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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

One Nation Under God...

... with sectarian strife for all.

All the sturm und drang over the Miers nomination and how her evangelical Christian beliefs are adequate qualifications for the Supreme Court prompted me to go back and take a look at the First Amendment.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

So far so good. Nothing that says she should be excluded (as Theocons I'm sure would loudly argue). And while I think the idea of a "religious seat" is a bit much there has been the need for a "Jewish seat" for about 40 years and a "black seat" for about as long and there was disappointment that W did not create an "Hispanic seat" so I will let that one go.

But being the liberal I am, searching for diversity, since we already has several Christian denominations on the court, how about a Muslim? Or a Hindu? Or a Zoroastrian?

The Washington Post takes a good look at the issue -- or should I say the double standard -- as it has evolved from Roberts to Miers. One judge with a record, albeit sparse, and the Theocons thunder religion is irrelevant. One lawyer with an even sparser record and everyone from W on down proclaim her religion is a key to her soul.

That should make it fair game for confirmation hearings and that will be ugly.

But more than that, I am troubled by the Theocratic read on the establishing clause. My understanding of "free exercise" is that I should be allowed to do and believe as I choose. Evangelical Christianity, in direct contradiction, is based on the concept of spreading the word of their chosen savior with the goal of turning other people to their views.

Under the Constitution, they are free to do that. And I am free to refuse to answer the door when Jehovah's Witnesses ring my doorbell or someone tries to sticker a flier in my face about Scientology.

What is different about the Theocratic movement is its goal to of violating the first clause: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

There's an argument that Congress is already an arm of the evangelical movement with the likes of Tom DeLay and Bill Frist and those other politicians who answer to the gods in Virginia Beach (Pat Roberston) and Colorado Springs (James Dobson). But again, these folks have been elected -- even if it is only by the folks of individual congressional districts or half the voters of any particular Red State,

What happens when the evangelical movement takes control of the Supreme Court and begins to impose its religious agenda on the nation? Where is the brake provided by our constitutional checks and balances, to the tyranny of the minority? Is a Supreme Court guided by theocratic principles going to declare itself unconstitutional?

We are heading to the day where the master becomes the student. The Iraqi constitution up for a vote this weekend, which W once touted as a model of democracy, clearly establishes Islam as the state religion, automatically affording second class status to any "infidel."

Osama must be proud of George's handiwork in creating a religious-based governing document and rooting for him to pull off a similar triumph in the Theocratic States of America.

And maybe we should bring true religious diversity to the Supreme Court -- how about Tom Cruise?


Anonymous Delwyn Campbell said...

YAWN...I'm just curious, lefty, are you equally concerned about the current tyranny of the minority when it is hostile to thte interests of Christians, telling Christian children that they can't read their Bible at lunch, or Christian teachers that they aren't allowed to pray with their students before school ( I guess only CHRISTIAN teachers leave their constitutional rights at the door, eh?). Are you truly hostile to the idea of a creator, or is it only the God who tells you that selfish, self-centered IMMORAL behavior will not be ignored by Him that raises your ire?

December 05, 2005 1:53 PM  

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