How should Christians respond to the Kavanaugh hearing?

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify before a Sept. 27 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kavanaugh followed Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who testified about her accusation that he sexually assaulted her in 1982, a claim he vehemently denied. (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, pool via Reuters)

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to determine the validity of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. On July 9, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy. Following last week’s hearing, the F.B.I. has decided to launch an investigation into Dr. Ford’s allegations.

At the invitation of America’s editors, Simcha Fisher and Bill McGarvey, two columnists forthe magazine, discussed the hearing and more via email. The following text, which has been edited for length and clarity, is their correspondence.

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Hi Simcha,

It’s nice to “meet” you despite the unfortunate circumstances.

In the interest of transparency, I have to confess that a lot of what I will share with you here comes straight from the reactions I shared with friends via text both during and just after the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing. It was riveting to watch in real time and I find that 24 hours later my reactions remain the same.

I really think what we witnessed on Thursday was the death of a certain male prerogative that has been chipped away at—very intensely and imperfectly but long past due—over the past year. Judge Kavanaugh is understandably indignant about accusations he can’t disprove but the indignation, anger and bluster he displayed in that hearing will work less and less effectively moving forward in U.S. political discourse. Women’s voices and experiences are going to be heard and understood in ways that we have not seen previously in our culture.

Kavanaugh is incredibly bright and politically savvy, but I found Dr. Ford to be highly credible and genuine. Obviously, none of this would be sufficient in a court of law, but this wasn’t a trial, it was a job interview. We know statistically that the number of women who make false sexual assault allegations is very small. We also know that the way she chose to cope with the incident—not discussing it with anyone at the time out of shame, etc—also fits the profile for experiences like this. The fact that she had spoken of this incident in therapy and with friends over the past six years also undercuts any notion that she is simply grinding a political ax.

What we witnessed on Thursday was the death of a certain male prerogative that has been chipped away at—very intensely and imperfectly but long past due.

No one should get any joy out watching Judge Kavanaugh’s world collapse around him. My overwhelming sense was that he has been working tirelessly his entire adult life to become a Supreme Court Justice and he’s incensed that someone dared to throw a banana peel at his feet when he was an inch from the finish line. These allegations clearly don’t fit with the narrative he’s constructed about his life: great husband and father, devout Catholic, hard working, first-class legal credentials. I think the narratives most of us construct for our lives suffer under the weight of our shadow selves. The reality is that all of his positive attributes can still be true without negating the possibility that he was capable of some seriously bad behavior as a young man. If the numerous accounts from classmates about his heavy drinking habits continue to mount and are credible I think we may have located the missing link connecting the two very different descriptions of Judge Kavanaugh presented on Thursday.

In her testimony, Dr. Ford admitted to wondering if coming forward “would just be jumping in front of a train that was headed to where it was headed anyway and that I would just be personally annihilated.” The image that will linger for me from Thursday’s hearing will not be of Dr. Ford’s calm, rational and historic testimony. It will be of Judge Kavanaugh, red-faced with sanctimonious contempt and anger as the prosecutor Rachel Mitchell gamely tried to navigate his seething fury. It’s as if he’s realizing that the train he was once comfortably riding on is now hurtling down the track headed straight for him and the world he’d grown up in. 


Hey, Bill, 

You’re absolutely right to focus on the conversations you're having with friends, rather than on the legal or political ramifications of this ongoing debacle because those conversations are the only thing that are in our control.

I mean, we can call our reps, but when’s the last time you felt truly represented by an elected official? I can’t even remember the last time I actually voted for someone, rather than reluctantly discerning the somewhat-less-horrible candidate. And frankly, I’m convinced that most of the Democrats are just as ruthlessly manipulative as the GOP right now, and no one actually cares about the truth. 

The truth for us regular citizens is that we are mostly powerless most of the time, as far as what happens in Washington. Maybe that’s cynical, but it sure is how it feels. No one represents me. As a woman, it has been sort of darkly fascinating to see so many men suddenly get a glimpse of that familiar sensation of outraged helplessness that so many women endure without question. It’s like the whole country is a teenage girl and Congress is an entitled frat boy. Ugh.

Anyway, as a Christian, I’m focusing on the conversations I have with people. Most victims of sexual assault never tell anyone, not 35 years later, not ever. So I’m trying to present myself as someone it would be safe and helpful to confide in. I don’t know what else to do. 

