Friday, October 07, 2005

Some Are Concerned That Main Selling Point For Miers Is Her Faith

Was Harriet Miers nominated for the Supreme Court because of her evangelical Christian faith?

That's the message a lot of people -- conservatives and liberals alike -- are hearing from the Bush Administration and its allies, as the campaign to sell Miers begins.

Senior Republican leaders have called Senators, using Miers' faith as a starting point to reassure them as to her likely views as a member of the Court. Friends of the administration have also been called on by the White House to speak to the media in an effort to reassure the religious right that Miers will faithfully execute their agenda. The New York Times reported that the White House put Judge Nathan L. Hecht, Miers's close friend and a fellow member of Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, "on at least one conference call with influential social conservative organizers" to testify to her faith.

The non-profit Campaign to Defend the Constitution called on the White House to stop injecting the personal religious views of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers into the battle over her nomination.

"Efforts by the President's aides to re-assure his conservative base about Ms. Miers by pointing to her faith are deeply disconcerting," said Erwin Chemerinsky, professor of law at Duke University. "The standard for a nominee's fitness for the Supreme Court must be their allegiance to the Constitution not to their own personal faith. With deep respect for her right to her personal religious beliefs, we expect Harriet Miers to make clear that, as a Justice of the highest court in the land, her loyalty will be to the Constitution and the established laws of the land."

***

The irony is that evangelicals do not all hold the same political outlook. "Does she connect her beliefs up to politics in the way that they would like? I think the answer is they just don't know,'' John Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron, told The Guardian.

Still, there was no shortage of evangelicals making the rounds to defend Miers.

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, said Tuesday on Pat Robertson's 700 Club that the Miers nomination, "is a big opportunity for those of us who share an evangelical faith in Christianity to see someone with our positions put on a court."

James Dobson, the founder and chairman of the evangelical organization Focus on the Family, told Fox News Channel's Brit Hume: "We know people who have known her for 20, 25 years, and they would vouch for her. ... I know the church that she goes to and I know the people who go to church with her." On the Wednesday edition of his radio show, Dobson was more specific: "I know the individual who led her to the Lord."

***

Liberal columnist E.J. Dionne, in today's Washington Post, made a similar point: "Miers has almost no public record. Don't worry, the administration's allies are telling their friends on the right, she's an evangelical Christian."

Dionne made another point regarding Miers' faith: "It is pro-administration conservatives, not those terrible liberals, who are making an issue of Miers's evangelical faith. Liberals are not opposing Miers because she is an evangelical. Conservatives are telling their friends to support Miers because she is an evangelical."

It's the same reasoning behind liberals and Democrats not fighting John Kennedy or John Kerry's run for the presidency, or Joseph Lieberman's run for the vice presidency, because of religion.

But the reason to vote for those men was not primarily religion-based. With Miers, who has no judicial record, the administration's top arguments to support her nomination amount to her friendship and loyalty to the president, and her faith.

That's a standard that wouldn't hold water for most national candidates. Robertson failed in his bid for the presidency, as did Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Their candidacies left many people uneasy, because their experience level was so limited. That's the case for Miers, either.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Douglas Morrison said...

The only people concerned are the ACLU goons, who won't be happy until every Cross and Star of David is ripped down from our houses of worship. Remember how communism started, my Liberal airheads. It started with the dismantling of Russia's religious structure. It's like deja vu all over again. HELP!

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...

That's a RIDICULOUS and FALSE comment. The ACLU isn't concerned with houses of worship. It's the OPPOSITE: the ACLU is concerned with keeping the constitutional RIGHT of separation of church and state.

I know Rush Limbaugh doesn't teach you that, Douglas, but your portrayal of the ACLU is flat-out WRONG.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous CornerPerro said...

Some are concerned. But some think its just great and that, to me, is disturbing.

All you have to do, to be qualified, is profess a belief in fundimentalist, evangelical Christianity.

That's all they want.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous kweerwolf said...

It's all about being "born again"

Silly fundies don't trust anyone to get the whole birth thing right the first time!

1:59 PM  
Anonymous m_welby said...

cornerperro, that is correct, all you need to do is say...

"I have accepted Jusus Christ as my personal saviour"

- they'll believe anything you tell them after that. Just ask george. No matter how big, or baldfaced the lie is, they'll believe you. It's called "faith" (or is it gullibillity?).

2:20 PM  
Anonymous ayeshahaqqiqa said...

Heard an NPR piece on this this morning and they talked of Mier's and Bush's "conversion" to Christianity. This bothered me a bit, because I thought both were raised in Christian homes. Or does the faith they were raised in not count?

