The NYT also has this write-up about “Just Us” Sunday II:
Stepping up efforts to rally churchgoers for a Supreme Court confirmation battle, Christian conservatives are organizing a telecast to churches and religious broadcasters denouncing the Supreme Court as hostile to religion and families.
The event, scheduled for Aug. 14 and called Justice Sunday II after a similar telecast in April, will focus on “the court’s hostility toward religion and Christianity in particular,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and the principal organizer of the event. Its subtitle is a prayer said each time the court meets: “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.”
The telecast was organized by some of the most influential conservative Christian supporters of the Bush administration after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement. But its organizers are evidently disregarding White House requests not to inject talk of a culture war into the debate over a Supreme Court nominee.
“People have to understand, this is not just about a process,” Mr. Perkins said. “This is about the future of the country, it is about our families, it is about the freedom of religion.”
Shorter Tony Perkins: ‘It’s for the children.’
Shorter Mr. Furious: “Tony Perkins is a fucking jerkoff.”
I don’t know who Tony Perkins is, so I can’t contest his status as to jerkoffedness. It seems to me that these people are entitled to have this conversation if they wish. There is nothing that states that individual citizens cannot seek to influence policy, even from the pulpit. There is also nothing that states that those who came to worship rather than play politics are not free to ignore the message.
However, it may not be wise depending on your definition of the phrase ‘to Caesar what is Caesars and to G-d what is G-ds’ is.
The Disenfranchised Voter
“it is about the freedom of religion”
You know using my fundamentalist translator that translates into: “it is aboutr the freedom of religion to take over the government”.
Noone is arguing that they shouldn’t be able to do this Defense guy. But acting as if the courts are against people of faith is not only absurd, it is blantantly false and unfounded.
The seperation of church and state has yet to be realized. If the courts are against anything, it is the idea of a complete separation of church and state, which is what this country was founded on.
If these nuts get thier way, it will be done away with completely.
Posted outside of Just Us 2 is a sign that says Catholics need not apply
So not only do the nut-jobs want an official religion, it’s a narrow brand of Christianity only.
If you can point out where in the constitution this clause exists, I will buy the drinks. Hell I may buy them anyway, as I think we all need them at this point, if just to remember that those on the other side of the argument are still human beings.
Defense Guy – “Separation of Church and State” is short-hand for the establishment clause, and has been since the time of Jefferson. I think he’s somewhat of a reliable authority on the meaning of the document in question.
Read Jefferson’s Wall of Separation Letter
The Constitution isn’t a collection of “facts” (e.g. “2+2=4”, or “that rock is 1 meter wide”). The principles contained within are broad, and as such, necessarily, subject to philosophical and (especially) legal interpretation.
Moreover, the people who wrote the Bill of Rights were very concerned, at the time, that people would think that because only those rights were spelled out, people would later believe that Americans were only “granted” those specific rights. Seems they were right to be concerned.
It’s remarkable that the founding fathers were smart enough to write a document whose principles still apply 200+ years later. I attribute the usefuleness of the Constitution as a guiding document to the fact that the principles don’t narrowly proscribe Americans as only having certain, explicitly stated rights.
To your other point:
I would be more charitable towards people like Dobson and Frist if weren’t using their Constitutional rights to attempt to undermine the Constitution and my freedoms. They are entitled to their own opinions, but I’m not so happy with people who agitate for the destruction of the judiciary, the institution of an officially “Christian” America, etc.
The establishment clause is a 2 way street, do you agree? Just as the government can not hold one religion up as the religion of the state, neither can it suppress one or reguire that our elected representitives have no religion.
The Disenfranchised Voter
While it may come as a surprise to you, this country is a secular one; or at least it was meant to be one. Many of the founding fathers were not Christian, and a good amount were deists, in fact.
We are not a Christian nation–not that you said we were–but I felt the need to clear this up:
I refer you to the Treaty of Tripoli, Defense Guy:
“Article 11 of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli (which was drafted during George Washington’s second term and was unanimously approved by the Senate and signed by President John Adams) states:
As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen (Muslims, I believe); and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan (Islamic, I believe) nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
Now, to show that we are suppose to be a secular society, I will refer you to the Constitution. There is a complete seperation of church and state, which is the foundation of a secular society:
While the exact phrase “Seperation of Church and State” isn’t in the Constitution it is clearly implied. Anyone who carefully reads the first amendment can see that there is a complete seperation of Church and State.
The first amendment reads…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Notice the first words in this amendment. It states : “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That means there should not be any law that respects any establishment of religion. Many argue that this means only that there should be no state religion, unfortunately for them, they are wrong.
If that is what the founding fathers meant then they would have wrote “no law respecting THE establishment of A religion.” It does not say that however, and thus clearly the word “establishment” is synonomous with the word “institution”. Therefore the amendment means: “Congress shall make no law respecting an institution of religion” That means, not one single law that derives from a religious institution.
“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” — James Madison, considered the father of the Constitution
Here are some quotes by Adams that back up my claim that we are indeed a secular society:
“. . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.” –John Adams
“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.” –John Adams
Well said. Heh.