Monday, January 05, 2004


Everyone's favorite angry candidate Howard Dean has stuck his foot in his mouth again. Dean has gotten Jesus lately, and was asked what his favorite New Testament book is:
Asked his favorite New Testament book, Dr. Dean named Job, adding: "But I don't like the way it ends." "Some would argue, you know, in some of the books of the New Testament, the ending of the Book of Job is different," he said. "I think, if I'm not mistaken, there's one book where there's a more optimistic ending, which we believe was tacked on later."...

An hour after his comments, Dr. Dean returned to the clutch of reporters, saying he realized he had misspoken because Job is not in the New Testament.

"Many people believe that the original version of Job is the version where there is not a change, Job ends up completely destitute and ruined," he said. "It's been a long time since I looked at this, but it's believed that was added much, much later. Many people believe that the original ending was about the power of God and the power of God was almighty and all knowing and it wasn't necessary that everybody was going to be redeemed."

Asked again about his favorite part of the New Testament, Dr. Dean said, "Anything in the Gospels."

A much safer answer.

Dean's press secretary assures us that Dean is not really an expert on these things (no kidding!):
His press secretary, Doug Thornell, telephoned late Friday night to say that Dr. Dean did not mean to imply he was some kind of expert.

"He obviously has read the Bible and knows the passages fairly well," Mr. Thornell said, "but just in terms of having a theologian's knowledge of the Bible, he doesn't want to pass on the impression that he does."

That's not the way the good doctor had portrayed it earlier, of course:
Touring with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Dr. Dean also visited Galilee, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. "If you know much about the Bible — which I do — to see and be in a place where Christ was and understand the intimate history of what was going on 2,000 years ago is an exceptional experience," he said.

But it all shows the dangers of becoming religious because of tracking polls. Dean's religious past is certainly less than stellar:
Dr. Dean grew up spending Sundays in an Episcopal church, and attended religious boarding school, but became a Congregationalist after the Episcopal church he belonged to in Burlington, Vt., refused to yield land for a bike path around Lake Champlain that he championed. His wife is Jewish and their children observe both traditions, though the family stopped attending services years ago after scolding sermons about once-a-year attendees.

The campaign has brought Dr. Dean back to the pews, clapping along with hymns in African-American churches from Harlem to San Francisco. At a Hanukkah party for his staff last month in Manchester, N.H., Dr. Dean proudly chanted the blessing over the candles in well-accented Hebrew and then repeated it for an Israeli television crew.

The best part of the whole thing is to know there's some good preaching going on at the synagogue!

I read this to a good round of chuckles at my Bible class on the Captivity and Return last night. At least Dean's good for something.

[Scrappleface sees Dean's gaffe as a golden opportunity.]

[Original link via Drudge]

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