Groups Challenge Frist

An interfaith coalition is planning a conference call with journalists today to ask Senator Bill Frist to reconsider his participation in a television broadcast that is promoted as critical of the U.S. judicial system. The charges, made by the James Dobson, the leader of the Focus on the Family, among others, claims the judiciary has overstepped its bounds and is limiting the rights of “people of faith.”

…the Roman
church is a false
church and it
teaches a false
gospel…the
pope himself
holds a false
and unbiblical
office.
–Robert Mohler
President,
Southern Baptist Seminary
Louisville

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the National Council of Churches is conducting the call.

A coalition of conservative Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians is seeking to stop the 200-year-old practice of invoking the filibuster to slow judicial nominees on the Senate floor. Frist has proposed to eliminate the rule allowing this practice.

The conservative coalition is more united on political outcomes than on matters of faith. Robert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville has attacked Sen. John Salazaar of Colorado, a Roman Catholic, for not opposing candidates who support the right to an abortion.

As reported in the New York Times on Friday, Salazaar responded by releasing comments by Mohler in which he states,”the Roman church is a false church and it teaches a false gospel” and “the pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office.”

“Despite the media
frenzy surrounding
the influence
of evangelical
Christians
during the
2004 presidential
election,
the new study
indicates that
evangelicals remain
just 7% of
the adult
population.
That number
has not
changed since
the Barna Group
began measuring
the size of
the evangelical
public in
1994.

While the public debate heats up a State of the Church in 2005 report by the Barna Group, an evangelical research organization, shows little significant change in the religious landscape of the United States.

“Despite the media frenzy surrounding the influence of evangelical Christians during the 2004 presidential election, the new study indicates that evangelicals remain just 7% of the adult population. That number has not changed since the Barna Group began measuring the size of the evangelical public in 1994,” according to a statement on the Barna Group website.

The Times reports a survey by NBC and the Wall Street Journal finds 50% of the population favor retaining the filibuster rule, 40% would revoke it and 10% are undecided.

The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, an official of the Presbyterian Church USA, of which Sen. Frist is a member, says the senator’s participation in the telecast undermines the historic understanding of the church to the First Amendment respecting the establishment of religion.

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