Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
September 21st, 2018 by Scott Fritzsche

Justice, Mercy, and Kavanaugh

If you are a Democrat, you likely think, at least so far as the media is reporting, that Judge Kavanaugh should be thoroughly investigated in light of the accusations made of him. Even though no criminal charges could be filed at this point, it might, in your estimation, disqualify him for service in the SCOTUS.
If you are a Republican, you likely think, at least so far as the media is reporting, that that the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh can not possibly be proven at this point and that this is likely political grandstanding. Some are also giving the public defense of since this did not come out until now and there is no criminal charge that it is a non issue.
If you are an independent, you likely think this is yet another perfect example of political dysfunction between the big two parties and yet another example of why the two party system needs to be broken from the outside. You likely think it was crap when Garland did not get an up or down confirmation process because the Republicans found a rule with in the letter of the law to violate the spirit of it. You also likely think that derailing this hearing until after the midterms is the goal and that is the same sort of dirty political maneuvering that has gotten us here and needs to stop.
Personally, I think that this is another example of how the two party system is broken. I also find it increasingly unlikely that Kavanaugh actually did the things accused, and even less likely that there can be proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That means not guilty at the very least, and innocent at the best. We can take seriously the accusation s of abused women while at the same time maintaining that people are innocent until proven guilty. I also have deep concerns about the Judges thoughts on executive power and the fourth amendment. All of that said, the Judge is qualified to sit on the SCOTUS near as any evidence can tell, thus he should be confirmed.
There are two very important things here that must be realized. The first thing is that yes, accusations such as this must be taken seriously.
All of this said, I want to propose a thought experiment of sorts if you will. Said experiment is not going to be based upon your political views mind you, but rather I would like to base it on faith and reason. The premise of our thought experiment is that Kavanaugh did indeed do the things he has been accused of. I will not call him guilty in the legal sense, but he is certainly guilty in the moral sense for the purposes of our experiment. The question then is if he did indeed do the things he is accused of, does that disqualify him for the SCOTUS, and really for any federal bench truth be told, when weighed against the evidence of a life worthy of respect since that event?
If the answer here is yes, then his life’s work has been invalidated due to the isolated actions of a teenager. His life becomes ruined retroactively. From a rational sense, there is no evidence of repetitive behavior here, so this indeed seems to be an isolated incident. We know both from history, and likely our own personal experiences, that imperfect men and women that we all are, we are still capable of sound judgement despite poor decisions and also recovery from those poor decisions. An example of a rational argument here might be if he had been caught when it happened, the charges would be on his record and he would not be in this position, so it is simply a matter of justice that be the end result, even decades later. In order to answer yes, you must be able to provide a rational reason that his life become retroactively ruined due to one event. From the perspective of faith, to answer yes, you must find a reason that is cogent with Christian teaching that would suggest that all that has come before must be ruined for one mistake unknown until decades later. An example of a faith based argument here might be that while we believe in the remission of sin, we are not insulated from the consequences of that sin. This is simply a consequence of the sin.
IF the answer is no, then you must be able to make a rational argument as to why it is that he should be able to reach the pinnacle of his career with this in his past. Such an argument might look like this. Since there has been no evidence of other instances such as this, it is a matter of youthful indiscretion and immaturity not realizing the damage that could result and not a serial offense. He is qualified and has not engaged in any other behavior that would adversely affect his career or life for decades, thus it is an aberration in his otherwise good character, and as such does not disqualify him for the position. A faith based argument might look something like because we believe in the new birth and the remission of sin, there is no reason to hold an isolated incident that one can only assume is repented of based upon the pattern of living he has exhibited moving forward from that, that we, as a peculiar people, can forgive even the most grievous of sin because we trust the Holy Spirit to regenerate us and conform us to the likeness of Christ.
OF course again I want to stress that this is a thought experiment based upon if he were guilty. In this case, there is not collaborating evidence that indicates that he is, at least thus far, so we are both right to take the claim seriously, and also right to assume innocence in the absence of evidence. Think about it. Puzzle it out. Find out where you fall. In the coming days I will have another similar thought experiment that I will ask about your results to.
Scott Fritzsche

Comments

2 Responses to “Justice, Mercy, and Kavanaugh”
  1. Ezekiel 22 reading exercise: at every occurrence, replace “Jerusalem” with “Washington, DC”

  2. https://www.umnews.org/en/news/commentary-officially-or-unofficially-church-will-separate

    One of the more realistic assessments I have seen.

    Instead of all the effort to decide which of three plans is “The One”, it would be better to decide how to split. The advent of the “Simple Plan”, is just the beginning of the spiral downward, where political activism under the guise of Social Justice creates chaos and destroys the established foundations. No better example is

    https://www.umnews.org/en/news/ncc-calls-for-withdrawal-of-kavanaugh-nomination

    The conference in 2019 will not decide anything, but will result in the same chaos as was seen in the U.S. Senate. Maybe not as many name-calling episodes, but with the same venom, only hidden under the guise of “Holiness”. What happens when you mix politics with religion.

    “It would be in the best interest of our witness to the world to lovingly encourage and support a plan for amicable separation.”

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