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January 11, 2006
Column #1,272
Unity of Black & White Evangelicals, Catholics
by Michael J. McManus

A new unity of black and white Evangelicals and Catholics surfaced in a "Justice Sunday III" simulcast aired on Christian TV and radio networks prior to the Senate hearings on the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito as a Supreme Court Justice.

Historically, black evangelicals have been politically liberal. All African-American
religious denominations are members of the National Council of Churches, known for its stout opposition to every Republican initiative. In 2004 Bush won only 11% of black voters.

However, the latest Family Research Council's "Justice Sunday" simulcast was broadcast from Greater Exodus Baptist Church of Rev. Herbert Lusk of Philadelphia, a former Philadelphia Eagle and one of the city's most respected black pastors. One speaker and singer was Dr. Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King. Another was Bishop Wellington Boone, best-selling author and frequent Promise Keepers speaker.

Lusk told the crowd that in hosting the event, "I've been called everything but a child of God. I've been called a sell-out. I've been called an Uncle Tom and "The New York Times" called me a maverick to the black church. Well, I just want the "Times" to note that, if a maverick can be defined as one who is pro-life, then I am a maverick." The crowd laughed and applauded.

"And if being a maverick means that I am one who supports the original intent of God
Almighty to have a husband and a wife (applause), then I want you to mark right next to my name, Herbert Hoover Lusk II, Maverick."

He quoted Psalm 11:3, "If the foundation be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?"

"I want you to know the foundations are being tampered with. Fifty-five of the original signers of our Constitution were all men of God...We're facing in history like never before the hostility against the people of God."

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, outlined judicial attacks against "religious liberties and freedoms. Just in this last year the Supreme Court has declared that the Ten Commandments cannot be posted on public property if they make reference to the author of those commandments."

A federal circuit court rules "the pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional for our children to say `one nation under God.' And just days ago a federal judge in Indiana said that the House of Representatives that has a 180-year tradition of opening their sessions in prayer - cannot do so if they mention the name of Jesus Christ."

Patrick Korten of the Knights of Columbus, America's largest Catholic men's group, said they persuaded Congress to add "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 because the Declaration of Independence asserted "we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. We believe these rights come from God, not the states."

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a co-sponsor of the simulcast, frankly proclaimed that his goal was to "help get Judge Samuel Alito confirmed" because he might reverse the "judicial tyranny" of the Supreme Court on religious issues. "For 60 years this court has forced its will on the American people. The decisions that have been made have not been chosen by the American people."

He cited polls showing that 70% of Americans support prayer in schools, at graduation activities and sporting events and to retain "under God" in the Pledge. He noted 19 states decided to add to state constitutions that marriage is between a man and a woman, but expected the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. Indeed, in Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Scalia predicted the court would legalize gay marriage.

Dobson observed that in nominating Judge Alito to the court, Bush chose a man given the highest rating by the left-leaning American Bar Association and one with more judicial experience than 105 out of all 108 nominees.

Yet Dobson was confident Alito was an "originalist who will not legislate from the bench but who will interpret the constitution."

Rev. Jerry Falwell was more blunt: "Catholics and Evangelicals have come together"
because "we have a war in this country between the secular supremists who want to gut any expression of religion and those people "who support "the traditional understanding of freedom of religion...Either they win or we win."

In his first nine hours of grilling by the Senate, Alito delighted his supporters by giving more direct responses to questions than did John Roberts while remaining "mostly untouchable" according to a New York Times analysis.

I predict he will easily win confirmation, and remove the Supreme Court's anti-religious bias.


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