Four Reasons Hypocrisy Isn’t an issue in The Supreme Court Nomination
Hypocrisy is one sin we all hate. We want people to be who they say they are and do what they say they will do. Hypocrisy is also a sin we all commit. All of us say or do things that contradict something we’ve said or done earlier. The kind of hypocrisy we hate, however, is the kind where someone is adamantly against something in one setting but stands in full support of or participation in that same thing in another setting. It’s the Christian leader who is secretly living a lifestyle of sexual sin or the climate change advocate who has the highest electric bill in the state.
As we approach the 2020 presidential election, instances of hypocrisy abound. Politics has always been rife with hypocrisy, but in this season, it seems especially prevalent. The charge of hypocrisy against a political opponent can be very effective. Does anyone remember “Read my lips, no new taxes,” in the 1992 campaign or “Flip-flop, flip-flop” in 2004? It’s no surprise, then, that both Democrats and Republicans are looking for opportunities to label one another hypocrites—and by the way, there’s no shortage of material to work with!
Most recently, Democrats have attacked Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans as hypocrites for pledging to vote on the confirmation of whomever President Trump nominates for the Supreme Court seat recently vacated by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Consider four reasons why those charges of hypocrisy simply don’t matter.
#1 Hypocrisy is Baked into the Political Cake
First, hypocrisy and political maneuvering might as well be synonyms. Politicians build coalitions, garner support for their causes by compromising on less important issues, and do things they said they would not do all the time. There’s a certain amount of that which is required of politicians, and in many cases, legislation and governance simply would not occur without politicians doing something they said they would not do. One of the most famous political slogans in US history is 54 40 or fight! That slogan propelled James Polk to the presidency as he pledged to claim the entire territory of Oregon from the British up to the 54th degree, 40th minute latitude line. After staking his entire campaign on 54 40 or fight, Polk actually settled for the 49th parallel, and there was no fight.
#2 I Never Said a President Shouldn't Nominate Close to an Election, And I Bet You Didn’t Either
Four years ago, when then-President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia, the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings or a confirmation vote. Some of them reasoned that it was too close to an election (8 months) and that the responsibility should be left to the next President. Now, President Trump is planning to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court, and it’s less than 2 months until an election. The Republican-controlled Senate is pledging to hold hearings and a confirmation vote for Trump’s nominee, and I’m elated they are doing so. But wait, that’s hypocrisy! Not exactly.
When Merrick Garland was nominated four years ago, I opposed his nomination, but I did so because I did not want him to gain a seat on the Supreme Court. It had nothing to do with an upcoming election—I opposed his judicial philosophy, view of the constitution, and stance on crucial issues that would inevitably be heard by the Supreme Court. In fact, I wanted the politicians in power to use all legal and moral means possible to stop his nomination, and I’m thankful they did. What tool did they use? The Constitution. According to the Constitution, the President has the responsibility to nominate justices to sit on the Supreme Court, but he does not have the power to appoint them without the cooperation of the Senate. The Republican-controlled Senate used its constitutional authority to prevent Judge Merrick from filling the vacant seat. Four years later, the Senate is once again functioning in its constitutional role. This time, however, they have pledged to move towards confirmation of the President’s nominee. In both cases, the Senate has/is functioning constitutionally and did/is doing exactly what any honest observer would expect them to do.
I don’t recall the exact words of Mitch McConnell or any other Senate Republicans who spoke on this issue four years ago, and maybe they worded their opposition to Judge Merrick in a way that makes their support of Trump’s nominee hypocritical. I haven’t taken the time to go back and read their statements because it doesn’t matter. If they only opposed Judge Merrick because of the timing, that was a mistake. They should have opposed him on principle as they used the constitutional tools at their disposal to stop his appointment. If, and I stress “if”, they acted in a way four years ago that makes them hypocritical in the current moment, the mistake was then, not now.
#3 The Cries of Hypocrisy are Dishonest and Cancel Each Other Out
Follow the logic.
