August 10, 2005

Well, Massachusetts was the Center of the Know-Nothing Movement

Carroll Andrew Morse

In yesterday’s Boston Globe, modern day Know-Nothing Christopher D. Morris called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to draft “legislation calling for the automatic recusal of Catholic judges from cases citing Roe v. Wade as a precedent.” Apparently he is unfamiliar with Article VI of the U.S. Constitution which bans religious tests for holding public office.

But Morris goes beyond seeking a religious test. He gives his real game away with this sentence…

Asking the bishops to testify would be healthy. If they rescinded the threats made against Kerry, then Roberts would feel free to make his decision without the appearance of a conflict of interest…
In other words, Morris wants to use the power of government to coerce religious leaders into changing how they lead their followers! Is this the 21st century meaning of "separation of church and state"?

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There is a mistaken belief that one can separate one's religious beliefs (and by extension, one's moral value system) from the way one votes in congress or the way one decides cases as a judge. What must be understood is that our sense of morality is at the core of who we are and it influences every decision we make.

In the case of Roberts, there is no conflict of interest from which he must be freed. Regardless of any statements by Church leaders, it is Roberts fundamental core values that will influence his interpretation of constitutional law. That is true regardless of who is in that position. Asking someone to separate their core values from their actions is the true conflict of interest.

Posted by: Ron at August 10, 2005 1:20 PM