And she is no one to find a religious bigot around every corner, so she has a great deal of credibility in saying so. Specifically, she is taking issue with the mocking, very bigoted and intellectually dishonest tone of this statement from the Democrat Leadership, on the judicial filibuster:
(say the) Democrats?
“Our debate over the rules of the Senate and the use of the filibuster has nothing to do with whether one is religious or not,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said at a news conference with Senator Harry Reid, the minority leader from Nevada. “I cannot imagine that God – with everything he has or she has to worry about – is going to take the time to debate the filibuster in heaven.”
The first sentence of that statement is simple disagreement about the basis for opposing the nominees, and of course, one would expect people like Durbin to say they are not discriminating on a religious ground. That second sentence subtracts from the credibility of the denial, however, because it’s little more than a mockery of religion.
Democrats seized on Dr. Frist’s participation in an effort to portray Republicans as intolerant extremists. “In America, we are in a democracy, not a theocracy,” Mr. Reid said, urging Dr. Frist to back out of the event. “God does not take part in partisan politics.”
I don’t see the sense of this statement. Religious people fighting for a cause they believe in do not make the government a theocracy. Many prominent and highly respected political activists — notably Martin Luther King, Jr. — have operated from a religious foundation. It’s nothing new, and it doesn’t deserve to be demonized. There’s a tone of mockery toward religion in what Durbin and Reid are saying, as they twist the Council’s political activity into the idea that God is somehow debating about or participating in partisan politics. I’m sure that draws easy laughs and gasps from people who scoff at religion, but it’s quite unhelpful…these recent comments by Durbin and Reid are offensive, inflammatory, and manipulative.
Indeed, and I for one am grateful that Ann is so articulate and so willing to be fair, when fairness will undoubtedly fill her email with angry responders calling her a “right-wing whack-job.” I’m sure she was called a “left wing murderer” by the right a few weeks ago, when she disapproved of the Schiavo goings on.
I’m not into writing letters to folks calling them anything. Ann Althouse is a smart woman with her own opinions, and they don’t always have to agree with mine for me to respect her! I’m certainly glad to read her opinion on this…especially when I have just finished reading this: No Catholics Need Apply.
The article strikes me as a little hysterical and over-the-top, but beyond that, there seems to be a very real problem of faithful Catholics being considered “unfit” for government posts. You know, the same sorts of concerns Chuck Schumer has about Catholics and their “deeply held beliefs.”
Washington special interest groups — notorious for their anti-religious hostility toward conservatives — are conducting a coordinated smear campaign against Scott Bloch, George Bush’s appointee to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which reviews and refers whistleblower disclosures to agency heads. In an interview with TAS, Pete Leon, legislative director for Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who has called for Bloch’s resignation, revealed the fundamental anti-religious bigotry at the heart of the campaign. Articulating his objections to Bloch, Leon said, “He is a devout Catholic,” then quickly added, after he realized his gaffe, the famously insincere line from Seinfeld, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
Jeanette has a very good three-part series on this whole topic of religious bigotry, over at her site. I have not seen it anywhere else.