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.

  • Well, Jeff, I don’t think they’re entirely off on this one. Over the last five years or so, religion has morphed into this sort of undesirable quality to have in public life — at least, that’s the sense I get from a decent number of people on the far left.
    What this has to do with judicial nominees, I’m not entirely sure. It could be that the Democrats are expected to question the fitness of a nominee to be a judge if they’re also religious. I’ve seen hints of that nature, though nothing outright.

  • BT in Kentucky

    Considering the trouble you had with the Popes death, just couldn’t get your head around the great amount of love and respect. I sleep better at night thinking that the guy that carries the football, BELIEVES he will answer to something higher than the NY TIMES. but, please forgive me my simple thoughts.

  • Conservative Christians are the PERFECT pawns for the Republican Party. They submit themselves absolutely and without out question to (their own version) of authority and can dismiss any attacks by demonizing any opponents to their ideologies, such as DeLay claiming that the “liberals” are out to get him and the conservative movement.
    People who put the fact that they are AMERICANS before their respective religious identities can realize that their fellow Christian brethren will screw them in a heartbeat to get to the cash in the temple.
    When will the sane people disavow themselves of politicians who employ such cheap and degrading tactics?

  • It’s pretty sad that the right wing is displaying such a politico-religious divisiveness. The 12 judges who weren’t approved seem just to be the latest tool the wing is using to rally the troops and peg its agenda on. As an issue it won’t fly, so a lot of heated rhetoric has to keep this going. Especially sad that there seems to be so large an element of the public that follows mindlessly.

  • BT, with respect to believing in something higher than the NYT, 19 out of 19 hijackers agree with you.

  • Dennis Mosher

    The religious right waited patiently during Bush’s 1st term, and turned out strongly for Republicans in ’04.
    So now, let’s throw them a bone or two. The symbolism over Schiavo and the fillibuster is perfect, because it makes our base happy without having to spend any money on them.
    Better to do it now, so most of the swing voters we need will have forgotten by ’08.

  • BT

    Utoad,with respect,I thought I was the only one with simple thoughts

  • I answer simple with simple, it’s more devastating.

  • and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other
    That would be a totally wicked superhero. Quoting scripture while smiting wrongdoers with his justice-charged gavel of power. “Saint Gavelboy,” perhaps?

  • I think it’s time we stop this kind of math:
    Christian/religious=rightwing nutcase
    Liberal=pro-choice…and vice versa
    All that.
    Maybe politicians enjoy find answers through these equations, but most citizens I know don’t.

  • Frankly, I think its a good thing for the Democrats since the embracing of the religious right be some candidates might eventually cause a schism that would cause some moderate Republicans to vote Democratic. Will we see the rise of the Frist Republicans?

  • spongeworthy

    I don’t often disagree with our host–well, I do but lots of times I think he has a point even if it’s off base–but this time he’s wrong. Chuck Schumer, among others, has specifically criticized Catholic nominees for their deeply held beliefs. That’s a religious test no matter how you want tp spin it, and most Americans will reject that.
    Of course, there’s no assurance the moronic GOP can get that message out there effectively, but it’s the right message.

  • The way the religious right is leading the Republican Party to the edge is reminding me of what happened to the Democrats in the mid-1960’s, when pressure to be ever more liberal lead to the crack-up in 1968. In the latter case, the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War was the precipitating incident of the crack-up. The GOP is still together, but their coalition is growing more brittle.

  • james

    Fundamentalist Christian fanatics pose as a grave a threat to our nation as fundamentalist Muslims fanatics. Fundamentalism kills.

  • This james just keeps repeating itself. Nice.
    I also agree with Frist’s goal, and see no problem in changing fillibuster rules (as the senate is allowed to set them anyway, and they’ve been changed in the past. I think the nominees deserve an up/down vote.
    HOWEVER, and this is a BIG however, what Frist is pulling with this telethon crap is serving to drive people like me (moderate libertarian-conservatives) from the GOP. I’d sooner vote for a goat than Frist into the Whitehouse.

