John Leo

Q. Didn?t you say that if you don?t get the nomination, your backers would boycott the election?

A. Where do you think those million and a half people, half a million on the Internet, where do you think they?re going to go? I don?t know where they?re going to go. They?re certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician.

Q. Franklin Foer, writing in The New Republic, says you are ?one of the most secular candidates to run for president in modern history.? Would you like to say a few words here about religion?

A. I don?t go to church very often. My religion doesn?t inform my public policy.

Q. It must be a very private and special thing. How do you feel about conservative Christians?

A. I don?t want to listen to the fundamentalist preachers any more. We?ve got to stop voting on guns, God, gays, and school prayer. Democrats should not write off communities of faith,  including evangelicals.

Q. Dr. Dean, a lot of people think that when you do talk about religion it tends to be some vague and gassy mention of ?spirituality? that doesn?t include anything about God or church. I wonder if you could comment on that.

A. We are human, spiritual beings who deserve better consideration as human beings than we are getting from this administration.

Q. I have another religion question, and it?s only fair to warn you that I intend to use the words ?church? and ?God.? When Martin Luther and Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church, powerful and wrenching issues were involved. When you broke with Episcopalianism in the 1980s, the big issue was your church?s opposition to a bike path. Since few of us have found anything in the Bible about God?s position on bike paths, I wonder--

A. Churches are institutions that are about doing the work of God on Earth, and I didn?t think [opposing the bike path] was very God-like and thought it was hypocritical of me to be a member of such an institution.

Q. Bikes matter, Dr. Dean. Columnist Mark Steyn says you represent the passion of the bike-path left. Good luck with this crucial constituency.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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