And just like that, I understand why most atheists vote Democrat.

We’ve always thought the left tends to treat its politics as religion. But little did we know, my friends, little did we know.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean came out against Christian team prayers in public schools while speaking Sunday to a gathering of thousands of Jewish leaders, according to a leading Jewish news agency.

In another statement likely to stir debate among the evangelical Christians his party is urgently trying to court, Dean also asserted “there are no bars to heaven for anybody,” according to the report by JTA, a 90-year-old non-profit organization which calls itself “the global news service of the Jewish people.”…

“This country is not a theocracy,” Dean said, according to JTA. “There are fundamental differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party believes that everybody in this room ought to be comfortable being an American Jew, not just an American; that there are no bars to heaven for anybody; that we are not a one-religion nation; and that no child or member of a football team ought to be able to cringe at the last line of a prayer before going onto the field.”

Beyond the sheer freakishness of his suggestion that the Party has a formal position on who qualifies for eternal salvation (anyone who’s donated to MoveOn?), Dean seems to imply that Republicans as a general rule do think Jews are barred from entering heaven — even though, ironically, the most notorious statement on that subject by a prominent conservative of late specified that Jews can indeed be saved by following their own laws. It’s we Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist/godless heathens who have strayed from the Book who seem to be SOL. Ah well.

Rhetorical exit question: Why did this numbnuts frame the issue in terms of the Republican versus Democratic Parties when he’s really making a point about Christian doctrine? Might it have something to do with the left’s newfound interest in wooing religious voters?