Oct 6, 2005

Onward, [Born-Again] Christian Soldiers!

I don't know why this is such an "ah-ha" moment for me, the fact that Supreme Court Justice Nominee Harriet Miers is a born-again Christian. I should have known. Bush's "trust me" is code, as in, "trust me, she's stealth like that, just you wait and see."

And the fact that James Dobson knows "confidential" information about her just makes this all the more sticky.

The more accolades I read about her and by looking at the people who make such grand statements to her character, the more I think Harriet needs to be denied [emphasis mine]:

"Harriet is what you would call a Southern lady," cooed Merrie Spaeth, the Ronald Reagan staffer turned Swift Boat promoter last year. "It is marvelous to watch her in meetings with huge egos, where she allows people to think good results are the product of their own ideas." In the same Times piece Wednesday, Valley View Christian Church colleagues told a similar story. "She never took a role where she was trying to stand out front," said office manager Vickie Wilson. "She put herself in servant roles, making coffee every Sunday morning and putting doughnuts out."

"Yes, she goes to a pro-life church," [one of the most conservative members of the Republican-dominated Texas Supreme Court] Justice Hecht
said, adding, "I know Harriet is, too." The two attended "two or three" anti-abortion fund-raising dinners in the early 1990's, he said, but added that she had not otherwise been active in the anti-abortion movement. "You can be just as pro-life as the day is long and can decide the Constitution requires Roe" to be upheld, he said.

I'm probably going to catch some flak for saying this, but born-again Christians freak me out. One knocked on my dorm room in college one day asking me if I had accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior, and would I be interested in meeting on a weekly basis to talk about this? My perception of born-again Christendom (is that even a term?) is of this almost cultish, slavish, adherence to some ultra-conservative way of life that, while on the surface seems very calm, spiritual, and friendly, is really a miasma of male-dominated elitism, institutionalized racism, and regression.

And that's really not somebody I'd like to have serving a lifetime on the Supreme Court. As much as they say Miers is a "stickler for the rules," which set of rules will she follow?

UPDATE: So I'm browsing through Media Matters archives and came across this one posted on April 11, 2005, in which James Dobson likened Supreme Court Justices to the KKK, implying that the justices are doing a "great wrong to civil rights and humanity." And now Dobson is saying that Harriet Miers is one heckuva gal and would make a great Supreme Court justice. Hmmm ... RED FLAG!


OldHorsetailSnake said...

This might work out all right. I mean, Judge Roberts could have his coffee brought in BY SOMEONE WHO LIKES TO DO IT! Instead of by some resentful secretary. I knew Miers would prove to be useful.

Random Numbers said...

I think you need to work out your issues of bigotry for evangelicals, dude. I used to be one, and saw no evidence of the racism you espose. In fact, It's just the opposite with most of them. There are many styles of evangelicalism out there, and the largest have no use for racists, other than to "bring 'em to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit purge thier racism" (A quote from Dennis Slaughter, the pastor of VVCC when both I and Miers attended the same church. His successor, Ron Key, had a series of sermons about the subject after the Jasper incident.

I have since gone more Agnostic in my belifs, but I can't support your bigotry towards Evangelicals. But then again, I've seen them from the inside, and those who do have issues with them paint a few nutballs as representative of the lot.

Anonymous said...

After reading your views on evangelicals, and then reading your personal profile, I can see where your mind has been influenced against evangelicals (and most likely most Christians)by some of the garbage you've filled your mind with. The best I could do is pray for your enlightenment--not by man, but by God.

Mags said...

Okay find then. Evangelicals aren't racist. Whatever.

I still think you're weird. And next time, don't be leaving anonymous comments.

MikeJ said...

I hope this doesn't add fuel to the fire...I've felt similar sentiments to you, Mags. I do think some of the more vocal evangelicals are racist...the Pat Robertsons (don't even get me started on the African diamond mines this man owns!), the James Dobsons, the Rev. Jerry Falwells, the Bill Donoghues (he's Catholic, not evangelical, but he works closely with these others). I have to constantly tell myself that these few individuals don't speak for all evangelicals, but it's hard, especially since these few individuals get on all the talkshows, and have managed to place themselves in a position where they speak on behalf of all "born-again Christians."

I'm all for religious liberty, and love that born-again Christians have the right to be born-again Christians, just like I love my right to be a Chreaster Catholic (the type that attends Mass twice a year...Christmas and Easter) who sometimes attends Unitarian services. But what worries me about the Christian right in this country is their focus on personal salvation over a commitment to the common good. To me that's why this type of Christianity is such a hit in the rich suburbs. It's OK to own that multi-million dollar house, that SUV, to buy your clothes from sweatshop labor, so long as you accept Jesus into your heart.

But when it comes time to talking about issues that affect the large community - the economic justice themes (for which Jesus spends more time than any preaching about in the Gospels), the nonviolence themes (how many prisoners did Jesus want to execute? How many wars did he advocate starting?), access to basic needs (didn't Jesus make sure everyone had enough food and drink?) - where's the leadership from these folks? You don't see James Dobson challenging Bush's tax cuts for the rich as anti-Christian, though they most certainly are. You don't see Bill Donoghue crying out about the Iraq war, though it's clearly incompatible with any "just" theory of war. You don't see Pat Robertson urging the President to support universal health care, though how could that not be a Christian principle? You don't see Jerry Falwell looking at the link between race, poverty and the devastation along the Gulf Coast, though these are the types of questions that Jesus calls people to ask.

That's what causes me despair. A theology that's so personal has so far seemed incapable of dealing with the problems that face the world community. And maybe that's not true for all born-again Christians. I hope it isn't. But when the leaders of the Christian "right" get on TV and champion two or three issues, and ignore the thousands of other issues that impact the common good, they do a huge disservice to everyone. And they deserve to be challenged, because this type of ideology is failing our country.

OK...sorry for the longest comment in history. Feel free to delete this if you want!

Mags said...

Amen, brother. I couldn't have said it any better.

Religious freedom, yes. But if you vociferously pursue a code of ethics and a way of life that centers around the Bible and accepting Jesus Christ as your own personal savior and being upright and moral, then don't forget the compassion he showed toward others - even to those that were shunned in the community.

It's so easy to cite examples that show how the poor and disenfranchised in this country continue to become marginalized under this type of leadership. And that is why I have such ill feelings toward the Neocon-influenced Republican party right now. Their priority should be to help people, rather than focusing on issues that radically divide this country.