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BACK, THEN, TO VISCHER’S questions. On the evidence of the intelligence he has shown so far and the fact that everyone watching the proceedings knew Specter would bloviate until his time ran out, it’s safe to assume that John Roberts meant nothing revolutionary in agreeing with Kennedy’s timeworn assertion. His answer is either a delineation of roles or a simple failure of nerve. In other words, said the nominee, “I’m Catholic, but I’m a judge, not a spokesperson for the Catholic Church. You want Fulton Sheen, you’re a little late. You want Benedict XVI, you know where to find him. Meanwhile, here’s the soundbite you all knew was coming. It’s a crying shame you guys are still asking questions you asked forty-five years ago.”
Anyone so inclined could also read Roberts’ answer as a tacit admission of Christian failure. If you accept the twin Catholic propositions that we live in a fallen world and that the church speaks not simply for Christians but also for Christ, then any divergence between what the church says and what individual Christians say, while not necessarily regrettable, is at least cause for pause. Individual Christians (never mind Americans) can’t presume to have the benefit of doubt if we’ve ignored the voice from the clouds saying “This is my Son, on whom my favor rests. Listen to him.”
It’s safe to say that Roberts did not have such theology in mind, not because he’s incapable of humility or lofty thought, but because a Senate committee hearing run by the likes of Joe Biden, Arlen Specter, Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy, and Dianne Feinstein is more properly cause for meditation on verses like “By their fruits you shall know them,” “I send you forth as sheep among wolves,” and (too late for Roberts on this one) “shake the dust of that town from your feet.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?