Magazine article The Christian Century

Florida's Harris: Church-State Separation Is 'Lie'

Magazine article The Christian Century

Florida's Harris: Church-State Separation Is 'Lie'

Article excerpt

Representative Katherine Harris (R., Fla.) has caused a major stir with comments, published in a Southern Baptist state newspaper, suggesting that the separation of church and state is a lie and that failing to elect Christians to public office will cause governments "to legislate sin."

Harris, who rose to national prominence in 2000 when, as Florida secretary of state, she was widely criticized for her role in the Bush-versus-Gore election debacle, has served since 2002 in the U.S. House representing a west-central Florida district.

On August 24, the Florida Baptist Witness published articles and interviews with candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate in the state's primary elections September 5. Harris was the front-runner in a three-candidate field for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic senator Bill Nelson.

Harris's campaign has been plagued by several major gaffes, hints of scandal and repeated loss of key campaign staffers. For several months, polls suggested that she will lose badly to Nelson in the November general election. Her campaign's problems intensified when secular media outlets around the state reprinted her remarks to the Witness. …

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