary Chapel in Sarasota is my base. I grew up as a Presbyterian, in the PCA (the USA is more liberal), and here I attend the Calvary Chapel. My heritage, my grandfather was a missionary in Africa and my aunt and uncle were missionaries in India and now they head up Arab World Missions. My brother-in-law is a Christian singer who has won number one song of the year, every year, his name is Wes King. So, I had a godly family. But I think what changed me the most was I had a chance to study under Dr. Francis Schaeffer. I studied under him at LAbris. So, its a faith that is active and real and not just on paper. Its the most important thing in my life.
Some day all of us have to give an account before God for what we have done. Are you certain in your own heart that when you come to that point of accounting that youll spend eternity with God in Heaven?
One day when you stand before God, if He says to you, Why should I let you into my Heaven? What you would say in response?
Thats an interesting question. Because I loved Your Son and because I know He died for my sins. I know He was resurrected at Your right hand and I served Him. You know were covered with, our sins are covered with His blood and so we are blameless before Him. We are as white as snow.
How does your faith impact the way you view your responsibilities as a public official?
They animate. Clearly, I wish I could tell you I never made a mistake in my walk every day, but in terms of my votes, my faith and my actions have to animate everything I do. I sponsored and passed the parental consent bill in the Florida Senate. The first time it has ever passed the Florida Senate. I have a 100 percent voting record with the Christian Coalition. I have a 100 percent voting record with the traditional values groups. Bill Nelson will have a 0-20 percent. Bill voted against the partial-birth abortion ban. He voted against the marriage between a man and a woman, not once, but twice. He voted against the Lacey and Connor act which would say that if you murder a pregnant woman its a double murder. He voted against parental consent and he voted against Judge Alito, which is really remarkable. A representative of Florida.
What role do you think people of faith should play in politics and government?
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 arent involved in helping godly men in getting elected than were going to have a nation of secular laws. Thats not what our founding fathers intended and thats certainly isnt what God intended. So its really important that members of the church know peoples stands. Its really important that they get involved in campaigns. I said Im going to run a campaign of integrity. Im not going to run it like all of the campaigns that Ive seen before . And you know, its hard to find people that are gonna behave that way in a campaign and be honorable that way in a campaign. But thats why we need the faithful and we need to take back this country. Its time that the churches get involved. Pastors, from the pulpit, can invite people to speak, not on politics, but of their faith. But they can discern, they can ask those people running for election, in the pulpit, what is your position on gay marriage? What is your position on abortion? That is totally permissible in 5013C organizations. They simply cannot endorse from the pulpit. And thats why Ive gone to churches and Ive spoken in four churches, five churches a day on Sunday and people line up afterwards because its so important that they know. And if we dont get involved as Christians then how could we possibly take this back?
Do you support civil rights protections on the basis of sexual preference?
Civil rights have to do with individual rights and I dont think they apply to the gay issues. I have not supported gay marriage and I do not support any civil rights actions with regard to homosexuality.
Do you support a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as being only between one man and one woman? Why or why not?
I fully support a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as being only between one man and one woman. I have voted in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment because we should not undermine the uniqueness of an institution that continues to serve as an essential thread in the fabric of our society.
Do you support the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment?
Absolutely. I have signed on the amendment, I have promoted the amendment. I have stood with them and done press conferences for that amendment and no other candidate has in the primary or the general. They may have signed it but obviously not done press conferences and such.
Setting aside for the moment the public policy questions related to abortion, is abortion a moral evil? Why or why not?
Yes. Because its a life, its a life. Life begins at conception.
What public policy limits on abortion have you supported or will you support in order to decrease the number of abortions in our nation?
First and foremost, one of the most important things we can do is encourage abstinence in the schools. Thats really important. The Promise Keepers and some of the things that theyve been able to do with dads and their daughters, its really important. We need to do more, so much more, with adoption and counseling so that women really know what is at stake and the opportunities that exist and have such opportunity for adoption. Because many of the couples throughout the country, they go abroad because that just isnt available and abortion is so readily available. Clearly I would only, from a public policy standpoint, I would limit abortion to rape and life of the mother and incest, but for my personal standpoint, I would not have an abortion for any of those cases.
