The Island of Doubt

Katherine Harris: Idiot Incarnate

Can someone please carry out a fact check on Katherine Harris’ resume? Because I have to wonder about any institution that would bestow a degree on someone so ignorant of just about everything. Joan took a whack at her in the Refugee, but I want to grab the torch and run with it.

What prompted this outburst was an interview the Republican candidate for one of Florida’s Senate seats gave to the Florida Baptist Witness. Just about every word she uttered was an offence to reason and sanity. But to remain calm, I’ll just settle on just one part:

Question: What role do you think people of faith should play in politics and government?

The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers.

First, I think it’s hysterical that Katherine Harris believes God chooses our rulers. Surely, after all the laws she violated overseeing the federal election in Florida in 2000, she knows that that’s the Supreme Court’s job?

Seriously though, I’ve come across many a comment that misrepresents Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state, but it’s been a while since I heard it called a “lie” that we’ve “internalized.”

For the record, the wall was put there for a reason, specifically to protect religious orders from the heavy hand of a government corrupted by other, competing, faiths. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for Baptists and other evangelicals to understand that it’s in their own best interest to maintain that wall. I know they’re not all morons — I’m engaged in a rather provocative and challenging debate over Christian theology with an in-law right now and I know she understands her history rather well. So what’s Harris’ problem?

I always like to trot out the Treaty of Tripoli, which the august body Harris wants to join ratified on June 7, 1797, with nary a word of dissent. Article 11 of said treaty says:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

Now, let’s look at Harris’ resume. Her website lists a master’s degree from Harvard University with a specialization in international trade and negotiations, and a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Agnes Scott College. She also allegedly studied at the University of Madrid and at L’Abri Switzerland.

I’m not trying to imply that Harris is knowingly misrepresenting the Treaty of Tripoli. Just because she has a masters in international negotiation, there’s no reason to assume that she’s aware of every treaty the U.S. has ever signed. But she clearly cares enough about the church-state relationship to call Jefferson’s wall a “lie,” so I think it fair to call her on it.

The saving grace is knowing Harris is so far behind in the polls, the chance she’ll actually get into the U.S. Senate can’t be measured by an electron microscope. So why am I bothering with this rant? I have no idea. It’s Friday.

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    August 25, 2006

    From reading the Harris quote you include, I can not see her earning a MA anywhere, let alone Harvard. Do we have any fact checkers around? This can not be true! The toughts she expressed here are at a jr. high level, and I should apologoze to all the Jr high kids that are better than this!

  2. #2 somnilista, FCD
    August 25, 2006

    thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers.

    She’s getting that from Romans 13:

    [1] Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    [2] Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
    [3] For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    [4] For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
    [5] Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
    [6] For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
    [7] Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

    For the record, the wall was put there for a reason, specifically to protect religious orders from the heavy hand of a government corrupted by other, competing, faiths. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for Baptists and other evangelicals to understand that it’s in their own best interest to maintain that wall.

    Amen, particularly considering the role of Baptists in establishing that wall.

    As Robert Ingersoll said:

    There is one thing, however, that is strange indeed, and that
    is that the reformers of those days, the men who rose against the
    horrid tyranny of the times, the moment they attained power,
    persecuted with a zeal and bitterness never excelled. Luther, one
    of the grand men of the world, cast in the heroic mould, although
    he gave utterance to the following sublime sentiment: “Every one
    has the right to read for himself that he may prepare himself to
    live and to die,” still had no idea of what we call religious
    freedom. He considered universal toleration an error, so did
    Melancthon, and Erasmus, and yet, strange as it may appear, they
    were exercising the very right they denied to others, and
    maintaining their right with a courage and energy absolutely
    sublime.

    John Knox was only in favor of religious freedom when he was
    in the minority, and Baxter entertained the same sentiment.

  3. #3 Pierre Caron
    August 25, 2006

    Here’s a statistic that is seldom obvious to those who wish to have religios to tear down the wall: 24.5% of Americans are Catholic, 16.3% are Baptists. Imagine if John Kennedy’s administration had imposed a manditory pledge by kids in school to the pope! I wonder if KH would still complain about the separation.

  4. #4 Anon
    November 6, 2006

    Ahh, I knew if I Googled “Katherine Harris idiot” I would find something good…thanks for your post!

  5. #5 D_E_R_M_A_N
    April 25, 2009

    thank you

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