Cal  Thomas

Then there is Howard Dean, who recently revealed his intention to talk more about Jesus (saints, preserve us). Campaigning in Iowa, Dean was asked his favorite New Testament book. "Job," he responded, joking that he has recently identified with Job's travails (he didn't say if he identified with Job's loss of his children, property and farm animals or Job's boils and sitting on a dung heap).

After apparently discovering in his hotel room Gideon Bible that Job is not in the New Testament, but in the Old, Dean corrected himself. Matthew, Mark, Luke and Job? Sounds right, doesn't it? Hey, we're not talking Dan Quayle and potatoe vs. potato here. Most reporters don't care about religion, especially when a Democrat is theologically off base. Even the New York Times columnist William Safire, of Jewish background, weighed in on this one, saying some rabbis believe the end of Job was "added" later to make God look just. This is getting too deep for me.

Could we please return to the issues and put everyone back in the camp with which he is most familiar? Otherwise, politicians and religious leaders are asking for jokes like the one from Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said, "Maybe Pat (Robertson) got a message from (Bush political advisor) Karl Rove and thought it was from God."

The best political joke of the season (so far) comes from Mark Russell, who observed that Saddam Hussein emerged from his hole and saw his shadow, which means we will have four more years of George Bush. That is a far more believable and defensible "prophecy" than Pat Robertson's dial-a-prayer "answer" from the Lord.

Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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