Bill Frist, God, and the GOP

Download Audio
photoThe battle over federal judicial nominees reached nearly biblical proportions last weekend as conservative evangelical leaders gathered to proclaim their faith under attack. The event, dubbed "Justice Sunday: Stop the Filibuster Against People of the Faith," was broadcast across the country and speakers left no doubt about what they saw at stake.

But when the giant screen at Louisville's Highland Baptist Church lit up most prominently, it was not with a preacher, but with Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist joining the fray. Dr. Frist isn't known for his religious zealotry, but he is known to be zealously interested in a 2008 bid for the U.S. presidency.

By appearing at the "Justice Sunday" event, Frist punched his ticket with the Religious Right. Conservative evangelical leaders say that's just the beginning of what they expect from the GOP. Critics charged Frist with fanning "religious war" and encouraging a Republican "theocracy."

Tune in for a conversation on Justice Sunday, Bill Frist's gamble and the church-state line in American democracy.


Peter Wallsten, White House correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. He was in Louisville for the "Justice Sunday" event. He is also author of the forthcoming book "One-Party Country: The Republic Party's Plan for Dominance in a New Century.";

Richard Lessner, Executive Director of the American Conservative Union.;

Rabin David Saperstein, Director of the Religiouis Action Center of Reform Judaism.;

Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and EPA Administrator, author of "It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America.";

Bill Schneider, senior political analyst for CNN.;

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

This program aired on April 25, 2005.


More from On Point

Listen Live