By Patrick Hynes
December 16, 2010
The head of a pro-family political group in New Hampshire accused the New Hampshire Democratic Party of “religious intolerance” on Thursday for criticizing a Christian state legislator for conducting what it called “a religious tirade” as a Christian gathering in September.
Democratic spokeswoman Harrell Kirstien accused Republican State Rep. David Bates of attempting to impose a “Bible belt social agenda” after video surfaced of Bates saying “the only hope for America” is to “turn from our wicked ways and ask god to heal our land” and “the problem we have here in this country and in all of our states is that we no longer fear god” at New England Solemn Assembly in Plymouth Massachusetts.
Now Kevin Smith, head of Cornerstone Policy Research, is calling on the Democratic Party to apologize for the attack.
“The NHDP’s mischaracterization of Representative Bates’ faith are not only rooted in religious bigotry, but represents the height of hypocrisy for a party that supposedly prides itself in being tolerant of other’s beliefs,” Smith said. “ The NHDP owes Rep. Bates and the hundreds of thousands of Christians in this state an apology for his truly offensive and ignorant remarks.”
“No elected official, whether Republican or Democrat, should have to endure such bigoted remarks from a political party simply because they express their religious faith in a public forum,” continued Smith. “Mr. Kirstein ought to re-read the first amendment to the US Constitution and realize all people are guaranteed the freedom of religion, whether he agrees with their beliefs or not.”