When I think of conversion, I think of someone who was not raised in a faith getting a faith, or someone raised and practicing one religion joining another. I converted to Sufism; I was raised Methodist and took an active role in the Methodist role from childhood to adulthood. If I had changed churches, say to the Episcopal Church, I wouldn't have said I converted.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous BurgherHoldtheLies said...

Perfect sentence to sum it up:

"Liberals are not opposing Miers because she is an evangelical. Conservatives are telling their friends to support Miers because she is an evangelical."

2:57 PM  
Anonymous gratuitous said...

Well, what CAN they tout?

Her record as an attorney? Sorry, off limits to you (but not James Dobson or Jerry Falwell). Her towering achievements as a legal scholar and analyst? It is to laugh. Her make-up skills? See previous answer.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberals certainly will begin to oppose her based on her religious convictions, many see as a threat. Although it has come out that the democrats have no hope of winning if they pander to their baby killing base, which includes the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

Democrats are also working on becoming more pro-war due to the fact that they are seen as weak on defense. But Cindy Sheehan has pretty much convinced the world that democrats will not protect America.

The party needs to abandon the notion that the way to win is to "do much better at mobilizing the party’s political base,” according to the New York Times.


"This strategy is doomed to fail for the Democrats because there are simply more voters who identify themselves as conservatives than as liberals.”

In conclusion, democrats have trapped themselves with no way out, unless they abandon their radical liberal base and rebuild from scratch. Unfortunately for them, the process will take many years and democrats will continue losing elections at least up to 2012, but there is a sense that they've begun to move in the right direction.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...

Wow, anonymous, you certainly have the Ken Mehlman script down.

Too bad it's NOT TRUE.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 4:26 is so wrong, in every sentence, it makes my brain hurt. Sure hope he/she has power and/or wealth, 'cause he/she certainly has no grasp of the truth.

But keep it up. Bush's lamebrained nomination has already dropped his approval rating below its previous low of 39%. With kneejerk defenses like the post above mine, it's only a matter of time before all but the most seriously intellect-deprived parallel universers (of which Anon. is Exhibit A) will have, finally, come to their senses.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Angelina, was not referring to you. You just happened to post as I was composing mine.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Anonymous, no one should be pro-war.

Democrats have been pro-troops all the way. Supported Bush in Afghanistan, and even supported him in making the right decision regarding Iraq. Unfortunately, he didn't make the right decision.

But pro-war? What does that mean? Do you think the U.S. should attack Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, etc.? Should the U.S. re-institute the draft?

Otherwise, I don't understand your point. The Democrats have been very mainstream on the situation in Iraq. They trusted Bush was telling the truth about WMD and mushroom clouds and ties to Al Qaeda. They were frustrated and disappointed when all the reasons we went to Iraq were proven false by the 9/11 Commission, in spite of the Bush-Cheney spin machine.

Mainstream Democrats aren't calling for "cut and run," no matter how many times Bush says it. They aren't calling for "abandoning" the troops, or the mission, no matter how often that script is recited on conservative talk radio.

Democrats want a gameplan for Iraq, and one for dealing with Al Qaeds, rather than the current flailing about, spinning that all is well and going as planned, when it's clear all is not well and not going as planned.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous ayeshahaqqiqa said...

I feared that When I was a Christian, I was approached by a "born again" and told that, even though I had been baptized and confirmed that baptism when I was 12, active in my church, etc, etc, I was going to hell because I wasn't "born again". They really appear to think everyone but them are heathens.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous EOO said...

Bush is just trying to pander to the base that voted him in. And the result is pretty disgusting isnt it?

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...

No problem, Anon 4:55. We're on the same page.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Douglas Morrison: "The only people concerned are the ACLU goons, who won't be happy until every Cross and Star of David is ripped down from our houses of worship."

Douglas, honestly, how do you function in the world and yet be so deeply, truly stupid? The ACLU defends whatever the constitution says, including your right to put a cross wherever you want in your house or your house of worship. You can stick a cross up your ass and sing Dixie, as far as the ACLU is concerned. They'll even defend your right to do so, in court, if anyone tried to stop you.

It's the conservative evanginazis who want to violate the constitution by forcing schools and courthouses to put up crosses and stars of David.

Yes, Douglas, the real "goons" in your book are George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and the other founding patriots of this great country, when they chose to found it on a constitutional separation of church and state.

But maybe you think you or Dubya or Pat Robertson know better than those men, eh?

7:16 PM  

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