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Thursday, October 06, 2005

harriet miers, christians and gambling

At the Lew Rockwell blog, Laurence Vance rightly criticizes evangelical Christian leaders for their blanket endoresement of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers in this post:
Regarding the Harriet Miers nomination--Pat Robertson and James Dobson have both praised the nomination. Who cares? What makes them so special that we should listen to their judgment on a Supreme Court nominee? They like Miers because she is another crony of Bush who claims to be an evangelical Christian. That's it. The fact that they know nothing about her views on the Constitution or that she has never been a judge doesn't seem to be much of a problem for Robertson and Dobson.
However, Vance then goes on to make this particular claim regarding Christians and gambling:
... just today I happened to tune in to Dobson's radio show and who was the guest--Bill "The Bookie of Virtue" Bennett. I thought Christians were opposed to gambling. It didn't seem to impact Bennett's relationship with Dobson.

Has Dobson told his followers that Harriet Miers was appointed by Bush to be the head of the Texas Lottery Commission and that she stayed in that post for five years? I thought "deeply committed Christians" were opposed to all forms of gambling?
The "The Bookie of Virtue" line is hilarious - hadn't heard that one before. However, as a Catholic who occasionally enjoys an evening of blackjack or poker, I take issue with Vance's claims. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church Part 3, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 7 we find this statement:
Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.
I believe that there are enough legitimate reasons to criticize the Miers nomination and her knee-jerk support among conservatives and Christian leaders; we don't need to bring the non-issue of gambling into the picture.

1 Comments:

Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said...

Well President Bush nominated
White House counsel Harriet Miers
to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor
on the Supreme Court. Since Miers
has never served as a judge, her views --
that is, how she would rule on ROE V.
WADE if an appeal comes before her
on the bench -- are uncertain.

That's why we can, once again, look
forward to by bias reporters & liberal
congressmen/women hundreds of questions
all designed to elicit the same answer:

What does Miers think of ROE V. WADE?
Talk about a farce!

Given ROE's centrality, not only to the law,
but also to our entire culture, it's worthwhile
to understand what ROE's author, Justice
Harry Blackmun, intended its reach to be.

For most of the thirty-two years since the
ruling, all we had to go on was the written
opinion in ROE itself and its companion
case, DOE V. BOLTON. Then on the
fifth anniversary of Blackmun's death,
the Library of Congress released his
papers to the public.

What these papers show is that, in the
words of the LOS ANGELES TIMES,
Blackmun's goal was to "write a narrow
ruling that would reform abortion laws,
not repeal them."

What's striking about the story that emerges
from these papers is the extent to which
many of the ideas we associate with ROE
were explicitly rejected by Blackmun and
company. For instance, on the day ROE
was announced, Chief Justice Burger said
"plainly, the court today rejects any claim
that the Constitution requires abortion on
demand." In a never-issued news release,
Blackmun made the same point.

What's more, Blackmun saw laws banning
all abortions as infringements on the doctor's
rights, not the woman's. During a private
conference with the other justices, he insisted
that "there is no absolute right to do with one's
body what you like. . . . " To Blackmun, ROE
was about vindicating "the right of the physician
to administer medical treatment according to
his professional judgment. . . . " And at the time,
Chief Justice Burger predicted that ROE
would not have "sweeping consequences."

As history shows, ROE and DOE went far
beyond the author's professed intentions
and his colleagues' predictions. Much of
the blame lies at Blackmun's feet:

In DOE, he included a woman's emotional
health as part of the definition of health,
which, regardless of what he intended,
led directly to abortion-on-demand.

It's difficult to imagine a group of intelligent
men more in the dark about the consequences
of their actions. It only reinforces my conviction
that ROE is not only bad law: It's an embarrassment
to American law, which makes the way that
ROE has come to dominate our public life
especially grotesque.

In nominating Harriet Miers, someone who
has been very visible, publicly trying
to keep the ABA from endorsing ROE V.
WADE, President Bush has obviously
decided that the time has come for a
public debate. And that's a healthy thing
for the country: Expose how this case has
been misinterpreted and misused.

So, instead of turning the confirmation
process into the theater-of-the-absurd,
let's hope the truth will come out. And
maybe some of the senators will see,
as much of the public is beginning to see,
that ROE is a misbegotten, badly
reasoned decision that we are better
off without.

10:31 PM  

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