On Amy Coney Barrett And Other Things

WARNING: THIS BLOG POST IS FULL OF OPINION

That’s kinda the whole purpose of the Greenbean blog.

These particular opinions are about the theatrical presentation going on in Washington D.C. regarding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. So, settle in and enjoy these unvarnished opinions. I will enumerate them for you, because they are not necessarily connected.

  1. I think it is wrong the Senate is even hearing this right now. Now, having said that, I don’t think it is forever wrong. Here is what I mean. If this were eight years ago, or twelve years ago, I would be fine with the nomination and the hearings. But given what they did to Judge Merrick Garland four years ago, this is an outrage. It is the height of hypocrisy.
  2. However, she has been nominated and here we are. I think if I were a senator, I would vote against her purely for the reason of #1, but I’m not so sure because . . .
  3. I like conservative judges. If she is confirmed, it will not be bad. She seems like a good choice to me. I have often said the best set-up is a very conservative judiciary, a progressive legislature, and a practical deal-making executive. This would be the epitome of checks and balances.
  4. A lot of the conversation has been about Roe V. Wade. The hand-wringing about overturning it is interesting. Do liberals not recognize this is the way many conservatives felt about Obergefell V. Hodges? For what it is worth, I think Obergefell has a better chance of remaining in tact than Roe simply because you really can’t dissolve a marriage by fiat and maintain any legitimacy as a government. Once you give it, you can’t take it away. Roe, on the other hand, would not eliminate abortion in our country but would make it a states issue. I don’t think it is a bad thing to limit abortion to states preferences.
  5. But on the topic of abortion — hear me loud and clear on this — this is not ever going to be solved in the legal system. Conservatives have made a terrible mistake by putting their eggs in the basket of power. Four years ago Republicans had the White House, the Senate, The House, and a Narrow Margin on the Supreme Court. Did they pass abortion legislation or try to use the legislative process at all? No, they passed unsustainable tax cuts for corporations, that is what they did. They attacked the ACA, that is what they did. Republicans want the issue of abortion to remain. The last thing they want to do is make the issue go away by actually doing something.
  6. Abortion is a heart issue. If we want to save lives and protect the unborn, then we need to convince individuals of the truth of life. If we do this only by legal means, then rest assured abortions will continue; they will simply be illegal and dangerous. I am not in favor of abortion, but I want to win the battle in the heart and not the courtroom. Every time someone posts a video or photo of their sonogram from a pregnancy on Facebook, we are winning the battle. Every time we make the issue about courts and lawyers and statutes, we are losing the battle.
  7. But back to judges. I have not been able to watch much of the hearings because . . . I have an active and full life. But I’ve seen a snippet or two and heard some on the radio when driving. The tone is very respectful and much different than the Kavanaugh hearings. So, I’m wondering why wasn’t Barrett up instead of Kavanaugh. She seems like such a better prospect than his entitled beer guzzling whining demeanor. I also liked Gorsuch, but Kavanaugh, man. If we’d had a better President, he would have pulled the Kavanaugh nomination when the cloud of sexual assault overcame him and put forth Barrett then. Think of how much better that would have been for the country?
  8. I am completely against any plan to add additional justices to the Supreme Court. This is a ridiculous idea.
  9. Stop using ACB the same way RBG was used. It doesn’t work like that, and it cheapens Judge Barrett and dismisses Justice Ginsburg, and neither of those should occur. Ginsburg leaves an amazing legacy and Barrett has the hope for the future.
  10. So here we come to the last opinion I have. The Supreme Court is the highest in the land, and it should be filled with people who are the best of the best of the best. These confirmation hearings should be a little more rigorous than left and right trying to score political points. These hearings should be used to question the intellectual strength, moral fiber, and patriotism of the candidate. Don’t ask Barrett about the ACA or Roe V. Wade, ask about her views on what makes a great family and what the obligation of a society is to the most vulnerable. Question her about what personal core values are and how she understands the role of America. Put her feet to the fire about the meaning of life and liberty. We need to know her character. We can read her lawyer stuff and opinions, but what is in her heart and soul? We don’t need her credentials, we need her credibility as the best of the best of the best.

HILLARY CLINTON, PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS

I recognize, even as I hack out this blog, that we can’t make the candidates answer questions. When Secretary Clinton is asked anything, she deflects to a measured speech about her long term commitment to championing the cause of working-class folks. When Mr. Trump is asked anything, he automatically begins to talk about China, ISIS, Mexico, and Bill Clinton.

