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Sunday, April 17, 2005

DeLay, Frist Give God the Finger

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

These are some of the first words I memorized as a Bible verse when I was a child. At that point, it had a very narrow meaning – you shouldn’t say Goddamnit. I’ve come to believe that the phrase means much beyond that childish interpretation.

According to the dictionary, it also means “having no real value”. It means throwing the Lord’s name into causes that are contrary to Christian teachings (such as eating babies every other Wednesday). It means claiming attacks are based on Christian values when they are not. It means – well, everything that has been coming out of the mouths of Tom DeLay, Dan Burton, and now Bill Frist.

Republicans have been caught looking petulant and childish by trying to change the Senate rules that allow a filibuster. Susan Collins and Olympia Snow of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island deserve applause for standing up to the theocracy that has overtaken the Republican Party (watch their re-elections to see how hard they are challenged in the primaries). Unable to look like anything other than sore winners, Republicans are now trying a shameful attack to get Democrats to back down.

Bill Frist is set to address a ravenous group of paranoid anti-Christians who believe the whole world is out to get them. He, along with other Republican leaders, will tell the Family Research Council’s “Justice Sunday” that the effort to block judicial nominations is simply another front in the war against Christianity. (You can learn more about “Justice Sunday here and here and here . This is more than a simple lie – it is a political maneuver to further split the country for Republicans to take advantage of voters and maintain political power.

It is Tom DeLay and Bill Frist joining hands to scream “SCREW YOU GOD! WE HAVE THE POWER!”

The fact is that every single judicial appointment that is being opposed is being done on a specific body of writings and case procedure and decisions. These people are opposed because of their specific actions. It has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It has to do with pushing an extremist Republican political agenda – even if you have to destroy the country to do so.

It is also a sham – and a shame – that Republicans feel it necessary to push this as an issue of religious persecution. I live in ultra-liberal New Jersey. From my front window, I can see two churches. If I walk around a ten block radius, I can find no less than seventeen churches that hold weekly services in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Korean, and Arabic. Where is the persecution? I can’t find one single news story of a Christian being dragged from their church and stoned in the street. I can’t find one single person who has even heard of it in this country.

DeLay and Frist are giving God the big middle finger, and they are doing it while giving the rest of the country an anal exam. It becomes clearer to me every day that these men are not interested in upholding the teachings of Jesus any more than they are interested in upholding the laws and heritage of the United States. All they are worried about is winning and maintaining their stranglehold on power.

The Republican residents of power need to be reminded of the rest of the commandment concerning using God’s name in vain, “for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Perhaps the brainwashed, well-meaning anti-Christians they will speak to next Sunday will not demand an explanation, but to use DeLay’s own words, “someday they will have to answer for their actions.” Until then, it is helpful to remember that a stranglehold may keep power in your hands, but it is only the power over a dead body that lies limp in your hands.

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