Your Thursday Morning Republican Juggernaut Update

After famously claiming that“if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin” Katherine Harris tries to patch up her relations withJewish Floridians. In secret, of course.

WEST PALM BEACH — Religion and politics intersected again Wednesday for Senate candidate Katherine Harris.

At a meeting with the West Palm Beach Jewish Community Relations Council, a group that represents one of Florida’s largest Jewish communities, Harris tried to ease concerns over her recent comments — including a statement that “if you’re not electing Christians” then “in essence you are going to legislate sin.”

The meeting was closed to the public, and attendees said they were not allowed to comment on what Harris discussed because of rules placed on nonprofit organizations.

But the Longboat Key Republican congresswoman said she sent the message that she embraces the Jewish faith.

“Everything I believe is predicated on what they (Jews) believe,” she said.

[snip]

[M]ixing politics and Christianity hasn’t been kind to Harris, who drew heat in August after she told religious magazine Florida Baptist Witness that the separation of church and state is a “lie we have been told” and “if you’re not electing Christians” then “in essence you are going to legislate sin.”

The comments angered some Jewish advocacy groups who labeled Harris’s language “bigoted” and demanded sanctions from the Republican Party.

Harris has refused to apologize or retract her statements. But she said Wednesday she does regret the way her statements were interpreted.

She said she set the record straight in her meeting with West Palm Beach Jewish leaders and that none of the 30 or so people in the room seemed angry.

[snip]

But at least one Jewish leader said Harris will not be able to explain away her comments easily.

“She’s got a lot more to do than to say she supports Israel,” said Jeffrey Pasek, president of the Jewish Social Policy Action Committee. He did not attend the meeting. “We need to be reassured that we are equal members of society, not just someone different to be tolerated.”

After Harris was interviewed by Florida Baptist Witness, lawmakers from both parties quickly denounced her statements.

The Republican Party of Florida pointedly said in a late September letter to Pasek’s group in that it does not “condone” Harris’ position.

[snip]

But at least one Jewish leader said Harris will not be able to explain away her comments easily.

“She’s got a lot more to do than to say she supports Israel,” said Jeffrey Pasek, president of the Jewish Social Policy Action Committee. He did not attend the meeting. “We need to be reassured that we are equal members of society, not just someone different to be tolerated.”

After Harris was interviewed by Florida Baptist Witness, lawmakers from both parties quickly denounced her statements.

The Republican Party of Florida pointedly said in a late September letter to Pasek’s group in that it does not “condone” Harris’ position.

[snip]

“It may be grasping at straws at this point” for Harris to meet with Jewish leaders, said Dan A. Smith, an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida.

By meeting with Jewish leaders, Harris might have done damage to her campaign because voters could believe she’s sending different messages to different groups, depending on the circumstances, Smith said.

“She’s made some strong statements, why not stick by them?” he said.

2 thoughts on “Your Thursday Morning Republican Juggernaut Update

  1. At least she’s paying lip service to Israel. We atheists aren’t considered citizens, we aren’t eligible for public office, and are basically hounded at every side by the christofascists. And we don’t have a country of our own to flee to.
    —Aaaargh

  2. “By meeting with Jewish leaders, Harris might have done damage to her campaign…She made some strong comments, why not stick by them”
    Why is it that, in this Dan Smith’s mind anyway, meeting with Jewish leaders is “damaging” to her campaign. And she should stick by her comments that if you’re not electing Christians, you’re somehow sanctioning “sin”? Who is this guy?? He’s supposed to be an associate professor of Political Science, but he sure does come across as a bible thumping Reichwinger. Hey, I’m not supporting Katherine Harris, and while I’m no fan of Bill Nelson either, I hope he cleans her clock on 11/7. I just found Smith’s comments rather odd.

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