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April 26, 2005


the exile

I'll repeat myself from an earlier thread. People don't know that Orrin Hatch got to vet Clinton's nominees. They need to be reminded of that over and over again. The Democrats' message has to be "there are hundreds of Republican judges that we can support because they are not extremists. Here's the list. Choose from the list and the problem goes away." It puts the ball back in the Republicans' court and makes it look like they are the obstructionists (which of course they are).


I would be pissed if Reid and the Democrats actually compromised with the Repukes on this issue. But I love it that they're publicly talking about compromising on this issue, because it defuses the Repukes' attack ads if they have to pull the trigger on the "nuclear winter option" if the Goopers yank the filibuster.


Ministers urge cancellation of 'Justice Sunday'
Group says event mixes faith, politics

A group of ministers representing about 17 Baptist churches in the Louisville area and a national Baptist committee that supports separation of church and state yesterday called on a Louisville church to cancel its planned "Justice Sunday" tomorrow.

"We see 'Justice Sunday' as part of a larger effort to link church and state in ways not seen in America since the Puritans were hanging Quakers on Boston Commons and exiling Baptists to Rhode Island," the Rev. Joe Phelps, pastor of Highland Baptist Church, said during a news conference yesterday...

Phelps, describing Highview Baptist as a "sister church," read a statement that said the ministers "stand together with Highview Baptist Church and Christian churches in holding up Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life. … But as people who take Scripture seriously, we believe truth must be spoken, and spoken in love. We do not believe Sunday's rally meets either test."

He went on to say, "Churches are for the worship of God and the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Convention halls are for political rallies and party wrangling. To confuse the two is to violate the First Amendment that 18th-century Baptists fought to include in our nation's Constitution."

Phelps said there's no support for the premise that judicial nominees are being "persecuted" for their Christian faith, and that the ministers want the public to know the event does not represent "all Baptists in this city, or people of faith everywhere."


Just Us Sunday: The rest of you get the hell out.

The rapidly reviving religious left is responding to Just Us Sunday in a number of ways:

The New York Times reported today that the National Council of Churches (an ecumenical group representing mainline Protestant and Orthodox denominations, including Senator Frist's own Presbyterian Church USA) and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism are criticizing Frist's involvement in Just Us Sunday.

The leader of the United Church of Christ had already criticized Frist's involvement, saying that his participation "represents one more highly public and dangerous effort to divide this country by falsely accusing his opponents on the issue of Senate rules and judicial opponents of not being faithful."

The president of the Unitarian Universalist Association released a statement today that said in part: “The Constitution wisely ensures that there are no religious tests for political offices. While private groups, including churches, have a guaranteed right to speak out on social issues, our democracy’s highest elected leaders must hold themselves accountable to all of ‘we, the people.’ I believe that Senator Frist has a moral responsibility to declare unequivocally that the political views of the American people do not define the depth or quality of their faith. Our nation was founded on this inspired principle, and we imperil the precious freedoms of all our citizens when we cease to honor and protect the separation of church and state.”

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