What is your view of Gov. Bushs efforts on behalf of Terri Schiavo?
Well, we voted in the United States House of Representatives to preserve her life. I voted to support her life. I supported (Bushs) efforts. I took a more pro-active stance than any primary or general election candidate because I actually voted to support her life.
Is there something wrong with Florida and federal statutes when a severely brain-damaged woman whos not in the process of dying can be starved and dehydrated to death by her husband with the assistance of the courts?
Its unconscionable. Having a feeding tube and being hydrated are not life-sustaining. If that were the case then youd have to take a look at prisoners. I mean, we provide them food and hydration. It is unconscionable. That is normal living. That is what we require to live and to allow that kind of death was truly devastating.
Should food and water be defined as extraordinary care, thus permitting such care to be denied to persons like Terri Schiavo?
Its not extraordinary care or we should take a look at our own life.
What is your view on state funding of embryonic stem cell research?
I am adamantly opposed to embryonic stem cell research and voted as such. Im the only candidate in the primary or general whos voted against embryonic stem cell research and has voted for cord blood research and adult stem cell research. Weve had enormous successes with nasal cells, other things in terms of adult stem cell research as well as cord blood. There are no successes for embryonic. That is why the private sector is not involved and there is no justification for taking a live embryo and destroying it.
Why should Florida Baptists care about this primary election?
They should care about this election period. I will tell you that everywhere I go throughout the state and even the nation, people say the pollsters, the politicians and spirituallythat Florida is the forerunner state. That what happens in Florida sets the trend for what happens nationally. And with this election, if Bill Nelson wins, its going to be a very frightening proposition in 2008 in the presidential elections because whoever wins Florida will win the presidency. And hell be in a position to largely influence. No other candidate can beat Bill Nelson except for me. No one even has a chance because of name identification and fund raising abilities and things like that. But 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 youre 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 dont know better, we are leading them astray and its wrong. ...
Hillary Clinton praised the President's approval of RU486 as a decision that the administration "finally got right". I am astouned at the decision but not the least but surprised at the dim's view on it. The greatest hypocrisy of the left is they deplore the execution of serial killers but do not so much as blink at the killing of the unborn or the euthanasia of the terminally ill.
> Of course Christian is a little bit limiting, especially considering the Jews but also other sincere people of faith.
This is the problem. You don't build alliances with fellow moral people of faith by saying all except your faith is legislating sin. Dumb.
Would she go to a synagogue and say the same thing?
She should ask her detractors what is inaccurate about her statements.
Ya think? She just took a colossal dump all over them.
She may be right, but her rhetoric is absolutely looney. I'm a big religious socon, but I have a tough time stomaching what she says. We need her to lose the primary or else this race is way gone.
You are wasting your time with some of the posters on FR that will never admit anything Harris says is wrong. Why they worship her is beyond me when the folks that know her best cannot stand her and don't think her comments help any Republican running in Florida.
It is crucial that she win that nomination.
Her bigoted and outrageous comments will ensure she does not. She is now branded an extreme fundamentalist and has lost the moderate conservatives.
If I was in Fla I wouln't vote for her. If I want the Taliban, I'll go to the Midle East.
Seperation of State and church only works if atheists, agnostics stop pushing their views on others who dont share it.
Since they dont, they hide behind a secular state when Christians push back.
Harris is spot on with her comments.
There is no more conservative person on this earth than Ben Stein. He is a Jewish attorney, educated at Yale's Law school. By all rights, he should be a flaming liberal, yet he espouses every single principle of conservatism. I do take issue with Catherine's viewpoint that only Christians can prevent the embracing of the culture of sin.
The Costitution of the United States of America says she is wrong. Read it someday (Article IV and Amendment I).
Why they worship her is beyond me when the folks that know her best cannot stand her and don't think her comments help any Republican running in Florida.
That is very true. She has cemented her political tomb.
How about this? "Are you saying, Congesswoman Harris, that electing a Jew to Congress or the Senate is promoting sin?" Or how about this? "Congresswoman Harris, are you advocating an amendment to remove Article VI, Section 3 from the Constitution?" Or maybe this"? "Mrs. Harris, if elected will you refuse to work with Jewish Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) since you believe he promotes sin?" You don't suppose she might get hit with one of those?
