Friday, April 22, 2005

Progressive Update--4/22/2005

I’ll keep this brief. I have a quick heads-up for action this weekend, and a little framing update.

This weekend the Republican Party is abandoning our country’s foundation of the separation of church and state as the Republican Senate leader Bill Frist joins the campaign to participate in a rally claiming that Democrats are opposed to people of faith. This of course represents the total capitulation of the leading political party in this country to the fundamentalists (if this were Afghanistan, that would be grounds for invasion!). The religious right is preparing for an assault on Senate rules protecting the filibuster as a method to block voting for judicial nominations that are opposed by more than 40% of the US Senate, rules that have been in place for two centuries.

Move-On is organizing street-level action, to hand out flyers, make phone calls, and contact your Senators. If you are interested in joining Laura Anderson here in Newark on Sunday from noon to 2pm, email her at

Bush’s nominee to be the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton (yes the guy who believes that the UN is an anachronism), was preceded by former Republican Senator John Danforth from Missouri. On March 30th, he wrote an editorial in the New York Times in which he wrote ‘in recent times, we Republicans have allowed this shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives. As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around. The historic principles of the Republican Party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future. Our current fixation on a religious agenda has turned us in the wrong direction.’

Progressives believe in, and fiercely fight to defend Americans’ right to faith. This is what our country was founded on, and this is what Republicans such as our President and the Senate leader are threatening. What we don’t believe in is to fight to force our faith on another. Progressives want to turn this country around, to enable it to support each of us living our faith without persecution. Of course faith for most progressives means caring about each other. Conservative Republicans are opposing people of faith who recognize that the bankruptcy reform, Social Security piratization, and tax cuts for the wealthy (Bush’s taxes are more than $20,000 lower in 2004 due to his cuts, and Cheney’s savings are over $80,000) are causing incredible harm to a great many Americans, Americans who are ignored by politicians such as Frist, DeLay, and Bush, who wear their faith on their sleeve while worshiping at the altar of lobbyists.

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