Hello, Canada?

The walls keep getting closer and closer and closer. Read Michelle Goldberg on the subject if you want to have nightmares for a week.

Speaking to outsiders, most Christian nationalists say they’re simply responding to anti-Christian persecution. They say that secularism is itself a religion, one unfairly imposed on them. They say they’re the victims in the culture wars. But Christian nationalist ideologues don’t want equality, they want dominance.

Yes of course they say secularism is a religion. Secularism is a religion, science is a religion, ‘evolutionism’ is a religion, ‘Darwinism’ is a religion, atheism is a religion, humanism is a religion, naturalism is a religion, rationality is a religion, everything that doesn’t bow down and grovel before their benighted impoverished world view is a religion. And if some of them get their way – we won’t just be silenced or put under house arrest for life, we’ll be executed. So let’s hope they don’t. But…listening to Goldberg on Fresh Air on Thursday I learned more about the Constitution Restoration Act and became very very afraid. If enough loonies get into Congress, which seems not nearly as impossible as I would like it to be, that thing could pass. The Supreme Court would throw it out in a heartbeat, because it’s so unconstitutional it’s a joke – but then they would just amend the Constitution. I don’t think that’s likely (she said nervously) – but – I wish I could be more confident than I am. What’s the Constitution Restoration Act, you wonder? Oh, nothing. No biggy. Just a little tweak that strips judges of the power to hear cases involving ‘any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity’s, officer’s, or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.’ That’s all. Nothing. Just a law that would forbid the judiciary to review official moves to impose theocracy. Why would anyone object to that?

Terrifyingly, there doesn’t seem to have been much news coverage of this. Like, any. Oh well done. The major meeja ignored the little matter of Bush systematically ignoring acts of Congress that he didn’t feel like obeying by cranking out more than seven hundred fifty ‘signing statements’ in which White House lawyers say he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to; and now we find they also slept through this little business of legislation aimed at establishing a theocracy in the US. What would be outrageous and terrifying enough to get their attention, one wonders? Does it absolutely have to emit huge clouds of black smoke and cause giant buildings to fall down to be worth noticing? Or does it have to be not Republican and not Rush Limbaugh’s greatest hero to be worth noticing? Or what? Why is this kind of thing allowed to ooze along in such soothing silence?

There is one article at Znet. Great; that’ll reach millions.

Znet wonders about the non-coverage too, not surprisingly.

The potential impact of the Constitution Restoration Act on American life, law and politics is so radical and vast that you would expect a boiling national debate. Yet just as with the crimes and questions of 9/11, everyone in the media seems terrifically busy looking the other way. If you want yet another dramatic metric of US journalistic dysfunction, try Googling “Constitution Restoration Act” in their News category and see what you get. Today, three weeks after the bill was filed, I find a grand total of three throwaway mentions in Alabama’s Shelby County Reporter, the Decatur Daily, and the Massachusetts Daily Collegian. (“Terry Schiavo” in contrast will net you over a thousand news hits, and “Michael Jackson” just passed 36,000 with a bullet.)

Just so. Googling ‘Constitution Restoration Act’ in Google News is exactly what I did – that’s how I found the Znet article – and sure enough – a year later, and the cupboard is still bare. That is pathetic. I have few illusions about the US ‘news’ media, but that is pathetic. The ‘signing statements’ were all but ignored until Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe got busy, and an attempted theocratic putsch is also ignored. It boggles the mind.

The CRA already has 28 sponsors in the House and Senate, and a March 20 call to lead sponsor Sen. Richard Shelby’s office assures us that “we have the votes for passage.” This is a highly credible projection as Bill Moyers observes in his 3/24/05 “Welcome to Doomsday” piece in the New York Review of Books: “The corporate, political, and religious right’s hammerlock… extends to the US Congress. Nearly half of its members before the election-231 legislators in all (more since the election)-are backed by the religious right… Forty-five senators and 186 members of the 108th Congress earned 80 to 100 percent approval ratings from the most influential Christian Right advocacy groups.”

That was 2005. It hasn’t passed yet. But the bastards are still gathering.

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