Friday, February 06, 2004

Further Blurring the Line Between Law and Politics

Conservative groups blast GOP for forcing resignation of top judicial nominations strategist.

"If you had told me this is how this would all end, I would not have believed you," said Kay Daly, president of Coalition for a Fair Judiciary. "This is upside-down, backwards Alice in Wonderland."

Conservatives accused Mr. Frist and Mr. Hatch of abandoning their most effective tactician in the continuing struggle over President Bush's judicial nominations.

"It's disgusting," said Jeff Mazzella, with the Center for Individual Freedom. "Senator Frist and Senator Hatch bowed to the Democrats."

"This is like ringing the dinner bell and throwing chum in the water," said Mrs. Daly. "We've just thrown one of our most valuable people overboard, and Orrin Hatch couldn't have done it fast enough."

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Preparing for Passion Mania

From the New York Times:

The movie opens on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25, and Christian groups are already distributing merchandise to capitalize on the moment. There are lapel pins in Aramaic, the language of much of the film, and "witnessing cards" to give those who ask about the pin; door hangers for the neighbors; one million tracts asking moviegoers to "Take a moment right now and say a prayer like this," and a CD-ROM for teenagers that features a downloadable picture of a nine-inch nail like those that pinned Jesus to the cross.

Although Mr. Gibson is Roman Catholic and the movie is replete with Catholic touches, like the Stations of the Cross and the centrality of Mary, influential Pentecostal and evangelical leaders have embraced it anyway, seeing its value as a tool in evangelism. Evangelical Christians account for 30 percent to 40 percent of the American population, and many of them have recently been hearing their leaders declare that the nation is primed for a return of the ecstatic Great Awakenings that moved Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries to convert to Christianity in droves.


Although the film has been praised by some Roman Catholics and promoted on some Catholic Web sites, Catholic clergy members and bishops have not latched onto it as a tool for church-building as the evangelicals have.

Comment: While the Church can certainly learn a couple of things from our separated brethren on evangelistic enthusiasm, I can just as easily see how what Evangelicals are doing with this movie could result in a kind of mass trivialization of Christ's passion. For most folks, "WWJD" is just an annoying little Christian catch-phrase.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Signs of Desperation

For some reason, Democrats are making a big deal about Dubya's service in the National Guard some thirty-plus years ago.

Uber-pundit Hugh Hewitt responds:

To every question on this issue, Republicans ought to respond: President Bush was honorably discharged. Did the question of honorable military service ever cause you pause when you were supporting Bill Clinton? And do you agree with John Kerry that the men who fought in Vietnam routinely committed war crimes?
Line in the Sand

Special News Alert

FROM: Alan Sears, Alliance Defense Fund President

Another Twist in the Battle For Marriage…

“[You need] to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits, and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely…to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution…The most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake…is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.” – Homosexual activist Michelangelo Signorile.

This morning, the Massachusetts State Supreme Judicial Court issued another decision in the continued battle for the institution of marriage. As you may recall, the court ruled last November, that there was no “rational basis” to deny homosexual couples the “right” to “marry.” The court stayed the order for 180 days to allow the Massachusetts legislature to take up the matter before same-sex “marriage” licenses would be issued. The court had looked to foreign law (in Ontario, Canada) – rather than any express language in its own Constitution – to base their decision.

One of the alternatives that the state legislature has proposed is so-called “civil unions,” that grant all of the legal benefits of marriage without calling it marriage. The legislature asked the court for an advisory opinion on whether or not they could implement civil unions instead of same-sex “marriage.” Today, the court said “no,” that the legislature has no choice but to grant full-fledged same-sex “marriage.”

Today’s ruling will be heralded by the secular press as another step towards the inevitability of same-sex “marriage.” However, there is another side to the story. ADF funded lawyers asked the court not to replace marriage with civil unions either. Why? Because the court has now made the battle lines even clearer: it is either full-blown marriage or no marriage substitute for radical homosexual activists. While some may bemoan this ruling, we see this now as an opportunity to protect marriage from the clutches of the radical homosexual activists, since no redefined replacement, such as civil unions, is acceptable.

