Rebecca St. James speaking at the press conference. She is so great, such a wonderful role model for young girls — she has been an outspoken advocate for abstinence, which I call pretty gutsy in the context of today’s music industry.
She has a new book out for young girls called “She Teen: Safe, Healthy, Empowered.”
Here’s part of Blogger’s Row — in the foreground: Trey Jackson, far left (!), Joe Carter, Lance McMurray, and Captain Ed. In the background Tony Perkins, Chuck Colson, Bishop Jackson, Tom Minnery (VP Focus on the Family).
In anticipation of tonight’s Justice Sunday II here in Nashville, leaders of left-leaning religious organizations held a conference call to criticize the event. (Full transcript here.) They argued that holding an event like this one in a church violates the separation of church and state.
But there were some interesting contradictions between their public arguments and their own activities related to politics and policy. . .
. . .religious people in this nation should be major contributors to a healthy democracy, and to the political process.
Right. That’s exactly what Justice Sunday is about – raising awareness among Christians of how important it is to be involved in the political process. And to highlight the important role the Supreme Court plays in shaping our culture.
Addiitonally, Rev. Bill Sinkford, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, said that:
No person or group can honestly claim to represent ‘the’ single authentic faith perspective on a given issue. Americans of faith and good will differ on the issues facing our country today, but those differences should never be cause for questioning another’s faith or patriotism.
Well, you won’t find anyone at Justice Sunday making any such claims about being the authentic perspective. I challenge anyone to give an example of that kind of statement directly from the event — not something alleged to have been said via the media.
But I can give you an example from one of the participants on the conference call. Wander on over to the website of Bob Edgar, President of the National Council of Churches, and this is what you will find. An article prominently headlined thusly:
Edgar: Jesus’ priorities, not politics, guide NCC
peace, anti-poverty and eco-justice programs
Kid. You. Not.
Make no mistake. He is claiming “Jesus’ priorities” for their political agenda. “Peace,” “anti-poverty,” and “eco-justice,” are code words for a leftist political agenda against the war (any war); against welfare reform; and supporting an environmentalist agenda like PETA’s.
Need more evidence? Look further on down the page. They explain that: “The NCC has come under fire in recent months for advocating for good environmental stewardship, working to end poverty and for calling for a plan to reduce U.S. military presence in Iraq.”
Gold Star Mom
Protesting in Crawford
In fact, Edgar’s immediate itinerary following the conference call included a stop in Crawford, Texas to visit Cindy Sheehan and the Gold Star moms there protesting the war. The visit, said Edgar, “was not political or partisan.”
And the group that Edgar was speaking to when he laid out “Jesus’ priorities?” The article says it was a “gathering of Baptist pastors, ministers and lay leaders . . .”
He has every right to do that. And he has every right to lobby on behalf of liberal causes.
But I don’t see how he then has any standing to criticize Justice Sunday.
Two Rivers Baptist Church, the site of Sunday’s Justice Sunday II simulcast, is amazing. The sanctuary is enormous and cavernous — the church has 6800 members.
The sanctuary itself seats 2800 people and tickets are hard to come by at this point. They are now estimating that millions of people will be viewing through the simulcast.
With Derek Packard
Producer/Director of JSII
The Producer/Director of the simulcast is Derek Packard, President of DV Studios, and developer of Light on the Hill TV, where you can go to log on to a live webcast of JSII — I got him to pose with me for a second in the midst of getting the platform set up. He was busy arranging nine pictures of the sitting Justices: 5 placed to the left; 3 placed to the right. . . and one with a big question mark.
A keen visual reminder of the stakes in this appointment to the Supreme Court.
But that is why I like the blogosphere so much: because I end up talking with people whose opinions often don’t align with mine.
The Dreamer has been packing all day. In the morning, we are loading up the Penta-Posse and headed south to Nashville for a road trip to Justice Sunday II. . .we’ll be blogging whenever and wherever we find wireless, so be sure to check back in.
I’m very excited about the “Blogger’s Row” project that, as a part-time Senior Fellow, I have the opportunity to head up for the Family Research Council. We’ve got a great group of bloggers coming in for Sunday night’s simulcast to cover the event and live-blog all the action . . .Tom DeLay will be speaking, along with Zell Miller, Chuck Colson and Tony Perkins . . . and I am particularly hoping my girls will get to meet Rebecca St. James who will be singing.
And there will certainly be action: We heard today that there will be a “Justice Everyday” counter-demonstration somewhere near the church. According to their press release, Justice Sunday participants are, “intent on breaking down the wall between church and state and undermining the independence of the federal judiciary.” Some of the “Alternative Religious Voices” involved include Susan Thistlethwaite, President of Chicago Theological Seminary and Dr. Bob Edgar, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. No link available.
You can be sure we’ll have pictures here at Reasoned Audacity and at the other sites.
But, hey, we didn’t even have to get to Nashville to kick up a little dust. In an effort to make this live-blogging event as, well, ecumenical as possible, I sent a specific invitation to Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine to join the fun. He, however, turned us down flat, and called the invitation “odd”:
I got a most odd invitation to come to Nashville to blog Justice Sunday II . . . That’s most odd, since I’ve held these events — and politicians sucking up to them — in disdain.
Disdain? Strong word, Jeff, for a wordsmith who won’t come check it out in person.
Then he goes on to raise the issue of travel expenses and disclosure. Full disclosure: We are covering the travel expenses (only) of a few bloggers who would not otherwise be able to come. The rationale here is simple: bloggers are not MSM with large travel budgets. Most of us have day-jobs.
Regular readers will remember the trip that I recently took to Edinburgh as a guest of the One Campaign to live-blog the Live8 events connected to the G-8 summit. Definitely not a trip I would have been able to take on my own — and I noted and thanked the sponsors. And still also ended up being pretty critical of my hosts in some posts. In all, that was a great experience, and it provided both the inspiration and the model for this Justice Sunday live-blogging experiment.
Captain Ed put up a post today with his thoughts on this issue.
Wait one. Forgot to mention that there will be free snacks in the media room.
Lastly, I have to thank Roger Abramson of Nashville for this comment he left for Jeff:
. . . I think you should give these guys some credit — they’re being quite open with their invites. Amd, anyone who wants a pass seems to be getting one. That shows a lot of good faith (in the secular sense of that word) on their part. Come on down and see what we’ve got to offer.
I’ll just second that last thought: it’s not too late to change your mind, Jeff. Come on down.
And oh yeah. Who said that they “like the blogosphere so much” because they “end up talking with people whose opinions often don’t align” with their own?
Are you interested in LIVEBLOGGING the upcoming Justice Sunday II in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday August 14th?
This event is a live simulcast from Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, focusing on the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
The first Justice Sunday got national attention during the confirmation battle over President Bush’s judges . . . and Senator Bill Frist sent a taped greeting.
credit: Ray Lustig/Washington Post
For Justice Sunday II: House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay will be speaking. Other headliners include Senator Zell Miller, Chuck Colson, Dr. James Dobson (by video), Tony Perkins, and Phyllis Schlafly. More details at www.justicesunday.com.
The New York Times yesterday headlined DeLay’s appearance at the event.
Please help me spread the word about this opportunity. Bloggers across the political spectrum welcome.
For more information about getting media credentials and to be part of the LIVEBLOGGING event, CONTACT ME.
UPDATE: Welcome Buzzmachine readers. I have posted a response to Jeff’s post.