April 19, 2005

Just Us Sunday - Frist the Demagogue

from - smijer

The Family Research Council is running a campaign to garner public support for the "nuclear option" on judicial filibusters. Tennessee Republican and Senate Majority leader Bill Frist plans to join forces with them. The theme of this power-grab is "Filibuster against Faith", or "against people of faith".

Last I checked, overtime rules, federal civil rights laws, and sexual harassment or discrimination laws were not religious issues. Sure, the judges being filibustered also have religiously motivated conservative viewpoints: anti-abortion and anti-gay, for instance, but those are not the sole reasons for their rejections by a Democrats en-masse. And even then, it is their viewpoints, not the underlying religious motivation for them, that is objectionable to many senate Democrats.

As one prominent "person of faith" put it,

The news that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist plans to join a telecast whose organizing theme is that those who oppose some of President Bush's judicial nominees are engaged in an assault on "people of faith" is more than troubling; it is disingenuous, dangerous, and demagogic. We call on him to reconsider his decision to appear on the telecast and to forcefully disassociate himself from this outrageous claim.
Senator Frist must not give legitimacy to those who claim they hold a monopoly on faith. They do not. They assert, in the words of Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and organizer of the telecast, that there is a vast conspiracy by the courts "to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms." There is no such conspiracy. They have been unable to ram through the most extreme of the President's nominees, and now they are spinning new claims out of thin air.

Alas, this is not an isolated incident. This past week, the Christian Coalition convened a conference in Washington entitled, "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith." Their special guest speaker was the House Majority Leader, Rep. Tom Delay. When leaders of the Republican Party lend their imprimatur to such outrageous claims, including, at the conference, calls for mass impeachment of Federal Judges, it should be of deep concern to all who care about religion. It should also be of concern to President Bush whose silence, in the wake of the claims made both at the conference in Washington and in the upcoming telecast, is alarming.

The telecast is scheduled to take place on the second night of the Passover holiday, when Jews around the world gather together to celebrate our religious freedom. It was in part for exactly such freedom that we fled Egypt. It was in part for exactly such freedom that so many of us came to this great land. And it is in very large part because of exactly such freedom that we and our neighbors here have built a nation uniquely welcoming to people of faith - of all faiths. We believe Senator Frist knows these things as well. His association with the scheduled telecast is, in a word, shameful. We call upon to him to disassociate himself from the claim that the Senate is participating in a filibuster against faith, and to withdraw his participation from the April 24th event.

- Rabbi Saperstein

Or, as another "person of faith" puts it, more humorously,

Question: How do you convince Americans that theocracy is better than democracy?
Answer: Tell evangelical Christians that they are being persecuted.

Question: How do you get enough votes to repeal the First Amendment?
Answer: You can't. There aren't enough evangelical Christians.

Question: How can you establish theocracy without changing the constitution?
Answer: Get judges to interpret the First Amendment as establishing a theocracy.

Question: How can you get judges to interpret the First Amendment theocratically?
Answer: Elect them, bully them, and elect people who will appoint theocrats.

Question: How do you get the votes needed to elect theocrats?
Answer: Tell evangelical Christians that they are being persecuted.

Question: How do you change the judiciary when filibusters screen out theocrats?
Answer: Put an end to filibusters.

Question: How do you get Americans to support ending filibusters?
Answer: Tell evangelical Christians that they are being persecuted.

Dr. Bruce Prescott, via Hippy Dave


Posted by smijer at April 19, 2005 11:27 AM
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