Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Schiavo case was just a warning shot from the theocrats 

Along with the winger calls for assassinating judges, and all the rest of the frothing and stamping and whining. Because the real battles are yet to come.

Before reading this, be sure to read riggsveda on evangelism and political economy and farmer on Christian [cough] Reconstruction. I'll wait.

Dick Polman, the Inky's political analyst, writes:

Religious conservatives, emboldened by President Bush's reelection and confident of their political clout, are not interested in merely overhauling the judiciary. Ideally, they are seeking a judiciary that would remove the wall of separation between church and state.

Puts "Justice Sunday" in context, doesn't it?

This ambition is stated clearly in numerous legal briefs currently on file at the U.S. Supreme Court in connection with a pending case; they seek removal of "a Berlin wall" that is "out of step with this nation's religious heritage." In fact, their leaders argue in interviews that the church-state barrier is a "myth" invented by the high court in 1947, thanks to a twisted interpretation of our founding documents.

Mark Rozell, a political analyst at George Mason University who tracks the religious right, said Thursday: "They feel that the political circumstances won't be this good again - a strongly conservative Congress, a religiously conservative president. They've toiled for nearly 30 years, and the Republicans always said, 'Wait your turn.' They believe the time is now."

And that means it's time to convince Americans that President Thomas Jefferson, in a famous 1802 letter, was not really trying to curb religion when he endorsed "building a wall of separation between church and state." The high court invoked the phrase when it formally erected the wall in 1947. The religious right sees this as regrettable; its members believe the ruling is marred by "numerous and serious historical errors."

In legal briefs filed in a pending Supreme Court case on the posting of the Ten Commandments, religious-right groups point out (accurately) that Jefferson's phrase appears nowhere in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution and that Jefferson wrote the phrase merely as a show of support for Connecticut's Baptists, who were upset that the state government was officially favoring the Congregationalists (independent scholars say the religious right also is correct about this).

But the briefs don't mention 1786, when young Jefferson was the author of a Virginia law separating church from state. This law is cited on his grave, at his request. A preamble excerpt: "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagations of [religious] opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical." Another: "Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry."
(via our own Inky)

Um, anyone want to take David "I'm writing as bad as I can" Brook's "Well Meant" advice (back) and compromise on judges now?

Especially when the 45 Democratic Senators represent a majority of the country?

Didn't think so....

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