U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)
If there are two things right-wing Republicans know how to do, those things are remain loyal to a bad idea and use religion in every way possible to serve their grab for power.
Combining both of those party tricks is Alabama Republican Richard Shelby. Last year Sen. Shelby introduced The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004, which said that God is the sovereign source of law and any judge who dare say otherwise could hop on the bus with Satan to impeachmentville (I’m paraphrasing). Separation of church and state? Not in Shelby’s American dream.
According to a May 20, 2005 Newsweek article by Eleanor Clift, Shelby reintroduced the bill in March, right when the news was all Terri Schiavo all the time. Clift reports that Shelby’s press secretary said the timing was just a coincidence.
“Yet if anything like Shelby imagines comes to pass, it would turn our constitutional democracy into a theocracy,” Clift writes. “The legislation says no court has jurisdiction to rule on issues surrounding God, the flag, separation of church and state and establishment of religion. The wording is broad enough to remove from civil law all matters of personal status, like whom you can marry and issues related to child custody and child support.”
Why on earth would anyone want to pass legislation that would so dangerously upset the balance of powers and remove the separation of church and state?
Clift nails it on the head. “What Shelby and his backers are really after is gay marriage,” she writes. “If the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 were law, the Massachusetts Supreme Court could not have ruled that two people of the same sex can marry.”
The scariest part is that Shelby’s bill actually has a chance of passing. We’re dealing with an absolutely shameless Republican majority right now.
Of course, Shelby’s bill is just one of the many ways the right-wing is trying to strip the judiciary and upset the balance of power. Because it’s not about God and it’s not about trying to do right by “people of faith.” It’s about power and it’s about as spiritual as a pit bull fight.
I’d personally like to rename Shelby’s bill the Constitution Restoration Act Proposal, because then we could refer to it as CRAP. Drop Shelby a line and suggest this name change, or just express yourself by phone at 202-224-5744, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at http://shelby.senate.gov/resources/contact.htm.