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The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party

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Justice Sandra Day O'Conner hit the nail on the head


Justice Sandra Day O'Conner hit the nail on the head in one of the last opinions she wrote during her tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court: "Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"

The Supreme Court was ruling on a case regarding the constitutionality of placing the Ten Commandments on public land, June 27, 2005 .

According to Americans United for Separation of Church and State,

As Deputy Solicitor General and in private practice, Judge John G. Roberts Jr. has consistently called for the dismantling of the wall that separates church and state. Judge Roberts' brand of Establishment Clause jurisprudence would bring about remarkable indeed, radical results, with potentially devastating consequences for religious minorities.

When talking about the next Supreme Court appointment, there is much discussion of Roe v. Wade , but something much deeper is at stake. "Twenty-five years ago," explains Pulitzer Prize wining journalist Chris Hedges, "Pat Robertson and other prominent evangelists began speaking of a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all major American institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government so as to transform the United States into a global Christian empire." ( Harper's , May, 2005)

This "new political religion" now reaches far into both houses of Congress and the White House. Their greatest obstacle has been a Supreme Court that supports the principle of separation of church and state.

Joan Bokaer


July 12, 2005

Last updated: July 22, 2005