Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged (By Us)

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Atrios cites the following from one of National Journal's cripplingly expensive subscription-only offerings:

Christian conservatives and a core group of congressional supporters are launching a significant new push to restructure the federal judicial system to reflect a more explicitly biblical world view, in the hopes that these changes will pave the way for broader social and political changes, leaders of the movement said.

Some of the most prominent conservative leaders in the country—including Vision America's Rick Scarborough, Coral Ridge Ministry's James Kennedy and the Free Congress Foundation's Paul Weyrich—launched the effort Thursday in Washington….

[The] group also will focus on forcing Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against any judge who does not conform with their biblically based interpretation of the Constitution, as well as permanently curb judicial authority over matters of church and state, marriage and governmental acknowledgement of a Christian deity.

This is apparently the work of the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration, which sounds like something Margaret Atwood might've come up with on a particularly uninspired day. Only the sort of people who can, with a straight face, claim that keeping kids in foster care so they won't be adopted by a gay couple is consonant with "family values" could conceive of cloaking themselves in the mantle of "constitutional restoration" while delivering a swift kick in the nuts to our system of separation of powers.

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  1. Yeah, this’ll happen.

  2. restructure the federal judicial system to reflect a more explicitly biblical world view, in the hopes that these changes will pave the way for broader social and political changes, leaders of the movement said

    Call me crazy lefty, but I always thought that the government should change in response to society, and not the other way around.

    Hmm, I could have sworn that somebody invented a phrase for using government to change society. What was it? Had something to do with engines I think. Oh, I’ve got it: Social Engineering!

    Somebody needs to make a movie called “Dr. Conservative, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Government.”

    Anyway, railing against the judiciary is always a good way to temporarily forget that the House Majority Leader is a scumbag. Or forget that most of the other people in the House are scumbags as well, for that matter.

  3. I just want to say to these brave Christian warriors that they aren’t over-reaching at all. The re-election of an incumbent president during wartime with 51% of the vote is a powerful mandate for an aggressive social program, and the clear majority support they enjoy would be best built upon through massive ad buys in favor of their favorite Congressional candidates during the 2006 elections.

  4. So we’ll have one set of judges interpreting law based on the Bible and one set of judges interpreting law based on the EU Constitution and UN charter? Oh yeah, that sounds like an America I want to live in.

  5. I’m eagerly awaiting the reverse of 1994, this time when Republicans overreach, and create a Congressional backlash.

    Still waiting. Anytime would be good. How about while we still have some semblance of a democracy?

  6. But of course, Kerry would have been worse.

    As we all know.

  7. He’s too busy riding his bike, his knees have gone bad. No chance of Tereza’s knees going bad, I suppose.

  8. We need to fight these people tooth and nail.

  9. joe-

    I think you should donate to these causes. Since the Democrats are clueless there’s no point in giving money to them. Better to donate funds to the one group that is capable of defeating the Republicans: The Republicans.

    Send them a token donation with a letter saying how much you approve of what they’re doing. The letter is the most important thing, since it will reinforce their resolve to keep running with these bad ideas.

    Better yet, send multiple letters and donations from different aliases. Obviously one from just plain old joe. Another one from an alias named joe bart, another from joe bourne, and so forth 😉

    For that matter, you might want to donate to a “Draft Quayle in 2008” fund 😉

  10. thoreau,

    However good your idea sounds on paper, I would be very concerned that the vast majority of people in this country (say about 85%) would honestly get behind a movement like this. It’s been my experience that many religious folks in this country, especially the conservative ones, honestly feel they have been victimized by the secular forces “out there” and this kind of drive is just what is needed to make our country a better place to live in. Like it was in the 1950s, when “the men were strong, the women were good-looking, and the children were safe.”

  11. Julian, ever read your archives? It appears Ron Bailey was waaay ahead of the curve on some peoples motives.

  12. I it were closer, I’d love to go to the conference and see how many questions I could ask before they threw me out.

    People wonder why I fear and despise the “faithful”. None of the items on their agenda for in any way precludes them from being able to practice their religions. They all involve other people being coerced into following their beliefs.

  13. Couldn’t be any worse than what we have now. Ruth Bader Gisberg and Kennedy consulting foreign laws instead of our constitution when making important rulings. Same with Sandra Day. They should be impeached.

