Thursday, July 21, 2005

Could Jesus be “Confirmed?”

Matthew 21:23-27 (New Living Translation)

The Authority of Jesus Challenged
23 “When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and other leaders came up to him. They demanded, “By whose authority did you drive out the merchants from the Temple?[
a] Who gave you such authority?”
24”I'll tell you who gave me the authority to do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied. 25”Did John's baptism come from heaven or was it merely human?”
They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn't believe him. 26But if we say it was merely human, we'll be mobbed, because the people think he was a prophet.” 27So they finally replied, “We don't know.”
And Jesus responded, “Then I won't answer your question either.”

As I passed by the post office on my morning walk yesterday I saw the one word banner headline in the Wichita Eagle that advances the big question George Bush and John Roberts are probably asking right now – “Confirmable?”

It’s a good question.

Then, this morning, Nancy and I were sitting on our back porch having a bit of breakfast and I came across this from the Kansas City Star:

“Abortion will be a critical issue in the confirmation process, Roberts, while serving as deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department in 1991, wrote in a legal brief that the Roe vs. Wade ruling “was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” Senators should determine whether that statement reflects Roberts’ own opinion or just the thinking of his boss at the time, George H.W. Bush.”

I read those words and Nancy began to wax philosophical. “Do you think that this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution?” I looked back across the breakfast table and the look must have told her I was confused. “What I mean is that we’re now at the point that the entire Constitution of the United States hinges on this one ruling. That’s why the left is so worried about this man. They’ve staked their lives and careers on a woman’s ‘right to choose.’ This is the pinnacle of their thinking.”

I think she may be right about that. It seems from what I’ve been reading that there is going to be a war over this nomination. Here, for example, are the words of Eleanor Smeal, president of the “Feminist Majority”:

“This is it! The worst has happened with the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor. Let there be no mistake about it: Sandra Day O'Connor was the 5th vote that was saving Roe v. Wade. Abortion rights, access to birth control and women's rights are on the line. O'Connor was also the key vote for educational opportunities, Title IX, and affirmative action.”

“Let there be no mistake about it. The case most likely to be reversed or pivotal in the coming Supreme Court nomination fights is Roe v. Wade. But even some of our progressive friends tend to marginalize the abortion issue. We must rally the millions of women and men who care if Roe is to be saved.”

The official statement from the ACLU was much more tame, but the point they were making showed they are clearly aligned with “Ellie” and the “Feminist Majority”:

“The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed deep concern about some of the civil liberties positions advocated by Judge John Roberts, President Bush's choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. While serving as principal deputy solicitor general from 1989-1993, he authored briefs calling for Roe v. Wade to be overruled, supporting graduation prayer, and seeking to criminalize flag burning as a form of political protest.”

While all this rhetoric was buzzing around the Beltway, the good folks at NARAL sent the following urgent message to their constituents:

“Dear Senator,
As your constituent, I am urging you to oppose John Roberts, President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court. ”If Roberts is confirmed to a lifetime appointment, there is little doubt that he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade. As Deputy Solicitor General under the first President Bush, he argued to the Supreme Court that ‘Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled….’”

And, not to be outdone, the media’s far left has also weighed in:

“Judge John G. Roberts could turn out to be Antonin Scalia with a Washington Establishment smile. He is almost certainly a William Rehnquist for the 21st century. And he is David Souter turned on his head -- a stealth candidate whose winning personality disguises intense conservatism, not moderation.”

Finally, left-leaning bloggers have begun to weigh in. What follows comes from the comment thread of a “liberal blog titled Daily Kos, with a “hat tip’ to Adeimantus for exposing the trash for what it is. Adeimantus’s commentary will appear in red. Comments from Daily Kos will appear, appropriately, in blue:

A few minutes scanning any of the more popular liberal blogs will confirm Barnett's thesis.

Take for example this comment thread, excerpted from the most popular left-wing blog, Daily Kos, on Bush's nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court:

Did You Catch His Wife. When Roberts thanked his family, he mentioned his son, Jack...Roberts' wife's face fell. It was like a poker tell. I think we should research mayan on Tue Jul 19th, 2005 at 13:13:01 PDT
interesting observation, wonder if anything will come of storme on Tue Jul 19th, 2005 at 13:19:01 PDT
He's probably gay. Of course, this is how ridiculous rumors get started, but extreme conservatives seem to have a lot of homosexual Geotpf on Tue Jul 19th, 2005 at 13:19:08 PDT
Worse - he's a lesbianby moltar on Tue Jul 19th, 2005 at 13:41:10 PDT
A Trangendered One at that. And an alcoholic and drug addict...That's how Karl starts the smearing process, isn't it???by Volvo Liberal on Tue Jul 19th, 2005 at 13:50:14 PDT

Robert's son, Jack, is four years old.”

In case your wondering what Barnett’s thesis is, an explanation offered by Adeimantus follows:

“[T]he Democratic party seems to be under the impression that [liberal] bloggers are an enormous, important constituency--and that it must go to whatever lengths necessary to win the hearts and minds of this virtual community.”“This seems like a major miscalculation, because the politics of the left-wing blogs are far out of the American mainstream. Where most of the 120 million Americans who voted in the last election bear a benign indifference to political matters, the left half of the blogosphere seethes with hatred for George W. Bush and his supporters. What's more, the blogs take numerous positions that would strike all but the most passionate Democratic partisans as patently preposterous. . . .”

