Faith, Frist and Filibuster

A telecast on what is being called Justice Sunday will contend that opposition to judicial nominees by Senate Democrats is essentially opposition to faith and faith-based moral values.

Senate Majority Leader Frist has agreed to participate in the April 24 simulcast, which has the Democrats blustering.

The program is an effort to “connect the dots” for Christian conservatives who have not configured the use of the filibuster to block judicial nominees as a battleground for faith.
(I for one had not been in favor of changing Senate rules on the filibuster, but announced in a post that I had changed my mind because of the demonstration of judicial arrogance during the Terri Schiavo case.)

The telecast is being sponsored by Family Research Council. FRC President Tony Perkins says in a website message:

“As the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated in almost every recent election, the courts have become the last great bastion for liberalism. For years activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the A.C.L.U., have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms.”

Senate Democrats aren’t opposed to all Christians. Just conservative Christians. On the other hand they’re not opposed to just Christian conservatives, but to conservatism in all of its forms.

While Frist’s decision to use the faith card is by no means the threat to the republic that Chuck Schumer and others claim, it is nonetheless a risky calculation. It may help focus the attention of Christian conservatives on the filibuster issue, but if the concentrated power of the Christian lobby is defeated here, it may embolden those who seek to discredit the newly realized power of the movement.

But it is worth the risk because of the damage being caused by activist and liberal judges.

Blog Action
Jeffrey King at Three Bad Fingers is trying to rally the blogosphere, given Senator McCain’s jumping ship yesterday on the Constitutional Option and Senator Rick Santorum’s indication that Republican momentum has been lost in resolving the filibuster impasse.

Jeffrey says:

“Many blogs are encouraging readers to email or call fence-sitting senators, to press for their positive vote in changing senate rules. While this is powerful in itself , I believe with proper coordination, the blogosphere is capable of much much more. Each call received or email sent currently ends up as a tally, presented to the contacted senator. I would like each email to be entered into the public domain, and centrally linked, creating public pressure never before seen.”

Go to ThreeBadFingers for more on Jeffrey’s call to arms.

–James Jewell
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About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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