Crier: Beware the Theocracy

Over at the Huffington Post, Court TV anchor and former Texas Judge Catherine Crier has an excellent blog post on the Nuclear Option . Pat Buchanan was on her show last night. She recounts their discussion, and Buchannan's frank admission about what this fight is all about - putting radical right evangelicals - not Republicans - in control of the Supreme Court. Crier concludes with this:

There is no question that President Bush will have the opportunity to appoint several justices to [the Supreme] Court during his second term. He has made his ideological preferences clear. Conservative justices aren’t enough. He wants jurists of a particular persuasion. They must satisfy the requirements of fundamentalist Christians, with a willingness to roll back the clock to a time where children prayed to Jesus in public school, gays were back in the closet and women were forced into back alleys.

Those with different religious beliefs, (forget those with none at all), are dismissed entirely. Those who assert they are moral without believing in the Scriptures, verbatim, go straight to Hell.

If we want a Theocracy in this country, then ignore the assault on our nation’s judges. If you believe in the Republic that our Founding Fathers bequeathed, then prepare to battle for the one remaining branch of the government that has not yet been co-opted -- the federal Judiciary.

Crier got Pat Buchanan to admit as much on the show:

Buchanan: “....Look, ten of the last twelve justices have been appointed by Republicans. Nixon gave us Blackmon, Gerry Ford gave us John Paul Stevens, Reagan gave us Kennedy and O’Conner, and (Bush Sr.) gave us David Sutter…...They have been failures. The battle is over the Supreme Court. (It) has become a judicial dictatorship in this country. It dictates racial policy on quotas, affirmative action. It tells us we must have abortion on demand. It’s now into gay rights. It has become a super legislature. Control of it is more important tin the social culture war in America than control of Congress in the United States. That ultimately is what this is all about. The President has got to get those Supreme Court justices…and if that means breaking these ridiculous obstructionist filibusters, he ought to do it.”

Crier responds:

Thank you, Pat, for your honesty. What the far right wants is a ‘super legislature’ of their own. Their mission is clear; to reverse case law involving civil rights, abortion rights, the ban on execution of juveniles, and even the application of the federal Bill of Rights to our state governments, to name but a few areas under attack. The federal court nomination of Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court is now before the Senate. She has clearly expressed her feelings about the ‘socialist’ policies enacted during FDR’s administration, and in a recent speech, she made it clear that religious values in America are threatened by “an increasingly secular culture”. She went on the say that “these are perilous times for people of faith”. Good Lord, how?

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    Re: Crier: Beware the Theocracy (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:14 PM EST
    Exactly what means a "theocracy" in a country with hundreds if not thousands of different Christian denominations?

    Re: Crier: Beware the Theocracy (none / 0) (#2)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:14 PM EST
    Look at the numbers, Mar. We're not talking about the churches with 7 members.

    Re: Crier: Beware the Theocracy (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:14 PM EST
    The numerous Christian sects in this country would not be the slightest obstacle to the imposition of a theocracy, as there is undoubtably much they would agree on: prayer in the public schools, creationism, abortion illegal for everyone, contraception illegal for unmarried people, censorship of TV, radio, movies, and the internet, an unfettered right to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

    Re: Crier: Beware the Theocracy (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:14 PM EST
    To be clear, the best characterization I've heard of the type of theocracy envisioned by Christian Politicians is a group aptly named American Fundamentalists. They share the belief in a literally translated biblical mandate that incorporates much of the old testament (Remember Babylon and Hammurabi - Middle East about three thousand years ago?). They believe that only people who are "born again" will go to heaven and that there will be an Apocalyptic event during which time the messiah will come again and raise all born-again Christians up to heaven while the rest of us go to hell. They have a duty to their church and God to save as many people as possible by converting them into born-again Christians. Finally, they believe that all man-made laws should subsist under God's Law, as dictated by the bible and that this is not the case in America. They believe that America was anointed by God as a Christian country and therefore has an additional mandate to "spread the word" through out the land of the infidels - the Middle East among other folks. IMHO they are no different from the Fundamentalist Theocrats in any country around the Globe.

    Re: Crier: Beware the Theocracy (none / 0) (#5)
    by Pete Guither on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:14 PM EST
    mfox, I like that designation: American Fundamentalists -- much better than terms that have the word "Christian" or "Religous" (since they are neither, and they apparently have excised the Gospels from their Bibles). Of course, even then the designation only works if you use the word "American" as a geographic description rather than a philosophical one. If i was a cartoonist... American Fundamentalist rally (In the background: An American flag with only half the stars and with "American Fundamentalist" sewn into it). Bonfire. One is putting boxes of WWJD bracelets in the fire, while the other one says "What do we care what some commie liberal would do? We've got God on our side." (holding up a copy of the Old Testament). ...Already mostly burned lower in the fire: a box of copies of The Constitution.

    Re: Crier: Beware the Theocracy (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:14 PM EST
    mfox, Two clarifications. There is, of course, no such thing as a "literal reading" of the Bible. This is the most basic (um, fundamental?) lie of the Christianists. They use this lie to claim that theresfore they, and only they, read the Bible properly. To the extent any of the believers actually believe this, they are dangerously deluded. Strictly speaking, the term "Fundamentalist" refers to an evangelical movement that grew out of a series of 19th century pamphlets called The Fundamentals. These days, the term "fundamentalist" is sometimes used to refer to a political movement that utilizes the symbols and trappings of a religious tradition, for example in the writings of the Fundamentalism Project. In this case, Islamism and certain ultra-right movements in Judaism can be grouped with Christianism as "fundamentalist" movements. The modern day Christianists grew out of the American Fundamentalism tradition but there are some important differences, notably their curious obsession with gay sex, and their willingness to do anything -not only lie and falsify quotes, but even go so far as to engage in and/or rationalize murder- in order to gain power . William Jennings Bryan, a defender of the Fundamentalist movement, would be appalled at the moral sewer that is modern day Christianism. Bryan - as a reading of the Scopes trial and his speeches makes clear - was a damn fool, and an ignorant one to boot. But he was an honest one, and he would never have countenanced support for the likes of a Randall Terry, an Eric Rudolph, or the kind of mentality that would send hints of support to those that would murder judges or overthrow the Constitution.

    Re: Crier: Beware the Theocracy (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:15 PM EST
    I like the term American Taliban because of the parallel values shared by the Taliban and the right wing nuts in this country. Fundamentalists of all religious persuasion are to be feared when their faith and political certainty align to deliver a point of view that justifies killing people who are not in the fold. There is really little difference between the craziest mullahs and Dobson, Pat Robertson et al. I will stipulate to putting these crazies in a room together and let them sort out their differences. Or put them in a caged ring and let them stage a real "survivor" show for the American people who need televised drama in their lives.