Monday, January 02, 2006

 

Inherit the Gas

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I have been collecting examples of the attempt by the religious right to bully their beliefs into inappropriate forums. They have attacked the Judge in the Dover school board case, threatened the funding of state universities and even sought to intimidate the public in general and, in particular, their fellow believers.

And while throwing around their muscle, they pause to claim they are helpless victims of religious bias (ignoring all the previous claims that ID isn’t religious).

Never content with the back seat, Phyllis Schlafly has weighed in with a jeremiad entitled "False judge makes mockery of case for ‘intelligent design’" that combines a vicious attack on Judge Jones with self-pity as convincing as a certain lachrymose Crocodylus.

Schlafly starts off with a sentiment worthy of Boss Tweed: justice and the Constitution are political commodities that, having been bought, should stay bought:

Judge John E. Jones III could still be chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board if millions of evangelical Christians had not pulled the lever for George W. Bush in 2000. Yet this federal judge, who owes his position entirely to those voters and the president who appointed him, stuck the knife in the backs of those who brought him to the dance in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
Of course, it is somehow stabbing evangelical Christians in the back to rule against something that we have been repeatedly told is not religious. She then counsels Federal judges to shy away from any politically important cases (at least if they portend results she doesn’t like -- did she say the same about Bush v. Gore, for example?):

Jones exhibited his bias for judicial activism with public remarks that should have caused his recusal. Signaling that he would exploit the dispute, Jones boasted, "It certainly is one of the most significant cases in United States history. ... Even Charles Darwin's great grandson is attending the trial."
Maybe that "bias" for facing up to the important legal questions of the day comes from being informed about current events. Ms. Schlafly seems to find the fact that Judge Jones reads five newspapers a day some great problem, since she mentions it in the article not once but twice. She then displays all the penetrating logic that has catapulted her to the top of the intellectual wing of the religious right:

Using guilt-by-association reasoning, he implied that books published by religious groups, or by people motivated by religious convictions, can and should be banned from public school.
Putting her finger on a point repeatedly made by the Supreme Court (that injecting policies "motivated by religious convictions" into public schools is unconstitutional), she then reaches a conclusion completely opposite to everything the right has said before: that it is "activist" for a judge to follow the existing precedents.

Finally (and ya gotta love this if you are a collector of the dishonest and stupid in public life):

He denigrated several officials because they "staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public."
Apparently Phyllis missed that Jones was denigrating them for lying under oath despite touting their religious convictions. Now, didn't somebody . . . don't tell me, the name will come to me . . . say something about Pharisees that break the least of the commandments and teach others to?
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Maybe Ms. Schlafly isn't one of those millions of evangelical Christians she was talking about . . .
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Comments:


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