Saturday, May 14, 2005

Believe It

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has an op-ed in the Washington Post wherein he claims that the liberals are giving Bush’s judicial nominees a hard time based on their religious or peronsal beliefs, not their judicial philosophy.

In the case of former Alabama attorney general William Pryor, as with other filibustered nominees, it appears that it was the nominee’s personal views on abortion, homosexuality and other matters on which Catholic and evangelical churches have clear positions that are contrary to those of liberal Democrats and their allies. Pryor failed the Democrats’ test because he had spoken out, as a Catholic, saying that abortion is an abomination. He was also questioned about postponing a family vacation with his young children to Disney World because he found out it coincided with “Gay Days” at the park.

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Having “deeply held personal beliefs” such as these was enough to set the liberal pressure groups on edge and trigger filibusters. The pattern that has emerged is that any nominees who hold to the traditional tenets of their faith as a guide for life, whether they be Catholic, Protestant or Jewish, fail the litmus test, the liberal loyalty oath, that is being employed by some Senate Democrats. Faith is acceptable as long as it remains unknown, or is applied only to personal beliefs about such matters as poverty and capital punishment. Call this standard a litmus test on abortion, a de facto screening for religious conviction, or a demand for fealty to the Democratic Party platform — whatever it’s called, the results are the same.

The sometimes subtle, too often open, campaign against orthodox religious views is too important an issue for us to simply turn our heads and ignore the truth. Left unchecked, the climate of intimidation against religious voices will empty the public square of many of its most-needed voices. Our children, and our children’s children, must never be asked to choose between publicly acknowledging their faith by teaching a Sunday school or catechism class and serving in high public office. We must never reward those whose methods of inquiry involve carrying tape recorders into private meetings, Bible study, church services and the chambers of conscience.

In their zeal to preserve an imperial judiciary, liberals have taken abuse of the confirmation process to a new low. The way out is to vote on each nominee on his or her merits.

It never ceases to amaze me how advocates for these conservative appointees conveniently forget their own absolutist philosophy. The fundamentalists, who believe that every word in the Bible is the written word of God, are very quick to pick on current political hotpoints like abortion or gay marriage, but seem to accept the fact that this nation has run roughshod over some very prominent biblical teachings in the past. Slavery is permitted and even encouraged in the Bible, yet we’ve outlawed it. Women can speak in church and even vote, yet the Old Testament is very clear in its condemnation of those matters. The Department of Agriculture not only encourages the planting of different crops in the same field, it even subsidizes farmers for doing it, and the Department of Commerce and Small Business Administration have given assistance to textile firms that we know make products with two different threads in them, clearly in violation of the teachings in Leviticus. Yet we hear not a peep out of the Family Research Council on these abominations. If we’re going to have judges on the Federal bench that advocate biblical philosophies, then let’s have them be strict adherants to the Bible, not these wimpy liberals who let the laws that were written by mere mortals and voted into the Constitution sway their decisions.