  • Derek

    It also reveals the classic dilemma for Republicans, especially those aspiring the WH. The religious extreme wing turns out the primary voters and increasingly runs the GOP machinery. So to get to the starting line, you must appease them. But once at the starting line you have to tack to the center.
    GWB was a very unique personality that will be hard to replicate. Certainly the cold and arrogant First, with his transparent pandering, will have a hard time winning over the swing voters (remember them?) in 2008—as will many rank and file GOPers in the midterm elections. Bush’s religious conviction is real (as opposed to Frist, who fairly or not reeks of opportunism); W’s down-home persona is charming; and heís a ruthless partisan. He’s the glue that holds the weird factions of today’s GOP together.
    But the strain of pleasing the increasingly shrill religious wing is showing now that heís a essentially a lame duck. Americans hate being told what to do, by government officials or ministers or anyone else. This could get pretty ugly for the GOP.

  • Bill

    I used to think that Americans “hate[d] being told what to do, by government officials or ministers or anyone else” but it seems that the opposite has been true in recent months, especially from Republicans, who seem to want the government to tell them exactly what is right or wrong or good or bad, which also seems like a very non-Republican/non-Reaganist position as well. It’s why I’m probably voting Democratic for the first time in my life in 2006. I don’t like being told how to live my life, and I’m sick of legislation aimed to do that. We Republicans used to stand for less government interference in general- heck, that’s how we took over in 1994. That seems like a long time ago.

  • beetroot

    Gavin, above, suggested that “religion has morphed into this sort of undesirable quality to have in public life.”
    He’s not right, of course (what political candidate doesn’t lay out a lotta God talk? Americans like their politicians to be men and women of faith), but he is on to something that the left will be forced to confront as the right forces the confrontation.
    That something is best illustrated by the poster Jeff cites, the one that features the kid holding the gavel and the Bible. “He should not have to choose,” it reads.
    Well, many of us believe that he SHOULD have to choose. He should have to choose because the whole American experiment is about laws of men, established through Constitutional process — not laws of God established by some holy writ.
    Anybody who wants to be a judge has to accept the responsibility of carrying out the laws passed by democratically-elected representatives of the people. Insofar as those laws conform with Christian law (e.g. thou shalt not steal), that’s great. But when the rubber hits the road, and the law of man doesn’t agree with the law of God (as interpreted by mere mortals, of course), the judge has to suck it up.
    Now that’s not an easy thing to say, politically speaking. Which is why so few people want to open up and say it.
    But the fact is that the “undesirable quality to have in public life” is not, from my point of view, spirituality or religosity per se, but the willingness to conflate religion with secular law.
    If a religious movement can use a religiously-motivated base to enshrine a religiously-justified law (e.g. free the slaves), fine. If the right can get so powerful as to ban abortion through legal means, I’ll be bummed but I’ll have to suck that up. Goose, gander, etc.
    But too many Christians seem to think that the Bible is already the law – and that’s just wrong. So yeah, he does have to choose. Tough shit.

  • Kat

    Well, Bill, neither do I. I don’t want you telling me gay marriage is good and my beliefs are wrong. I don’t want some Liberals redefining marriage and my Bible. I’m sick of your ACLU dictating to me about my religion telling me I can’t say Merry Christmas in public and for the last century waging your war on traditions, moral values, and customs I hold dear and shoving your crap pop culture in my face. You leftists need to take a good long look in the looking glass. You have been bullying Christians long enough, even punishing preschoolers for daring to pray over a snack, but we’ve had enough of your bigotry and horseshit. Yes, I hate being told how to think and what to do by the lunatic left who have declared themselves almighty god as they seek to attack anyone who dares speak in public and voice a Christian view. Atheism is the intolerant entity here–not Christianity.

  • YetAnotherRick

    JennyD – Here’s another kind of math that the left uses:
    [Republican/Conservative/Neocon/Evangelical/Fundamentalist] = Dominionist Theocrat
    That’s just plain wrong, but so many people buy into it, and swallow every bit of propoganda, like Bill Moyers’ Left Behind Screed.
    I also wish some religious liberals would own up to the fact that they also wish to create a society based on some of their own interpretations of the bible. BTW, I happen to be somewhere in the political and religious middle, and agree with a fair number of liberal views, and think this Justice Sunday thing is nonsense, and hope it backfires quickly.

