Jonah Goldberg

That's just the beginning of his intellectual and theological loop-d-loop. He said, "I'm a New Englander, so I'm not used to wearing religion on my sleeve and being as open about it." That's funny considering New England's been chock-a-block with religious hotheads since the days of Cotton Mather. Indeed, New England's currently being torn apart by religious disagreements on gay bishops, gay unions, gay marriage and all sorts of other things gay and religious.

Dean was in a good position to know this since, he signed Vermont's civil unions law when he was governor. At the time, Dean was immune to the theological ramifications of such issues. Indeed, he had left the Episcopal Church earlier in his career because it opposed his plan to build a lakeside bike path. He felt that the church's anti-bike-path position was "not very Godlike."

Which brings us to the issue of God and gays. Recall that Dean had said as recently as November that "My religion doesn't inform my public policy." But last week he said, "My view of Christianity . is that the hallmark of being a Christian is to reach out to people who have been left behind. So I think there was a religious aspect to my decision to support civil unions." So I guess imposing civil unions doesn't count as public policy.

Again asked to explain himself, he said in effect that it wouldn't be very godlike for God to make gays and then not want them to get together. "From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people." OK, I guess. But if that's the case, why is Dean opposed to gay marriage?

When Chris Matthews asked him that question, Dean replied "because marriage is very important to a lot of people who are pretty religious." So God made people gay so they could have civil unions but not marriages? And: religion has no role in public policy, except when either A) it tells Dean to allow civil unions or B) when other "pretty religious" people are really opposed to something?

In his - shall we say godlike - arrogance, Dean thinks anything that leaves his mouth must be wise. But in reality, true wisdom lies in taking his no-doubt well-pedicured foot out of his mouth.

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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