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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Smith's Faith

It seems Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith is on the defensive because in May he sent his son-in-law, a Lutheran minister, to represent him at a Miami-Dade Christian Family Coalition’s Pastors Appreciation Prayer Breakfast. Suffice it to say, the group is not a bastion for Democratic primary voters. Smith has sent out a letter to explain:

"Although my positions on issues have differed and continue to differ with some of the Coalition’s, it is my belief that Graham’s presence was not only appropriate, but necessary. My unwavering support for a woman’s right to choose, for the exploration of the healing possibilities of all types of stem-cell research, for leaving decisions concerning end-of-life issues to individual families, and for recognizing that any two people who are worthy to be foster parents are equally worthy of adoption, as well as my opposition to a constitutional ban on gay marriage, are all a matter of public record.
While my positions on these issues and my firm belief that government policy should not be dictated by religion may place me at odds with some of those associated with the Christian Family Coalition, I am informed and guided by my own faith and convictions. This is why I asked Graham to attend the breakfast last month, as well as why I have attended and continue to attend events associated with other religious groups.
I do not believe that one organization, one political party, or one group of people has a stranglehold on interpreting God’s messages to mankind, nor that my campaign should ignore those who may differ with me on these issues. I am not running for Governor for only some of Florida. I am running for Governor for all of Florida – even those Floridians whose views are different from my own. In fact, Graham and I have some profound disagreements on the issues noted above, but those disagreements have not prevented him from embracing my campaign or my vision for our state. Indeed, our conversations on these issues have allowed both of us to better understand and respect each other.
As my campaign continues to reach out to all Floridians, I recognize that some will not embrace every aspect of my platform. But this will not deter me from standing strong in my own beliefs..."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 4:03pm]

    

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