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American Taliban August 4, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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The ruling by District Judge Vaughn Walker declaring California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage, to be unconstitutional is welcome news. Judge Walker ruled there is no rational basis for prohibiting same-sex marriage and it violates both the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution. Here is the full opinion.

Of course this is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court where representatives of the American Taliban currently hold power. So there is no telling what the ultimate fate of Prop 8 will be. I suppose it depends on whether Justice Kennedy allows his  libertarian tendencies to shine.

But while we are on the subject of the American Taliban, it is worth making note of what is going on in the Nevada Senate race, where the extremist Republican candidate Sharron Angle (R) has introduced Biblical interpretation into the race. Jon Ralston reports on recent comments she made on a Christian radio talk-show.

“And these programs that you mentioned — that Obama has going with Reid and Pelosi pushing them forward — are all entitlement programs built to make government our God. And that’s really what’s happening in this country is a violation of the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We’re supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government.”

This mindset will further reinforce to some that religion infuses everything Angle believes but also might explain her hostility to government programs, believing essentially they are produced by a false God. […]

“I need warriors to stand beside me. You know, this is a war of ideology, a war of thoughts and of faith. And we need people to really stand for faith and trust, not hope and change.”

This is about as clear a statement as one could want about what this lunatic thinks of U.S. democracy. U.S. law ought to be subordinated to Old Testament Christianity. As Steve Benen reveals:

The Las Vegas Sun recently reported that Angle, who said she’s running because God told her to, embraces a radical church-state philosophy that “parallels that of a religious political movement — Christian Reconstructionism — seeking to return American civil society to biblical law.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Christian Reconstructionism, it’s quite literally analogous to the Taliban and radical proponents of Sharia law — just as they want to replace secular law with laws based on their interpretation of the Quran, Reconstructionists want to replace secular law in the U.S. with their interpretation of the Christian Bible. In this vision, a radical take on Scripture would take the place of our Constitution.

These are the very same people who are screaming about threats from Muslims who are allegedly dedicated to imposing Sharia law on us all.

I’m having trouble parsing the differences between being ruled by Old Testament Christianity and being ruled by Sharia Law.

And if this is not sufficiently farcical for your taste, how about this from the Colorado Governor’s race:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are “converting Denver into a United Nations community.”

“This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.

Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

“This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said.

He added: “These aren’t just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to.”

Bike paths are a diabolical United Nations plot! This person is running for Governor! As Kos writes

But beyond the horserace aspect, Maes gives us yet another window into the psyche of the teabagger, one in which being environmentally responsible is suspect, in which the United Nations is code word for communist. It’s a world in which “liberty” apparently means dealing with congestion-choked streets, noxious air quality, and unhealthy living.

We know this crowd hates brown people, non-Christians, single women, Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, gays, immigrants, New York, Chicago, anyone born in Hawaii, Muslims, urbanites, liberals, environmentalists, anyone who wears birkenstocks or drinks lattes, and any country outside of the United States.

I guess you can add cyclists to the list.

We are losing blood and treasure fighting a war against ignorance, bigotry and intolerance in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, our enemies seem to have infiltrated American politics.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com


Activist Judges May 3, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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If the public discourse regarding Supreme Court nominations is an indication, most people believe that judges ideally make their decision based on the law, rather than personal ideology.

I think there is little evidence for that; judges tend to consult their personal ideology and moral intuitions first and then interpret the law so that the interpretation conforms to their personal beliefs.

An obvious example of this emerged in a decision last week in Salazar v. Buono. The Supremes were considering a deal, approved by Congress, to transfer the acre of land on which a cross commemorating war dead stands to private hands.   Five conservative justices approved.

A badly fractured Supreme Court, with six justices writing opinions, reopened the possibility on Wednesday that a large cross serving as a war memorial in a remote part of the Mojave Desert may be permitted to remain there.

The 5-to-4 decision provided an unusually vivid glimpse into how deeply divided the court is on the role religious symbols may play in public life and, in particular, the meanings conveyed by crosses in memorials for fallen soldiers.

In considering the virtues of this deal, the majority opinion stated that the Christian cross isn’t necessarily a symbol of Christianity.


Justice Paul Stevens in his dissenting opinion pointed out the problem:

“Making a plain, unadorned Latin cross a war memorial does not make the cross secular. It makes the war memorial sectarian.” He added, in a dissent endorsed by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor, “The cross is not a universal symbol of sacrifice. It is the symbol of one particular sacrifice, and that sacrifice carries deeply significant meaning for those who adhere to the Christian faith.”

I know of no other religion in which the cross is a symbol of sacrifice. To claim that it is universal is transparently dishonest and  will find its place among most of the other transparently dishonest rulings made by this conservative majority.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com