In a purely partisan mood, I’m tempted to thank Howard Dean for reinforcing the impression that Democrats are hostile to religion. Well, that’s not precisely what he said. He said that the "Democratic Party believes... that there are no bars to heaven for anybody," which is in fact a religious statement, albeit one that theologically conservative people (including, I presume, some in his own party) might have trouble with. As Eugene Volokh and Rob Vischer note, political parties usually don’t take such explicitly theological positions, at least not in countries that aren’t theocracies (another word Dean used, presumably to characterize Christians who kinda like public prayer). I eagerly await criticism of Dean’s remarks from the various Democratic presidential campaigns, from Jim Wallis, or from the various "faithful Democrats" who blog here.