if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.
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Sat Aug 26, 7:51 PM ET
MIAMI - U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris (news, bio, voting record)
told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie"
and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws." The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will
"legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.
Harris made the comments — which she clarified Saturday — in the
Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist
State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.
Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris
said in the interview, published Thursday, saying 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 said.
Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans
who called them offensive and not representative of the party.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is Jewish, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was "disgusted" by the comments.
Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been
"speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government."
The comments reflected "her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian
values," the statement said, adding that Harris had previously
supported pro- Israel legislation and legislation recognizing the Holocaust.
Harris' opponents in the GOP primary also gave interviews to the
Florida Baptist Witness but made more general statements on their faith.
Harris, 49, faced widespread criticism for her role overseeing the 2000 presidential recount as Florida's secretary of state.
State GOP leaders — including Gov. Jeb Bush don't think she can win against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson (news, bio, voting record)
in November. Fundraising has lagged, frustrated campaign workers have defected in droves and the issues have been overshadowed by news of her dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions.
On the Net:
Florida Baptist Witness:
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It doesn't matter who runs this country or from what religion. Love is love no matter who experiences it. We cannot help that we are gay. We did not choose homosexuality. We have to break away from the religious Right Wing conservative idea that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman.
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