I have no control over what happens with the SCOTUS business. I hope they pick a good justice and I hope it someday actually happens that Roe is overturned and the question goes to the states. I also hope that God will give me ten million dollars. But I don’t much count on it. Similarly, I have long ago given up counting on the Party of Trump to ever bring about the end of Roe. I have explained why I think so before, so I will refer you there.
If I turn out to be wrong, then I will be happy to be wrong. Roe needs to die. I just don’t believe it will and that the apocalyptic delusions that gripped Americans when Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement are, well, silly–at least as regards Roe.
For millions of Christians, however, this has become the eschatological goal of their entire faith. The Babylon Bee nails it with typical wit:
For Christianism, the fantasy of the magicking away of abortion by the Party of Trump has elevated him to God’s Anointed–and justified defending every filthy lie and every despicable evil he has committed. The Christianist Shahada is “Opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world.”
Admittedly, not all of his cult have it as bad as this guy:
But there is still plenty of blasphemy and dumb right here on our soil from the Christianist cult of Trump. Note, for example, these Good White Christianists protesting a cocooned member of the Trump elite having to endure an encounter with an actual subject of her rule the other day:
The most sinister and blasphemous sign is “Trump is Love”. For those unacquainted with Scripture, it is a parody of St. John’s comment that God is Love (1 John 4:8) and is therefore a claim of deity for Trump. This is straight-up Antichrist stuff. And for such an obvious con man. The stupidity never ends with his cult. And now that the question has been changed from his professional liar being asked to leave a little cafe to “Who will be the next Supreme Court nominee?” people are losing their ever-loving minds.
On the Left, the prophets are out in force declaring that Roe will be gone in 18 months. The NY Times portentously announced “The End of Abortion” (forgetting that even in the unlikely event that the court strikes down Roe, it will only mean the issue reverts to the states, most of which already have legalized it).
That panic from the Left is assuring conservative Christians–a demographic with a long history of being so wrong about so much so many times for so long that only a fool would trust their judgment–that Trump is just about to bring about the Eschaton and end Roe. This is but one of the problems with assuming that “anything that owns the libs has gotta be a sure thing.” This corollary to the pagan idea “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is leading Christianists to assume that the end of Roe is a done deal.
A word of caution about that to Christianists: If you think the panic among Lefties about the imminent death of Roe and gay marriage is a sure sign that these things are going to occur, do be aware that your culture war enemies can also delude themselves just as much as you can and can also say things to gin up their base just like you can.
Remember FOCA? Obama was going to sign it on his first day in office and it was going to be the End of All Things for the prolife movement. Then he got elected and it vanished without a trace.
Remember Operation Jade Helm, when Obama was going to ‘invade’ Texas and take all the guns and put good white Christian women in Shariah camps and the governor of Texas actually called out the state guard to monitor US troops because larval Trumpkins seriously believed all this bushwah?
Lefties can have such delusional panics too. It does not mean their fears are grounded in reality–or that their panic is proof that your fantasies are about to come true.
Meanwhile, there is the practical reality of just picking a judge. Here’s something from a FB page advertising a Christian Men’s conference and the thinking is worth noting for its badness:
Who better to bring about this day of reckoning than Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whom we all remember as the Trump appointee that Sen. Dianne Feinstein deemed unfit to serve based on her Catholic faith. “The dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein famously uttered at Barrett’s confirmation hearing. At that moment, Barrett became the face of all religious Americans in this hostile culture, and that face must be represented on the bench of America’s highest court.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve heard reasonable people make the case for Barrett, who seems competent enough to this non-lawyer, though my opinion on such matters is worthless. The issue is not her. The issue is the reasoning on display here which, when translated, is “We need a religious test for the next Supreme Court justice and appointing Barrett will strike a blow for that by putting a Catholic on the Court in vengeance for Feinstein’s attempt at a religious test.”
That is as dumb as it gets. What we need is not a religious test for office, but a competent justice who understands the Constitution and will rule in accordance with it. If Barrett fills the bill (and she appears to), appoint her for that reason, not to satisfy right wing religious culture warriors who want a Catholic on the court to strike a blow against Feinstein.
