The "Nuclear Option" was almost used by Republicans in the Senate to ban judicial filibusters. Democrats argued that this would be a serious blow to minority rights. Cooler heads prevailed last night as moderates reached an agreement brokered by John McCain (R). Rest assured, fundamentalists were on mass media within minutes registering their disgust throughout the world.
Dr. James C. Dobson, head of the Focus on the Family, http://www.family.org , one of the conservative groups that had made an end to judicial filibusters a top priority, said the agreement "represents a complete bailout and a betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats."
Last month, a telecast from a Kentucky church sponsored by the Family Research Council was dubbed "Justice Sunday: Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith." This event was aimed at energizing evangelicals and featured video remarks by Senator Bill first (R) in opposition to the filibuster and a warning by James Dobson, a Christian radio personality and founder of Focus on the Family, that Republicans who ignored the message would "pay in four years."
Religious conservatives say a record turnout of so-called "values voters" was pivotal last year in GOP efforts to re-elect Bush and to strengthen the party's hold on Congress. Now, they say they want the White House and Congress to deliver on their agenda.
Apparently there will be hell to pay from the religious right when they don't get their way.
Dobson and other fundamentalists are proceeding with organizational zeal to erect a theocracy in this country. They believe they can do it better than others from Judeo-Christian history who have failed before them: Israel, the Pharisees, Constantine, the popes of the Dark Ages, various kings of England... No, no, this time, it will be different and better and more glorious. This time faith and spirituality will be properly compelled onto the subjects.
Obviously, fundamentalism has never worked in history. The problem--not to mention that it goes against the founding principles for this country and has no New Testament basis--is that it's power rests not in individual decision, but in coercion from an organization in power. What men like Dobson are saying is that you can't decide for yourself, they know what's best for you and will decide for you. We work hard to force liberty and justice throughout the world, but here at home want to deny people's decision making ability about the most personal of matters--their faith? You can force people to bend their knee, but you can't force them to change their hearts.
Still unsure? When's the last time you met a fundamentalist who actually impressed you? I've gone to their churches. Theirs is a clock-punching spirituality. You too could join a congregation of spiritual zombies who look down on those outside their doors. But, in our free market way of thinking, that simply will not sell.
So, I think people like Dobson know history. They know most Christians who go to church just do not put up a very good witness to the less devout. They know, pound for pound, there's very little difference between those zealous Christians and the average slob. It's much easier to pray and demand Court Justices do God's work, than expect God's elect to be people of integrity. Bureaucratic intervention is probably the more effective option. After failing to generate any Christians with integrity, they turn to the government. Even though this method has failed for thousands of years, and will continue to fail until Christians humbly accept that the movement starts in their heart and with their relationships. That's how Jesus did it, and it was hard work. And in the end he let people decide for themselves. If every Christian worked as hard on their own lives as they do keeping Dr. James Dobson well funded, nothing could stop the revival that would occur.
The best we can hope for is that fundamentalists do indeed make Republicans "pay" for their insolence. Maybe then evangelicals will worry about the plank of wood in their own eyes. Besides, Republicans just aren't playing along! The President is saying faith is a matter of personal decision. The judiciary was unable to save Teri Schiavo, and Republicans had a chance to make them pay by banning filibusters and clearing the way for a hacking up of the judicial branch. And what did their representatives do? They brokered a compromise with heathen Democrats!
1. Unable to produce faithful Christians
2. Unable to change government
Fundamentalists are losers and there will be hell to pay.