Attack of the Theocrats

Christian conservatives are preparing to take over the country. You would expect to see something like this in Iran or Saudi Arabia, not here.

Participants at this week’s Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration meeting said the group also will focus on forcing Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against any judge who does not conform with their biblically based interpretation of the Constitution, as well as permanently curb judicial authority over matters of church and state, marriage and governmental acknowledgement of a Christian deity.

“What it is time to do is impeach justices,” Texas Justice Foundation President Allan Parker extolled a crowd of a hundred or so conservative lobbyists, attorneys and activists. “The standard should be any judge who believes in the ‘living constitution’ should be impeached.”

There’s more. You really have to see it to believe it. When is this insanity going to stop?

Update: The theocrats’ attack reaches new and deranged heights. It’s time to stop pretending that this is a bunch of marginalized freaks and to acknowledge that many of the perpetratotrs are members of the core Republican base and include some of our very highest legislators.

The Discussion: 18 Comments

Be glad that they seek extensive publicity. The more they talk, the more that the majority that thinks they are crazy become aware of a pernicious agenda, making it unlikely they succeed.

What did the Schaivo imbroglio accomplish for these people? 80 % of the public thought they were wrong. They did get the public to focus on living wills, so as to avoid the Christian crazies.

April 8, 2005 @ 3:29 pm | Comment

“When is this insanity going to stop?”

In all likelihood, about five seconds after this bunch of fools leave whatever small venue they’ve been meeting in to return to their normal state of obscurity and impotence. Nothing happens in America unless 51% percent of the voters go for it – not like Europe with its crappy little parties and proportional representation.

You been to any Dean meetings recently? Even in London, they’re tinfoil hat types.

April 8, 2005 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

Peter, in case you haven’t noticed they are talking in the exact same language as our most powerful man in Congress Tom Delay. So don’t try to make this look like a bunch of marginal loons. “Activist judges” was a sickening theme of the Bush election campaign (never mind that most are Republican-appointed) and this is in line with such evil generalizations. This mindset was created by Bush and his evangelical entourage. Remember, God talks through him (in his own words). Those who don’t see that Bush was sent here by God Himself is nothing but a deranged member of “the reality-based comunity.” Try to dust this under the rug if you wish; the hysteria that gripped the nation over Terri’s feeding tube a few short days ago was ample proof that this line of thinking has many fanatical adherents who have learned how to dominate cable news. Death threats, calls for revenge by the House whip against judges, cries of “murder” made on national television against Michael Schiavo — no, it’s not a little fringe element. God knows, I wish it were.

April 8, 2005 @ 5:00 pm | Comment

Rich, I agree with you in part, and I’ll do all I can to publicize their looniness. But some of the conservative lawmakers are now talking about creating new legislation that “favors life,” and they need to be watched carefully and defeated.

April 8, 2005 @ 5:02 pm | Comment

The Deaniacs may have their tinfoil hat contingent, but they aren’t the ones pressing for legislation that imposes a religious theocracy on the American people. Please do tell what sorts of things Deaniacs ever advocated that represent this kind of attack on personal freedom and fundamental American values.

April 8, 2005 @ 6:40 pm | Comment

I think you maybe doing a dis-service to the seriousness these people take their religious/political power by calling them names such as loons. It maybe that many of the people that attend such meetings are followers, but the leaders are some serious, intelligent thinkers and have serious money and a vital commitment to their religious and constitutional beliefs. Calling them names only minimizes the seriousness of the stakes involved. These people are not David Koreschs(spelling?) of Waco. If there is a face to them it is someone like former (good riddence) attorney general John Ashcroft.

Belittle these people at our peril. I perceive a tsunami on the way to wash away the existing “roots of evil” and constitutional liberalism. Taking them seriously will help in dealing with their challenges and thwarting their most egregious efforts and ideas.

April 8, 2005 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

I don’t know about you, but I can see two major breaches of the constitution and associated texts looming

The separation of government and judiciary/separation of power, and the separation of church and state.

People whose views are based on religion are trying to punish people who made decisions that were not based on religion and to do so they are going to need to interfere in the judiciary in a way that the founding texts of the US were designed to prevent.

I am not a constitutional expert, but weren’t senior judges supposed to be out of reach of this kind of censure to prevent their impartiality being damaged by threats to their positions at a federal or state level, and weren’t judges supposed to act based on the law, and not out of their own religious interpretations of the law.

The last thing that America needs is a ‘clerical court’ like Iran has, that dictates to the country using the religious doctrine in place of the country’s legal framework.

April 9, 2005 @ 2:20 am | Comment

RichL and pete both have excellent, if complementary, points. And pete, I suspect that more glaring publicity WILL result in some serious attention.

April 9, 2005 @ 5:48 am | Comment

You pretty much have the correct view on the appointment of FEDERAL judges/justices. State judges are elected periodically.

Delay has gone way overboard. His thievery is inconsequential in the big picture, but his efforts to subvert consititutional government will see his political epitath read “Here lies a failed politician who treated humans like bugs.”

April 9, 2005 @ 9:06 am | Comment

That is “epitaph”.