  14. “Couldn’t be any worse than what we have now.”

    surely you can be more creative than that. think ahead. think about the fun we’d have – sectarian judicial violence!

    i’d help the 7th day adventist coup.

  15. [The] group also will focus on forcing Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against any judge who does not conform with their biblically based interpretation of the Constitution, as well as permanently curb judicial authority over matters of church and state, marriage and governmental acknowledgement of a Christian deity.

    i would just like to know how a “group” would go about implementing the above? not only is it utterly ridiculous, its totally impossible. also, isn’t it funny how conservatives are always crying out about how liberal courts are forcing beliefs upon them?

  16. “…keeping kids in foster care so they won’t be adopted by a gay couple is consonant with “family values” could conceive of cloaking themselves in the mantle of “constitutional restoration” while delivering a swift kick in the nuts to our system of separation of powers.”

    Ah yes, as also says the rabid Left, the only possible option is that of strawmen Christian Rightists, burning the constitution, stuffing foster homes, sniggering all the way back to the collection plate. You don’t mean that, do you?

    The real-world option is, as we now already have and live it in all 50 states, ripping families apart by imperialist, sexist family courts for profit and spousal revenge (no practical separation of powers there) establishing entire welfare cities, sucking up to Washington-mandated title IV-D Orwellianism, and disenfranchising millions of single parents, courtesy of an entrenched radical feminist lobby, a divorce/custody industry probably bigger in revenues than Sweden or Ireland or something, a grossly secular Washington, and anything but gender equality, balanced power, or respect for rights, principles, or moral traditions.

    That is, if we’re talking solely the realm of the family subjected to government for its whim, which seems to be your point.

    The difference, Julian, is that one of these views is fantasy and the other reality. Foster home fundamentalism isn’t technically an impossible fantasy, of course, but its an humorous statistical insignificance compared to the known numbers already gushing out of the lovely, entirely secular, 40 year-old federal family (mis)management programs of 2005.

    In images-centric America, sure, we could do far better than a small bunch of unattractive white Christian guys parading around the capitol espousing their (but not your) brand of family values, but safely subject to your and my vote. But we could also do far, far worse. Which we already are.

  17. Comment by: BillyRay at April 8, 2005 08:34 PM

    Well, that answers my question about Gary. Never mind.

  18. Oh, and it’s inevitable that somebody must say…

    I, for one, welcome our new theocrat overlords!

  19. thoreau, “Better yet, send multiple letters and donations from different aliases. Obviously one from just plain old joe. Another one from an alias named joe bart, another from joe bourne, and so forth ;)”

    No, no…it’s John Bigboote’! (Buckaroo Banzi)

  20. The Evangelicals will overreach. I know they will; they always overreach. They’ll overreach, and the Security Moms will become Soccer Moms again–we’ll probably call them “Empty Nesters” or something else then. The Democrats only need a couple of percentage points in the next election–not including the Baptist minister’s family joe keeps locked up in his basement–and then we’ll all be talking about how the right wing of the Republican Party wwaaaaaayyy overreached.

    “Couldn’t be any worse than what we have now.

    Everything always looks darkest just before it turns pitch black.

    “i’d help the 7th day adventist coup.

    Adventists want little or nothing to do with the government…someday the government’s gonna come after ’em, you know. …and there’s gonna be a lot of locusts!

    I’ve never seen a poll, but I suspect there are more Pro-Choice Adventists than there are Pro-Life ones–and I’ve never heard of any Adventist political activity on the topic, either way. They just want the government to leave them, and everybody else, alone.

  21. not including the Baptist minister’s family joe keeps locked up in his basement

    Hah! I still remember that one!

    The image of them on the hamster wheel is priceless.

  22. NV Dad makes a good point, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say there’s nothing to worry about from the right because we’re so far to the left already. Rather my fear is that there’s nobody with enough sense to drive things to a safe middle ground. At this point we’re beholden to the extremes, on either side.

  23. ken: yeah, well, yeah. still, for the sake of fantasy, i could see outre christian sects being targeted – or feeling targeted – by an overt takeover by mainline protestant groups.

  24. Only the sort of people who can, with a straight face, claim that keeping kids in foster care so they won’t be adopted by a gay couple is consonant with “family values” could conceive of cloaking themselves in the mantle of “constitutional restoration” while delivering a swift kick in the nuts to our system of separation of powers.