Best, 

Simcha


Loved what you said about members of Congress, Simcha, and how they’re finally getting a sense of the “outraged helplessness” that is a constant in many women’s lives. That was on stark display in the footage of a woman confronting Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator. “Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me,” said 23-year-old protester Maria Gallagher. This is not simply a passing political moment; it reflects a tectonic shift in U.S. social and cultural life. The deeply insular male experience you describe reminded me of something Hannah Gadsby addressed specifically to men in the audience of her Netflix special, “Nannette”: “I am not a man hater. But I am afraid of men. If I am the only woman in a room full of men I am afraid. But if you think that’s unusual you are not speaking to the women in your life!”

As a woman, it has been sort of darkly fascinating to see so many men suddenly get a glimpse of that familiar sensation of outraged helplessness that so many women endure.

I understand your frustration but I have to disagree with you in terms of political engagement. If I waited for candidates who perfectly reflected the diamond-like facets of all my political beliefs, I would never be able to engage politically at all. If that were the standard we would forever be on the sidelines waiting for our political savior to arrive. I think that’s an abdication of our duties and responsibilities as citizens, not to mention as Christians who are called to work for a more just society. Trust me Simcha, I have no illusions that Democrats are somehow politically pure. They’re politicians and the work of the “affairs of the cities” is messy to put it mildly.

It’s not about Democrats or Republicans for me, it’s about treating accusations like this seriously. I actually think both Ford and Kavanaugh deserve that. I like the way an old friend from college, who is now a lawyer, put it in a text earlier today. “If he didn’t do it, damn, I think he would WANT an investigation. He wants his new title to be JUSTICE, for crying out loud!”

Best,

B


Hey, Bill - 

Yeah, that’s 2018 for you. “Make America Strange Bedfellows Again,” I guess! It stinks to see otherwise decent people making the deliberate choice to be callous in the face of suffering because they think it’s somehow good for unborn babies to make rape jokes. But it’s been heartening to see so many people wake up from their comfortable ideological slumbers and realize that Christians will never have a political home.

I totally agree that it’s bigger than Democrats vs. Republicans. But anyone who truly wants change has to look hard at themselves. That’s just how it works. Liberals could do themselves (not to mention women!) a great service by being more consistent about predators in their own ranks. I see Roman Polanski has a new film coming out. Bill Clinton is still thriving. Ted Kennedy was practically canonized. I don’t look to politicians to reform society, but they sure could help by being more consistent. 

Part of the problem is that the imbalance of power between men and women is so ingrained, women themselves don’t always recognize it as an injustice. Someone asked, “What would you do if men had a 9:00 curfew?” and I immediately thought, with joy and longing, “Oh, I would go for a walk!” How pathetic is that? We all have some awakening to do.  

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Vittoria Colonna
1 year 4 months ago

Rape, child sexual abuse and domestic violence are things I take very seriously. Very seriously. I have been disguested and turned off with how the so called feminist/women's liberations movement has only one mantra and that's abortion rights. They have never ever seen them take up the cause of rape or attempted rape until now. As far as I am concerned this is nothing but a thinly veiled campaign to keep Kavanaugh off the bench so that Roe v Wade won't be repealed. I frankly don't find Ford to be credible. Kavanaugh has been on the bench for 12 + years and she hasn't stepped forward before now or lodged a complaint about his unsuitability until now. She said that she suffered a traumatic event yet can't remember the details. The when and where it happened. How can that be? I can still remember the day month and time I was laid off from my job so how can she not remember something so traumatic? I don't find her credible at all, and her over the top claim that Kavanaugh's selection to the bench makes her 'want to leave the country' is just over the top and silly. And tells me how seriously we should take her.
Given the seriousness of the crime it's no wonder that Kavanaugh won't fess up. But it seems pretty clear to me that during his high school and university days he was given to boorish and imature behaviour. Like many guys and gals. But he matured straightened himself out like so many of us. If most people were being denied jobs for the stupidity they committed during their youth and younger years 90% of the adult population would be unemployed.

