Commentary from Jim Wallis, from Sojourners:
As evangelical as an oak tree
by Jim Wallis
I debated Jerry Falwell yesterday on Tavis Smiley’s National Public Radio show. The subject was the current talk about “values” in the presidential election campaign. Tavis first asked Falwell to name a “short list” of the values issues that were important to him. It turned out to be a very short list indeed. All the Religious Right leader could talk about was the gay marriage amendment. That was it.
I pointed out that overcoming poverty was a values issue, as was protecting the environment, as was fighting unnecessary wars on false pretenses, as was the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. As he often does when he fears he might lose a debate, Falwell eventually began to interrupt what I was saying and moved into personal-attack mode, saying that I was “as much an evangelical as an oak tree.” The television preacher from Lynchburg has such a way with words.

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Marriage Protection Act and Three Branches of Government

This from CitizenLink (from Focus on the Family) concerning The Marriage Protection Act, HR 3313, coming before the House of Representatives:

Charlie Jarvis of the United Seniors Association said our Founding Fathers would find today’s judicial tyranny an outrageous offense to the Constitution and their original intentions because they never intended the courts to be de facto policy-makers unaccountable to other branches of government.

I hear over and over again that the judiciary is “taking over the country” and acting in ways contrary to the Constitution. How? The courts rule on issues brought before them, and the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of laws already passed or actions already taken nationally. There will be people who disagree with the rulings, but that does not mean that the Court is acting contrary to the constitutional powers given it. If we do not like the ruling, our elected representatives can pass another law, they can change the make-up of the court, or they can impeach judges. There are plenty of options for the Executive and Legislative branches of government to reign in the court, if necessary and if they have the will to do so.
The problem with the Religious Right and those making accusations against “activist judges” who are ruling on laws restricting homosexual civil-marriage and relationships is not that the courts are ruling dictatorially, but that the Religious Right is loosing the culture war on this issue. Our elected officials are not doing what the Religious Right demands them to do to keep the courts from ruling on the constitutionality of laws enacted that promote their cultural/social agendas. They do not have the votes in the Legislative branch to confront the Judicial branch in constitutional ways. There are not the votes in the House or the Senate to change the courts, re-enact constitutionally sound legislation, or impeach the judges. The Religious Right has realized some successes, but many are short lived when they are analyzed constitutionally. The Religious Right is loosing the cultural-war on homosexuality, just like bigots lost the cultural-war on black civil-rights. The Religious Right cannot abide by this, so they attempt to spin the whole argument from their inability to garner the votes to impose their will or the constitutionality of some of their successes, but towards idea that the courts have gone beyond their constitutional bounds and are no longer acting according to their constitutional prerogatives.