Of course, the person in charge of choosing that justice will be Trump. Trump, the most uninformed and subliterate man to ever unworthily occupy his office, knows nothing about judges. When he had to have aides suddenly cobble together his list of nominees after the death of Scalia, it included a senator who had dissed him and a judge who had spent months mocking him on Twitter. He had not the faintest idea about any of them and picked Gorsuch on the advice of his aides. Nothing has changed. He still knows nothing about who would be suitable. So he will listen to the people around him. And he will watch “FOX and Friends” for guidance, because he really is that dumb.
(Recall the Harriet Miers debacle as another example of an 88 cent legal mind offered a shot at the court for loyalty’s sake. Only back then, the GOP still had enough residual integrity to resist an Executive attempting visible-from-space idiocy. Now that is not a sure thing.)
One reader of mine is convinced it will be Jeff Sessions, since it will kill two birds with one stone: getting rid of him as AG so Trump can replace him with a lackey to shut down Mueller, and continuing the work of assault on minority voting rights so precious to the Party of Trump’s grip on power. We’ll see. The same reader predicted Trump’s nomination and election.
At any rate, it will be up to Democrat Cassandras like Cory Booker to ask obvious questions like the one in this tweet (read the whole thread for discussion of the GOP Elephant in the Living Room of the Mob Boss in Chief getting to choose the justice who will likely help decide the fate of his Presidency when the Mueller investigation delivers its devastating autopsy on this authoritarian crook):
Regarding this Supreme Court vacancy: among the many consequential issues at stake, there is clearly a potential conflict of interest for President @realDonaldTrump. 1/
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 28, 2018
The point is, Roe will have almost nothing to do with Trump’s choice, except by accident.
That said, it is legit (and only common sense) for Catholics to pray that God will guide that process of picking a justice in his mysterious Providence. Some people who loathe Trump imagine that there is something preposterous about praying for him to pick the right person, as though the fact that Trump is an immoral pagan means God cannot guide events. To them, I say Paul tells his Churches to pray for all those in authority and, as we saw, reminds us that Caesar is God’s lackey. It is a biblical principle as old as the story of Joseph (and spectacularly confirmed both in the story of the birth–and death–of Jesus) that what we plan for evil, God can turn to good. Augustus’s plan for a census–and Judas plans for betrayal–can still be guided by God to ends that the authors of those plans did not foresee or intend.
So, Christianists: There is a remote chance that Roe will be overturned–a very remote chance. There is, I think, zero chance that gay marriage is going anywhere. You’ve lost that one for good.
But the larger question–returning to the figure of the Christianist prototype Judas Iscariot, is this: Even if all your dreams come true and Trump gives you the justice of your dreams and the chance to overturn Roe comes before the Court and the miraculous occurs and they do it–even if all that happens, what have you done to yourself in order to get that? What means have you chosen to achieve your ends?
In prostituting yourself to Trump, you have–already–gained the whole world and lost your soul. Even if Roe is overturned, the degrading spectacle you have made of yourself, your embrace of sadism and cruelty to the least of these, your glee at jailing toddlers and the choking cataract of lies and evils you have chosen to embrace in your lust for power, have already made the defeat of Roe a participation trophy. If all your dreams come true, you will still have made your witness a nightmare by your prostration to this dimestore antichrist. When all the dust has settled, the signal achievement of the “prolife” Christianist will not be the destruction of Roe. It will be to have taught an entire generation to regard the sweet words “thoughts and prayers” with revulsion, cynicism, and disgust. It will be the memory of people who talk about Jesus and support pimps, sex predators, child molesters, and guys who get 65% of the Good White Christianist GOP vote as they say God is a white supremacist and Jews are satanic and Martin Luther King, Jr. was an agent of Satan. You’ve already done all that. The film is in in the can. That was what you did while using the unborn as human shields and explaining it would all be worth it when abortion was magicked away because the ends justified the means.
And if, as is far more likely, nothing comes of your prostitution to Trump and Roe remains what justices Roberts and Gorsuch call it: “settled law” and “the law of the land”, what then? The epitaph of the Christianist adoration of this evil man and the depraved party–and depraved Christianist cult–that he has remade in his image and likeness will be the words of Uncle Screwtape: “To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return–that is what really gladdens our Father’s heart.”