J Jones
1 year 4 months ago

Vittoria, I want to be honest and tell you I stopped reading after you said "feminists" had never cared about rape and attempted rape before the Kavanaugh hearings. I encourage you to contact your local Rape Crisis Line or Center and learn about its founding members and the events that led up to that founding. I believe you will learn that the role of "feminists" was and is core and, most likely, solitary at the beginnings if your local hotline or center was established before, say, the mid-1990s in large cities and even much later in smaller communities. They will certainly be able to give a reading list about the history of efforts to combat rape and attempted rape. A good primer is this Wikipedia entry:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_crisis_center

Jose A
1 year 4 months ago

My Christian faith is lacking. I have to become more judgemental. Hey you guys with the halo's are their any left?

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
John 7: 24

Andrew Strada
1 year 4 months ago

Perhaps we begin by cleaning up our little corner of the world. For example, Georgetown University could address the remarks of the Distinguished Associate Professor who said: "“Look at thus [sic] chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist's arrogated entitlement,” Fair tweeted on Thursday. Referencing a video of "Lindsey Graham's tirade," Fair, who is a victim of sexual assault, added, “all of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps."

"Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes," she concluded the tweet."

Well, what can one expect for only $71,580 per year? It also makes one wonder what an Undistinguished Associate Professor at Georgetown would sound like.

Andrea Campana
1 year 4 months ago

This isn't about Christianity . . . YET. Once we discover which one is lying, we can show mercy and offer that person forgiveness. As of now, this is a legal issue. The burden is on Blasey-Ford to file a complaint in Montgomery County, MD. Officials said they would investigate the matter under 1982 law, when sexual assault was a misdemeanor, but only if a complaint is filed. But she is not moving toward doing so, and she is withholding the name of a witness from Congress. Something is amiss here. Judge Kavanaugh was trained by the Jesuits. Certainly, as readers and writers of this magazine, don't we have to give him the benefit of the doubt in the meantime, while we are waiting for the evidence to emerge?

J Jones
1 year 4 months ago

Andrea, are you saying an individual is owed the benefit of the doubt BECAUSE he is a Jesuit and by America Magazine because it is Jesuit publication and by us because we are thus participants in Jesuit community? I am not sure I understand.

Andrea Campana
1 year 4 months ago

Yes. That is exactly what I am saying. We know the values the Jesuits instill in the young men they educate. We owe it to Kavanaugh to give him the benefit of the doubt in consideration of the value system he was taught. Instead, Blasey-Ford is receiving the benefit of the doubt. She is not being held accountable for failing to produce the name of a key witness, failing to report the incident years ago or even now to local authorities, failing to come forward years ago during his other confirmation hearings, failing to identify the 'where' and 'when' of the incident in order to present a case credible under the rule of law. At this point, pending new information that will hopefully be uncovered by the FBI, I am giving Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt because of my respect for the Jesuit value system. I grew up in the DC suburbs very near the place where the incident happened. I know the culture very well. I'm supporting the Jesuit value system. It's a tough time for the Church, and I realize it would be difficult for America to stand up and support an accused sexual predator of minors. So someone has to stand up and support the Church.

Michael Barberi
1 year 4 months ago

How should Christians respond to the Kavanaugh hearing?

This question should not be difficult to answer. However, it is very difficult to answer given our polarized and tribal politics. I admit, I do not have the answers here. However, below are 10 suggestions that might guide right judgment.

1. Respond as you think Jesus would. This will take a lot of thought and prayer, so don't push this suggestion aside.
2. Weight fairly the testimony of the accuser and accused. This might be difficult as we all are influenced by emotion and the fact that many women are sexually assaulted but keep silent.
3. Respectfully question the alleged facts laid out by both Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. This means being balanced.
4. While a woman who believes she was sexually assaulted may not remember details, honestly determine if the details she does remember pose legitimate questions that might impact your judgment. I have offered several questions on the Editors call for Kavanaugh's withdrawal. How was it possible that Kavanaugh and his friend were lying in wait upstairs near the bathroom when no one except Dr. Ford knew she had to go to the bathroom? Why did Dr. Ford not use the bathroom downstairs? These are only a few questions not to mention she does not know the time and place or who drove her to and from this gathering.
5. Determine how much weight you should give to the fact that the 3-4 witnesses Dr. Ford said were at this gathering all provided affidavits under penalty of felony the did not corroborate Dr. Ford's allegations.
6. Ask yourself how much credibility and weight you should give to a young person who drank beer and got drunk sometimes in high school and college and whether this fact should be the litmus test for a Supreme Court nominee? Ask yourself if this fact proves Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Dr. Ford? Ask yourself honestly if Kavanaugh moderately downplayed his drinking, does this mean he was lying and should not belong on the Supreme Court?
7. Fairly weight the entire professional life of Judge Kavanaugh and the 65 women that signed a letter in support of his moral character and treatment of women.
8. Honestly appraise if the highly partisan and hateful politics that has infected these the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings is impacting a fair and honest judgment.
9. Ask yourself: Should all Supreme Court nominees be denied confirmation based on an allegation of sexual assault of a woman especially when there is no corroborating evidence and there are many holes in the woman's testimony that will not be known?
10. If the FBI investigation does not uncover any credible corroborating evidence in support of Dr. Ford's allegation, ask yourself if Kavanaugh is to be presumed innocent or should you give the benefit of the doubt to Dr. Ford and deny Kavanaugh his confirmation?

