Governor Christie of New Jersey said something nice about gay people in a recent interview. He said God made them the way they are so he, personally, couldn't view them as sinners. Now that may strike you as a not unusually benign view these days, but I wonder if it isn't unusually benign for the governor's political party.
If you've been paying attention the last several weeks you will have noticed that the Republican Party is not in a benign mood these days. Raise the issue of capital punishment and you unleash a crack of applause. Just mentioning it seems to trigger something deep in the Republican happy zone.
Ask a Republican audience what it should do with a thirty-year old in a coma who failed to buy health insurance and you hear yelps of enthusiasm to "let him die!"
We caught a similar spasm of angry contempt the other night directed at a gay soldier serving in Iraq. You would have thought the young man was fighting for the other side, instead of being out there in harm's way for us.
There's a lot of hatred in the air right now and not a whole lot of compassionate conservatism. Governor Perry learned that the other day when he dared to scold his fellow Republicans for not having a "heart" for those young people raised in America by immigrants here illegally.
So, Governor Christie may be joining the list of Republican candidates at some point down the line. But if he does, he will have a lot to answer for. Should he ever find himself on a GOP debate platform, that kind statement of his about gay people being God's children may cause some real "gnashing of death."