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St. Job the Baptist and the Three Little Pigs

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 04, 2004

Sad, isn't it, to watch a cripple toss away his crutches, take two timid steps, and then tumble face-foreward onto the pavement. A story in this morning's Washington Post shows Howard Dean trying to find his voice on religion. His prat fall confirms Phil's point in last week's post below.

Dean said he prays daily and has read the Bible from cover to cover. "If there was one experience that deepened my religious faith," Dean said Saturday, "it was the capture of my brother [in Laos] almost 30 years ago."

He rarely attends church services, unless it is for a political event. When he talks about Jesus, he usually focuses on Christianity's teachings about helping the poor and less fortunate.

When asked Friday night about his favorite book of the New Testament, he cited Job, about a righteous man whose faith was tested mightily by God through great suffering. After thinking about the scripture, Dean pointed out an hour later that Job is from the Old Testament. Dean said Job reinforces the uncomfortable fact of life that "terrible things can happen to very good people for no good reason."

Neither Dean nor the reporters covering his campaign seem entirely certain when they're holding the Bible upside-down and when they're not, but that's pretty much par for the course. You'll remember Hillary Clinton declared in 1992 that her favorite book of Holy Scripture was "The Beatitudes," and there was the hastily withdrawn "New Covenant" Democratic slogan coined by party operatives innocently unaware that the phrase had been used before. Still, everyone understands the motives behind the electoral My-Religion-Is-Important-To-Me farce -- like Europeans fumbling with chopsticks at an interracial wedding reception, the mild humiliation is interpreted benignly as part of a gesture of tactical good will.

It would be a treat were Dean to share his daily prayer, though.

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