Stefan Svilich
1 year 4 months ago

They should advise their sons and daughters that, while the judiciary is a noble profession, if they are conservative, and they aspire to be a Supreme Court Justice, that they should expect their good name and reputation to be slandered, their families threatened with violence, and their careers potentially ruined by the most scurrilous charges trumped up at the 11th hour. If they have the testicular fortitude to withstand such attacks, by all means, aspire to the bench.

Stanley Kopacz
1 year 4 months ago

If I had had a child, I would never have advised him or her to become a lawyer like Kavanaugh. Would much rather they become a scientist/mathematician like Ford.

Terry Kane
1 year 4 months ago

This hearing is NOT a job interview. If it were, Kavanaugh would not be there in the first place. No kind of job interview would have half of the people on the panel deciding not to hire even before the candidate sat down.
This is also not a symbolic battle of the sexes, it is a real battle of two competing ideas: leftist-statism v. conservatism. It is also not about treating women as equals or about white male privilege. Sex and race have nothing to do with it. If treating women were an issue in this circus, Mrs. Ford's request for anonymity would have been honored - but a female senator disregarded that request so the statist agenda could be achieved. Judge Kavanaugh's twenty-plus years of public service is not a result of white privilege, it was earned by years of study and hard work. His twelve year record on the DC Circuit Court is an achievement which has been disregarded because of what was written in his Catholic high school yearbook. This is insane. It's as if we are now in Alice's Wonderland, worse than some Orwellian dystopian novel.
J Cosgrove is correct in his description of the dialogue above.
The media has blinded many regarding the affairs of state and society. Both writers of this article should re-read Plato's "Allegory of the Cave," (or study it for the first time) because too many Americans have been led to believe what they are shown is actually what is going on, however, far too often we have been misled.
America (not only this magazine) should wake-up, or we are in serious trouble - in fact our civilization would be doomed.
I am disappointed in this magazine's stand on this issue. If we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything!

Robert Dowd
1 year 4 months ago

Terry—Yes,Yes and Yes....The nail on the head...good job...I too am embarrassed by America’s stand on this story...!

Robert Dowd
1 year 4 months ago

Terry—Yes,Yes and Yes....The nail on the head...good job...I too am embarrassed by America’s stand on this story...!

Hilary Sterne
1 year 4 months ago

Thank you, Bill and Simcha, for your honest and thought-provoking discussion. Watching Kavanaugh lie and bluster his way through the hearings has been infuriating, but I am heartened by the backlash (as of right now, it looks like we can add witness tampering to his list of crimes). I would disagree with Simcha on one point: I voted with pride for Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate for POTUS in modern history, and a true inspiration for me and millions of other women. Her loss led to the formation of groups like Pantsuit Nation and to a record number of women running for office. Now, two years later, there is a whole crop of new stars in the Democratic party to motivate voters, from Beto O'Rourke in Texas to Antonio Delgado in New York to Stacey Abrams in Georgia. Is Washington broken? Yes. Are politics dirty on both sides of the aisle? Yes. But that shouldn't stop us from finding and supporting candidates who can do better for all of us.

Bill McGarvey
1 year 4 months ago

Well put, Hilary. While I can't say I'm brimming with hope right now, I do believe the millions of Americans who have been mobilized to action is a move in the right direction.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 year 4 months ago

Bill
Here you are two years later still unable to cope with Ms Clinton's spectacular loss....reflecting the endless frustration and outrage of the Coastal elites.
I suggest you construct a dialogue with an ordinary working stiff Catholic from the Midwest to get to a more elucidating discussion of a Christian view of the Kavanaugh controversy . As it stands the above article is little more than contrived backslapping mutually supportive BS.

