Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Two words: SO BUSTED!

Tony Perkins is Family Research Council President, a Very Good Friend of Frist, a fine Republican, and a leading force behind "Justice Sunday." He is also has a rather ugly skeleton in his closet.

Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.

As the emcee of Justice Sunday, Tony Perkins positioned himself beside a black preacher and a Catholic "civil rights" activist as he rattled off the phone numbers of senators wavering on President Bush's judicial nominees. The evening's speakers studiously couched their appeals on behalf of Bush's stalled judges in the vocabulary of victimhood, accusing Democratic senators of "filibustering people of faith."
I blame Abraham Lincoln for this. If only he had the foresight to just let the South go, America would be the leading light of the world instead of an embarrassment.

Serious thought: Filibustering people of faith? What annoys me most about all of this is that the Christian Right has rather successfully convinced a great many people, including the yokels who run Cross Currents, that the only true people of faith are those on the extreme right of the political spectrum. Progressive politics are actually much more religious than Republican politics. How many times does the Torah talk about homosexulaity, for instance? And how many times does it remind us that God himself protects the poor, widowed, and orphaned? Though you wouldn't know it from the media, or from the right-wing blogs, there are many people of faith (like me) on the left-side of politics, and some of us (me again) oppose the "stalled judges" on religious grounds. Their extreme judicial and ideological views are anthama to anyone who takes seriously the very old, very hallowed, Jewish traditions of social justice.