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Democratic nominee in Michigan described Jesus as ‘some goofball&#821

LANSING, Mich. (BP)–The Democratic nominee for Michigan governor has “a long history of demeaning spiritual leaders,” according to the Aug. 8 “Beliefs” column in The New York Times.
Geoffrey Fieger, the attorney for suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian who won a three-way race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination Aug. 4, called Jesus “just some goofball that got nailed to the cross” in an interview with The Washington Post, according to The New York Times article.
Fieger called the report “a lie,” but according to The Times, the reporter for The Washington Post produced a tape of the interview in which Fieger compared belief in Jesus’ divinity to the cult of Elvis Presley.
“In 2,000 years we’ve probably made somebody who is the equivalent of Elvis into God, so I see no reason why not to believe that in 2,000 years Elvis will be God,” Fieger said. “Probably if we went back 2,000 years and they said, you know, we think Jesus is God, and Jesus is just some goofball that got nailed to the cross.”
The Times reported that Fieger compared Orthodox rabbis to Nazis in early 1996, when the rabbis issued a statement condemning assisted suicide as a violation of Jewish teaching.
“They’re closer to Nazis than they think they are,” Fieger told The Detroit News, The New York Times reported. “Orthodox Jews are not different than the right-wing Christian nuts. If you’re a religious nut, you’re a religious nut.”
Concerning the Roman Catholic archbishop of Detroit, Adam Cardinal Maida, The Times reported that Fieger two years ago said Kevorkian carries a concealed weapon “to protect himself from nuts like Cardinal Maida.” Fieger also has described the pope “with mocking vulgarities,” The Times reported.
The Times column wondered aloud whether such comments by Fieger pose “a serious problem for the Michigan Democrats.”
Fieger, a wealthy attorney who has represented Kevorkian since 1990, will face Gov. John Engler in the November election. Engler, seeking a third term, signed a ban on assisted suicide passed by the state legislature earlier this summer. The law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, calls for maximum penalties of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for providing the means for a person to commit suicide.
Fieger has helped Kevorkian, who claims to have assisted in more than 100 deaths, beat charges filed against him in four trials.
Fieger, in his first bid for public office, ran a populist-style campaign of fighting for poor people and the common man — a style described by the Detroit Free Press as “marked by scorching insults and accusations” in “one of the most bitter and colorful statewide campaigns in recent memory.”
Democratic leaders, Fieger had charged, are aging power brokers presiding over “a party of wimps and oatmeal.”
The Detroit Free Press quoted Engler spokesman John Truscott as saying of Fieger after the Aug. 4 primary: “He’s nuts. I don’t think that profanity, the abuse of language … I don’t think the people will go for it. When he’s challenged, he explodes. I think we’ll stay focused on our agenda; there’s no reason to divert and degenerate down to his level.”