The lowest moment of the past year, in my opinion, was the judicial retention vote here in Iowa in November.
Bob Vander Plaats, a man who was not able to get the Republican nomination for governor, turned his efforts towards having three of our Iowa Supreme Court justices voted out of office.
This man and his followers see simplistic solutions to complex issues. He uses the Bible to support his logic - or lack of it.
In April, 2009, our Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage was legal. The ruling was extremely well written and it was a proud moment for our state. However, a group of radical right wingers were outraged and money poured in from around the country to send a message that gay marriage would not be tolerated.
Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Justice David Baker and Justice Michael Streit were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their names were up for retention and by a 52-48 percent vote, they were not retained. To me it is unbelievable that an 52 out of every 100 voters could be so intolerant and ignorant. It is truly a sad moment in our state's history.
Now Vander Plaats is raising money to have the other four justices impeached. Apparently he and his followers believe that judges who do not agree with his beliefs are guilty of high crimes.
Though I respect a person's right to engage in political debate, I do not have to respect a person nor his followers when they are so narrow minded and self righteous. If Jesus Christ were walking among us, I seriously doubt He would agree with people like Bob Vander Plaats. In fact, the Vander Plaats of the world would most likely find Jesus Christ to be repulsive given His liberal views.
The Iowa Supreme Court had the courage and wisdom to make a bold, progressive and proper decision in April, 2009, and they are to be commended for their action.
The Iowa Supreme Court has a long history of being progressive in the area of civil rights. In 1839 (more than 20 years before the Civil War) our court ruled that slavery was wrong and that a black man could not be forced to return to his master.
In 1846 the Iowa court ruled that inter-racial marriage was legal. It would not be until 1967 that the United States Supreme Court ruled state law making inter-racial marriage a crime was illegal. (That is true and the state court judge in the case used the Bible to support his ruling that inter-racial marriage was wrong.)
In 1869, Iowa became the first state to license women as lawyers. The first was Arabella Mansfield of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Here's a short clip from the West Wing when President Bartlett uses Bible quotations to make a point with a woman who refuses to stand when he enters the room. She is Dr. Jacobs who is the thinly disguised real Dr. Laura.
If you haven't seen this you might want to take a look. It captures my sentiments exactly.
Thank you for stopping by.