Salazar's 'Antichrist' Flap Spotlights Judicial Battle

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 29, 2005 | Go to article overview

Salazar's 'Antichrist' Flap Spotlights Judicial Battle


Byline: Valerie Richardson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

DENVER - The Antichrist has long been understood in Christianity as the human agent who will rise up against Christ and bring about the end of the world.

Less clear is his position on President Bush's judicial appointments. Even so, there was Sen. Ken Salazar, Colorado Democrat, now embroiled in a public spat with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson over judicial nominees, describing the Christian group as "the Antichrist."

"From my point of view, they are the Antichrist of the world," Mr. Salazar said in an interview Tuesday with KKTV-TV in Colorado Springs. The remark, which Mr. Salazar later retracted, comes at the apex of a feud between the first-term Democrat and the powerful evangelical Christian organization over the group's campaign to pressure Senate Democrats into allowing a floor vote on Mr. Bush's judicial nominees.

Mr. Salazar, who has sided with Democrats in their filibuster threat, issued a statement Wednesday saying he regretted using the term "Antichrist," but not much else.

"After being relentlessly attacked in telephone calls, e-mails, newspapers and radio stations all across Colorado, having my faith questioned, and having my wife's business picketed as part of these attacks, I spoke about Jim Dobson and his efforts and used the term 'the anti-Christ' " Mr. Salazar said.

"I regret having used that term," he said. "I meant to say this approach was un-Christian, meaning self-serving and selfish."

Tom Minnery, Focus' vice president of government and public policy, called the Antichrist remark "suspect theology," adding that he was glad Mr. Salazar had retracted it. "It's overheated rhetoric, and it's beneath a U.

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