“Also, the level of discourse on the Daily Kos and other prominent liberal blogs is not something that would be attractive to the majority of the American public. The writings are often obscene and usually relentlessly hostile and negative. Crude personal attacks, whether aimed at right-wing bloggers or politicians, are the order of the day.”

The President has asked for a timely confirmation process. He’s also asked that it be dignified. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has assured the President it will be.

I’d like to think that it will be all that the President has requested and all that the Senator from Vermont has promised. But I have my doubts. I think Nancy’s right. The Democratic Party is being held hostage to Roe vs. Wade and there are some on the subcommittee who will do everything they can to derail this man. I can see the politics of political destruction being an essential element of their attack.

All of this made me wonder how Jesus himself would fare in the hands of these lawyers. What would Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy, and others like them, the darlings of the far left, do to ensure that someone like Jesus, with his impeccable credentials, would be demonized and sent from Washington, D.C. on a rail, tarred and feathered to boot.

I can almost see Ted Kennedy, jaws clenched, as he confronts Jesus about some of the things He’s said for public consumption:

Mr. Kennedy (with an angry hand quivering as he clenches the microphone): “Women in America are concerned with your position on Roe vs. Wade. It was a right they fought long and hard in the political arena to gain and they are gravely concerned, as am I, that your philosophy will affect your judgment on what is now the law of the land. As one of their champions I have the solemn obligation to be sure that right is protected. Your position on children seems pretty clear, but it does not seem clear when it comes to a “fetus.” I am well aware that you are on the record as having said, “I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 5And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck.” This statement, Mr. Christ, seems on the surface to be benign, but as I’ve dug more deeply into it appears to be most provocative indeed. Let me now be very direct with you, sir (with hand now trembling furiously, face almost beet red), how would you intend to vote on Roe vs. Wade if it came to the Supreme Court?”

Jesus: “Do you want me to answer your statement with a statement or your question with an answer.”

Mr. Kennedy (with fury reaching a crescendo): “I wasn’t asking for word games, sir. I was asking for a direct answer.”

Jesus: “I have said what I have said.”

Next, Dick Durbin, masking his disdain with affability begins a new line of questioning:

Mr. Durbin: I’ve read some things in the public record that really trouble me about you, sir and I need some clarification from you. Did you actually say that people in legally constituted positions of authority are hypocrites? Let me read from the record to refresh your memory on the subject, sir – “How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you won't let others enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and you won't go in yourselves.[a] 15Yes, how terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn him into twice the son of hell as you yourselves are.”

Jesus: “I did and I meant what I said.”

Mr.Durbin: “I ask the committee now, what need do we have for any other witnesses. You have heard it from this man’s mouth.”

Jesus: “I have said what I have said.”

Joe Biden, ever the clever lawyer, would then weigh in:

Mr. Biden: “I note, sir, that you are an amazingly skilled rhetoritician. And I have no desire to parry with you, sir, so I will ask this question directly. Do you believe that the law and the Constitution are evolving documents? By that I mean to say do you believe that what everyone believed was right in one generation could be changed by the next. Should not the law reflect the changing times?”

Jesus: “This is what I have said on that matter - ‘You reject God's laws in order to hold on to your own traditions. 10For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.'[b] 11But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can't help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I could have given to you.’”

After days of contentious testimony the Democrats would caucus. Knowing that a floor vote would be very close, they consider alternatives. One of them, who shall remain nameless, offers this alternative – “Let’s bring up another candidate who might be more suitable to our cause.” The rest of the caucus asks, in unison, “Who?” The answer is brilliant, something only a skilled politician could think of – “Let’s give them Barabbas!”

And so it would go. Would Jesus be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice? I don’t know, but given the current political climate any president who nominated him would be taking a major risk. If it wasn’t his philosophy that would do him in; the company Jesus kept, which was marginal at best, probably would have nailed the coffin shut on a career at the Supreme Court. After all, he was a friend of drunks and sinners.

Who knows how this will all come out? Roberts’ big advantage is the skimpy paper trail he has left for the lawyers to scour over. They’ve got a month or so to dig, and I’m sure they’ll try to find anything at all that will damage this man’s reputation and character. Politicians are known to do these sorts of things. Just ask Jesus!


Gone Away said...

Of course, the question is somewhat hypothetical since, as I understand it, Jesus is already on the real Supreme Court. But your point is a good one. I wonder where He would stand on the matter of the display of the Ten Commandments in courthouses...? ;)

Douglas said...

"Jesus, you base your claim for authority on having risen from the dead, a claim based on the testimony of a few partisan witnesses who can hardly be considered impartial. How will your interpretation of law harmonize with international jurisprudence?"

"O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe what the prophets have spoken! I won't judge by what I see or hear, but with righteousness I will judge the peoples."

"I consider that a rather evasive answer Jesus..."

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Roe v. Wade was passed with little medical evidence or concern for the Right to Life of a human child. Rights to Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness were to come sequentially, assuming responsible natural Motherly stewardship.

Cannibalization of one's own child is not acceptable in a civilized society. Neither is the depreciation of Individual Value nationwide - or for future generations. These are NOT Rights. Rights are inborn. Is murder and cannibalization inborn?

"WOE unto you, lawyers!" Luke 11:52


Orikinla Osinachi. said...


Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"