Monday, May 10, 2010

On the Supreme Court and throughout America, modern Protestantism is being eclipsed by its own self-negating interpretations

No Protestants: A New Order in the Supreme Court
(Politico) -- by David Gibson --

Six Catholics and three Jews occupying all nine seats on the Supreme Court? It sounds like the start of bad joke, but in fact it could be the end of what was once an unquestioned Protestant dominance of the high court, if President Obama's pick to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens is confirmed.

Stevens is not only the liberal leader on the bench but also the lone Protestant, and with Obama's nomination Monday of 50-year-old Elena Kagan, the current solicitor general of the United States, to replace him, Stevens could be the last Protestant for some time.

Kagan is Jewish, though her level of observance is a matter of some conjecture. She had her bat mitzvah at 13 in a Conservative synagogue, and in her remarks with President Obama on Monday she said she prays every day that she can live up to the example of her parents, a lawyer and teacher, both now dead.

The prospect of her nomination had generally been welcomed by Jewish groups. They see her views as "in line with the Jewish community consensus that advocates more sensitivity for religious rights in schools and workplaces and at the same time insists on the strong separation of religion and state," according to a recent analysis in The Forward, a leading Jewish periodical.

But the real question is: Does Kagan's religion matter? Or does the faith of any justice matter?

Clearly, the prospect of a Supreme Court that is two-thirds Catholic and one-third Jewish and without a single Protestant represents a watershed in American life.

For the first two generations of American history, until the appointment of the first Catholic justice, Roger Taney, in 1836, the high court had been the exclusive domain of Protestants, and for 30 years after Taney the court was again all-Protestant. The first Jewish justice, Louis Brandeis, was confirmed in 1916, and that inaugurated an era in which there was generally a "Catholic" seat and a "Jewish" seat on the high court...

At the same time that religions like Catholicism and Judaism were becoming integrated into mainstream American society, "establishment" denominations like mainline Protestantism were declining in numbers and influence, or splitting internally over divisive issues like gay rights.

As Martin E. Marty, a Lutheran and a preeminent scholar of American religious history, recently wrote, "pity the President who thinks he or she can assure representation of Protestantism simply by appointing a member of a Protestant church."

"Many Protestant churches are culturally so settled in that they wouldn't know what or how to protest. Many other Protestant people are so unsettled that they will lobby for their faction," he wrote. "Can the one who makes an appointment satisfy the people called Protestant? Most are, top to bottom, at odds with each other."

Moreover, evangelical Christians -- who represent the most visible and coherent religious and Protestant bloc in American life today -- have channeled most of their energies and resources into political activism. That has brought evangelicals great influence since their re-emergence into political life in the 1970s, but it has not yet produced top-flight jurists who could overcome concerns about their politics...MORE...LINK
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Chris Moore comments:

It's no accident that as modern Protestantism has morphed into a bizzare, self-negating, two-headed hydra -- warmongering, Israel-worshipping, Zionist Dispensationalism on the Right and effete Statist liberalism on the Left -- its influence, prestige and effectiveness in America has gone over a cliff.

Whereas the Catholics are almost Roman in their tenacity and ceaselessness, and the Jews are wily and Machiavellian, modern Protestants have become confused, divided and easily misled. And these characteristics are today resulting in their rapid eclipse.

Given that America's founders, its founding documents, and so much of what has come to be considered traditionally "American" were all manifestations of Protestant thought, this is a tragic state of affairs, but one that modern Protestantism has largely brought upon itself thorough its dalliances with liberalism on the one hand, and Zionism on the other.

The two (Protestant) Bush presidents are probably as good a metaphor as any for the decline and fall of Protestantism in America into vanity, money-fixation, and general lack of Christian principle. With Bush I (H.W.) we had an Establishment country club Republican with an honorable WW II record who made his way to the top via his New York bankster daddy, striking it rich in oil, and a career of glad-handing all the right people. As president, he appointed David Souter to the Supreme Court, who became probably one of the biggest judicial disappointments to conservatives ever -- and himself a good metaphor for the decline of Protestantism into the Left head of the hydra. H.W. also appointed Clarence Thomas, who is a reliably conservative Catholic.

Bush I was defeated after only one term in office due largely to his aloofness, detachment, and general clulessness and indifference about the economic plight of average Americans -- a mentality probably tracable to his own moneyed insularity.

With Bush II (W.) we had a Dispensationalist Zionist who stocked his administration with Israel-first neocons, lied America into the Iraq war in partnership with the Israel lobby largely on behalf of Israel, grew government more than any president since LBJ, and laid the groundwork for the election of Barack Obama, who has gone on to appoint a multiplicity of Jews to the highest offices and positions in the land. W. Bush used his first S.C. vacancy to appoint John Roberts, who has been a reliably conservative Catholic, and attempted to appoint a Protestant -- Harriet Miers -- to the second S.C. vacancy that arose, but her nomination quickly crashed and burned due to her complete lack of qualification. Bush then went on to appoint Samuel Alito, who has also been reliably conservative, and is also Catholic.

Bush II was elected to two terms, but left office with some of the lowest approval ratings of any president in history mostly because of the Iraq war.

So there, in a nutshell, is a brief on the rather eccentric and fairly pathetic record of modern Protestantism in America. In another place and time in Western Civilization, these kinds of Protestants -- Dispensationalist Zionists and gay-marriage advocating liberals -- would have been declared heretics and summarily dispatched without a second thought. Today, they're just rendering themselves irrelevant and obsolete.

Tragic, and an embarrassment to the legacy of America's great libertarian Protestant founders.

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