Sunday, August 27, 2006
Water Over the Gate
John Dean (yes, that John Dean) has an article at FindLaw that is a useful summary of the danger posed by the Christian Nationalists, also known as Dominionists and/or Reconstructionists.* Go read it! It is important if you think freedom (and I don't mean just religious freedom) is a good thing and should be preserved in the United States.
But I want to just take a side trip to a case Dean mentions but does not elaborate on. Katherine Harris (yes, that Katherine Harris) may be running a Senate race in Florida that is, as Gov. Jeb Bush called it, "futile," but she is leading in the Republican primary in a four-way contest. And candidates declared dead by their own party have risen anew in spite of such judgments, as recently witnessed in Connecticut.
Reviewing and summarizing Michelle Goldberg's Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism (which I have blogged about before, one, two, three times) Dean notes:
Katherine Harris, President Bush's favorite Florida election official and now a Republican candidate for the Senate, recently provided a good example of Christian nationalist thinking, when asked what role people of faith should play in politics and government. She responded as a Christian nationalist might, including advice on how to evade the law that prohibits using tax free funds for political purposes.
[W]e have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers. And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women and if people aren’t involved in helping godly men in getting elected than we’re going to have a nation of secular laws. That’s not what our founding fathers intended and that’s certainly isn’t what God intended. So it’s really important that members of the church know people’s stands. It’s really important that they get involved in campaigns. I said I’m going to run a campaign of integrity. I’m not going to run it like all of the campaigns that I’ve seen before…. And you know, it’s hard to find people that are gonna behave that way in a campaign and be honorable that way in a campaign. But that’s why we need the faithful and we need to take back this country. It’s time that the churches get involved. Pastors, from the pulpit, can invite people to speak, not on politics, but of their faith. But they can discern, they can ask those people running for election, in the pulpit, what is your position on gay marriage? What is your position on abortion? That is totally permissible in 5013C organizations. They simply cannot endorse from the pulpit. And that’s why I’ve gone to churches and I’ve spoken in four churches, five churches a day on Sunday and people line up afterwards because it’s so important that they know. And if we don’t get involved as Christians then how could we possibly take this back?
If you ain't scared, you ain't paying attention.
* The Reconstructionists claim there is a difference between them and the Dominionists, though I can't, for the life of me, see it. Still, like earthworms, they must be able to tell which end is up.
If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin.The clarification is mostly a paean to her support of Israel. So, she'll apparently let Jews into the legislative club (though I bet she'd have some reservations about Chuck Schumer, if she had her druthers) but you still have to wonder if Muslims, Buddhists, etc. are welcome in Harris' idea of government under the Constitution. You know those nasty sin-legislatin' agnostics and atheists are out.
Anyway, as to the rest of the flap as to whether separation of church and state is a "lie," the clarification say only:
In a recent article published in the Florida Baptist Witness, Congresswoman Katherine Harris was asked to comment on the interplay of faith and politics in the public square. In the interview, Harris was speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government. Addressing this Christian publication, Harris provided a statement that explains her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values.
It wasn't my intent to section out Christians at all. My passion is to make sure that people participate in the process. Everyone should vote. Everyone should be engaged, but the problem is a lot of Christians believe they should not participate because of the separation of church and state.Funny, that's not what the Christian right says when they take a moment from the twisted arms and remind everyone just who it was that elected Dubya and the Republican Congress.
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