Friday, April 15, 2005

Justice Sunday

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has joined with the Family Research Council and such "civil rights" illuminaries as James Dobson, Chuck Colson, and Al Mohler in a religious telecast ingeniusly called "Justice Sunday" to denounce Democrats as "against people of faith."

Frist and the rest of the clan will denounce Democratic filibustering of the President's judicial nominees, while trying to create popular momentum to ensure only up-and-down votes govern judicial confirmations. (For a good premer on the history of filibustering and its legitimacy, check out NPR here.) Senate Republicans have 55 of the 100 seats, so this isn't about democratic process as much as it's about GOP self-interest. The logic behind the procedural change is to appoint judges that will counter the new buzz word of Christian conservatives: "judicial tyranny." Rest assured this will be the focus of the "Justice Sunday" telecast. The website for the Family Research Council has this displayed on their Washington Update page:
Join FRC Action and churches from across the country on Sunday, April 24, as we host a live simulcast to engage values voters in the all-important issue of reining in our out-of-control courts and putting a halt to the use of filibusters against people of faith. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee is committed to returning constitutional order to the Senate by requiring an up-or-down vote on these nominees. To do this, he urgently needs the help of every values voter. Without doubt, this will be the most important vote cast in the United States Senate in this term. If this effort fails, the best we can hope for are likely to be mediocre judges who meet the approval of Ted Kennedy, Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton. We must stop this unprecedented filibuster of people of faith.
Somehow evangelical Protestant Christians have rechristenend themselves as a discriminated against majority, viciously attacked by god-less liberals in the numerical minority. As Tony Perkins wrote on the Family Research Councils' website:
As the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated in almost every recent election, the courts have become the last great bastion for liberalism. For years activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the A.C.L.U., have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms.
Read the rest of Perkin's diatribe here, it's classic projection.

The agenda of the GOP and these Christian fundamentalists is to have a country governed by their interpretation of Judeo-Christian scripture (and we know how clear and uncontradictory the Bible is.) Just take a quick look at the quotation from Perkin's above. Who's trying to rob America of its Christian heritage or its religious freedoms? Who says you can't be a Christian? Who says you can't worship at the place of your choosing?

Perkin's doesn't believe in Christian heritage or religious freedom in the abstract, he believes in his particular version of Christianity's heritage and its freedom to institutionalize its particular beliefs, such as abortion's illegality, that gays not be allowed to receive the same benefits as conventional married couples, or that prayer - let's be honest, Christian prayer -be an integral part of the school day.

For people like Frist and Perkins, the separation of church and state is an obstruction to their realization of a Christian Nation - not just in heritage, but in law. They don't want judicial nominees of a "strict constructionist" bent; they want judges that will give them their own private Kingdom of Heaven on earth.