A couple of days ago I was having a conversation with a strong, sensible Christian woman who happens to be my daughter. She expressed to me the opinion that in view of Harriet Miers' lack of discernment and her moral inconsistency, she should not be confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court.
Here are the central points of my daughter's argument: Harriet Miers has allowed herself to be described as a pro-life evangelical Christian. At the same time, she acknowledges great admiration for the president, and it is clear that she is a supporter of his policies. What my daughter wants to know is how Miers, as a pro-life Christian, can fail to condemn President Bush's war in Iraq, which has led to the slaughter of countless innocent children and thousands of other noncombatants. As a follower of Jesus, how can she be such an admirer of an unrepentant man who, as governor of Texas, presided over the death penalty carnage that occurred in that state with unprecedented numbers of people, including mentally retarded persons and defendants who were juveniles at the time of the offense, being sent to the death chamber? How can she can she fail to be appalled by the president's threat to veto a defense spending bill because of its inclusion of a passage prohibiting "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of detainees and prisoners of war?
If Harriet Miers is familiar with the central message of the Christian gospels, my daughter asks, how can she support President Bush's tax policies, which so blatantly favor the rich at the expense of the poor? How can she support a man whose environmental policies result in excessive profits for wealthy corporations while irreparably damaging the planet, which is a gift from God to all humankind?
I agree with my daughter's assessment of Harriet Miers, who is hardly alone in her allegiance to these inconsistencies. There are millions of decent, kind-hearted people in our country who consider themselves to be devout Christians, and yet who support the very worst of this administration's policies. I can only conclude that they have been tragically misled by church leaders who subscribe to erroneous theology. What else could it be that enables these good and gentle people to justify actions of our government that are the antithesis of Christianity?