What is very wrong with this picture?
Probably nothing unless you find out that Judge Jorge Escribano, holding a bible while wearing a judicial robe, is being pushed by some religious right groups (different from fundamentalist groups with which I have no problem) as their candidate to occupy the Supreme Court in Puerto Rico. This is the picture they chose to promote their cause, pretty transparent I’d say. This judge/preacher who almost exclusively quotes from the first testament spreads definitions of women, family, and, moral that are sexist, stereotypical, and hetero-normative.
Escribano: Final Phase in a Three-Prong Attack
The religious right in Puerto Rico has been aggressively active in lobbying the legislature for many years. Threatening lawmakers that will not do as they want and trying really hard to impose their bigoted moral values on society. The group is as small as it is vociferous.
They also found a welcoming niche in the PNP party (now in power.) Former Governor Roselló, instituted “prayer Sundays” in the governor’s house (La Fortaleza), where heads of his cabinet were forced to go and…”pray.” Most of that same cabinet were convicted for heinous corruption crimes, but it may be O.K. just because they prayed. In exchange for their vociferous support, the religious right got some juicy presents like, no reproductive rights info in government public clinics, ignoring recommendations to eliminate consensual sodomy from the penal code, (same thing did the other party for the catholic church when in power), and tasty tax concessions to their home-turned-churches.
After these conquers, they are now ready to go to the last of our bastions of democracy, the Supreme Court. Escribano, the preacher judge, is that instrument of penetration they needed.
These are some of the quotes from his supporters in Facebook:
- “He (Escribano) is a christian that will be instrument of god.”
- I support this man of god to go to the Supreme Court in Jesus’ name.
- I support his aspirations to be Supreme Justice because we need the voice of god in the Supreme Court
- I heard him preaching, …his way of seeing life, he integrates god in the solutions to social problems, ideals and moral values.
- We need god fearing people in the Supreme Court
- We need more Salomons in these times so they can carry out justice from a point of view that is focus on god’s justice, which is without doubt the true justice.
- The voice of church in the higher court in Puerto Rico. It is urgent that we have a sentinel there.
- He will be a great resource to the kingdom of god in the higher judicial authority in PR.
- The democratic party has respond to the catholics and the Mita congregation.
- Is a brutal testimony because it shows that we can use our profesions to sow the word in society for the glory of god.
I think it is important that all sectors that believe in Women’s Rights, Queer Rights, immigrant rights, and individual liberties unite, and, together with sectors that believe in a true democracy that is free of religious interference and imposition, fight to reject this nomination. The Supreme Court is trusted with protecting the individual liberties of all citizens in Puerto Rico. Nothing enriches more a democracy that a diverse, heterogeneous society that thrives in it. That richness must be embraced and protected by government. Allowing this agent of god into the Supreme Court threatens the very basic principles of separation of state and church and threatens the individual liberties of all of us, particularly, those deemed as “sinners” by the religious right.
People should avoid at all means to let this become a partisan fight, even if as I say, the current governor has commit to grant access to the religious right, we face the same problems with other administrations promising access to catholics, the focus must be kept in keeping the separation between state and church by all means in order to defend our democracy.
Here is a link to a video of one of his speeches (in both Spanish and English), where he espouses his deranged views on women and attacks gays (the old love-the-sinner-but-make-sure-that-none-of-his/her-rights-as-a-citizen-are-recognized-and-eliminate-any-protections-from-blatant-discrimination-and-violence-against-them-forcing-them-to-leave-as-second-rate-citizens). This disturbing video leaves no doubt in my mind that the pastor/judge responds to a higher authority and that he will bring a specific religious right agenda to the Supreme Court in Puerto Rico threatening everyone’s rights.
Judge Jorge Escribano from DSJ on Vimeo.