Friday, April 15, 2005

Onward Christian Judges

After my previous post about the non-separation of Church and State in our executive branch, I am sickened to read more about the lack of separation in our national legislature. Moreover, the Senate attempting to spread this "Faith-based Federalism" into the judiciary. According to the New York Times, Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist, my favorite physician turned politician, is slated to attend "Justice Sunday" in Kentucky to slander yet again those "godless liberals":
As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.

Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."
To an outside observer of all this, it is tempting to come only to one conclusion: these judges are evangelical Republicans with radical ideologies isolated from the status quo. This may not be the case, but Frist is destroying any legitimacy his Republican colleagues had by attending this event.

If on trial, I think most Americans (and probably everyone in the world) would want a fair judge, not necessarily a "Christian" judge. Especially since "Dominion Christians" have hijacked the Bible and used it as a stone to cast at everyone but themselves. I think the last thing I want is one of those judges deciding my fate, but groups like Family Research Council hypocritically believe that the law is applied only against others, not themselves. They are the Righteous and you and I are the "criminals". In a phrase, they want to become the new Pharisees, the new Pharoahs, with rest of the country becoming their slaves.

This whole filibuster issue is ludicrous. Republicans have claimed that such a drastic step as the "nuclear option" is necessary because Democrats are impeding the process of appointing federal judges to the point that the federal judiciary now has a vacancy crisis. Actually, the vacancy rate is at its lowest in 14 years. How many judges have been filibustered? 10 out of 204 of Bush's nominees. I could go into more facts but I'll let Moving Ideas argue that further.

I think I could argue the principle of Separation of Church and State until my fingers fall off. So, I'll end this with Thomas Jefferson's observation, writing to the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut in 1802:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.

Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.

Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

Thanks, Tom. We needed that.


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