    I’d like to hear more about the metaphor of our system of separation of powers.

  25. NV Dad makes some good, if hyperbolic, points. But what are we to do about the lefties and the Xian nuts? Both groups are primitive collectivists–the religious are medieval and the lefties are pre-historic (or early-historic). If I were a Texan I’d say, “Nuke them all and let God sort them out!” If I were a lefty I’d send them to re-education camps (i.e., public schools). My tact is to call them primitive. Most people, including Christians and communists, hate to be referred to as primitive. It gets their attention, anyway! (By the way, I’m not referring to left-leaning rational people or non-fundie, thinking Christians.)

  26. Billy Ray: Do you really think this goes far enough? Why not just amend the Constitution and make all judges’ tenures subject to the whim of Congress…er, the House of Representatives…uh, no, wait…Tom Delay.

  27. “What it is time to do is impeach justices,” Texas Justice Foundation President Allan Parker extolled a crowd of a hundred or so conservative lobbyists, attorneys and activists. “The standard should be any judge who believes in the ‘living constitution’ should be impeached.”

    (above from same Atrios posting Julian cites)

    Not sure about a judicial impeachment/witch hunt/red cleansing, but I guess there isn’t really any recourse against judges save impeachment. But I do hate the “living constitution” crowd.

  28. Yeah. That “living constitution” baloney has ruined this country. It’s all been downhill since they gave the vote to indentured servants.

  29. biblical world view

    I’m assuming they mean the version with the New Testament in it. Although fundies have quite the hard-on for Old Testament-style justice.

    Conservative Christians to Jewish judges: “Achtung, Juden! Get with the program!”

  30. Koppelman – surely you understand the difference between results and process? A “living constitution” could simply be re-interpreted to to allow for indentured servants at some point in the future, with no formal change. A “living document” has no meaning save for what panel of judges decide they want it to mean.

  31. I don’t know Ron. I prefere Tom Delay to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    Good old Ruth Bader. ACLU big shot. Spent years lobbying to normalize pedophilia

    Yeppers, that old Tom Delay, he’s a real bad guy.

  32. Evangelicals and fundamentalists are often conflated, and it’s easy to see why. While most, if not all, Evangelicals are fundamentalists, not all fundamentalists are Evangelicas. Indeed, many fundamentalists, many of the ones I know at least, are afraid of Evangelicals.

    Evangelicals seem to be playing the role that the Catholic Church traditionally played in many European democracies. It used to be that one was “conservative” in such a country to the extent that one wished the Church to influence politics. (Think divorce laws, etc.)

    Protestants, as NV Dad suggests, formed the early foundation of American opposition to any church’s influence in politics. In this way, Evangelicals seem very different from traditional fundamentalists. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Christians of all different stripes, and I am yet meet a single Evangelical–haven’t seen any on TV or heard any on the radio either–who doesn’t think that politics is a legitimate function of religion. I know lots of traditional fundamentalists, on the other hand, who are much more skeptical of the government in general than the average libertarian I talk to…

    …and they’re more concerned about Evangelicals than we are too.

    P.S. “Protestant” is easy to conflate with “Evangelical” as well.

    “I don’t know Ron. I prefere Tom Delay to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

    “Good old Ruth Bader. ACLU big shot. Spent years lobbying to normalize pedophilia”

    “Yeppers, that old Tom Delay, he’s a real bad guy.”

    So this is in response to what exactly? I mean, isn’t this a false choice? If Gunnels was here, well, he wouldn’t want to put words in his mouth…

    …So, um, even if Ginsberg is a great inventor of pedophile rights–and I didn’t look at your link–why would that paint me into such a corner. Am I missing something? …or are you suggesting that because Ginsberg tried to “normalize” pedophilia, I have to support that slime-bag Tom Delay?

    …Do you find that logic persuasive?

  33. First off, I totally disagree with what the JCCCR says it’s trying to do here, but luckily it’s likely that they realize their goals are unreachable — each would require a constitutional ammendment — but are trying to be seen as “doing something” to attract donations.

    Ken,

    Why is it all right for the ACLU, labor unions, NAACP, and NARAL to push their agendas politically, but when a church tries to do the same suddenly its a violation of separation of church and state?

    Why not just treat all voluntary organizations equally? Freedom of association demands no less.

