'Justice Sunday II' Calls on Evangelicals to Action

In a politically-charged nationwide telecast, prominent conservative Christians called on evangelicals to contact their Senators and get their voices heard regarding what they called a Supreme Court that has veered from its proper role.

Justice Sunday II featured religious leaders who said it was necessary to nominate and confirm "strict-constructionist" judges who would limit themselves to interpreting the constitution and not take on legislative powers properly reserved for the Congress.

"All wisdom does not reside in nine persons in black robes," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex) told those in attendance. "The Constitution is clear on the point that the power to make laws is vested on Congress."

In what is becoming a more familiar sight, conservative politicians are openly aligning their religious values with their public policy. DeLay, an evangelical believer, spoke on some of the prominent issues of the day.

"The American people have heard the arguments in favor of state-sanctioned, same-sex marriage, in favor of partial birth abortion, in favor of ridding the public square of any mention of our nation's religious heritage," said DeLay. "We've heard the arguments and we disagree."

Keynote speaker James Dobson of Focus on the Family, went further by calling the Supreme Court Justices "unelected, unaccountable and arrogant."

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, the group that sponsored the event, noted that the nomination of John Roberts could be the first in a line of changes to occur in an aging Supreme Court. He said in the next three years, other spots on the bench could become available.

Several times througout the program, called "Justice Sunday II: God Save the United States and This Honorable Court!" Perkins gave out a phone number people could call to obtain a "Save the Court" kit that included informational pamphlets about how viewers could become more informed about the judiciary and the issues surrounding Supreme Court nominations.

At the beginning of the broadcast, possibly responding to criticism in recent days that such a program could misrepresent people of other faiths, Perkins said that those gathered on Sunday did not claim to speak for every American.

"We do not claim the right to speak for everyone, but we do claim the right to speak. And speak we will to the millions of Americans who share our values," said Perkins. "Our voice is just as legitimate as the voice of others."

One recurring theme throughout the night, which included more than ten speakers who mostly spoke for four to five minutes at a time, was the importance of contacting legislators.

The potential audience for the event was 79 million viewers across the country, according to organizers, who transmitted the event directly to churches, through Christian broadcasting network TBN, satellite, the internet and a radio simulcast.