The quote above from Michelangelo Signorile tells us what is at stake. The most radical of the homosexual activists have made their motives clear. They do not want marriage in order to set up monogamous stable relationships – they want the term “marriage” so they can bring about the wholesale destruction of the institution. That is why they will not relent until they receive this title for their “relationships.” What is happening in Massachusetts is just another “peeling of the onion” of the radical homosexual agenda to re-order society on their terms.

But in the words of Yogi Berra, “it ain’t over ‘till its over.” ADF funded lawyers continue to work overtime in the highly complex legal battle to preserve traditional marriage and overturn this decision. This next Wednesday, the state legislature will convene a constitutional convention to determine whether or not the people of Massachusetts will have the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment that will define marriage as being between “one man and one woman.” In addition, ADF, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and many other allied groups will be working together to press for the passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would protect traditional marriage nationwide. ADF will continue its major support of legal efforts in this area. This morning, President Bush agreed to join the effort to push for the passage of this amendment.

This is not a time to despair, but it is a time for us to get on our knees in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), roll up our sleeves, and work even harder. Working together, we can preserve traditional marriage, not only for this generation, but for generations to come.
Exposing Absurdity Through Absurdity

Happy Conservative Coming Out Day! Ah, to be young and in college.

"I started having certain thoughts," said Mr. O'Holleran, 19, a student at the University of Colorado (CU). "I would go out into my mom's car, turn it on auxiliary and listen to Rush Limbaugh."

Yesterday, he said, it was time to come out of the closet. In the middle of a crowded university dining area, he took to the podium and announced, "I'm Jeff, and I'm a conservative."

Monday, February 02, 2004

Was it Unjust?

The revelations of weapons inspector David Kay that Iraq didn't have large stockpiles of WMD is troublesome at best. At worst, it is a grand indictment on the competency of U.S. intelligence gathering. While President Bush himself cannot skirt all responsibility for this information blunder, I don't believe it can be used as a charge that he committed the U.S. to an unjust war. Consider, for instance, that it is an indisputable fact that everyone, including the U.N., France, Germany and Russia, believed that Iraq was in material noncompliance with its obligation to reveal and hand over all of its WMD. In light of this, it is not beyond the pale of reason to have believed that Iraq's breach indicated that it was harboring large stockpiles of WMD. Indeed, none of the countries that refused to miltarily engage in Iraq with us has ever disputed this. Along with this reasonable inference, as well as the verified connections that Saddam had with terrorist groups, the decision to ultimately go to war was partly clinched by the WMD intelligence information that has since been shown to be erroneous. (But even then, note that Bush was still hesitant to go to war as evidenced by his promise not to attack Iraq if Saddam and his sons immediately exiled themselves. Hardly proof, as some Bush-haters have alleged, that Bush is a war-monger).

Wrong intelligence information or not, all indications strongly suggest that the Bush administration made a good faith and reasonable decision to wage a just preemptive war. And although in hindsight our credibility in the international community might be a little shot by executing this decision, there is no getting around the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens who probably wouldn't be alive today if we hadn't done what we did. This may be of little consolation to those who feign concern for the lives of our military in their opposition to the war (the very same people who tend to have no regard for the lives of the unborn and disingenuously equate Bush with Hitler) but I think it's something that all Americans can be proud of and claim that, in the end, was a war that was well worth fighting.
It's the Courts Stupid

Among other things, I've been getting into a cyclical debate with other Catholics on a discussion forum over whether President Bush can rightly be regarded as an opponent to abortion. Some people seem to think he isn't because despite Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, Bush hasn't even attempted to introduce one piece of legislation that would make abortion illegal. (The ban on partial birth abortion was a nice gesture, but it doesn't go far enough).

I can only sigh over the uninformed charges that have been made against Dubya by what appear to be sincerely pro-life Catholics. What some of these folks fail to understand is that by effectively declaring abortion to be a fundamental right, the Supreme Court in 1973 took the abortion issue out of the democratic process. Thus, for any legislator to ban abortion now would be the legal equivalent of legislatively banning Catholics from going to Mass or receiving Communion.

As I've argued in the aforementioned forums, the current composition of the federal judiciary must first be changed if abortion is ever to be abolished. Accordingly, if you want to know how committed President Bush is to overturning Roe v. Wade, look at who he has nominated to serve on the various federal courts. The fact that several pro-abortion groups and Democrat Senators have vigorously opposed these nominations should tell you something.