Baron Corvo
1 year 4 months ago

"How should Christians respond....." ?

The nominee of an adultrous, thrice-married, admitted sex offender that has himself been implicated as an attempted rapist - - the nominee that showed an evil, jaundiced, vindictive (he actually promised retaliation) side of his alcoholic psyche that proves he is not suitable to be ANY TYPE of "judge," much less a member of the Highest Court in the Land.

Only the very reputation and trust the citizens have in their Supreme Court hangs on whether or not the Senate has enough courage to not only reject Kavanaugh for this seat, but also how they make up for their shabby treatment of all women who have come forward at great personal sacrifice and peril.

How silly has this Jesuit rag started to be that you have to stoop to ask stupid questions like this ?

arthur mccaffrey
1 year 4 months ago

Simcha= "I can’t even remember the last time I actually voted for
someone"...............what an appalling confession from a woman who claims to be capable of writing about "Politics and Society". At the risk of being crucified (and denied my SCOTUS seat), she sounds like the proverbial dumb blonde.

Simcha Fisher
1 year 4 months ago

Hi, Arthur, Unfortunately the italics I used in my email didn't transfer into the published article. I wrote "I can't remember the last time I actually vote FOR someone, rather than rather than reluctantly discerning the somewhat-less-horrible candidate." In other words, I always vote in every election, but I can't remember the last time I hoped the person I voted for would win, rather than hoping the other, even worse candidate would lose. I have brown hair with a bit of gray. I'm not sure why that's relevant, but you seem curious, so now you know.

Bill McGarvey
1 year 4 months ago

Hi Simcha, unfortunately the italics weren't in the email, they just came out as *for* so that's how they got dropped. Hopefully your reply clarified it. B

J Jones
1 year 4 months ago

Simcha, thanks for the clarification, and the honesty of your statement about how driven we can become against "the other". And for lovely humor!

The friend I wrote about above told me, hyperbolically, a few hours ago on the phone: "when I meet people who think politically like you do, I no longer feel like I can or should hate them. Because then I would have to hate you, and I don't. It makes for a better day". Oh the value of humor in the midst of all this!

Frank T
1 year 4 months ago

Kavanaugh is temperamentally unfit for the highest office in the land.

JR Cosgrove
1 year 4 months ago

But he has performed extremely well at the second highest court in the land for several years and has the blessing of the American Bar association.

Rhett Segall
1 year 4 months ago

The "Christian" response to the Kavanaugh hearing is: first, not to judge the hearts of Ford/Kavanaugh; second, to bear witness to the truth as best we see it; third, not to judge the hearts of those who differ with our assessment.

Richard Dubiel
1 year 4 months ago

To J Cosgrove
Thanks for your posts. Your writing saves me hours. Otherwise I would feel compelled to respond. I generally agree with your positions, close to 100 %. And I agree with you on the Jonah Goldberg observation. America magazine is beyond repair. But it furnishes insights about the state of the nation, culture, and so forth.

J Jones
1 year 4 months ago

I also struggled with the headline at first. Were these two writers saying "we think is the way you should think about this? This is the recommended content for your conversations?"

Or were they saying, "We believe this is how Christians - disciples of Christ, people act and speak and love like Jesus - should respond, given the Christian understanding that we are necessarily participants (responders) in community, in relationship with all others"?

I concluded it was the latter. They were modeling their understanding of Christian engagement in the midst of great conflict. They were being respectful, vulnerable through self-revealing statements and trusting that the other would not then savage them with those gifts of honesty. They were offering up a glimpse of the humanity of the Other, the child of God who doesn't see things their way.

I don't believe the content was the point. I believe the Christian friendship was the point.

That is what made me think of my friend and the reality that, though we could not disagree more, our treatment of each other in this time of societal conflict has, in fact, deepened both our friendship and our faith in the gorgeous model of relationship offered to us by our brother Jesus.

And I am grateful to you, Simcha and Bill, for letting your Chrustian friendship serve as invitation to other pairs of Christian friends, old and new.

