The religious right group Family Research Council sent out another misleading e-mail to their supporters today. It stated:
When FRC accused Senate Democrats who were obstructing President Bush's judicial nominees of a "filibuster against people of faith," liberals hastened to either deny or obscure the fact that conservative Christians were being specifically targeted. But now, an escalation of hysterical rhetoric and threats on the part of pro-homosexual groups is making even clearer that their intention is not just to defeat, but to silence, people with traditional values….
Statements like this are meant to inflame people on the right – and it works. Violence against gays and lesbians has increased over the last year and the rhetoric of the religious right is one of the reasons.
Judicial nominees whose names were sent to the senate by the president have not been opposed because of their faith but because of their opposition to civil rights and health care options for women. Many Christians – Protestant and Catholic – have joined with other people of faith to oppose the radical agenda of the religious right and the nominees they would hope to place on the courts.
However, the tactics of the religious right on this issue should be of concern to all Americans.
The editors of The Christian Century wrote on May 17th:
After listening to James Dobson and his evangelical Christian colleagues talk about controlling the federal judiciary through the Republican majority in Congress – to the extent of punishing judges and defunding courts – one can’t help recalling the events in 1930s Germany. The National Socialists removed judges who didn’t go along with the party program. Law became what they party said it would.
Dobson, speaking on his radio show it April, imagined political change proceeding this way: “The troublesome Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco could be abolished and then staffed by different judges immediately.” He complained that “Congress has not had the political gumption to take any such action.” House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has encouraged such views: “We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse.”
Dobson seems not to realize that an independent judiciary is essential to the rule of law. As one prominent jurist explains: “If we are to be a nation of laws and not of men, judges must be impartial referees… By insulating judges from external retaliation and from internal temptations of ambition [by life appointment and irreducible salary], the framers hoped that the judiciary would be free of pressure not only from the government by also from the people.” These words are not from the left-wing fringe; they belong to archconservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
In our democratic nation people are free to choose who they want to model their lives after and follow. Do the leaders of the religious right want to be remembered as faithful followers of Jesus or as those who adopted the rhetoric and tactics of the Nazi Germany? It looks like they have already made their choice.
Related Link: Holy War