According to some, it started yesterday when a church was used to televize political propaganda. I may be a little slow on the uptake here, but isn't the tax-free status of the churches based on them not adopting a political role of this kind? I'm probably wrong. It must be something that used to be true but no longer is.
We heard several speakers in the "Justice Sunday", including
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, who said that putting more evangelicals on the court will mean rulings more in tune with the religious convictions of churchgoers.
"We are not asking for persons merely to be moral," Mohler said. "We want them to be believers in the Lord Jesus Christ."
And then there was Tony Perkins whose organization orchestrated the roadshow:
"Just because we believe the in the Bible as a guidepost for life does not disqualify us from participating in our government," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "As American citizens, we should not have to choose between believing what is in this book and serving the public."
And Charles W. Pickering (of the sour grapes fame as he was turned down for a nomination to the Circuit Court of Appeals because of racism):
"If Christians don't stand up and don't participate, I cringe about the future."
The final touches were put on by James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on Family (a wingnut think tank) who has decided that threatening Republicans is the way to get to Gilead post-haste:
"Republicans are really good at trembling," Dobson told members of the audience. "Get a hold of them and tell them that you care and you will remember how you vote."
It's all very whiny and victimish. I thought that was our role in politics? The wingnuts are supposed to be the ones in power right now. So what are they complaining about? Nothing seems to be enough for them. The majority of Supreme Court Judges are Republicans but they are not wingnutty enough, it seems. Well, until Scalia can be cloned it's hard to do much better than the current bench. Sorry, Dobson.
Frist decided to step into this mess with only one foot. He sent a video of his statements which carefully avoided mentioning religion, yet equally carefully argued the same points as the extreme radical clerics mentioned above. This is the sort of problem you get when you habitually ride tigers and think that you can control them.