Grey Thoughts
Faith - Should Christians have free speech
Apparently, according to this editorial in the Toledo Blade (via The Moderate Voice)
From the editorial
IT USED to be that politics and religion were topics not to be discussed in genial company, for fear of getting into arguments that could never be resolved.
This is the first paragraph. It doesn't take long for the writer to tell religious people to shut up.

Now, in some quarters at least, politics is religion and religion is politics, an observation underscored by last weekend's "Justice Sunday," a conflagration fanned by religious conservatives to singe opponents of a few of President Bush's most outrageous judicial nominees.
The Myth of the religious neutral is a secular humanist creation. I have to wonder whether the writer understands how important the religion of the founding fathers of the USA was to their politics.

Fire and brimstone, however, is no substitute for the solid rock of constitutional law that has served this nation well for more than 200 years. The checks and balances that protect our democratic system, including the principle of judicial review of legislative actions, must not be swept away in a paroxysm of self-righteousness.
How do you judge whether the system has served the nation well? Obviously this writer feels that since the judges agree with his views, they have served the nation well. I have to wonder what 'checks and balances' are imposed on the judicial branch, specifically the supreme court? Who are they answerable to? If they, say use foreign influences as a guide for laws in the USA, who holds them to account? Obviously the writer isn't concerned, as they are pushing his own views....

Agreeing to disagree in a peaceful manner is the bedrock of the American system. It is what separates us from autocratic or totalitarian governments.
I thought that what seperates the American system from autocratic and totalitarian governments was that it holds democratic elections with more than one party represented and does not control every decision its citizens make. My mistake.

On the very same "Justice Sunday," Ms. Brown told a meeting of Roman Catholic legal professionals that "people of faith" are engaged in a "war" to stop the slide of America away from the religious traditions on which it was founded.

Ms. Brown, and others like her, hold a dismissive view of the American legal system, which is why they make poor choices for the judiciary.
Basically, the writer is saying that anyone who thinks something is broke should just not bother to join up and try and fix it. Of course, I expect the writer would be singing a different tune if the judiciary decided to create some laws he really disagreed with.

What they forget is that the rule of law protects those same "people of faith" and gives them the right to practice whatever religion they choose, not one dictated by government as in a theocracy.
Ahhh, now we get to the real issue that is bugging the writer. Basically, any conservative (And not suprisingly only conservatives) religious person that uses their faith as a guide in legislation is creating a theocracy. Well, I guess I have news for our somewhat misguided editorialist. The founding fathers of the USA did just that. No where did I see any reference to wanting the government to force someone to practice a particular religion.

It is no small irony that the United States is engaged in wars on foreign soil that clearly illustrate the dangers of theocracy to human rights, while here at home we are faced with angry pressure to install theocrats of another stripe, but theocrats no less, on our traditionally independent courts.
Now this just gets a bit too surreal. Every person has some sort of religious belief, and that belief (or worldview if you might) is used in deciding morality. The writer somehow thinks that the courts are 'tradiationally independent'. This is complete rubbish. There is no such thing. The total misuse of 'theocrats' is also quite obvious. To insist that anyone with religious belief and associated morality is a theocrat is ridiculous. I guess it is quite a concern that someone who disagree's with the writer's morality could get on the judiciary, but instead of trying to use scare words and lowering the discussion to inaccurate perjorative name calling, perhaps we should let democracy take its course and let the people decide. I realise that this writer will never go for that, because he is under the delusion that religious and moral neutrality is possible. That is why he and his ilk seem to balk at the concept of actually having a vote from democratically elected representatives to confirm judicial appointees. I guess democracy is only useful when it supports his views.

Politicians that engage in this kind of moral misdirection really ought to consider clearly whether the temporary partisan advantage is worth the damage to the legal system that could result in the long run.
Moral misdirection? That is just funny. Obviously, the writer wishes to impose his morality on everyone else, yet cannot stand the thought of someone elses morality impacting his own life. Welcome to democracy my friend.
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