Friday, December 03, 2004
Antonin Scalia, the man most likely to be our next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court [G-d forbid!], turned history on its head recently when he attended an Orthodox synagogue in New York and claimed that the Founders intended for their Christianity to play a part in government. Scalia then went so far as to suggest that the reason Hitler was able to initiate the Holocaust was because of German separation of church and state.
The Associated Press reported on November 23, 2004, "In the synagogue that is home to America's oldest Jewish congregation, he [Scalia] noted that in Europe, religion-neutral leaders almost never publicly use the word 'God.'"
"Did it turn out that," Scalia asked rhetorically, "by reason of the separation of church and state, the Jews were safer in Europe than they were in the United States of America?" He then answered himself, saying, "I don't think so."
Scalia has an extraordinary way of not letting facts confound his arguments, but this time he's gone completely over the top by suggesting that a separation of church and state facilitated the Holocaust. If his comments had gotten wider coverage (they were only noted in one small AP article, and one in the Jerusalem Post), they may have brought America's largest religious communities - both Christian and Jewish - into the streets. Scalia To Synagogue - Jews Are Safer With Christians In Charge
Myself, I’m beginning to doubt that ANYTHING will bring folks into the streets. Everybody’s outrage-o-meter is clipping red, and there are too many issues to count. This black-robed fool can spout things like this in public, and nobody cares.
I’m thinking that a new Anti-Imperialist League might do the trick. Surely we can all agree that Imperial Power and Ambition is the central problem, the motivation being greed, the tool being fear? Problem is, we don’t have churches to meet in weekly, and I can tell you that house parties—while a lot of fun—don’t match up organizationally. And in the country there ain't no streets to go into.
But good ol’ Dr. Zinn is on target… A few highlights:
The reelected Bush triumphantly announced that he had the approval of the nation to carry out his agenda. There came no sign of opposition from what was supposed to be the opposition party. In short, the members of the club, after a brief skirmish on the campaign trail (costing a total of a billion dollars or so) were back having drinks at the same bar…
Freed from the sordid confines of our undemocratic political process, we can now turn all our energies to do what is discouraged by the voting system--to speak boldly and clearly about what must be done to turn our country around…
…Will the Democratic Party, so craven and unreliable, face a revolt from below which will transform it?
Or will it give way (four years from now? eight years from now?) to a new political movement that honestly declares its adherence to peace and justice?
Sooner or later, profound change will come to this nation tired of war, tired of seeing its wealth squandered, while the basic needs of families are not met. These needs are not hard to describe. Some are very practical, some are requirements of the soul: health care, work, living wages, a sense of dignity, a feeling of being at one with our fellow human beings on this Earth…Harness That Anger Howard Zinn
What existing structures do Lefties have that will serve for organizational purposes? And what issue—like the antiwar issue once did—unites us? Peace and justice too broad? No outrage left? And what do us rural folks do? It’s even harder to organize out in the sticks, especially in the winter (of our discontent). But then, the city-dwellers seem fractured, too. Arrggghhh? Call out the instigators, coz there's something in the air...