November 28, 2005
Going with God
More on Alito and the Christian right from an Alternet interview with Esther Kaplan, author of the recently published “With God on Their Side: George W. Bush and the Christian Right:”
On the religious front, he has issued majority opinions that allow religious displays in public buildings and proselytizing groups – such as the Good News Club – access to public schools. And he wrote an opinion knocking down an anti-discrimination policy at a university after a Christian group on campus argued that it would restrict their right to condemn homosexuality. You get a strong sense that he wants to inject religion into government and that he doesn’t support the spirit of equal rights at all.
What does this nomination mean to the Christian Right?
You cannot underestimate the extent to which the Christian Right feels like this is the culmination of their work. This is the moment they’ve been waiting for. Roe v. Wade was the single most important factor in the rise of the Christian Right as a social movement, and the brass ring has always been to stack the Supreme Court so they can overturn that decision. They have the Senate, they have the presidency. This really is their moment and they are going to pull out all the stops.
As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council declared, they are “ready to rumble.” But it’s interesting to speculate, politically, do the Republicans really want Roe overturned? We forget that the majority of Republicans are pro-choice, as are the majority of Americans. It’s always been convenient for the Republican Party to posture as pro-life and trust that the Supreme Court will uphold Roe, but that could change now, with major political consequences.
… The Christian Right is saying that that whole set of decisions that revolve around the right to privacy should be overturned, which would mean it is okay to ban abortions, it is okay to ban sodomy, and it is okay for the state to impose itself in very strong ways on people’s private decisions. They are saying that if states across the country ban gay marriage, a court should not overturn that legislation because it is the “will of the people.” A judge who overturns discriminatory laws, in their eyes, is “activist.” It’s a rubric that implies that even horribly discriminatory legislation should be upheld because it reflects “the will of the people.”
Which is why, as I’ve said before, Alito must be stopped. Even if it means a filibuster and all that entails.
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