April 9, 2005 @ 9:52 am | Comment

Read this:

This group has the following to say:

“Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy’s opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles “is a good ground of impeachment.” To cheers and applause from those gathered at a downtown Marriott for a conference on “Confronting the Judicial War on Faith,” Schlafly said that Kennedy had not met the “good behavior” requirement for office and that “Congress ought to talk about impeachment.”

Another participant goes on to quote, and I am not kidding, Joseph Stalin’s remedy for getting rid of problematic inviduals:

” Not to be outdone, lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, “upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law.”

Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his “bottom line” for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. “He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: ‘no man, no problem,’ ” Vieira said.

The full Stalin quote, for those who don’t recognize it, is “Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.””

I am speechless.

April 9, 2005 @ 1:36 pm | Comment

Lisa, that is utterly, incredibly horrifying. And our president and half the government is indebted to these loons.

April 9, 2005 @ 8:52 pm | Comment


If anything does drive me to become an expat, it will be if this trend towards religious maniacs controlling our public life and institutions continues…

April 9, 2005 @ 9:33 pm | Comment

Go here for more. Un-frikkin’-believable.

April 9, 2005 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

So THIS Is The Guy Who’d Know What To Do With Those Damned (GOP-Appointed) Activist Judges?

QUESTION: Isn’t it time for President George Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney to crack down on or completely repudiate the unprecedented QUESTION: Isn’t it time for President George Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney to crack down on or completely repudiate the unprecedented April 10, 2005 @ 12:51 am | Comment

And, Peter, I might also point out that a bill that would remove cases involving religion from the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This is not exactly an obscure fringe movement.

April 10, 2005 @ 4:59 am | Comment


Not obscure, but still fringe.

Demographics are what matter. These people’s base is the Bible Belt. For decades they have felt themselves to be a marginalized minority, stewing in historical greivances and nursing a dream of a return to a supposed theocratic golden age. Now they think the whole country has come around and elected them into key positions in agreement with their vison. This miscalcualtion is what will bring them down. More people voted against John Kerry than for George Bush, and a lot of those that voted for Bush did so despite his religiosity. The backlash is starting already over the Schiavo circus.

These people are playing for keeps and that means the defeat will set them back for a long time. Even in the Bible Belt itself they have plenty of enemies, and this kind of nonsense is definitely going to drive anyone else in the rest of the country that might have backed them once. They are gambling their whole agenda.

April 11, 2005 @ 4:34 pm | Comment

More attacks from the right wing Christians.

Pharmacists ‘denying birth control’
By Tilly Cowan and Meade Harris

A pharmacist refused Suzanne Richards the morning-after pill

The latest religious voice to emerge in US society is that of the pharmacist.

A growing number of pharmacists across America are refusing to dispense birth control and the morning-after pill, because it goes against their religious and moral convictions.

This development has led to state legislatures across the country taking action, either to protect women’s rights to obtain birth control or to uphold the pharmacist’s right to refuse it.

The issue has become heated in several states, which already have laws allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives, including birth control pills.

In Arizona, the House of Representatives recently approved legislation that would put into place a conscience clause for pharmacists who have objections to handing out birth control.

But in April, Illinois Governor Rod R Blogojevich filed a rule requiring Illinois pharmacies to dispense all such prescriptions immediately and without question.

‘Humiliated and traumatised’

“More and more pharmacists do not want to hand over the birth control package and feel that it is within their rights to lecture women about their morals,” said Judy Waxman of the National Women’s Law Centre in Washington DC.

A very small and very loud minority is trying to thwart women from getting their basic health care needs

Judy Waxman
National Women’s Law Centre

“There are many incidences of pharmacists not giving back the prescription so that the women can fill it somewhere else.”

At a Brooks pharmacy in Laconia, New Hampshire, Suzanne Richards, a 21-year-old single mother with a 3-year-old son, was denied the morning after pill because of the pharmacist’s religious convictions.

He told Richards he would not fill her prescription because “it would end the fertilisation process of the egg in the embryo” and, based upon his religious beliefs, it was wrong.

It was Saturday night in this rural town – all other pharmacies were closed, leaving Richards without an option.

Richards says she felt “humiliated and traumatised”, and was too frightened to approach another pharmacist the next day, allowing the 72-hour limit for taking the pill to pass.

‘A chemical abortion’

While it turns out that Richards was not pregnant, Waxman considers this a breach of professional responsibility.

The debate over birth control looks set to intensify

“The sad thing is that a very small and very loud minority is trying to thwart women from getting their basic health care needs,” she said.

Pharmacist Pitt Philips from North Carolina defends the decision of pharmacists to refuse to dispense the morning-after pill.

“While they have the right to obtain the prescription, as an individual I always have my own rights not to fill it.”

Supporters of pharmacists’ rights, like Steven Aden of the Christian Legal Centre for Law and Religious freedom, believe that “in no case should a health care worker do something that violates their conscience”.

Phillips said: “In essence, I would be causing a chemical abortion, and as a Christian, I am impelled not to do anything that destroys life.”

The debate, between the women’s right to birth control and the pharmacist’s right to choose which prescriptions to fill, will only intensify further if the Food and Drug Administration approves the sale of the morning-after pill without a prescription.

If this contentious decision is approved, it is likely to make pharmacists the primary dispenser, intensifying the dispute further.

April 13, 2005 @ 11:40 pm | Comment

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