Peace

C Bruno
1 year 4 months ago

Interesting discussion. No reference yet to Dr. Ford’s work history yet. I’ve not seen where anyone mentions this driving force ( and unfortunately multiple inconsistencies in her story). She has worked for Corcept Therapeutics. Guess what they make? RU 486. Didn’t she say she had no interest other then civic duty in testifying? Hmmmmm. Yes you can look for Mike Adam’s article in Natiral News. Or search. She’s published multiple articles under her maiden name about RU 486, under the generic scientific name. Or look at the schools catalogue and her bio on page 190. Yup. You guessed it also listed. I’m waiting for people to lose it when they see the real reason the Pro choice groups are so for her. Colleen

JR Cosgrove
1 year 4 months ago

Ford's best friend that she says was at the party was married to a top official in the Democratic Party, Bob Beckel. He ran Walter Mondale's presidental campaign and was married to her best friend. Apparently all her social media postings were scrubbed before her name was released. The whole thing stinks and if it was on the other side politically all this would be front and center.

gerald nichols
1 year 4 months ago

Just who are the people you are designating as "Christians."

E.Patrick Mosman
1 year 4 months ago

"How should Christians respond to the Kavanaugh hearing?"
Innocent until proven guilty is the bedrock principle of American jurisprudence since thiscountry's founding.
Anything less is like following the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole:
"Let the jury consider their verdict," the King said,
for about the twentieth time that day. "No, no!" said the Queen.
"Sentence first–verdict afterward." "Stuff and nonsense!" said Alice
loudly."Source "Alice in Wonderland" By Lewis Carrol
Innocent until proven guilty, the rock of American jurisprudence, has been turned on its head to any accusation,even one with no provable evidence, by a woman against a male is proof of guilt.

sonu paswan
1 year 4 months ago

check out rajasthan 12th time table with details

Steve Woods
1 year 4 months ago

Why do many not see an agenda to discredit Kavanaugh and the political engine in place to make that happen. Is this what we are reduced to? Trying to find thins in a person's past so as to disqualify them for anything in the future. Now if something tangible is found to be true in Kavanaugh's past, then it should be considered. But, if it there is zero evidence how can we be sure, without doubt, that his accuser is being truthful. Yes, it is complicated and involves a great deal of soul searching and grueling contemplation. If interested, here's my Biblical view on it: https://youtu.be/boJ5t5Uuhk4

JR Cosgrove
1 year 4 months ago

Everybody including all the editors and authors at America should read this article about ritual defamation.

https://thefederalist.com/2018/09/28/senates-ritual-defamation-brett-kavanaugh-threatens-every-american/

JR Cosgrove
1 year 4 months ago

In 1990, a Kansan civil liberties advocate named Laird Wilcox wrote an excellent and cogent essay entitled “The Practice of Ritual Defamation.” The essay provides a major public service. It clarifies the mechanics of ritual defamation and lists its eight primary features. It’s a short must-read for any citizen with a shred of goodwill.

http://www.lairdwilcox.com/news/defame.html

Vince Killoran
1 year 4 months ago

How should Christians respond? That's difficult to answer since there is the equally important question of how a citizen should respond. I guess the two are not mutually exclusive. As a result of watching Judge Kavanaugh on Thursday I have concluded that he should not sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. He bellowed, cried, and insulted senators. His hyper partisan comments are inappropriate for a member of the judicial branch.

As for who was telling the truth, Dr. Ford took (and passed) a lie detector test, asked for an extensive FBI investigation, and offered a painful recollection that did not benefit her in any way (except for performing her duty as a citizen). Her testimony was compelling. Her experience is a common one, i.e., the focused recollection of core aspects, the delay in sharing her experience, etc.

E.Patrick Mosman
1 year 4 months ago

"Her testimony was compelling. Her experience is a common one" and not one shred of provable, credible evidence.
So what is the basis for your belief a rather phony little girlish voice from a well traveled, experienced, published academic PHD who cannot remember,the month, day, date, location, how she arrived, how she got home,who and how many attended the party.

