Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Thursday, October 13, 2005

“Injection of religion in Miers debate draws fire”

President Bush on Wednesday moved religion to the forefront of the debate over Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, defending his administration's work behind the scenes to inform social conservatives about her Christian faith.” Apparently, it is not playing well with anyone.

Why should a nominee’s religion be a matter of any concern? Why should any political figure’s religious beliefs be a matter of any concern? Is not there some principle about separation of church and State?

4 Comments:

  • Isn't there something in Article VI that requires the absense of religious tests?

    By Blogger Steve, at 8:12 AM, October 13, 2005  

  • Don't lose sight of the big picture here. Now we see the real danger to which the President's political calculations concerning Ms. Miers has opened the door. The President tried to signal the religious right that Ms. Miers can be trusted to enact her evangelical Christian beliefs into law thru Supreme Court decisions, such as outlawing abortion. But in doing so, Mr. Bush also revealed that he and his Administration are either profoundly ignorant or must instead have a most cynical and even more profound contempt for the US Constitution itself. Perhaps thru pressured political miscalcuation, Mr. Bush now has brought the most important question about his Supreme Court nominees to the foreground. Perhaps now it will be possible to show to all the American people just what this Republican, so-called "conservative" majority is all about: the cynical exploitation of those with religious beliefs who wish to see those beliefs imposed thru law on all Americans. The religious right now is beginning to sense the duplicity here: the Republican insiders and leaders don't want their new Supreme Court appointees actually to succeed in establishing in law religious beliefs about abortion or any other hot button social issue -- to do that would take the issue away. With abortion outlawed, who would carry the signs and march for the conservative cause? But if Mr. Bush's nominees act as independent judges, as they should, and fail to outlaw abortion, why then Republicans can still carry on as though they were frustrated by those shadowy "liberal" elites in the courts. Without the abortion issue, the army of the faithful might turn to other concerns and away from marching together with Republicans. These faithful might even turn to issues like economic justice for themselves as middle class people as well as America's deteriorating infrastructure at the hands of these cynical modern day robber barons. They might awaken to the massive growth in government under these so-called "conservatives" while government's competence and efficiency in providing for the public interest has plummeted on their watch. What every American needs to understand is that deciding questions like abortion or any other issue before the US Supreme Court by establishing in law one's religious beliefs -- beliefs to be imposed on everyone -- is unconstitutional on its face. Thomas Jefferson could not have been more clear on this. The right of each and every American to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all, is among the most fundamental of freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The Constitution's framers understood very well that religious liberty can flourish only if the government leaves religion alone. The free exercise clause of the First Amendment guarantees the right to practice one's religion free of government interference. The establishment clause requires the separation of church and state. So, it doesn't matter what church Ms. Miers goes to -- if she can't leave her religion out of her judicial decision making, then she can't be qualified to be a US Supreme Court Justice. That is the issue that now must come out during confirmation hearings. That is the question I most want to hear asked: is it appropriate, or even constitutional to base Supreme Court decisions on religious beliefs?

    By Anonymous Edmund Burke, at 12:46 PM, October 13, 2005  

  • What are you talking about? George W Bush is the Messiah! He has returned! Wait, no, he's above Christianity. Bush and I are going to start our own religion. We'll make up the rules as we go. He seems to prefer that anyway. All the oil for the US and ice cream for brekafast!

    By Blogger hal the brown, at 4:50 PM, October 13, 2005  

  • Is this the Edmund Burke who was a British statesman and philosopher who lived from 1729-1797? That was an insightful comment. After Bush received a paltry percentage of the religious right's vote in 2000, he targeted that demographic in 2004. I would venture to say that a small minority of Americans actually cares about abortion, affirmative action, or same-sex marriage, but the people to whom those issues are of concern are quite passionate about them. Thus, if those issues are put to the forefront, that minority will turn out at the polls. Bush has blatantly used the Christian conservatives to further his objective of holding the presidency, and the Christian conservatives seem to be most oblivious to that.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 8:47 AM, October 16, 2005  

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