Republican Senator Josh Hawley, the junior senator from the great state of Missouri, recently “warned” President Donald Trump about the judges he and the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo were picking and loading into Mitch McConnell’s conveyor-belt confirmation process.
Something about the new rulings from the Supreme Court are making evangelicals and “conservative Christians” “depressed” and doubting about turning-out to vote in November.
Needless to say, such talk greatly upsets the Trumpian applecart as it were. Spilling the rotten messy things all about the place.
Seems to me these “depressed” disciples of modern American religiosity, lost as they are in a delirium of their own making, forget that America is a constitutional republic, not a church.
To start with, believers need to define the words they are using. “Christian” originally meant “follower of Jesus”. One cannot claim discipleship to this middling- class carpenter/desert- dwelling Judaic prophet of poverty, Jesus of Nazareth, while likewise serving a dark master temporal and selfish.
Yes, casting one’s precious vote for a Donald Trump-type by any name, clearly, serves darkness. Temporal and selfish.
In other words, “Conservative Christian”, like “Christian Conservative”, is an oxymoron. One cannot be both but must choose. Am I a Christian, or a Conservative?
One master cancels the other.
Conservatism is a practice stingy and mean-spirited.
It’s funny, or not, but I am hoping Trump will be the catalyst for American citizens to finally realize that it is “conservative” which should serve as pejorative; not liberal.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of study or deep thinking to conclude that it is Conservatives who have provided the opposition to the American way, not Liberals. We Liberals always find victory in the highest of Courts, from segregation to civil rights and the welfare state to the economic security of social programs.
Besides, to follow Jesus, one must display some charity and graciousness, over-hyping the Individual as master of his destiny and place, is counterproductive to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Not to mention his general instruction to love one another as neighbors because as we “do unto the least, so you do unto me”, said Jesus.
American conservatism ain’t that.
This, no matter how many commercials the Republican “Kelly Loeffler for Senate” campaign can dream up labelling her a “Christian Conservative”, or is it a Conservative Christian? Her tear-themed ads are a work to behold; one has a grown Black man with an earring and conspicuously placed, artful tear sliding down his ebony cheek.
Tight spots create false virtues. False virtues spell doom. This desire to use the Supreme Court to make the general populace live in accordance with one’s “faith”, is a fool’s errand to begin with. Can’t legislate morality, much less spirituality.
If unbelievers, or doctrinal dissenters, make you doubt, that’s on you.
But I digress.
Following these three recent Court decisions re: LGBTQ being covered under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX; denying Trump on “dreamers”, DACA; and striking down the Louisiana abortion clinic restrictions, Trump tweeted: “We need new judges.” Yep, you read right, the judges Trump nominated and McConnell conveyor- belt confirmed, are not good enough.
Maybe the problem isn’t judges at all; maybe it’s the US Constitution that keeps getting in the way of the religious right’s misguided agenda.
Ole boy Jerry Falwell (RIP) misled the “Moral Majority” to begin with; this absurd nonsense that there’s no differentiation in “public life” and “spiritual life” sinks under inspection. It’s one thing to live one’s personal life flaunting spirituality in public, quite another to try and force the public to live it.
But in the early 1970s, while we were still sorting the upheaval of the 1960s, he and the Orange Juice queen Anita Bryant, among others, famously joined forces and convinced the church crowd to “use” their “influence” in politics to influence public policy.
These voters may want certain outcomes, decisions and rulings to reflect their beliefs in what is morally right and wrong, but wealthy donors don’t necessarily see it that way; they want to populate the federal court system with Richie Rich Federalist Society members who would dismantle the regulatory state.
Which is not to say that they don’t realize the hungry beast must be fed; some of these rulings must go the way their supporters want; or else.
Lastly, the Supreme Court has been 5-4, conservatives dominate, my entire life. And even when “the five” are all self-confessed, “conservative Catholics”, enough of them find their way to deny their personal religious views and go with the Constitution, i.e., liberty and justice for all are created equal, means all.
I suppose the time may come when they don’t.
But it ain’t here yet.
American founding values and constitutional principles are winning.
Evans is a local writer whose opinions have appeared in local publications, TIME and The Nation.