  34. “…Do you find that logic persuasive?”

    Ken:

    Why are you assuming that’he’s using logic to begin with?

    Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m breaking my own pledge to ignore BillyRay. However, you can only ignore an annoying insect for so long until you just have to get up and swat it.

  35. Akira,

    Keep your religion to yourself, and we’ll all be happy.

    Your support for free expression is heartening. 8-|

    don’t go whining about a “nanny state” when the danger of a “puritan state” is just as great

    The nanny state is already here in many ways. What aspects of the puritan state did exist in the US have almost totally disappeared, and for it to rise again would require fundamental changes in our culture. So which one should we be more worried about?

  36. “Why is it all right for the ACLU, labor unions, NAACP, and NARAL to push their agendas politically, but when a church tries to do the same suddenly its a violation of separation of church and state?”

    First, I was simply making an observation about the distinction, as I see it, between Evangelicals and fundamentalists in regards to their politics. Having done that, in my opinion, I have no problem with groups organizing within a democracy to influence policy from a legal or political perspective.

    “Why not just treat all voluntary organizations equally? Freedom of association demands no less.

    Indeed!

    With that out of the way, when I talk to Christians about whether influencing public policy is a legitimate function of spreading the gospel, I point to the Bible and tell them that it isn’t. I think feeding the hungry is something Christians should devote themselves to, so I volunteer in a soup kitchen. I appeal to fundamentalists all the time to volunteer to help the poor, but I think it best that the government leave that mission to volunteers–I’m completely against that kind of government coercion.

    Most Evangelicals understand this in regards to economic policy, but take it out of the sphere of economic policy, and they seem to get stupid. Suddenly, they threaten judicial witch hunts and ridiculous indecency fines…

    …I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that Evangelicals have taken to neoconservatives so; they’re simply applying the same logic to foreign policy–if they won’t do what’s best for themselves, let’s force them! …I wonder if Evangelicals will ever use the term “paleofundamentalist” in reference to my old friends and family?

  37. “Why are you assuming that’he’s using logic to begin with?”

    I didn’t always understand all the things I understand now. Several people over a period of years took the time to explain things to me in spite of the fact that I acted like I already knew everything I needed to know. I wouldn’t have listened to most of those people if they hadn’t insulted me occasionally–it’s a great way to get someone’s attention.

    …The occasional insult–always accompanied by an explanation; it changed my mind.

  38. “…when I talk to Christians about whether influencing public policy is a legitimate function of spreading the gospel, I point to the Bible and tell them that it isn’t.”

    While that’s an amazing tacit endorsement of where we politically are today, it may potentially be an even harder point to prove, Ken.

    I think I’m with you through most of this, especially the private charity, but separation of principles and government loses me (and principes is the purest word I can think of in order to leave all personal POV’s intact and interactive with government, as intended by our system.)

    As I understand this, we’re asking who, as the result of their personal orientation, has the privilege of being government.

    First, this begs the question of whether or not a philosophy of non or somehow neutral values distinct from Christianity — the *assumed*, benign kind that meets the approval of church/state separationist secular humanists — is even possible. This was primitive Nihilism, itself a philosophy, and itself therefore technically unauthorized in the halls of taxpaid property under the current widespread abuse of that trendy, post hoc and relatively constitutionally meaningless church-and-state clause.

    Second, I’m pretty well steeped in the biblical record of Christ’s political compliance, but if there are any pertinent parallels between the tyrannical ancient church that tortured him to death by way of an equally tyrannical Roman Empire and today’s America, at least w.r.t. what’s left of *our* representative people’s govt (the one option Christ certainly never had) I’d love to see a discussion on relevance to the issue of Christians in government. In any era.

    We know from secular accounts of Christ’s life that he made a ripple across Rome that rocked it heavily, albeit shortlived. Was this his downfall in his early thirties? And would an equivalent activist be publicly killed by the central powers in today’s America?

    Would we tolerate such?

    While I don’t personally endorse wholesale and/or exclusive Christian activism in Washington (Akira’s shrill presumptive bullshit notwithstanding) the question is actually: had Christ and a Coalition of Concerned Christian Citizens the option to lobby American govt today, in defense of their (and yours and my) constitutional right to practice their religion, elect their members to office, and influence what we’d surely expect would be moral, principled outcomes from representative government, would he? Would they?

