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Fox provides megaphone for Christian complaints of not being heard

Reported by Chrish - August 16, 2005

Any Fox viewer who missed the so-called "Justice Sunday II" last night got a meaty two-part synopsis on Special Report tonight 8/15/05. You might call it "Justice Sunday for Dummies."

The first segment devoted to the spectacle was billed by guest host Jim Angle as "...a rally aimed at educating Christian conservatives about the Supreme Court and their hopes for the next Justice. HML Tom DeLay told the group that lawmaking was the responsibility of lawmakers and not judges." (Comment: they are being educated about their hopes? )

After a video clip of prayerful white people over which we heard "we pray for Judge Roberts that he would in fact be a judge that would honor the Constitution", Jonathan Serrie reported that the rally was not so much an endorsement of nominee John Roberts as it was a protest of what many Christian conservatives call judicial activism, the belief that unelected judges are legislating from the bench, to impose liberal policies that are out of touch with the majority of Americans.

From a podium with an enormous crucufix behind it, flanked by huge American flags, Tom DeLay said to the crowd "American people have heard the arguments in favor of state-sanctioned same sex marriage; in favor of 'partial-birth abortion'; in favor of ridding the public square of any mention of our religious heritage. We've heard the arguments. We just disagree."

Noting the absence of SML Bill Frist, who had appeared in a taped video at the first Just Us Sunday, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins denied that Frist's flip-flop to a supportive position on embryonic stem-cell research had anything to do with the Senator's absence.

Serrie said that on another side of town (Nashville) "about 400 demonstrators gathered at a church to protest Justice Sunday and what they say is an attempt to create a religious litmus test for those serving in government." A woman reverend, R Nakashima Brock, praised the early founders of Christianity who knew that the collusion of religion and government was dangerous for everybody.

Comment: Note the the one was a "rally" which has a positive connotation while the other is a "demonstration" signifying negativity and complaint.

A smirking man came on, a Dr. Jerry Sutton, who dismissed the reverend's concerns saying "the whole notion is absurd...to say that we want to take over anything. * What we do want to do is make our voice heard."

According to Serrie, Justice Sunday was broadcast on Christian television and radio networks available in 60 million homes. While there is no way to know how many of those homes tuned in, producers hope there were "enough to persuade more elected officials to take seriously the concerns about the court and its influence on American society."

A little later in the program, Angle had on as an unopposed guest William Donohue of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. In case anyone missed it, Angle asked him to summarize: "So, Bill, what was the message of last night's gathering?"

Donohue said the message is that Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, are fed up with Senators and Judges who make it difficult to get "our' (Donohue speaking) point of view heard. Apparently he thinks Senators are making it very hard to get someone who is "pro-life and Christian" on the bench. He also believes judges make decisions up "out of whole cloth" about abortion, gay marriage, and "the takings clause".

Angle then said "some of the detractors from last night said that it is you and people who were at this 'gathering' who want to impose a religious litmus test on judges." Donohue said (paraphrased) that it was Mario Cuomo who asked last week if Roberts could rule impartially on a case where the law conflicted with the Church (this was "bigotry" according to Donohue); NPR's Nina Totenberg who
reported that Robert's wife is high-up in the "pro-life" movement, they have adopted children, and he is a conservative Catholic; and Christopher Hitchens who said Robert's confirmation would bring the number of Catholics on the Supreme Court to four. Outrageous!

Donohue was agitated and sputtering - perhaps this is normal for him - and he spat out this diatribe: "It's not the evangelicals or the catholics who are the problem here, who want to have the judiciary tamed, that's all; the religious test is coming from those people (who) basically say leave the driving to us, and in fact we have left the driving to them for a long time, but I got news for the left: we're taking command of the wheel." This is in stark contrast to what was said earlier by the smirking doctor, "the whole notion is absurd...to say that we want to take over anything." Where do libs get this paranoid idea?

Angle, non-plussed, posed the next question/jumping off point: "Bill" believes policymaking should be left to legislators who answer to the voters and the judiciary should just enforce the laws. But sometimes the legislators pass laws Bill is opposed to; what then? Donohue says he has never known an issue of same sex marriage or abortion to be successful when put to voters, and uses inflammatory rhetoric to illustrate his point, citing late-term abortions in particular. He calls gay marriage one of the most bizarre things he's ever heard of in his life. (Apparently he's not familiar with Neil Horsely and l'affaire mulet.)

He's not saying that the legislature can't make "dumb moves", but who gave the authority to these judges? That's why he's calling for a Constitutional amendment to make it un-Constitutional for any act of Congress to be overturned unless it is unanimous. He credits this idea to fourth US Supreme Court Justice John Marshall and seconded by former Marxist Sidney Hook - "that's really tame 'em!"

Angle asks the last question, saying Tony Perkins last night said he didn't anticipate Roe v Wade being overturned but he did expect state legislatures to begin taking action (against abortion rights) - how does Bill see this issue unfolding in the coming years?

Donohue says Hillary Clinton is moving his way, and "pro-abortion" NY Governor Pataki last week vetoed legislation making the "morning after pill" available over the counter. He says the pro-choice faction is walking towards the "pro-life' side, and that America has the most liberal abortion policies in the world. He cites Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard University (neglecting to mention that she is a Bush appointee and has been mentioned as a possible Bush SCOTUS nominee); she deplores the liberal abortion rights policies of this country and compares them to other modern countries unfavorably.

(Comment: I thought the right-wingers were against using knowledge/opinions/models from foreign countries when determining policy or interpreting laws for this country.)

All told the Justice Sunday Christio-Republithon got over eight minutes of unopposed airtime on the primo news show on FNC. The views expressed were anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-liberal, and pro-religion-in-government. Fair and balanced? LOL.

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