Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dean:"There are no bars to heaven for anybody"

Has Howard Dean become the Democrats' chief theologian? Will universalism become a part of the Democrat party platform? Who knew they had a position on salvation:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean came out for inclusive team prayers in public schools while speaking Sunday to a gathering of thousands of Jewish leaders, according to a leading Jewish news agency.

In another statement likely to stir debate among the evangelical Christians his party is urgently trying to court, Dean also asserted “there are no bars to heaven for anybody,” according to the report by JTA, a 90-year-old non-profit organization which calls itself “the global news service of the Jewish people.”


A DNC official said the chairman was saying that “Democrats, unlike the Republicans, are an inclusive party, respectful of all people, and he said that prayer in public settings should reflect that.” The official said Dean’s comment about prayer was “not that you can or can’t use Jesus’ name – he was not that specific at all.” The bulk of Dean’s remarks were devoted to “the power that people have to make a change when they work together,” the official said


"This country is not a theocracy," Dean said, according to JTA. "There are fundamental differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party believes that everybody in this room ought to be comfortable being an American Jew, not just an American; that there are no bars to heaven for anybody; that we are not a one-religion nation; and that no child or member of a football team ought to be able to cringe at the last line of a prayer before going onto the field."


"I'm gradually getting more comfortable with talking about religion in ways that I did not talk about it before."
He may want to work on it a bit.

Interesting caricature of the Republican party: a bunch of Christian theocrats who hate Jews and want to bar them from heaven. Talk about over the top rhetoric. It's interesting how he paints this issue of salvation in political colors. What are the Christian left supposed to do if they aren't universalists? Do they still have a place in the Democrat party? He's not knocking the Republicans, he's knocking Christians who believe the truth claim of Jesus:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Way to reach out to the Christian community there, Dean!