Thursday, February 9, 2017

Is Gorsuch's home church a red flag?

Judge Gorsuch's comment to Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal that DJT's tweets about the judge ordering the stay on the immigration order were "demoralizing" and "disheartening" has become fraught with layer upon layer of aftermath. Laura Ingraham has taken to Twitter herself to say it "doesn't bode well." Blumenthal, on the other hand, wants to gin it up into the makings of a constitutional crisis. Squirrel-Hair has chimed in, excoriating Blumenthal and tossing in the Senator's misrepresentation of his military service for good measure.

It will no doubt all get even more interesting, but for now, the question I'd like to contemplate is whether the church Judge Gorsuch attends is a red flag or a nonstarter.

It's pretty clear that it's not the kind of place I'd ever attend:

Gorsuch is also a member of the St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder.  The Episcopal Church has embraced very liberal positions on a variety of issues, including performing same-sex commitment ceremonies since the 1980s and eventually same-sex marriages. At church, he often hears a very liberal point of view.  
Mike Orr, a spokesman for the Episcopal Church in Colorado, described Gorsuch’s church, as a congregation that “does a lot of social justice and advocacy.” He said, “It’s a healthy and vibrant congregation. It’s very diverse in its congregants as well as its ministry.”
The first word that St. John’s uses to describe itself on its website and Facebook page is “inclusive,” and the church is led by a female rector. On its website, the church encourages members to write letters to Congress asking that they combat climate change.
You can almost smell the leftism wafting from it.

And I've seen some opining of the sort that deems his membership there to be a deal-breaker. The calls for DJT to withdraw Gorsuch's name from nomination have begun.

I'm holding off. Sure, I'd like it if he went to an actual church, that is, a place where sound doctrine is preached,  but my sense is that calls for his head without knowing more than what is revealed above strike me as exemplifying the utter lack of subtlety that characterizes most public-policy thinking these days. People's reasons for attending a particular house of worship are varied and often quite personal. I know people who attend such churches, including the Presbyterian Church USA church in which I grew up, which is now a hotbed of social justice, and while they seethe and gnash their teeth, they have not to date reached the point of leaving. There are roots and relationships involved in a lot of cases. A person's church, even if it's become rotten with leftist nonsense, is sometimes the scene of defining moments on one's spiritual path.

Let's remember that the Heritage Foundation recommended him to the Trump team. Let's also remember that he enjoyed a deep friendship with the late Antonin Scalia, who was not only a towering judicial mind, but a real Christian without question.

As an undergraduate and a law student, he was generally regarded as a solid conservative. There is, of course, the now-somewhat-famous piece he wrote for National Review in 2005 on the "overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy."

In this age when bits of information become accessible worldwide in a matter of seconds, an age also characterized by the most raw polarization in anybody's lifetime, an age in which nothing escapes being imbued with an ideological charge, I daresay that any of the other finalists for this SCOTUS seat would have been subjected to a degree of scrutiny that would have had some camp of self-styled purists up in arms by now.

Can we please all continue to learn more about this man and get a fuller sense of the overall picture?

In a world of fallen humans - there is no other kind - is there no one we won't jettison?


  1. The more you try to predict what a nominee's rulings will be, the more full of crap you are. The justices are to rule on the law, not on religious beliefs. And you are way way off base insisting on a nominee with personal and religious beliefs compatible with yours. The only thing that matters is their record as counsels and jurists.

  2. You so badly misread the gist of this post, I have no response.

  3. You so badly misread the gist of this post, there's no way for me to respond to your comment.

  4. Missed a crucial paragraph containing your own personal thoughts Didn't get much past your carping about his church as one you wouldn't attend. Glad you think a justice'a religion or lack thereof (like the atheist Jews already on the court) should not matter.

  5. I reread this post and fail to see how I so badly misread it, actually. I see where you say you're "holding off" on your final decision in your own personal mind hell. I do not get where you don't have misgivings about particular religious beliefs of others, particularly a Supreme Court nominee. I know it's devolved to this, and has been this way for awhile. And the Catholics, who counted the heroic JFK amongst them and at one time was insistent about the separation between church and state, and who now boast the souls of not one, but 4 sitting justices, are the primary offenders these days. No wonder church attendance has fallen dramatically.

  6. My whole point was that those on my side (the right, in the most general sense) who see Gorsuch's church membership as a deal-breaker are being boneheads. There is much in his CV that balances that out.

  7. That's a bit stronger wording than holding off.

  8. "In a world of fallen humans - there is no other kind - is there no one we won't jettison?" "Did you write this Mr.Quick?"
    In an argument of reason. If all humans are "fallen" does it not follow that a particular position is also subject to question?
    I really doubt once a Justice is appointed they will be true other than to themselves, and then hopefully so they will work as an independent branch of Government.