Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Just Us" Sunday Redux

Well, it appears once was not enough. The extreme right is hosting another revival on August 14, this time to rally the troops around "saving" the Supreme Court (translation; get Roberts in).

Quite the list of speakers. No Bill Frist this time. He's been replaced by Tom Delay. Now there's a real example of Christian ethics, eh?

And of course we have Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. I wonder if he'll bring along his good buddy David Duke?

Representing the Catholic Church will be Bill Donahue. Here's my favorite quote from Mr. Donahue;

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. That‘s why they hate this movie. It‘s about Jesus Christ, and it‘s about truth. It‘s about the messiah.

Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common.
Lovely, Bill. Thanks for sharing.

Chuck Colson will make an appearance. You remember Chuck, of Watergate fame? I don't agree with some of the things he's written, but I think he has sincerely tried to mend his ways. Prison tends to have that effect on some folks.

Phyllis "Stop the ERA" Shlafly will be there, as will Duelin' Zell Miller. And, of couse, no gathering of the faithful extreme would be complete without Jim Dobson, who we all have to thank for warning us of the dangers of watching SpongeBob.

It should be quite the show. Ted Gaddy, President of the Interfaith Alliance calls it a sacrilegious;

...“Here we go again!” Rev. Gaddy said. “And, this time the imagery and the implications of the message advanced by leaders of the religious right are more offensive, sacrilegious, and undemocratic than those so integral to Justice Sunday I.

“Right now, the most serious threats to the fundamental rights and liberties in our nation are not coming from a lack of God’s interest but from a small group of religious right leaders who have assumed the mantle of national religious authorities and seek to impose on the whole nation and its constitution their particular views on religion, the courts, politics, and justice...
The Interfaith Alliance will host a teleconference on August 11 to discuss their concerns regarding this gathering. The number and passcode to participate can be found on their site.

Building the Beloved Community is announcing an alternative event in Nashville at the Cathedral of Praise, 4300 Clarksville Pike (615-876-8740). If you happen to be near Nashville, you might want to stop by. Or, maybe go on a road trip. Nashville's a great city. Every bar has live music. Country, of course. But I digress...

So why this push to get John Roberts through? As conservatives go, he doesn't seem to be growing horns. No chasing staff down hotel halls screaming. No cussing out his opponents. The Democrats might give him a hard time, but he'll probably pass muster. So why is Bush hedging his bets? Why is he rallying his religious extremist troops to this cause? Why is this appointment so important?

I think Bruce Shapiro nailed it;

To understand Judge Roberts's unique appeal, forget for a moment "conservative," "textualist," "original intent" and the other shorthand with which get-ahead Republican law school grads watermark their résumés. Look instead at a single case decided by Judge Roberts and two other members of the DC Court of Appeals less than a week ago. As it happened, the day before that ruling was released, President Bush interviewed Judge Roberts at the White House. Judge Roberts, it is widely reported, aced his interview; but his appeals court decision due for publication just twenty-four hours later--about the rights of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay--was, in effect, the essay question.

Here is the question: Do the obligations of the Geneva Conventions apply to prisoners seized in Afghanistan? And can the President convene military trials, unreviewable by any courts and Congress? The case involves Salim Ahmed Hamdan, allegedly a driver for Osama bin Laden, captured on the post-9/11 battlefield and held in Camp Delta. Last year a federal judge shut down Hamdan's trial and up to a dozen other military tribunals. As convened by the Pentagon, those drumhead tribunals, wrote the lower court, amounted to a violation of the Geneva Treaty and an unconstitutional seizure of power by the President.

Whatever Judge Roberts's performance in his interview with the President, whatever his sterling report card as litigator and jurist, we can be sure there was only one acceptable answer to the Guantánamo essay question, and the judge gave it. He voted, along with his two appeals court colleagues, all three of them Reagan or Bush appointees, against Geneva Convention protections for Guantánamo captives, in scathing language ordering the military tribunals forward, empowering the President, and the President alone, to determine those prisoners' fate.
It's not about abortion, or gay marriage, or even Iraq. It's about supporting "an unconstitutional seizure of power by the President." Imagine that.


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