Cornerstone Calls on NHDP to Apologize for Religious Intolerance

December 16, 2010

On Tuesday of this week, the press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party issued a press release attacking a religious speech made by Representative Bates at a recent church gathering in Massachusetts.  Despite professing his personal faith in front of hundreds in attendance, the NHDP spokesman characterized Rep. Bates’ remarks as a “religious tirade”, and then ironically went on a tirade of his own attacking various pieces of legislation Rep. Bates has filed and concluded his offensive diatribe by labeling them as part of a “Bible belt agenda.”

The press release, posted on the liberal blog Blue Hampshire, was immediately panned by regular readers of the site including current State Representative Timothy Horrigan (D), who said that Party spokesman, Harrell Kirstien, misconstrued Rep. Bates’ message by stating, “…you can see that he is simply expressing his faith.  It’s not a  tirade at all.”  Horrigan further added, “I got the feeling that Harrell was attacking him merely for being an evangelical Christian.”

Commenting on the offensive press release issued by the NHDP was Cornerstone Action Director, Kevin Smith: “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.  The NHDP owes Rep. Bates and the hundreds of thousands of Christians in this state an apology for his truly offensive and ignorant remarks.”

Smith added, “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.  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.”

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