Friday, November 20, 2009

The (Evangelical) Kids Aren't Alright

In case you might have missed it, the usual gang of misanthrops, malcontents, and professional panty-sniffing scolds got together to try to intimidate the Democratic Majority and the rest of us:

Citing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to civil disobedience, 145 evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed a declaration saying they will not cooperate with laws that they say could be used to compel their institutions to participate in abortions, or to bless or in any way recognize same-sex couples.

“We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence,” it says.

The manifesto, to be released on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, is an effort to rejuvenate the political alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelicals that dominated the religious debate during the administration of President George W. Bush. The signers include nine Roman Catholic archbishops and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

They want to signal to the Obama administration and to Congress that they are still a formidable force that will not compromise on abortion, stem-cell research or gay marriage. They hope to influence current debates over health care reform, the same-sex marriage bill in Washington, D.C., and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Yes, the Civil Rights movement's opposition to the South's racial segregation, legal and extra-legal denial of African-American voting rights, and KKK lynching is just like the conservative religious establishment's opposition to teh gay.

But this next statement from Watergate criminal Charles "Chuck" Colson is really pretty choice:

They say they also want to speak to younger Christians who have become engaged in issues like climate change and global poverty, and who are more accepting of homosexuality than their elders. They say they want to remind them that abortion, homosexuality and religious freedom are still paramount issues.

“We argue that there is a hierarchy of issues,” said Charles Colson, a prominent evangelical who founded Prison Fellowship after serving time in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. “A lot of the younger evangelicals say they’re all alike. We’re hoping to educate them that these are the three most important issues.”

Well, poop. The old fundies have had such a good thing going, with the abortion wars, the war on Christmas, and how teh gay is going to ruin marriage. But the young Christians are ruining the mission. They must be educated. Maybe shipping these youngsters to some survival-ish camp like place or locking them in Daddy Dobson's Ministry of Truth for a while will wake them up and make them conform.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trying non-citizens, war criminals in U.S. civilian courts on U.S. soil

Conservatives unhappy about the KSM terrorist trials in NYC (h/t Andrew Sullivan):

[T]hese men are not citizens of the United States. Second, they’re accused war criminals. They simply should not be tried in U.S. civilian courts. Rather, they should either be held accountable in a Nuremberg-style international forum or treated as war criminals by a U.S. military tribunal under the mechanisms provided by Congress and approved by the Supreme Court.

Aside from the virtual certainty that the trial will devolve into a media circus, there’s an incredibly good chance that Mohammed and his comrades will go free. The fact that KSM was repeatedly waterboarded would seem to taint any subsequent evidence, including his own confession.

Hmmmm. Well, a few years ago we invaded this country and brought this guy back for a civilian trial on U.S. soil:

Immediately after Noriega's apprehension, the standby crew of a
USAF 8th Special Operations Squadron MC-130 Combat Talon at Howard AFB was alerted, and within 12 minutes had its engines running. Accompanied by U.S. Marshals, DEA, and other federal law enforcement agents, Noriega was flown to Homestead Air Force Base, under conditions of minimum radio communications.[21] He was tried on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering in April 1992. His trial was held in Miami, Florida, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

In 1992 he was convicted under federal charges of cocaine trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering in Miami, Florida. Sentenced to 40 years in prison (later reduced to 30 years), Noriega is held at the Federal Correctional Institution, Miami, Florida (FCI Miami).[22]

The prosecution presented a case that has been criticized by numerous observers.[citation needed] The prosecution's case was completely reworked several times because problems developed with the witnesses, whose stories contradicted one another. The United States Attorney negotiated deals with 26 different drug felons, including Carlos Lehder, who were given leniency, cash payments, and allowed to keep their drug earnings in return for testimony against Noriega. Several of these witnesses had been arrested by Noriega for drug trafficking in Panama.

Some witnesses later recanted their testimony, and agents of the CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Israeli Mossad, who were knowledgeable about Central American drug trafficking, have publicly charged that accusations were embellished.[citation needed] Noriega was found guilty and sentenced on September 16, 1992, to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations. His sentence was reduced to 30 years in 1999.

Oh well. I guess this was very manly and legitimate of us back then.