Thursday, April 21, 2005

"Justice Sunday"

The Christian Taliban is having a big shindig this weekend called Justice Sunday to alert all good Christian white folks to the urgent danger of federal judges trying to stamp out the Christian religion.  And we know what kind of people do "anti-Christian" things, don't we?  (Nudge-nudge, wink-wink)  And there's no particular signficance to the fact this is scheduled for Passover weekend, no, no, just a coincidence.

Here's what Mullah James Dobson, who is scheduled to be part of Sunday's show had to say in 2003 about what all these sinister (we-aren't-saying-they're-Jewish) types are up to:

The liberal elite and the judges at the highest level and some members of the media are determined to remove every evidence of faith in God from this entire culture. They are determined to control more and more of our private lives, and it is time that we said, 'Enough is enough.'

Gee, it sounds like the Jew-atheist-anarchist militias are going to by crashing into Sunday morning services and driving people out of the sanctuaries any day now!

In that same speech, he said:

They’ve taken those simple words and twisted them to mean something the Founders had no intention of conveying. The separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. Liberals have had to contrive the basis for these things, and then they talk about them as though they were ensconced in the writings of our forefathers. USA Today published an entire article this morning extolling the separation of church and state and talking about how the Constitution supports it, but the concept is not in there. They and the liberal elites have interpreted the clause to justify the removal of references to God in the public square. (my emphasis)

Of course, the idea that separation of church and state is not in the Constitution is bogus.  But the Christian Taliban doesn't care about the Constitution or the rule of law or that kind of nonsense.  As long as the Christian Republican White People's Party is in charge and can do anything they want, God will be happy.

Am I being unfair?  I don't think so.  Andwhile Dobson  and  the rest of the Christian Taliban may sound like "fringe elements" to most Americans, maybe especially to regular churchgoers, this ideology is considered perfectly acceptable in today's Republican Party.  That's why Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is supporting the Justice Sunday save-us-Christians-from-the-Jew-liberals event.

David Neiwert often makes good analyses of the ways that far-right extremism makes its way into the mainstream of the Republican Party, as in this recent blog post:  Black Robes 04/20/05.  Speaking of the current Christian Right jihad against federal judges, he writes:

Huh? Where did this come from? This wasn't even an issue in the last election! It all seems like it's coming out of far right field, doesn't it?

Well, duh.

In fact, this very subject -- especially the rhetoric involving "black robed traitors" and "betrayal of our Christian heritage" -- has long been a hoary staple of the extremist right in America. You used to hear this kind of talk all the time at militia meetings ten years ago, and at Aryan Nations congresses ten years before that. Hatred of the judiciary is a centerpiece for the Posse Comitatus, the tax-protester extremists and Identity adherents like the Montana Freemen, and the Bircherite paranoids who have accused the judiciary of harboring Communist subversives since the days of, well,
Brown v. Board of Education. Funny, that.

Yeah, gee, that is funny, huh?  Years ago the White Citizens Council and the James Eastlands of the world were warning about just this kind of judicial tyranny, with federal judges trying to tell white folks how they had to treat, you know, other people.  Neiwert continues:

Nowadays, these themes enjoy much more powerful -- and supposedly mainstream -- proponents, as well as their respective audiences. Case in point: this coming Sunday's right-wing hatefest, dubbed "Justice Sunday" 
, though as the New York Times reports, it really is a chance to promote Bill Frist's campaign to portray Democrats as "against people of faith" for opposing Bush's most radical nominees to the federal bench.

He provides a number of examples and links in his post.  And he explains near the end:

This is how the far-right echo chamber works: Ideas and policies bubble up all the time on the right, but those from the far right typically have a history of long-term traction in its meeting halls. Once they have that traction, it seems only a matter of time before a transmitter picks the idea up, massages it, and presents it as "conservative."

The phenomenon ... has a dual effect: it draws the mainstream farther right steadily, and it legitimizes and empowers within the mainstream people who, not so long ago, were considered extremists.

Neiwert describes the transmission process very well.  Today's Republican Party is not the party of "Eisenhower Republicans."  It's the party of Oxycontin Republicans and the Christian Taliban.


amkpantera said...

So it's true that the words "Separation of Church and State" don't appear in the Constitution, I think it's clear that that is what the Founding Fathers meant.  Especially considering that many themselves were not Christians, but either Deists or Unitarians, it was in their interest that everybody be treated equally by the government, no matter what their religion was or if they didn't have one.  Jefferson is actually the one who mentions (and actually uses the phrase) in a letter to a church of Baptists, so this Dobson fellow can Cheney-off (I saw you use that in a previous post and liked it, so I thought I would employ it's use here).

And if they really want to get technical with it, the words "homosexual" and "homosexuality" don't appear anywhere in the Bible either, so I'm guessing the Bible really doesn't condemn that either.

bmiller224 said...

It's certainly true that "separation of church and state" - and "freedom of religion," for that matter, don't appear in the 1st Amendment.  But those concepts were very much part of what the Founders meant when they prohibited an established church.

I've posted a few posts later about the latest twist in the Bush establishment of religion drive.  Jeb Bush, appointed by his brother to represent the US at the Mass celebrating the new Pope's ascension to office, also describes himself as representing American Catholics there.  The very idea that the President has any authority whatsoever, other than his own incredible arrogance, to designate someone to represent American Catholics anywhere for any purpose, is just mind-boggling.

There's a very good book on this topic called *The Founding Fathers and the Place of Relgion in America* (2003) by Frank Lambert of Perdue University that I plan to do some posts about later on.  It really gives the lie to all this phony, pseudohistorical nonsense from our present-day Christian Right theocrats about the Founding Fathers wanting a James-Dobson-style theocracy. Very readable, too. - Bruce

setcaptivesfree said...

In response to the comment ~

"The phenomenon ... has a dual effect: it draws the mainstream farther right steadily, and it legitimizes and empowers within the mainstream people who, not so long ago, were considered extremists".

So, you are afraid the "extremisits" might be considered the "norm" or "mainstream" someday?  That seems to be your greatest fear here.  Well, I hope that never happens because if those who are truly faithful to the Lord become the "Mainstream" then it means we are "lukewarm" and that our God "will spit us out of his mouth" as it says in the Bible.

Revelation 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.