January 08, 2006 | 10:35 PM
Republican powwow held in a Philadelphia church
I'm not surprised, but I wish I was. This evening, a group of Republican Christians and a Roman Catholic senator gathered in a Philadelphia church to support Judge Samuel Alito for the U.S. Supreme Court. After a worship service, these well-known speakers voiced from the pulpit their support for the nominee.
The event called "Justice Sunday III: Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land" was held at Greater Exodus Baptist Church on the eve prior to the start of Alito's confirmation hearings. Its pastor, Herbert Lusk, a former NFL football player and advisor to President Bush, said that his church hosted the event because "this is what Jesus would have me to do as a pastor," and that he is "not following dictates of Bush, Falwell, or Tony (Perkins)... I'm following the dictates of my Lord."
The event was sponsored by the Family Research Council. The organization's website included the following message concerning the presentation:
"On January 8, 'Justice Sunday III: Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land' aired from the Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia, and with the help of Christian television and radio networks like TBN, Sky Angel, America Family Radio, Salem Radio, and Bott Radio Network, the message of Justice Sunday III had the potential to reach 80 million households in all 50 states."
The event speakers included: Tony Perkins, Dr. James Dobson, Rev. Herbert Lusk, Bishop Wellington Boone, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Dr. Jerry Falwell, and Dr. Alveda C. King, while others participated via video package, including Reclaiming America's Dr. D. James Kennedy, WallBuilders' David Barton, and the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, et al.
It is saddening and quite remarkable as to how quickly Christians are willing to come together, specially with those who are not born again, to advocate and lead others in support of nominees who may not have a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
In this particular case, Samuel Alito, a Roman Catholic who is tied together with the Republican party, may have conservative leanings, but this does not necessarily mean that he is a God-fearing man worthy to serve in public office. This determination must be made from a Biblical perspective and with a proper understanding of law and government.
William Penn resounded in his day: "If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him. Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants." These words speak just as loudly today, not just because Penn voiced them, but because he was speaking a spiritual truth. "The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." (2 Samuel 23:2-3)
In the case of a professed Christian, it is still important that the nominee's record is reviewed thoroughly and clearly reflects where the person stands on the moral issues of our day before one word of support is voiced for them. Remember Harriet Miers.
As for Samuel Alito, Christians should not play dumb or be willfully ignorant when it comes to responding to questions pertaining to Alito's decisions favoring abortion. I, of course, do not know all the intentions of these religious leaders when the engage in vocally supporting such nominees, but what is clear to me is that they are acting as Republicans instead of Christians first.
For example, just four days ago during a conference call in relationship to "Justice Sunday III", Jerry Falwell was asked a question by talk-show host John Lofton regarding his position on Samuel Alito being pro-life. Here is the dialogue directly from the transcript:
LOFTON: "Dr. Falwell said earlier that you believe Samuel Alito is pro-life. Samuel Alito, while a judge, has voted to strike down a ban on partial-birth abortion, he has repeatedly cited approvingly Roe v. Wade, which he didn't have to do, and in a wrongful-death negligence case involving an 8-and-a-half month stillborn baby, he ruled against the mother, saying the unborn baby was not constitutionally a person. I'd like to ask Dr. Falwell: Upon what is your view based that Samuel Alito is pro-life?"
FALWELL: "Based upon the promise of the president that he would appoint persons like Scalia and Thomas. The president's never lied to me about anything before or, to my knowledge, anyone else. And while I am not, John, versed on the particular cases you are talking about, I will get versed on them because I don't believe he's done that."
LOFTON: "OK. Well, that is his record and that is the way he's voted, and I would have thought you would have checked his record prior to endorsing him. Thank you very much, sir."
According to Falwell's belief system, Bush kept this "promise" when he nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court; otherwise, it puts Falwell in a terribly flawed position by obviously showing that the President's promises are not always absolute. The best lesson on this subject comes from the Holy Scriptures, which teaches: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:22)
I am, however, curious if Falwell did "get versed on" the cases that Mr. Lofton brought to his attention since he decided tonight without any hesitation or reservation to passionately declare from the puplit that Samuel Alito should be confirmed. His exact words:
"Go to the telephone, write your letter, get to your U.S. senators. Let's confirm this man, Judge Alito, to the U.S. Supreme Court," Falwell said. "And let's make one more step toward bringing America back to one nation under God."
As I have stated before, John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court said it best with the following words: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
The standard should not be Scalia and Thomas as Mr. Falwell and others have stated, but should be based on whether or not the nominee is a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is necessitous to restoring our God-given freedoms that nominees are chosen who recognize that law and government come from God, and who are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Word of God prominently displayed on the Liberty Bell declares: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto the inhabitants thereof." (Leviticus 25:10)