Elena And The End-Times: Will Kagan Usher In The Apocalypse? (The Religious Right Thinks So)
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 10:38:26 AM EST
Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan are in full swing, and as Americans United had hoped, we're getting some questions about separation of church and state.

Yesterday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Kagan about the relationship between the First Amendment's "Establishment Clause," which bars laws "respecting an establishment of religion" and the Free Exercise Clause," which curbs laws "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion. Together they provide for religious liberty and the separation of church and state.

"What will be your approach to interpreting the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, and how do you believe it works with the Free Exercise clause?" Feinstein asked.

Kagan's answer was long and legalistic. (You can read our blogger buddy Don Byrd's account of the whole thing here.)

The crux of her answer was this: "In general, I think, what both First Amendment clauses are designed to do - and this is the way in which they work hand in hand with each other - what they're both designed to do is to ensure that you have full rights as an American citizen. You are a part of this country, no matter what your religion is, and to ensure that religion just never functions as a way to put people because of their religious belief or because of their religious practice at some disadvantage with respect to any of the rights of American citizenship. So, I think that that's the sort of overall purpose of both parts of the amendment."

Not a bad answer. I'd still like to hear Kagan questioned about the church-state views of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and how her thoughts stack up with those founders. And I'd like to know more about her views on the intersection of religious liberty and civil rights law. Maybe later.

Meanwhile, the Religious Right has found itself in a real bind. The conventional wisdom is that, barring some sort of dramatic, last-minute revelation, Kagan will be confirmed. But Kagan was nominated by President Barack Obama, whom the Religious Right despises, so groups in that movement feel compelled to attack her. (Plus, it's good for fund-raising.)

The problem is, the Religious Right's salvos aren't getting any traction - and they just keep getting more and more pathetic.

Consider Religious Right stalwart, conspiracy theorist and hack novelist Tim LaHaye. LaHaye, a godfather of the Religious Right, is charging that Kagan is a "globalist" who secretly yearns to usher in one-world government. (You know, like they have on "Star Trek.")

One-world government is a long-running obsession of LaHaye, a founder of the secretive Council for National Policy. The fact that there isn't any serious effort under way to create such global rule doesn't stop him. In fact, it just makes him more suspicious - it's obviously a cover-up!

LaHaye, who made millions peddling his "Left Behind" series of apocalyptic potboilers, is back with a new work of fundamentalist science fiction called Edge of Apocalypse. Written with Religious Right attorney Craig Parshall, Edge of Apocalypse tells the story of Joshua Jordan, a former spy-plane pilot whose efforts to create a missile-defense shield rile up globalist forces and inadvertently spark Armageddon. ("Honey, I blew up the world! Oops!")

What does any of this have to do with Kagan?

You got me, but for some reason, LaHaye decided to light into her on a blog promoting his new book. In a desperate attempt to link his goofy tome to current events, he warns darkly that Kagan and other "globalists" on the high court "could begin radically steering us away from view of the Constitution that honors our Judeo-Christian heritage and founding."

Fulminates LaHaye, "With Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court, international legal standards could well be imposed on American citizens by the High Court's legal globalists even without the need for Senate approval of specific international treaties. In our new novel, Edge of Apocalypse, we show how this trend could create a legal nightmare for conscientious Christians."

What does Kagan really believe about international law?

Prodded by Republican senators about the issue on Tuesday, Kagan patiently explained that while it can provide ideas for U.S. courts, it's clearly not binding.

As I've said in a previous post, I don't know what kind of justice Kagan will turn out to be. I'm hopeful she'll be in the mold of John Paul Stevens, the jurist she aims to replace. But we don't know that because her record is scanty. That's why AU asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to do its job by questioning Kagan thoroughly on church-state issues.

The Religious Right has decided on another course: screaming that Kagan is a judicial activist, a far-left maniac, an unqualified empty pantsuit and now a dupe for the great globalist one-world government conspiracy.

At this point, they're just throwing anything out there and praying it sticks. It isn't.

Really, if this is the best these groups can do, I'd suggest they bow to the inevitable and go home.

Edge of Apocalypse? Edge of insanity is more like it.




