September 13, 2005

And she's a lawyer?

Court TV anchor and former judge Catherine Crier has a beef with the American Right in politics:

The extreme Right has conquered the executive and legislative branches of government, but it has not been able to bring the federal courts to heel…yet. Undoubtedly, this group has a prodigious impact on the Supreme Court and the other federal courts, but it wants so much more. Its leaders have taken an entity that innately resists politics and turned it into a highly politicized battle zone. They seethe over this unelected, independent third branch of government, the last bulwark between the American people and their attempted coup. That some federal judges have proven well educated, fair, and unintimidated by these voices and methods has further stymied their best-laid plans. The extreme Right may control a good part of the castle, but they have yet to breach the citadel. Only, make no mistake, they mean to bring every last wall crashing down.

And if they manage this, what will they do?

Most of them would like to see the United States under biblical law. Comparable to countries like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, all of which live by Sharia (the strict Islamic code of the Koran), America's right-wing fundamentalists seek a nation governed by Old and New Testament scripture. Born-again Christianity will supplant the Constitution.

No doubt there are quite a few rightist nutcases that wish exactly this. But Crier is absolutely nuts if she thinks the "The extreme Right has conquered the executive and legislative branches of government." Extreme right?? Bush's administration and the Republican Congress may have a few "extreme" members among them but they have hardly "conquered" those branches of government. "Conquered" implies they took over by force (which I'm sure is what Crier wants readers to believe. That, or via some "devious secret plot" -- see Election 2000 and 2004 for the moonbat theories.) Obviously, all the aforementioned were elected. And since they were elected, how exactly can they "attempt a coup"? Aren't they following the Constitution by proposing (Bush, that is) nominees to the Supreme Court and lesser courts? Don't they have the constitutional right to try to mold the judiciary to their political beliefs -- as every president and party has done throughout American history? And claiming that these Republican-dominated branches wish to put the U.S. under "Biblical law" isn't even worth a serious response because it's just utter garbage.

Crier offers nothing but histrionics at its worst.

Posted by Rhodey at September 13, 2005 07:33 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

The Ten Commandments in public places is enough for me to sign on to Crier's argument that most on the right would like to see us govern under strict Biblical Law. Outlandish? Oh yeah. But I do believe it.

Posted by: Mike M. at September 14, 2005 09:02 AM

It's amazing that the Ten Commandments has the ability to scare the shit of so many (see comment by Mike M. above). But these same "tolerant" people worship at the feet of diversity at any cost.

And Crier is probably a good example of how New York/ Los Angeles elitism has brainwashed so many supposedly intelligent people.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at September 14, 2005 01:06 PM

No, AJ...you still don't get where those of us on the liberal side are coming from. The Ten Commandments, as well as any other strict dogmatic themes, have NO place in a secular government bound by the separation of church and state. I don't have a problem with the Ten Commandments. I have a problem with the fools who wants to shove their religion down the throats of the rest of the country. How would you feel if Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan or atheist scripture were painted on the walls of the Capitol?

Posted by: Mike M. at September 14, 2005 01:12 PM

Mike M:
I thought the constitution says and I am loosely paraphrasing..."the govt shall support no religion over another". I don't believe it actually includes phrasing such as "separation of church and state". That was concocted by secularists in the last 50 years or so.

And lastly- do you find it odd that one atheist group in Chester County calls itself the "Free Thought Society"?

Get a grip Mike- there are far better things to fight about.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at September 14, 2005 02:51 PM

Mike said: Outlandish? Oh yeah. But I do believe it.

So, your belief is then "outlandish," Mike. At least you recognize that! The Founders would spin in their graves if they saw that the Ten Commandments were disallowed on public grounds. And we all know how THEY wanted to live under Biblical Law now, don't we? ;-)

AJ is mostly correct. There is no "separation of church and state" phrase anywhere in the Constitution. It was seized upon much later by secularists. Where was it stated? In a Thomas Jefferson letter to Danbury Baptists in 1801. The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

By "Congress" the Constitution means "the national (federal) government." This is precisely why state churches continued to exist after the Bill of Rights was ratified! Obviously, however, court precedents have changed things from their original intentions. IOW, the "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" has been forgotten among jurists when considering the supposed free exercise on public grounds. And Mike -- you do know that religion and belief in God (or supreme being) played a key role in the Founders' ideas and philosophies? And that the Ten Commandments -- and many other aspects of Judeo-Christian religiosity -- are the basis of myriad aspects of our legal foundations?

That said, Crier isn't even close. It's like stating that the "extreme Left" that has "a hold on the Democratic Party" wants to turn the United States into an atheistic socialist/communist one-party state. IOW, it's completely absurd.

Posted by: Hube at September 14, 2005 03:33 PM

My question STILL stands. If we allow CHRISTIAN symbols and scripture in government buildings, then do not also the atheists, Jews, Muslims, and Wiccans have the right to display their BS? It's about consistency, something I haven't seen from many conservatives --or liberals, for that matter-- on this issue.

I don't want ANY government facility used as a place for religious scripture -- end of story. It's actually quite a simple opinion.

Posted by: Mike M. at September 14, 2005 03:46 PM

By the way, screw the fore fathers. We're in 2005. I don't care about precedence or anything like that. Everyone was Christian in America then. Or a Salem Witch. As Dylan says, The Times Are a Changin' and we've got to adapt to a culture where HUNDREDS of religions and non-religions exist in the country today. By allowing only Christian symbolism in government buildings, yes, I do feel it would be appropriate to call ourselves The Christian Republic of the United States of America. Much like the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Posted by: Mike M. at September 14, 2005 03:51 PM

OK, I know I'm going to be reamed for making that dumb equivalency argument, so bring it on. I'm fairly immune.

Posted by: Mike M. at September 14, 2005 03:58 PM

Mike: My understanding is that if Christian symbols are to be allowed on gov. property, then yes -- "equal time" must be provided to other religions. Current practice agrees with you (and me, for that matter).

You're entitled to your opinion all you wish about completely separating gov. and religion. That certainly doesn't mean that those who disagree believe that the US should exist "under Biblical law"!

Your view about "the times are a-changin'" in my view is a very dangerous precedent. IOW, you must believe in a "living Constitution," correct? This means then that we all live at the whim of what nine unelected people deem "necessary, just or moral." There is virtually NO check on these people. I must say, for a party whose belief system claims to abhor totalitarianism and a seeming "dictator" president, this is a shocking view to take. I mean, if the Constitution means what 9 unelected people say it means, then why even HAVE a constitution? What's written in it and its original meanings .... mean nothing! Why not just trash the thing and let our judges make up laws as they go along?

Posted by: Hube at September 14, 2005 04:23 PM

I have no problem with equal or proportional time for all religions on public property. Otherwise you end up completely neutering history.

Plus, athiesm is also a religion according to the Feds. It isn't a neutral solution. Forcing other religions out because of a few athiests is as much an establishment of religion as anything going the other way.

Make it all optional/academic.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist at September 14, 2005 05:30 PM

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