Monday, April 25, 2005

Some People Have Had Enough

Here's Senator Biden on Friday in South Carolina, of all places, for the Jefferson-Jackson Day speech in Columbia, SC:

(paraphase) The other side is trying to claim God is on their side. Well, as one of our most important leaders once said, "it isn't whether God's on our side, it's whether we're on God's side".

Here's Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics:

Liberal groups, meanwhile, stepped up their attacks on both Dr. Frist and the proposed rule change. About 1,200 liberal Christians gathered at a rally at a Presbyterian church here to protest what one speaker, the left-leaning evangelical Jim Wallis, called "a declaration of a religious war" and "an attempt to hijack religion."

Here's Washington Post columnist Colbert King:

Angered by Democratic opposition to some of President Bush's judicial nominees, Perkins's group has also put out a flier charging that "the filibuster . . . is being used against people of faith." To suggest Democrats are out to get "people of faith" is despicable demagoguery that the truly faithful ought to rise up and reject.

But will that occur in American pulpits tomorrow? The Christian right counts on the religiously timid to keep their mouths shut. So why not exploit religion for their own ends? They will if we let them.

And that's just it. Americans of faith -- and those lacking one -- ought to vigorously resist attempts by power-hungry zealots to impose their religious views on the nation. That means standing up to them at every turn.

It means challenging them when they say of Americans who support a woman's right to choose; the right of two adults to enter into a loving, committed, state-sanctioned, monogamous relationship; the right to pursue science in support of life; the right of the aggrieved to launch aggressive assaults against racism, sexism and homophobia, that they are not legitimate members of the flock. Where do those on the religious right get off thinking they have the right to decide who is in and who is out? Who appointed them sole promoters and defenders of the faith? What makes them think they are more holy and righteous than the rest of us?

They are not now and never will be the final arbiters of Christian beliefs and values. They warrant as much deference as religious leaders as do members of the Ku Klux Klan, who also marched under the cross.

They should be resisted, not pandered to by politicians. Case in point: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. The Republican leader is going to appear by videotape at tomorrow's self-pity party. He shouldn't. But if he does, Frist should use the occasion to tell the assembled that they are wrong in saying Bush's nominees are being blocked because they are people of faith. He should say that invoking Christianity as an instrument to advance a political agenda or to vanquish a political opponent is divisive, demagogic and beyond the pale in American politics. And if Frist shows up on TV and passes on the opportunity to place his party on the side of tolerance and goodwill, then his performance will be Exhibit A in the case to be made against his presidential quest.

The Bergen Record in Hackensack, N.J., editorialized that the attempt by the Christian right to dominate all three branches of government "has to frighten anyone who is not a Christian conservative. It should frighten us all." Baloney. It should make us mad. Fighting mad.

Here's Senator Reid from a conference call with bloggers:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, on a conference call with bloggers today:

They are great with names. On Social Security, they have been trying to call private accounts personal accounts. They can talk about the constitutional option all they want. Its privatization, and its the nuclear option. They created those terms, and they are going to wear them around their necks from now till Doomsday.

Here's Colorado's conservative Democratic Senator Ken Salazar laying the smacketh down on Focus on the Family:

Newly-elected Sen. Ken Salazar, D, Colo., a moderate Dem by anyones standards, tried to be patient in dealing with Focus on the Family, which is located in his home state. James Dobsons group continued to attack Salazar, with increasingly incendiary rhetoric, until last week, Salazar had heard enough.

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., intensified his war of words with Focus on the Family on Thursday, accusing its evangelical Christian leaders of trying to turn the United States into a theocracy.

I think that the way Focus on the Family and the conservative right wing is attempting to take the country will threaten the basic cornerstone of our freedom, Salazar said in an interview.

Over the weekend, Dobsons supporters decided to respond to Salazars criticisms, by going after his wifes Dairy Queen.

In Westminster Sunday, about two dozen conservative Christians gathered Sunday in front of the Dairy Queen owned and operated by the Salazar family. The protesters signs bore messages such as Salazar is anti Christian or Salazar mocks God.

Minister Bob Enyart said he stands against the things Salazar advocates, adding that the senator openly supports immorality.

Cant you just feel the Christian love?

Not surprisingly, the senator was not amused, telling reporters, Its outrageous to target my wifes Dairy Queen. They can protest me wherever they want. These tactics are outrageous and unAmerican and simply will not work.

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