But if I could make them sit down and be forced to answer the question asked, here is what I would ask Hillary Clinton. I have a similar list for Donald Trump on another (click here) blog post. 2701a6d0-clinton-4x31

  1. Secretary Clinton, you once said “What difference does it make” in regards to the investigation of the death of Ambassador Stevens and other U. S. citizens in Benghazi. I know what you meant–they are dead, and that is a tragedy, but we have to move on. I agree with that to some level, but before we do, would you share with us what exactly you learned in that process, and what could have been done differently?
  2. You tend to vilify pro-life people as being anti-women. Is there no room in your worldview for a person to be both pro-women and also champion the right of the unborn to have a chance at life? In other words, will you afford your political opponents the benefit of the doubt that they are coming at the issue with a noble purpose?
  3. Why did the famous “RESET” button with Russia fail? If you are elected president, will you try another reset, or will you move forward assuming a Putin led Russia is our enemy?
  4. Will you lead the attempt for a single-payer healthcare system?
  5. Your opponent, Mr. Trump, has a position on free trade that is very similar to Senator Bernie Sanders’ approach. During the primary, Sanders protectionist rhetoric forced you to recalibrate your stance on trade, specifically the TPP. Could you take a moment and spell out how you differ from Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders on trade policy?

 

Or course, there are other questions I would like to ask about–things about the email server, the decision to take out Bin Laden, her Wall Street speeches, and the shocking policy of choosing outcome based Supreme Court justices. But these questions would do for starters.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ANTI-CREED

The United States Senate’s current deliberations have prompted this, my anti-creed, the things I can’t believe about Planned Parenthood.

1.  I can’t believe that the U.S. Congress will have any moral authority left if they do not defund Planned Parenthood.

2.  I can’t believe it has not been defunded before now.

3.  I can’t believe any kind of twisted logical algorithm could ever justify Planned Parenthood’s actions or existence.

4.  I can’t believe this is even an issue for debate.

5.  I can’t believe that liberals, progressives, the ones who always shout to defend the weakest among us, those I side with on many issues, are the primary supporters of Planned Parenthood in specific and abortion in general. 

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image from youtube.com

LIFE, OFFENSIVE WORDS, AND THE DEATH PENALTY

Nestled between two worship services, a small group meal and study and a quarterly business conference was my presentation for the 2013 annual Apologetics Conference.   Past topics have included writing and marriage.  This year the topic is abortion and apologetics.  Yeah, not for the faint of heart is this conference.  If you want to see my presentation, you’ll have to register at the conference homepage.  They have everything archived, including my previous years presentations.

I began by insisting that we who value life are winning the struggle and I used Facebook to prove it.  You’ll just have to watch to see how I do that.

Everything was rocking along pretty well until I insisted upon two concepts that I think are pretty important but apparently not many people in the conference agreed.  In fact, someone accused me of being ‘liberal.’  It has been a very long time since that has happened.  I actually enjoyed it.

What did I insist upon that got people riled up?  Well……

  1. Well, the first thing that seemed to raise hackles amongst people was my opinion that the word ‘abortion’ is probably too strong a word to use in sermonizing and in general church discourse.  My reasoning is that it has become one of those harsh words that can have a very negative connotation to many people.  There are only a handful of words that are stronger in the English language–such as the “N” word,  faggot, and masturbate.  Even if one uses the words properly and without emotional connotation they just take the focus off the goal and move it onto something else.  Notice how as you read this, me writing “N” word probably makes you feel so much better than actually typing out the awful word.  Why?  It carries so much emotional baggage for understandable reasons.  I think the word abortion does the same thing.  It takes people’s minds away from our argument about the purposes of God, the sanctity of life, and our responsibilities as sexual beings.  For this I was accused of adopting ‘liberal Gen-Xer language.’  Maybe, but I think I’m right.  I want to persuade people, not offend them.
  2. The second thing I did was to connect the abortion issue to the death penalty.  I put forward the argument that we in the Christian community lose credibility when we argue for the sanctity of life of the unborn but vociferously advocate for the death penalty.  My reasons for opposing the death penalty are nuanced and complicated but the key reason is that in the United States the practice is racist.  People of color tend to be executed at substantially higher rates, while those who are wealthy are able to afford better lawyers.  Life and death should not depend upon the skill of a lawyer.  Other reasons include the concept that Jesus was executed by the state for crimes he didn’t commit, because the state is not always right and the aforementioned lack of credibility on the issue when engaged with the world in general about policy.  I would gladly cede capital punishment to strengthen the defense for the unborn.  Turns out, this is pretty controversial.  Many folks disagreed with me on this capital punishment issue.  Their arguments ranged from citations of Old Testament biblical passages to the case that harsh penalties save lives and establish the importance of victim’s lives, thus paradoxically preserving life even as it takes it.  I accept these arguments, perhaps in a perfectly just world they would sway me.  We do not live in that perfectly just world.

I said a lot of other things, but if you want to see those, you’ll have to register and watch the video.