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Gingrich Wants To Imprison Judges Who Refuse To Force Religion In Schools

Count this as the moment that Newt Gingrich lost his bid to become the next President of the United States.

anti-gingrich campaign buttonNewt Gingrich has decided that his best chance for winning the Republican vote in the Iowa caucuses a few weeks from now is to let Christian evangelical voters know that he’s the most extreme sort of religious fundamentalist. But how to send that message?

Yesterday, Gingrich decided to tip his hat to the Religious Right by announcing that, if he is elected President, he will send federal marshals to arrest and imprison judges who rule in behalf of the separation of church and state. The specific case that Gingrich was referring to was one in which Judge Fred Biery ruled that a public school could not use specifically Christian religious language to characterize its graduation ceremony. Doing so would force all students, whether Christian or not, to take part in a government-funded Christian ceremony.

The ruling made perfect sense – to those Americans who are familiar with the First Amendment of the Constitution. To Newt Gingrich, however, it’s an outrage that public schools aren’t used to promote Christianity on the public dime. So, he wants Judge Biery hauled off to prison.

Gingrich’s threat to lock up a U.S. district court judge shouldn’t only be worrisome to Americans who value freedom of religion. This radical threat from Gingrich shows that he has no respect for the basic structure of the separation of powers in the federal government, as established by the Constitution. If we were to have a President of the United States who would arrest judges as political prisoners merely for holding a legal opinion that differs from White House policy, our courts would be transformed into chambers of fear, where political conformity, rather than legal rights, would determine the outcome.

Newt Gingrich has long been prone to fits of personal instability, but this threat takes the problem far beyond the realm of mere issues of temperament. Electing Newt Gingrich as President would threaten the integrity of American democracy. No reasonable person can vote for Gingrich this coming year.

7 thoughts on “Gingrich Wants To Imprison Judges Who Refuse To Force Religion In Schools”

  1. M.C.Miller says:

    This is very revealing; although, I wish I could hear (or read a quote) direct from the ‘horses mouth’. Additionally, when you say “Electing Newt Gingrich as President would threaten the integrity of American democracy”, I think you should remark that his election would threaten the integrity of our republic, not democracy.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      A representative republic is one form of a democracy.

      1. M.C.Miller says:

        Then the author must note that our democratic institution is threatened. Beyond an argument of semantics, I am insisting on the use of republic as Gingrich’s statements portray a threat to the rule of law, based on our constitution (not a democratically constructed document), not American democracy itself.

        1. Peregrin Wood says:

          First, our republic is a democracy.

          Second, the democratic nature of our government is threatened by Newt Gingrich’s attack on judges. We cannot have free and democratic elections when the judiciary that makes rulings about contested elections is not independent from the Executive.

  2. M.C.Miller says:

    Now that I have observed the link you presented me, I must say I am surprised that you would take such a jab at someone, although unbeknownst to you, who has been a reader of your online publication for some time. You really should take constructive criticism better than this; your reaction is haughty and immature. As an editor of this publication you should be stalwart in the integrity of correspondence with your audience. Instead, you have lifted your arrogant, pseudo-liberal nose.

    You have lost a reader. I hope Locke takes an liberal shit in your USDA certified organic salad.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Um, you’re taking an article written nine years ago awfully personally, but OK, it’s a free country.

      I don’t like salad. Maybe Locke’s corpse will take a piss on my cheez doodles.

  3. M.C.Miller says:

    Thank you for your clarification Peregrin. Keep up the good work.

    (the above is addressed to your editor)

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