Tim O'Leary
1 year 4 months ago

Vince - the lie detector test questions are not being released (so much for transparency) but are reported not to have asked if Kavanaugh was the alleged assailant, which seems to be the key question. Secondly, the veteran sex crimes investigator, Rachel Mitchell, who questioned Christine Blasey Ford, has written an assessment of Ford’s claims. It severely undermines her credibility. linked below. Swetnick has also walked back on her claims and her 7-year boyfriend and history of several false claims. So, we have all three accusers being discredited. Yet, McGarvey thinks this impossible since "the number of women who make false sexual assault allegations is very small." https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/rachel-mitchell-christine-blasey-ford-has-no-case/

Vince Killoran
1 year 4 months ago

Ford isn't on trial (and neither is Kavanaugh) so Mitchell's assessment is irrelevant. The criteria are different.

How anyone could watch Judge Kavanaugh's testimony and conclude, "There's someone who will make a sober, impartial associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court," defies common sense. He was seriously unhinged. Time for the Trump Administration to find another uber-conservative nominee.

Tim O'Leary
1 year 4 months ago

Absolutely, Kavanaugh is on trial. His reputation, his family, his volunteer activities, his teaching, are all under attack. For what? I was never sure how he would vote on the Supreme Court, and others would align more closely with my politics. But, beyond politics, there is human decency. The Democrats and their allies at this Journal and in the media are all complicit in a gang rape of a public figure. if you learned anything about the #meToo movement, you would know it is hard to keep one's composure while being raped!

Catherine McKeen
1 year 4 months ago

I find Ross Douthat's opinion piece in the 9/29 NYT "An Age Divided by Sex" much more illuminating and informed than this. His description of "competing moralisms" is in my view, helpful not only to Christians, but to thinking people in general.

Tim O'Leary
1 year 4 months ago

There was much hypocrisy at the Judicial hearing but the award for the worst possibly goes to Senator Blumenthal, who used the “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,” (False in one thing, false in everything.') in his lead up to a question. Blumenthal is the one who lied about his military service during the Vietnam War.

Stanley Kopacz
1 year 4 months ago

Years ago, a prosecutor from the Justice Department approached me as an optical expert regarding a case of false advertising, actually egregiously false. He said that if it went to trial and I was expert witness for the prosecution, the defense would try to portray me as incompetent. As it was, they pled out. But this is what lawyers do, attack and smear.. I guess they hate it when they get a dose of their own medicine.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 year 4 months ago

Stan
I hope that if you are ever accused of a crime that you will get a lawyer who will vigorously "attack/smear" in your defense...or would you prefer someone who just urges you to "cop a plea" to save you all the distress and embarrassment of having a lawyer vigorously defend you.

Stanley Kopacz
1 year 4 months ago

If attack and smear is part of their job, maybe they shouldn't whimper and go into high dudgeon when THEY are on the receiving end. But it's all performance art.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 year 4 months ago

Stanley
Have you ever been publically, falsely accused of being a serial rapist?...Based on your previous posts referring to "knuckle sandwiches", I suspect your reaction would have been astronomically greater than Kavanaugh's !

Crystal Watson
1 year 4 months ago

Simcha - we are not poweless. If that were true, those two women in the elevator would not have been able to change Jeff Flake's mind. And Democrats are not being hypocrites - they were the first to demand Al Franken step down, as well as Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats accused of sexual misconduct.
Christians should respond by telling their representatives that they don't want Kavanaugh confirmed - he;s unfit to be a judge at all, much less one on the Supreme Court.

A Fielder
1 year 4 months ago

Representative John Conyers (D-MI) also resigned due to pressure after sexual harassment allegations.

Andrea Campana
1 year 4 months ago

The Wall Street Journal tweeted 10 minutes ago on leaked FBI report. FBI finds no corroboration of Blasey-Ford's allegations.

J Jones
1 year 4 months ago

And more than 1000 law school professors (and counting as I write) say Kavanaugh's conduct in the hearing is disqualifying, regardless of other qualifications and regardless of the FBI investigation. His own profession is disavowing him as a professional.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/03/opinion/kavanaugh-law-professors-letter.html

Andrea Campana
1 year 4 months ago

Yes, but judicial temperament has to do with a judge's attitude toward the law, the litigants, and other judges--not Congress. It was repeatedly stressed by Senate Judiciary Democrats that Blasey-Ford was not on trial. The committee hearing was repeatedly billed as a "job interview." Therefore, judicial temperament doesn't apply. Kavanaugh was respectful toward Blasey-Ford in his comments about her. He teared up when mentioning how his daughter said the family should pray for her.

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