    And would we, under the auspices of our fevered worship of that foolish, made-up separation clause, protect their free speech? Their right to govern by election?

    The same questions face us today that faced Christ 2000 years ago. Why do we despise Christian values?

  39. Evangelicals and fundamentalists are often conflated, and it’s easy to see why. While most, if not all, Evangelicals are fundamentalists, not all fundamentalists are Evangelicas. Indeed, many fundamentalists, many of the ones I know at least, are afraid of Evangelicals.

    This distinction has been made before, I believe, but I think it needs to be explored further.

    I think ther maybe (for want of better descriptors, and maybe someone has enunciated them) Hard and Soft Evangelicals.

    Those Evangelicals who are Fundamentalists I would call Hard Evangelicals. While those who are not Fundamentalists Soft Evangelicals (and I think they are more numerous than you seem to be suggesting).

    I think the ones who are political active are the Hard Evangelicals. I think the Soft Evangelicals are more likely to speak of ministry and persuasion and like many non-Evangelical Fundamentalists are suspicious of political activism.

    A lot of people do not seem to realize that a lot religious folks are heavily involved in promoting left-wing causes (the Quakers for example) and are quite explicit about there religious motivations. You are, after all, “Your brother’s keeper”.

  40. The nanny state is already here in many ways. What aspects of the puritan state did exist in the US have almost totally disappeared, and for it to rise again would require fundamental changes in our culture. So which one should we be more worried about?

    Exactly. Among others, the images-centric left (typically, the part of the left that is its own highest power) can only conjure those propped-up “puritan” phantoms to make their questionable points. More people were killed by the private church in America than in all the world’s dictatorships, and all that…

  41. Conservatives whinging about “orignal intent” and “activist judges” when the Founders were, for the most part, non-religious. Pot, kettle, black.)

    The founders were very religious in nature. True Jefferson, Madison and Franklin were deist in nature, but they often spoke in religious terms.

    Totalitarian regimes throughout history have always feared so called bible thumpers. They realize it’s a threat to state power.

    Editorial from last wednesdays WSJ

    The Pope and China
    April 5, 2005; Page A18

    There is perhaps no greater testament to the power of John Paul II’s life and ideas than the message being sent by communist China. As the Pope lay dying, Chinese authorities relegated information about the state of his health to the back pages of the state-run media and the bottom items on television news. Fostering discussion of this champion of freedom was too dangerous, it seems.

    After John Paul’s death, China offered condolences to the Vatican, tacking on a hope for improved relations. There are 12 million Catholics in China, members of the “patriotic” church that is not permitted to maintain ties with the Vatican. An unknown number of others are part of the “underground” Church.

    But China’s actions betray the government’s fear of religion, and the persecution of Catholics continues as usual. An arrest spree of Chinese priests and bishops, on as yet undisclosed charges, coincided with the Pope’s final days. The bishop of Wenzhou, James Lin Xili, was detained on Palm Sunday; Father Thomas Zhao Kexun was picked up a few days later in Hebei province, as was lay worker Gao Xinyou in the diocese of Wenzhou. Other Catholics had been arrested earlier.

    It’s interesting to speculate which of John Paul’s lifelong messages most frighten Beijing’s commissars: His anti-communism, or his warning about the limitations of capitalism without moral roots. Perhaps what frightens them most of all is the thought that independent Chinese religious leaders might emerge who can speak with moral authority.

  42. You know, despite my Catholic beliefs I am very, very, very secular in my politics.

    Why? Because I believe that in the long run, any entanglement between church and state will be incredibly dangerous to believers. Especially to believers whose churches don’t succeed in currying in the favor of the state.

    They might come for the atheists first, but they’ll come for the rest of us soon after.

    That’s why I am so incredibly secular in my politics.

  43. I believe that in the long run, any entanglement between church and state will be incredibly dangerous to believers.

    I’m pretty secular in my politics as well, if only because I want to minimize the state’s involvement in many areas, including religion.

    However, my problem with the “separation of church and state” line is that it’s often used to try to exclude religious people from all political debate, even on essentially secular issues (such as abortion) which happen to divide along religious lines.

  44. The founders were very religious in nature. True Jefferson, Madison and Franklin were deist in nature, but they often spoke in religious terms.

    Obviously they spoke in religious terms, but that doesn’t mean they were religous in nature.