What if she had used the term "Godly candidates" instead of Christians?
Would that have pacified all the anti-Christian bigots?
I already know the answer ....
You got that right. Harris is a loose cannon who gives ammunition to conservative detractors.
Mother Nature is not happy with Harris' outrageous statements. She is sending Ernesto to Florida for a little talk with Katherine!
In the context of a theological discussion it is accurate and okay. In the context of getting yourself elected, it is imprudent. She could have said something like "Judeo-Christian moral principles...."
Perhaps. But it might have pissed off all the anti-Jewish bigots.
People often use Christian for Judeo-Christian. Morally the two are inseparable.
The distinction is not between Christian and Other, it is between people of faith and people of anti-faith. Issues like this are thus not always great for soundbites, and are usually covered in religion journals, where the distinctions can be drawn. But anyone using their brain knows Harris isn't talking about favoring 'Christians' like Clinton or excluding Jews, et al. That's CLEARLY not the point.
Would she go to a synagogue and say the same thing?
She should. The 10 Commandments are in the Old Testament.
I agree with her. I wish we had someone who could say things like that and was also electable.
So you think getting up in front of the Rabbi and the congregation and telling them that electing anyone but Christians to office is promoting sin will go over well?
Harris is clearly going out of her way to exclude Jews .... ????
You are dealing in hypotheticals.
You have no idea what she would say in front of a rabbi, you are making it up.
Give it up, it is a very liberal way of debating.
Her point was the avocation of sin, and she's right. Her Christianity puts her on the side of the Torah, where the lefts religion of Political Correctness puts them in opposition of the Torah.
Political Correctness is 100% left wing. It's 100% anti-Commandments. It's 100% anti-Torah.
At least she's on their side.
"If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if youre not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin." They apparently being everyone else.
Rep. Harris is out to destroy Rep. Harris, and she's making a remarkably good job of it. Her assertion that only her brand of Christianity is correct and that it deserves favored treatment is ludicrous.
Her claim was anyone other than a Christian is an advocate of sin. And she's stupid for saying so. And in a little over four months she'll be back home in Florida wondering what to do with the rest of her life now that her political career is over.
Well if she gets up in front of the Congregation and says electing anyone but a Christian or a Jew to office is promoting sin then she's lying to one congregation or the other. Not a very Christian act, wouldn't you agree?
This must mean that Katherine Harris is shaping up to be a real Statesman, or is it Stateswoman, and not just your average career politician. If I were a Floridian, she would definitely get my vote.
Both Christians and Jews worship the God of Abraham. They follow the same Commandments. They both use the Old Testament as well.
The left uses none of these. The left makes it a point to reject these things. They advocate, as well as legislate, the acceptance of all sin and rejection of the teachings of Judaism and Christianity.
"Perhaps. But it might have pissed off all the anti-Jewish bigots."
Religious bigotry has then all covered but there seems to be a special place (hate) in their hearts for Jews and Christians bold enough to suggest any sort of morality or standards.
The position of an increasingly radical Dem party/Left wing has been moving towards the branding of conservatives of faith as PRO-THEOCRACY.
And now: "conservatives are the Taliban".
It's important to keep this in mind as we critique our own. Allow the benefit of doubt unless reason or past history dictates otherwise. A Christian speaking to Christians might overlook mentioning Jews ... Mormons .... Hindus .... ?Muslims? ... Buddhists .... whoever else would feel slighted ....
She should run for office in Iran.
I'ts more her style......and she'd prolly have a better chance of winning.
(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo! )
From what I've seen and heard Harris deserves a forum of power in DC.
America needs her.
'Well if she gets up in front of the Congregation and says electing anyone but a Christian or a Jew to office is promoting sin then she's lying to one congregation or the other. Not a very Christian act, wouldn't you agree?
Again you are dealing in hypotheticals.
Supporting Christianity is not necessarily anti-jewish, unless you are getting your arguments straight from ACLU, ADL in which case you need to get real.
The Iranians reject Judaism and Christianity. They'd vote against Ms. Harris, but they'd support a democrat without question.
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