  • Derek

    Yes, Kat, Christians are so under attack here in the USA. We’re being rounded up and carted off to concentration camps (wait, that was different western Christian country doing that to a different religion).
    You’re so brave, kat. And so long suffering. Poor, poor vicitm Kat. Everyone bow your heads and say a prayer for her—wait, that’s illegal here in the evil USA.
    But you hang in there, kat. Christ is gonna come down and slay all those meany liberals for you and make W. emperor. The YOU can tell Americans how they have to live, the way YOU want them to, so YOU can do all the bullying. Hooray for liberated kat!

  • Kat

    No, Derek, that was an atheist regime doing that to any religion. He killed as many Christians as Jews. Your buddy , Hitler did not believe people of faith deserve to be in power.{Hitler’s secretary, Martin Bormann, declared that “National Soci-alism and Christianity are irreconcilable” . Hermann Rauschning, a Hitler associate, said, “One is either a Christian or a German. You can’t be both.” Hitler told Hermann Rauschnig that he intended “to stamp out Christianity root and branch.”In addition, Hitler declared Nazism the state religion and the Bible was replaced by Mein Kampf in the schools. Just like you leftsts or secularists or Nazis want to replace my Bible with your version.. If you have faith, don’t enter politics is the leftist screed. If you have faith, you can’t be a judge. I believe in separation of Church and state, but not in separation of Christians from state.

  • Derek

    Wow, kat, that was almost a civil comment. But I never did say the Nazis were Christian. Just that Germany was predominantly a Christian (as opposed to Muslim or Jewish) country that gave rise to Nazism. But when have you ever read what someone actually writes?
    Of course, when Nazis are raised, let’s not forget the complicity of Pope Pius XII, who pretty much supported Hitler (my buddy, as you so wittily put it) and his Catholic Croatian Ustashi allies, who slaughtered Muslim Serbs. But that’s okay with you.
    I hereby propose a new term: Moonkat. It’s someone who whines and pretends she’s a victim of forces that don’t exist and wants to impose her own brand of religion on everyone else.
    A moonkat is incapable of consistent logical thought and prefers hysterical faith (as long as it’s a kind she approves of) over logical reasoning. Moonkats can be observed in their natural habitat: grandstanding at Planned Parenthood clinics and nosing their way into individual end-of-life decisions while refusing to pay a dime for underprivileged children and cutting Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of others. They can be readily identified by their droppings: loopy comments on blogs.

  • Kat

    Derek, and you are an asshole, a diahrea spewing dumbfuck, and I have better things to do, like rake a lawn, then engage in your childish banter. You are a clueless asswit whose mother should be found and caned for bringing such a waste of skin into the world Have a nice day.

  • Derek

    Kat speaks!

  • Derek

    And while I thank kat for the kind Christian sentiments, here’s a quote from Mein Kampf, which she mentions, of course in complete ignorance of what is in it:
    “I am completely convinced that I am acting as the agent of God. I am now a Catholic and will always remain so.”
    Hitler, btw, was never excommunicated by the Vatican and Mein Kampf was never banned by the Church (although plenty other books have been).
    Franjo Tudjman, infamous Catholic Croatian leader, had these kat-like comments on the matter:
    “Genocide is a natural phenomena… Genocide is not only permitted, it is recommended, even commanded by the word of the Almighty, whenever it is useful for the survival or restoration of the kingdom of the chosen nation, or for the preservation and spreading of its one and only correct faith.”
    Tom DeLay, Bill Frist and kat should be proud of such august company. Moonkats truly rule the day!

  • I don’t know what heaven is like, but I have a hunch that hell is being trapped for eternity in locked, windowless room with Derek and Kat.
    Think of it as a Sartre’s No Exit for a digital age.

  • JennyD and Derek:
    You have missed some of kat’s rounds with a couple others who disagreed with The Bible According to Kat. Welcome to No Exit with Hysteria.