Display:
The problem is, it is the dominionists who are plotting and working to set up a one-world government, with themselves at the head!  LaHaye and the others don't seem to recognize that the very thing they seek is the very thing they decry.  Although, I consider it very possible that they DO recognize this fact and don't care... after all, it does play well for their audiences (giving them greater power) and brings in the $$$.

by ArchaeoBob on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 11:04:20 AM EST
...who do they have in mind to play the stage role of "The Antichrist" ?
I bet Rick Joyner could do a decent job, except the part's supposed to go to somebody who is gay and at least partially (according to John Hagee) Jewish. Ted Haggard could do it except for that latter qualification...

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Jul 01, 2010 at 04:11:03 PM EST
Parent


Thank you, Rob, for a concise and accurate summary of Kagan's reply to these questions.  I believe she is right in saying that the clauses together are designed to ensure "that you have full rights as an American citizen. You are a part of this country, no matter what your religion is, and to ensure that religion just never functions as a way to put people because of their religious belief or because of their religious practice at some disadvantage with respect to any of the rights of American citizenship."  However, she is too vague on whether these rights are positive rights (claims) or negative rights (immunities) vis-a-vis religious majorities, who can either impose their tyranny on individuals by means of infiltrating legal institutions, or can be barred from imposing their religion on individuals.  In the case of marriage, a Christian definition of marriage is used to ban non-Christians and gay Christians from attaining rights enjoyed exclusively by a religious majority - such as the right to immigrate to the US on the basis of marriage to a US citizen.  This is a clear case of religious discrimination.  The state is colluding with the Christian majority in using an expressly Christian definition of "marriage" to discriminate against a non-Christian or Gay Christian minority. This is unconstitutional and Kagan needs to redress this inequity as soon as possible.    

by TMurray on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 01:47:16 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


On Christmas Day, in the Morning
In recent years at Christmastime, I have posted a response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Hallelujah, Mike Huckabee, Hallelujah
Fox News personality Mike Huckabee had a defining moment in the wake of the Newtown massacre. One that as we enter the 2016 presidential......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Moses And Michele: Departing Member Of Congress Spreads More Misinformation
The Religious Right's Moses fixation continues to grow.As you might recall, the Texas State Board of Education recently demanded social studies textbooks that highlight......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right Silent about Bob Jones U Sex Abuse Report
One of the deep scandals of our time, and apparently times past, is that sex abuse, particularly of children, has been so tolerated and......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Boot These Bigoted Bans: Movement Seeks To Remove Anti-Atheist Bias From State Constitutions
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
James Madison and Tax-Supported Chaplains
In light of former Sen. Rick Santorum's recent silly declaration that “the words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution,......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Death to Obama; Death to "Homos"; What's Next?
When the Obama administration was young, threats against the president were common, and sometimes quite public. One notorious such incident was that of Rev.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Rick Scarborough's America
When Stand Up Sunday was convened by Mike Huckabee in Houston it was to feature the leading spokesmen for the Religious Right agenda.  The......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
The Republican Diversity Program... Is Working
I don't usually write directly about electoral politics, but sometimes I bring an outsider's perspective to how the inside looks to some of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
American Christian Right Leaders in Rome
The remarkable and growing alliance between conservative Catholicism and protestant evangelicalism was on prominent display at a recent event at the Vatican. My colleague......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Religious Supremacism on the Rise Against Marriage Equality
This is a crosspost of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation.  -- FC Christian right undermines marriage equality with religious supremacism FREDERICK......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Author of Loathing Lincoln Explains Why Some on the Christian Right Loathe Lincoln
One under-reported result of the 2014 elections was the rise of Neo-Confederate politics in the U.S. This included the election of unabashed apologist for......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
A Catholic Theocracy Grows in Florida
Catholic Right pizza mogul Tom Monaghan and his Ave Maria School of Law are back in the news.  Journalist Eleanor Bader has a new......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Mississippi Madness: Group Wants To Designate An Official Religion
A group in Mississippi is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to change the state constitution in several ways.The proposal put forth by the......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
I Stand Sunday Part 2
I Stand Sunday took place in Houston, Nov. 2, 2014, motivated by the cities' mayor who subpoenaed sermons from local pastors.  The host church......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)

Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (4 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.