The New York Times reported the following altercation between Howard Dean and an Iowa voter:
Later, Dr. Dean flashed his much-talked-about temper at a town-hall-style forum here in a sharp exchange with a 67-year-old retiree, Dale Ungerer. Mr. Ungerer, who said he was a registered Republican but had sometimes voted for Democrats, challenged Dr. Dean to "please tone down the garbage, the mean-mouthing of tearing down your neighbor and being so pompous," questioning why the candidate spent so much time bashing President Bush.
Dr. Dean declared, "George Bush is not my neighbor." As Mr. Ungerer, stood up, Dr. Dean said, "You sit down. You've had your say, and now I'm going to have my say."
Several days ago Howard Dean asked, "Don't you think Jerry Falwell reminds you a lot more of the Pharisees than he does of the teachings of Jesus?"
Let's take a look at Dr. Dean's comments concerning Mr. Bush not being his neighbor and see whether he was on the side of the Pharisees or the side of Jesus.
Luke 10:25-37: The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." [emphasis mine]
The expert in the Law (a.k.a. a Pharisee) sought to justify himself by defining people away as his neighbor. Jesus replied with the Parable of the Good Samaritan which focused not on who your neighbor was but rather what was the characteristics of a good neighbor (showing mercy).
Howard Dean was recently asked whether he considered what Jesus would do when he made a decision. He replied no. Given the above, Dr. Dean was telling the truth.