Monday, April 25, 2005

Separation of church & state

Frist speaks to Christian anti-filibuster rally Other religious leaders call rally a false union of faith, politics (Monday, April 25, 2005 Posted: 5:01 AM EDT (0901 GMT) CNN.COM)

Remember that one of the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution is the separation of Church and State. There is no official state religion in the U.S., unlike many countries. The two institutions operate in their own spheres, and this gives individuals the freedom to choose the religion that suits their taste, etc.

Can someone to me explain an event held over the weekend?

In a Baptist church in Louisville KY (I lived just down the road in Lexington KY for nearly 20 years) was used as the rallying stage for a joint appearance by several ministers and members of congress. The rallly was a telecast program, named "Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith", and was aired in churches around the country.

At issue are judicial nominations. The Bush Administration has nominated several radical right-wing nutjobs, and now are complaining that they aren't being approved. As a result the Congressional leaders are moving to end the ability to filibuster as a tactic to stop a judicial nomination. The Republicans are complaining that the Democrats have filibustered a couple of their judicial appointments.

Well, excuse me, but when the shoe was on the other foot the Republicans were fighting Clinton's appointments just as hard as the Democrats are fighting Bush's appointments.

Frist's participation in the event drew fire from Democrats and hundreds of religious leaders, who accused Christian conservatives of raising unsubstantiated allegations of religious persecution.

Four hundred thirty religious leaders from across the country signed a letter to protest Sunday's rally. And the FRC rally prompted opposition rallies, including one in Louisville.

"What we detect instead is the work of a political organization using Christian language to exploit Americans' desire to preserve religious values by framing their political strategy in terms of religious liberty," wrote the Rev. Joe Phelps of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, which held the opposition rally. "This is deceptive, manipulative, and false."

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