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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Would Jesus call Sotomayor a racist?

Evangelical Outpost has long been considered one of the top blogs for Christian conservatives, which is why I was pleasantly surprised to see a post from one of their bloggers introducing some sanity to the debate over Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor. While the right wing radio hosts, bloggers, and "Christian" politicians have showed no restraint in using the words "judicial activist" and the more serious label "racist" to describe Sotomayor, here is what EO blogger Evelyn Baker Lang has to say about Sotomayor's supposed statement that the courts are where policies are made:

The trouble with using this statement to prove Sotomayor is a radical revisionist who legislates from the bench is twofold. First, her record simply doesn’t show that’s the case. Second, it’s just a little civics 101. Someone, usually the White House, proposes policy. Congress enacts legislation to put that policy in action. The Executive Branch, usually the bureaucracy, executes that policy. But in the policymaking process, the courts determine what the law says. That interpretation determines what the policy looks like in practice. Instead of fearing a radical jurist, we should be delighted that a nominee to the Supreme Court recognizes that power and, so far, has cautiously exercised that power. Let’s hope for a quick confirmation full of excellent debate over constitutional interpretation!

You can read the rest of the article here.

I've been very concerned lately about how easily "Christian" politicians and opinion shapers have succumbed to throwing epithets around at people they disagree with. Epithets like "racist" (describing people that believe in affirmative action) and "baby killer" (I think you know what that's referring to). The list goes on. You get the idea.

Perhaps they forgot that the only time Jesus resorted to name calling was when He was dealing with people within His own faith tradition. As far as I know, Jesus never resorted to name-calling when dealing with people outside the Jewish community (except when he called the Canaanite woman a "dog" but even then, he was tricking his disciples to expose their anti-gentile prejudice). Jesus did, however, use terms like "hypocrite" and "brood of vipers" when confronting people of His own faith.

The lesson for evangelicals today is that we should be brutally straightforward when dealing with sins like hypocrisy and racism in our own ranks, but gracious towards people perceived to be outsiders (I use the words "perceive" because I have no idea whether Sotomayor considers herself an evangelical Christian or not).

Thank you Evangelical Outpost for not succumbing to baseless name calling.

Right wing blogosphere take notice!

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