Calling Out the Fearmongers on “Theocracy”

This article in today’s Rocky Mountain News on the organized Family Research Council rally against the judicial filibuster highlights an event that will likely prove to be further fodder for the fearmongering Left, but it was good to see some pre-emptive remarks at the rally:

“This is a way of Salazar and these people on the left of trying to silence debate,” [President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Bill] Donohue said. “When you use, ‘theocracy,’ that’s saying we’re like a bunch of ayatollahs, (that) we’re radicals. Who’s using the incendiary language? He is. . . . What Salazar is doing (is) he’s muddying the whole concept of the First Amendment.”

“We’re not going to be a theocracy, so stop with the scare language,” Donohue said.

Donohue is exactly right on this point. If anyone with common sense and a serious perspective on history would stop and consider the idea of an interfaith rally featuring both evangelical Protestant and Catholic leaders, to label such a movement as proto-theocratic goes beyond the absurd. These are people of serious faith and moral values concerned that self-appointed black-robed lords have overstepped their Constitutional roles. We share the not-so-radical common goal of expecting the Senate to fulfill its Constitutional duty – to give “advice and consent” to the President in his nominations to the federal bench.

Tell me: is that so scary?

Michael Barone’s commentary today is especially apt, concise, and insightful. You should read the whole piece – written by the most well-reputed nonpartisan political analyst of our time – to get a flavor of just how silly the spasmodic complaints of an impending theocracy are. But here are a couple choice quotes to whet your appetite:

But whether the United States is on its way to becoming a theocracy is actually a silly question. No religion is going to impose laws on an unwilling Congress or the people of this country. And we have long lived comfortably with a few trappings of religion in the public space, such as “In God We Trust” or “God save this honorable court.”

The real question is whether strong religious belief is on the rise in America and the world. Fifty years ago, secular liberals were confident that education, urbanization and science would lead people to renounce religion. That seems to have happened, if you confine your gaze to Europe, Canada and American university faculty clubs.


This doesn’t mean we’re headed to a theocracy: America is too diverse and freedom-loving for that. But it does mean that we’re probably not headed to the predominantly secular society that liberals predicted half a century ago and that Europe has now embraced.

I’m tired of liberal demagogues like Charles Schumer telling me how Bush’s judicial nominees are “outside the mainstream” – outside the Manhattan mainstream, yes; outside the American mainstream, no. If they’re so outside the mainstream, are you worried that a majority of Senators would support such candidates?

And I’m terribly disappointed in our own U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, who has completely broken faith with the voters who elected him less than six months ago and has been cowed into submission by the Democratic party leadership. He now reads from the same press releases that his colleagues have been, and his attacks on James Dobson have been unbecoming of an elected national official.

At the same time, Senator Salazar does not respect the rights of people to peacefully assemble and protest, if it’s done against him. He was justly upset that a group of Christians stood outside his Dairy Queen franchise and protested his flip-flop on the judicial filibuster issue. But Salazar’s choice of words brings pause.

“It’s outrageous to target my wife’s Dairy Queen. They can protest me wherever they want. These tactics are outrageous and un-American and simply won’t work.” [emphasis added]

The secular Left, who so desperately want to take us down the same declining path that Western Europe has been going, are fighting for the filibuster not for genuine fear of saving this country from a theocracy (that’s just their rhetoric) nor out of some great love for the Senate rules as currently constituted but because they are desperately trying to hold onto one of their last shreds of power as their vision for an “enlightened” American future fades deeper into the recesses of their collective imagination.

I’m sorry to see Ken Salazar be co-opted by them.


  1. says

    Here’s a story to chase down to its proper conclusion: Dani Newsum, of The
    Denver Post, and KBDI’s Colorado Inside Out was recently quoted, unapologetically, as saying ‘Christians are the religious equivalent of the

    Are such remarks, without basis of relevant fact and truth, appropriate,
    especially by a supposedly professional, objective journalist? Or is it okay for her to incite violence against others because they don’t share her obvious lack of morals and ethics?

    Shouldn’t she be fired from Channel 12 and The Denver Post for such outrageous remarks?

  2. says

    Though the very mention of Dani Newsum’s voice causes my ears to bleed, I must step in with this much of a defense: she’s never, so far as I can tell, claimed to be an objective journalist. She’s a columnist, and is therefore given an opinion writer’s free-reign. We may certainly detest the things that she says, but her comments – no matter how over-the-top – do not represent journalistic bias as we’d normally classify it.

  3. says

    James, she referred to Focus on the Family as Taliban-esque, not Christians. It’s not surprising you mix up the two, an unfortunate number of Republican partisans – who think all Christians “belong” to them – do.

  4. says

    I heard her specifically say ‘Christians’. In fact, I have the videotape of it.

    As to defending her and her remarks, no. She made those remarks, she should be held accountable for them.

  5. says

    She didn’t qualify Christians with Focus on the Family or James Dobson’s name? I’d like to see that videotape. Can you digitize it?

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