Kennedy’s Replacement Should Be Judge Amy Coney Barrett

It will be nice to have one woman in the majority when the Supreme Court finally overturns Roe v. Wade.

.. She is the youngest of the five top choices, which is a mark in her favor given that the nominee will have life tenure and Trump will want one who will leave a lasting mark on the law.

.. Her educational history — she went to Rhodes College and Notre Dame Law School — would add a little welcome diversity to a Supreme Court full of Yale and Harvard alumni.
.. Barrett has also recently been through Senate confirmation to a federal appeals court. She won the support of all the Republicans and three Democrats
.. But they will be hard-pressed to argue that she is an extremist given their own recent support... “Dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said, in reference to Barrett’s Catholic faith. Never mind that Barrett had already said that “it is never appropriate for a judge to apply their personal convictions, whether it derives from faith or personal conviction.”

.. Feinstein’s office defended the senator by noting that Barrett had also written, in an article for the Notre Dame Alumni Association, that all people play a role “in God’s ever-unfolding plan to redeem the world” — which is a fairly basic statement of Christian belief that does not imply support for the judicial imposition of theocracy.

.. opposing a woman will probably be more awkward for senators than opposing a man would be. Also, it cannot be good for conservatism that all three women now on the court are liberals.

.. If Roe v. Wade is ever overturned — as I certainly hope it will be, as it is an unjust decision with no plausible basis in the Constitution — it would be better if it were not done by only male justices, with every female justice in dissent.

So pick Barrett, Mr. President. Let the dogma live loudly on the Supreme Court.

 

The Bible’s #MeToo Problem

Dr. Trible labels such stories “texts of terror.”

.. When we remember that a third or more of the women sitting in our pews have been sexually assaulted and the majority of them have been sexually harassed, the absence of biblical women’s stories is telling.

..  almost half of transgender individuals report being sexually assaulted.

.. The muting of the #MeToos of the Bible is a direct reflection of the culture of silence at work in our congregations. An assumption is woven into our sacred texts: that the experiences of women don’t matter. If religious communities fail to tell stories that reflect the experience of the women of our past, we will inevitably fail to address the sense of entitlement, assumption of superiority and lust for punishment carried through those stories and inherited by men of the present.

.. Statistically, perpetrators do not lurk in shadowy corners, waiting to pounce. They are men who have a hint of power, or wish they did, who understand women in much the same way so many of the stories of the Bible do — as objects to be penetrated, traded, bought or sold. They are sitting in our pews, or, sometimes, standing in our pulpits.

.. Abuse takes place when one person fails to see the humanity of another, taking what he wants in order to experience control, disordered intimacy or power. It is the symptom of an illness that is fundamentally spiritual: a kind of narcissism that allows him to focus only on sating his need, blind to the pain of the victim. This same narcissism caused the editors of our sacred stories to limit the rape of Dinah to only nine words in a book of thousands.

.. abusive narcissism must be unraveled through a transformation of heart and mind.

.. If I were preaching the story of Dinah, I might simply ask, “How do you think she felt?” It’s a question that some men have never considered. Though some abusers are beyond the reach of compassion, I have in my work as a pastor witnessed the ways hearts can open when someone tells a story. It is empathy, not regulations, that will create a different vision for masculinity in our nation, rooted in love instead of dominance.

.. But transformation happens only in the hard light of truth.

There Are Good Men Out There

When Rob was born in a small town outside London, his father wasn’t allowed in the room for the delivery. His mother went off to the hospital and came home 10 days later, with all the business of childbirth done and dusted.

.. Rob was in the delivery room for our boys’ births and shared in the burden of sleepless nights. He bathed the boys starting in their first days. That’s normal now in our London world of two-career couples, but it was unheard-of just a generation ago.

The “Me Too” movement made plain how awful many men can be. So it can be easy to forget that men are also working to carve out their new place in the world.

.. What will the world look like when my sons are adults? The whole idea of rigid gender roles is shifting in ways I couldn’t have expected just a decade ago.

.. For now, I like to watch Rob and our boys and be reminded that there are some very good men out there. Contrary to my mother’s mantra, I can expect a great deal from them — and not be disappointed.