    But don’t take my word for it.

    “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.” – James Madison, “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785

    “Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” – James Madison, “A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785

    “It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests.” – Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1803

    “But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” – Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1810

    “History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.” – Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

    “On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.” – Thomas Jefferson to Carey, 1816

    “I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did.” – Benjamin Franklin letter to his father, 1738

    “I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it.” – Benjamin Franklin from “Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion”, Nov. 20, 1728

    “I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works … I mean real good works … not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing … or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity.” – Benjamin Franklin Works, Vol. VII, p. 75

  45. I can find dozens of quotes from the founders praising religion and Christianity. But article does an excellent job

  46. I can find dozens of quotes from the founders praising religion and Christianity. But article does an excellent job.

    It was a good article, but no where in it does it quote Franklin, Jefferson, or Madison “praising religion and Christianity.” It even notes that Jefferson rejected the divinity of Jesus, following instead his philosophies.

    But I agree with NV Dad that some vastly higher principle originated the noblest experiment in personal freedom and actualization the world has ever known.

  47. 1. It seems to me that people who speak in favor of “Christian government” usually presume that such government will be run according to the doctrines of their particular denomination. Given the number of denominations, virtually all of them will end up in a “Christian government” run according to the doctrines of somebody else’s denomination. Fundamentalist Christians forget that since the fall of the Roman Empire, the world denomination that has created the vast majority of Christian martyrs is Christianity.

    2. The Founding Fathers may have been deeply religious men, but it’s a leap to suggest that they therefore intended to set up a Christian government. After all, they drew upon the recent memory of people who had come to the New World specifically in search of Freedom of Religion. As far as I remember, every group that settled in the Colonies so they could worship as they pleased was fleeing a “Christian government.”

    3. WWJD? When Satan took Jesus up to the high mountain and offered to make Him ruler of the world’s kingdoms, Jesus turned him down. Of course, He still had to spend the rest of His ministry explaining to His followers that he was not on Earth to kick ass and take names and put them in charge of the government.

  48. WWJD? Surely he wouldn’t deal with the devil, either literally or metaphorically, so that example has nuance beyond a simple option to own government.

    OTOH, he might get pissed and start throwing stuff out. He had that tendency.

    But who knows. One thing’s fairly certain: He’d probably think before throwing away the voting rights he didn’t have then but would have today. I’m not so sure you’re right about that not putting folks in charge of government part.

  49. Ken, thoreau, have you SEEN petroleum prices lately?

    Who’s laughing now? Faster, Reverand!

    “my problem with the “separation of church and state” line is that it’s often used to try to exclude religious people from all political debate” No, it’s not, but religious people like to use this particular line of complaint when they can’t actually win an argument.

  50. No, it’s not,

    joe, is this your stock response when you can’t win an argument?

    Seriously, how can supporters of the status quo on abortion claim to be defending separation of church and state (as they often do) when many of the strongest pro-life arguments contain zero religious content?

  51. NV Dad: [I’m not so sure you’re right about that not putting folks in charge of government part.]

    Jesus made it pretty clear that His thing was standing at the door and knocking, not kicking it down. With good reason. The OT Israelites had had their own religious government time and again, and it always went sour.

  52. Perhaps to even things out, the left (or as they call themselves-Progressive) has a conference at Yale on “Constitution 2020” and how to use judges to change it via challenges. Sounds like it could be a fun few years.
    See:
    http://islandia.law.yale.edu/acs/conference/index.asp

  53. I’m sure it’s purely a coincidence that all this talk of religion and the judiciary is becoming louder as Tom DeLay is being investigated for corruption.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

    Hey, the name “DeLay” sounds kind of French to me. What is he, anti-American or something?

    As to the Founders: I don’t know what their personal beliefs were. I doubt they’d want me to care what their personal beliefs were, and I doubt they’d care what my personal beliefs are. They seemed pretty intent on the notion that religion and government are best enjoyed separately. It’s kind of like pizza and milk. Sure, you can mix them if you want, but when has it ever turned out well?

    joe-

    Where can I buy one of those hamster wheels? I’m thinking of finding me a Southern Baptist Minister and saving some money on electricity.

  54. First off, I totally disagree with what the JCCCR says it’s trying to do here, but luckily it’s likely that they realize their goals are unreachable — each would require a constitutional ammendment — but are trying to be seen as “doing something” to attract donations.

