Jumping the shark for Jesus (continued)

Jumping the shark for Jesus (continued)

: The Republicans just can’t stop from allying themselves with the religious fringe. The NY Times reports:

As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as “against people of faith” for blocking President Bush’s nominees.

Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day “Justice Sunday” and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading “the filibuster against people of faith,” it reads: “The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith.”

Organizers say they hope to reach more than a million people by distributing the telecast to churches around the country, over the Internet and over Christian television and radio networks and stations.

They’re trying to play the God card. Only I think it’s been played in this hand already.

: MORE: Charles Babington in the Washington Post says:

The strategy carries significant risks for the Tennessee Republican, who is weighing a 2008 presidential bid. It could embroil the Senate in a bitter stalemate that would complicate passage of President Bush’s agenda and raise questions about Frist’s leadership capabilities. Should he fail to make the move or to get the necessary votes, however, Frist risks the ire of key conservative groups that will play big roles in the 2008 GOP primaries.

Well, clearly, he has made his choice: He’s campaigning in the primaries already and he is sucking up to the fringe right to do that.

: James Joyner at Outside the Beltway agrees with Frist’s goal on judges but says:

However, this particular move is not only unseemly but likely to backfire. Frist’s appeal is that he appears above politics. This sort of slimy tactic will not serve him in the long term, especially as he seeks the White House in 2008.

: Mustang Bobby says:

Does this guy really want to run for president? Lining up with a bunch of loons obsessed with turning this country into the Christian version of Taliban-run Afghanistan isn’t exactly going to win the hearts and minds of the nation. If the Schiavo case proved anything, it’s that the vast majority of Americans reject the wingnuts that Frist is chumming up to.

: All Spin Zone says — and I agree — that it’s time for the rest of religious America (that includes me) to speak up against this sort of effort to theocratize the debate.

Seems clear to me. A whole conference arranged for by Radical Right Wing Christian Clerics with the sole purpose of labelling Democrats as “anti-Christian” and Bill Frist is headlining the conference scheduled to be broadcast to radical right-wing churches throughout the nation. That violates the non-profit status of those churches, but make no mistake, absolutely nothing will be done to enforce the tax laws. This is Bush’s Administration, after all.

Two things. Progressives of faith need to speak up. They need to say specifically that faith belongs in the heart, and also in caring for others. They need to decry the kind of demonization the Radical Right Wing Christian Clerics view as moral. Demonization = moral? How twisted can they get?

Second, we need to support Republicans like John McCain, who has said he will not be voting for the Nuclear option.

: Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Three Bad Fingers pushes bloggers and Republicans to go after the senators who have not gone along with the nuclear option. He already gave up on McCain.

: Josh Marshall calls it “sick, dark, and demented.”

: Obsidian Wings, a liberal Christian, says:

The organizers of this hate-a-thon who slanderously equate “Liberal” with “anti-Christian” are truly nauseating… I’m wholly offended that anyone in Congress would suggest anyone else is less Christian than they are.

: LATER STILL: Uncorrelated asks whether I’d had the same objections if Democrats sucked up to union leaders to get a primary nod. The better analogy might be whether I’d object if they sucked up to Michael Moore and that fringe. And the answer is: yes, I would.