Democrats: “You should be opposed to the nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice so close to an election.”
Democrats: “Because you were opposed to it four years ago when we supported it.”
Any Logical Person to the Democrats: “So doesn’t that mean you should support it now?”
If this is truly about the question of whether or not justices should be nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court in an election year, then Democrats should be elated that the Republicans have seen the light and come over to their side! But we all know it has nothing to do with unwritten rules or statements from four years ago or even hypocrisy. That leads me to my last and most important point.
#4 This is a Life and Death Situation
We all know what is going on here. In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States cleared the way for legal abortions in all 50 states. Since that time, over 60 million legal, sanctioned abortions have occurred across the United States. Are there other moral evils in our nation? Of course. The biggest difference is that this moral evil is legal. Currently, the best option we have to either reverse or neuter the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision is to place conservative, originalist judges on the Supreme Court.
Some people believe that an unborn child is not a human life. I’m not sure how anyone can come to that conclusion, and perhaps they’ve developed such a position in order to shield themselves from the reality of what is actually happening. Some people think that abortion is ok in certain circumstances such as rape, incest, or the prospect of a really bad life for the child. If you defend abortion in that way, ask yourself if your reason for justifying an abortion would hold up if the child was 5 years old. What if a mother who was a victim of rape or incest murdered her five-year-old child because the child reminded her of the trauma? What if an impoverished family decided to kill their five-year-old daughter in order to provide a better life for the other kids? “But an unborn child is different because he or she doesn’t know what’s happening.” I’m sure the death of a five-year-old child could be arranged in a way that makes the child unaware of what is happening. Would that make it ok?
Could you imagine the level of evil it would require for someone to walk into a newborn nursery at a hospital, drill a hole in the back of the heads of all the babies in the nursery, and suck their brains out with a vacuum? Until the 2004 ban on partial-birth abortions, those newborns could have been legally killed in that manner just moments before they were laying in that nursery. That ban, signed into law by President Bush, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision. In other words, if just one Supreme Court Justice had voted differently, partial-birth abortion would still be legal in the United States. That’s what’s at stake.
Don’t be fooled by all the talk about hypocrisy. There are some people in our nation who will defend any and all abortions by any and all means. Our resolve must exceed theirs. They fight for financial, ideological, or political reasons. We fight for righteousness. While Christians are obligated to pursue and defend righteousness through righteous means, we cannot be paralyzed by a few statements made by politicians four years ago. Abortion is the greatest widespread evil fueled by a multibillion-dollar demonic industry and openly endorsed by the legal system of the United States since slavery. I pray that future generations of Americans will view abortion with the same level of universal disdain with which we now view slavery. As 19th-century abolitionist politicians maneuvered to dismantle and confront the slave trade, 21st-century pro-life politicians must work to do the same to the abortion industry.
Two Victims of Abortion
It is difficult for me to write so candidly about abortion without weeping for the women who have had abortions and the men who have supported, encouraged, and in some cases, forced women to have abortions. If that’s you, there is hope. There are two victims in every abortion—the unborn child, and the mother who is deceived into thinking that abortion is the answer. Billions of dollars have been invested to convince you that abortion is a legitimate alternative. You’ve been caught up in a political and economic system that uses you to further its aims. That doesn’t mean you’re relieved of all responsibility, but it should help you understand why what seemed so right at the time often haunts you.
You can be free of the guilt and shame of abortion because God loved us enough to carry our guilt and shame to the cross. It has been crucified. It is dead. You and I simply trust in the work that Jesus did for us, and we are forgiven. We are right with God. That’s what Romans 5:8-10 says so beautifully,
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Others might still shame us, and we might still blame ourselves, but when we place our faith in who Jesus was and what He did, we are forgiven by God. It is His law we have broken, so He is the only one who has the ultimate right to determine our guilt or innocence. God loves you, and He wants to see you set free from your sin, guilt, and shame.