    Your argument that they might be deterred in the pursuit of policy goals given the relative difficulty of amending the Constitution would be more persuasive if it appeared that they were in interested in doing much more than threatening and advocating violence towards the judiciary.

  55. I watched most of the multihour program broadcast on CSPAN and blogged about it here:

    http://jonrowe.blogspot.com/2005/04/stopactivistjudges-on-cspan-ed-feser.html

  56. As long as the GOP-controlled senate is considering doing away with the filibuster, they may as well propose adding a few more Supreme Court justices to upset the currrent balance more quickly than attrition. I’m sure all these groups would support that: 13 justices could be a biblically based number after all, as Jesus with his twelve apostles.

  57. “Your argument that they might be deterred in the pursuit of policy goals given the relative difficulty of amending the Constitution would be more persuasive if it appeared that they were in interested in doing much more than threatening and advocating violence towards the judiciary.”

    Take a breath, Phil. Not that this is the point, but a quick trip over to MoveOn or DemUnderground any day of the week will turn all kinds of self-justified moonbat rage against the President’s life, along with probably half of Washington.

    It’s that rage that’s the point. The left may have it; the right never shall. And your link’s “tacit endorsements” of alternative ways to get a Ninth Circuit-style of absolutely activist adjudicating off the bench are precisely the sort of legal revolution the opportunistic left would also employ any day of the week — the constitutinoal kind, you know?.

    That is, IF it could only see around its blind rage long enough to recall that it also suddenly labels itself the progressive patriot party, that protector of all that is constitutionally noble and just, when it suits itself. And when its not preaching about living Constitutions…

    Sorry to run on, but all this selective parsing, professions of shock, and these sloppy definitions crack me up. “Treatening and advocating violence against the judiciary.” Yikes.

  58. So, nothing to actually say about any of the things that attendees at the conference said, NV Dad? Just a lot of hand-waving blather about “the left?” (Which, I confess, I’m at a loss as to why I’m supposed to care about, since, whatever “the left” comprises, I’m almost surely not a part of it.)

    That’s about what I figured.

  59. Serafina

    It’s not as if nobody thought of enlarging and packing the court before.

    Since the Rs have abandoned their hatred of FDR, they might as well adopt all of the tactics they once thought were so evil.

    It really is funny to observe how pols act once thy get power.

    And, to preempt thoreau, I really cannot see how Kerry could have been worse. 🙂

  60. I should have addressed my Kerry snark to kmw at April 8, 2005 06:49 PM

  61. Billy Ray: So can I interpret your response to my question as a “yes”? Thank you.

  62. JonRowe:

    Excellent blogposts!

    Kevin

  63. How would a “pragmatic libertarian” respond to proposals to reshape the judiciary with the goal of establishing a theocracy?

  64. How would a “pragmatic libertarian” respond to proposals to reshape the judiciary with the goal of establishing a theocracy?”

    The Libertarians aren’t going to get anywhere unless they get rid of their stupid purity tests and learn to embrace theocracy.

    …Anyway, that’s my guess.

  65. How would a “pragmatic libertarian” respond to proposals to reshape the judiciary with the goal of establishing a theocracy?

    Well, this progamatic libertarian would like a better divison between local and federal government. I don’t really have an issue with freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and the seperation of church and state being violated at the local level. Let fundietown exist with it’s revisionist school text books and torrid tales of invisible sky tyrants seeking vengenance. Let them ban the New York Times and the word evolution. As long as I can vote on a law that treats proselytizing the same prostitution is treated now.

    Think of the rich, delicious truths that would finally be exposed with more varied local government. Imagine as Hillary Clinton’s local town’s universal healthcare collapses under the weight of basic economics. Image Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and *gasp* even Tom Delay trying to explain why they don’t live in fundietown and instead choose to live in Freedomburgh. But I can only dream…

  66. As long as I can vote on a law that treats proselytizing the same prostitution is treated now.

    You want to ban proselytizing? OK…

  67. You want to ban proselytizing? OK…

    You’re right of course thoreau. I don’t want to completely ban proselytizing. I just want government out of it and have the same scorn for it that most do for prostitution. I’m forecasting things into the “induce” part of the definition that don’t have to be there technically but in my experience have always been there.

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