With the election of Dr. Howard Dean as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, our party has an opportunity for new beginnings on many fronts. In some ways, Dr. Dean's election is a true victory for moral conduct in public life. As an ardent opponent of the war in Iraq, he showed that he was willing to stand up for the value of life against an Administration that cares nothing for the individual lives being lost on both sides of that conflict.
Dr. Dean has invited us to submit our views on the future of our Party, and the Nation. We would strongly urge all our supporters to write and tell him how important it is not to let the Republicans get away with hijacking Christianity in America to advance their radical economic vision for a government that does not insure a secure retirement, retreats from advancing biomedical research for healthier lives, and shifts the tax burden to those least able to pay it. You can write to Dr. Dean at http://www.democrats.org/chair/feedback/index.html?psc=front.
Beyond the central moral issue of war, Dr. Dean has indicated his commitment to working with religious leaders of many faiths to provide aid and comfort to committed Catholics who have felt they were without representation in the current political arena. At the recent DNC meeting, Dr. Dean told a caucus of advocates for women's issues, "People of faith are in the Democratic Party, including me." As quoted in Christianity Today, he went on to say, "We are not pro-abortion! There is not anyone I know who is pro-abortion." For once Catholic Democrats have a public advocate who attacked the Bush Administration for overseeing an increase per capita in abortions, reversing the positive trend that had taken hold under President Bill Clinton. He pointed out that Mr. Bush has made vague gestures indicating opposition to abortion, while guiding public policies that actually increase the number of abortions.
Under former chairman Terry McAuliffe, the DNC has embraced new efforts to work with Catholic leaders across the country—in part to illustrate the ways that the Democratic Party continues to be the standard bearer for Catholic values like the wellbeing of the poor, absolute opposition to the insane notion of preventive war, the random and race-based implementation of the death penalty in America, and the despoilment of God's creation.
We look forward to working with Dr. Dean to bring our Catholic values front and center to the public debate, in our efforts to stem the immorality that has characterized the Bush tenure in Washington.