Special "ooooh, you said the f-word!" edition

"[F]ear, fundamentalism, and Fox News." Those, according to the always interesting religion writer Mark Tooley, are what the National Council of Churches' Bob Edgar told Religion News Service he wants to redefine the term "moral values" to transcend. In a fun piece for The American Spectator, Tooley tries to broaden our understanding of the religious dimension of the filibuster debate. Worth a read:

The Religious Right was popularly portrayed as a chief supporter for Republican efforts to curtail filibusters against President Bush's judicial nominees. But the Religious Left was just as outspoken in supporting filibusters, even while hypocritically chastising Senate Republican leader William Frist for supposedly injecting religion into the issue.

Characteristic of the Religious Left's vituperations was a letter of protest to Senator Frist from the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

"The rhetoric that some people of faith -- Republicans, conservatives, or fundamentalists -- 'have it right' and all other people of faith have it wrong not only is self righteous, but inappropriately polarizes people of faith for political purposes," said Bishop Mark Hanson.

Hanson accused Frist of "political manipulation" for allegedly judging the faith of some based on their politics. But only a month earlier, Hanson was questioning the faith of President Bush and his supporters based on the administration's budget proposals, which reduced the rate of increase in some social welfare programs. …

The National Council of Churches (NCC) led the way in excoriating the ostensible threat of theocracy posed by President Bush, Senator Frist, and conservative religious people who support Bush's judicial nominees.

"Their attempt to impose on the entire country a narrow, exclusivist, private view of truth is a dangerous, divisive tactic," intoned Bob Edgar, the United Methodist minister and former Democratic congressman who heads the chronically left-leaning NCC.

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