Friday, August 12, 2005

Religious Right's Justice Sunday II’ To Bash Courts

Great article by AU. Definitely a good read.

Religious Right leaders will gather Sunday in Nashville, Tenn., to trash the federal courts and lobby for the confirmation of Bush Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts and a radical re-make of the nation’s judiciary.

The highly politicized national broadcast, dubbed “Justice Sunday II,” is a sequel to a similar gathering at a Kentucky mega-church last spring. During that April 24 event, leading Religious Right politico James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, blasted federal judges as “unelected and unaccountable and arrogant and imperious and determined to redesign the culture according to their own biases and values.”

“And they’re out of control,” Dobson added.

The first “Justice Sunday,” coordinated by the Family Research Council (FRC), was a merger of politics and the pulpit. U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) joined the rally via video telecast. The FRC is coordinating the Aug. 14 event as well.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State says the second Religious Right rally is certain to be as shrill and politically charged as the first.

“Dobson and his cohorts want federal courts beholden to their religious dictates, not the U.S. Constitution,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “The first event was replete with hysterical accusations against the federal courts; the second is certain to be just as offensive.”

Lynn said “Justice Sunday II” should be canceled. FRC President Tony Perkins, Lynn said, should follow Hollywood’s lead.

“Movie makers know that when the original stinks, there’s no point in cranking out a sequel,” Lynn observed. “Tony Perkins ought to learn something from that.”

To counter the Religious Right’s second “Justice Sunday,” Lynn will participate in a “Freedom & Faith” event at Cathedral of Praise Church at 3 p.m. EST in Nashville. Lynn will join local and national religious leaders in arguing for the importance of a balanced judiciary.

The FRC’s event will include appearances from Dobson, U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.).

Another of the event’s scheduled speakers, Bishop Harry R. Jackson of Hope Christian Church in College Park, Md., said recently in a Focus on the Family publication that Christians must be concerned with the make-up of federal courts, because, “America will either remain a Christian nation protected by the laws based on morality or it will be come more morally lawless than ever before.”

Lynn said such thinking is dangerously wrong. America, he said, is a pluralistic country where people of all faiths are welcome.

“Our federal courts must not be taken over by the Religious Right,” Lynn said. “That misguided movement is seeking control of all three branches of government in an attempt to roll back civil rights and civil liberties. The separation of church and state is at stake.”

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.


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