It clearly smacks of the Pharisees, and not Jesus Christ, who fought the Pharisees. To quote John the Baptist speaking to the Pharisees, "You brood of vipers!" -- Luke 3:7.
The Congress has approved 205 of 215 judgeship nominations put forth by the Bush Administration. That'a a 95% approval rating, higher than almost any other administration. But that's not enough for Bush the Self-Absorbed.
Furthermore, and more important to Bush, he needs to rally the base. Since the election just five months ago, the President's ratings have plummeted as his decidedly greedy, unChristian agenda has become painfully clear. He desperately desires to pass his corrupt Social Security plan, and needs new cohesion of his shattered "faith and values" coalition.
So Bush foot solider Senate Majority Leader and presidential hopeful Bill Frist will soon take part in a pseudo-Christian pep rally proclaiming that Americans who don't support the President's 10 failed judge nominations are not people of faith. Period. Frist and cronies believe that it is their job to judge us and our faiths.
This is naked exploitation of religion as political tactic and public display. Nothing more, nothing less. Christianity is not a political card to play, it is deep personal faith and ethic to be respected.
To quote another Christian, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." -- Luke 23:34
The lead New York Times editoral today....Bill Frist's Religious War
Right-wing Christian groups and the Republican politicians they bankroll have done much since the last election to impose their particular religious views on all Americans. But nothing comes close to the shameful declaration of religious war by Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, over the selection of judges for federal courts.
Senator Frist is to appear on a telecast sponsored by the Family Research Council, which styles itself a religious organization but is really just another Washington lobbying concern. The message is that the Democrats who oppose a tiny handful of President Bush's judicial nominations are conducting an assault "against people of faith." By that, Senator Frist and his allies do not mean people of all faiths, only those of their faith.
It is one thing when private groups foment this kind of intolerance. It is another thing entirely when it's done by the highest-ranking member of the United States Senate, who swore on the Bible to uphold a Constitution that forbids the imposition of religious views on Americans. Unfortunately, Senator Frist and his allies are willing to break down the rules to push through their agenda - in this case, by creating what the senator knows is a false connection between religion and the debate about judges.
Senator Frist and his backers want to take away the sole tool Democrats have for resisting the appointment of unqualified judges: the filibuster. This is not about a majority or even a significant number of Bush nominees; it's about a handful with fringe views or shaky qualifications. But Senator Frist is determined to get judges on the federal bench who are loyal to the Republican fringe and, he hopes, would accept a theocratic test on decisions.
Senator Frist has an even bigger game in mind than the current nominees: the next appointments to the Supreme Court, which the Republican conservatives view as their best chance to outlaw abortion and impose their moral code on the country.
We fully understand that a powerful branch of the Republican Party believes that the last election was won on "moral values." Even if that were true, that's a far cry from voting for one religion to dominate the entire country. President Bush owes it to Americans to stand up and say so.