  • Jim S

    Derek’s right about Hitler claiming to be a Christian. That, of course, is as valid as Bin Laden claiming to be a good Muslim while engaging in mass murder and wanting to commit more. Kat is wrong if she is speaking of the camps when she says that Hitler killed as many Christians as Jews. The numbers were estimated to be 11 million killed in the camps. 6 million of those were killed because they were Jewish. The other 5 million were handicapped (especially mentally handicapped), homosexuals, Gypsies, political dissedents and other ethnic groups. About the only group I found reference to that were killed because of their religion other than Jews were the Jehovah’s Witnesses. How many of those do you think there were? I doubt that they were that numerous in Europe in the ’30s and ’40s.

  • Derek

    I’ve been around for a lot of Kat’s brand of Christian charity before, Ruth—-I’m a common target of it. You’re right about No Exit to Hysteria, though.
    I agree with JennyD but with one quibble. Hell is being in any room, even a chatroom, with kat alone. No need for me to be present.
    Jim S is right, of course, about Hitler and Christianity, Bin Laden and Islam. It’s the problem with absolute faith—-like absolute power, it corrupts.

  • Hitler also was a member of the *Soc ia list* Party, (National *So cia list* etc.), he kind of covered all the bases. And another group that went to the concentration camps was the royalty, especially in Poland, when they wouldn’t front for the Nazis.
    The shame of all the politicization of religion is that it totally alienates thinking and moral people. And brings out the others in droves.

  • Kat

    Yes, and John Kerry claims to be a Catholic, so what.
    Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, by Allan Bullock, : “I’ll make these damned parsons feel the power of the state in a way they would have never believed possible. For the moment, I am just keeping my eye upon them: if I ever have the slightest suspicion that they are getting dangerous, I will shoot the lot of them. This filthy reptile raises its head whenever there is a sign of weakness in the State, and therefore it must be stamped on. We have no sort of use for a fairy story invented by the Jews.”
    Hitler, just like many John Kerry and other leftist politicians, engaged in doublespeak. It’s called political pandering,when people like Clinton and Kerry invoke God’s name to gain support from the religious groups. He actually tried to kill the Pope and everyone connected with him.
    Jehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describes the real “god” of Hitler and the Nazis in his article, “The Trauma of the Holocaust: Some Historical Perspectives,” by saying: “”They wanted to go back to a pagan world, beautiful, naturalistic, where natural hierarchies based on the supremacy of the strong would be established, because strong equaled good, powerful equaled civilized. The world did have a kind of God, the merciless God of nature, the brutal God of races, the oppressive God of hierarchies.” In other words, definitely non-Christian.
    Sounds like an atheist to me.
    Many Polish Christians were holocausted. Altogether 20 million died–6 million Jews.

  • Jim S

    Why am I not surprised to see Kat equating John Kerry with Hitler? I think the ultra-liberals who do the same with Bush are buffoons and Kat does them even better by not only comparing all “leftist” politicians with Hitler but then equating all non-Christian religions with atheism. While she has a point about Hitler’s Christianity or lack of same because he said many different things on the subject she goes on to discredit herself with the rest of the post. No one outside of the most pathetic fringe of the right wing has ever really doubted either Kerry’s or Clinton’s faith, but Kat and her kind can’t acknowledge that there are those whose Christian faith is just as valid as hers that don’t express it in the same way. These “loud” Christians can’t accept that some are reticient about speaking publicly about what they consider private matters but that the Religious Right has in a way forced into the public sphere. Also, what about atheism not being a belief in any kind of god doesn’t she understand? There are many religions, all of them involve faith in either unseen deities or some aspect of nature as deity. Atheism is the rejection of them all and is not a religion except as the Religious Right in the U.S. and some other fringe personalities might want to redefine it.

  • Kat

    I take that back, Hitler was into some pagan back magic. I apologize to the atheists.
    Also, though I have resolved to ignore the idiot Derek the dumbass, he is full of shit, and had better study his history.
    Pius XII¥s actions helped save 800,000 Jewish lives, either directly or indirectly, according to Jewish researcher Pinchas Lapide. Pius XII was actively involved in the German resistance¥s plans to remove the tyrant, as revealed in the British Foreign Office documents on the so-called Schwarze Kapelle, which involved Admiral Canaris, Count Von Stauffenberg and other German personalities opposed to the F¸hrer.