Editorial: Shouting

The “Editorial” category is one I use when posting an unexpected writing that is not connected with other themes.

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Thoughts on Kavanaugh’s approval…

When I was in seminary, we joked that when writing a sermon, it is sometimes necessary to put a note in the margin: “Weak Point, Shout!” Sadly, we saw this note in play at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday.

Dr. Ford came into the hearing room, quietly told her story, told it well, told it convincingly. Mr. Kavanaugh followed her, entering the room with angry bravado that demonstrated classic symptoms of an abuser’s personality. 

Drowning in the waves of his self-made sea of denials and accusations, he struggled to persuade those in the room and in the nation to believe him. 
 
In the margins of his presentation there must have been numerous “Weak Point, Shout!” cues–in his mind if not on paper..  But this time it was not a homiletical joke. It was the strategy used by a man who claims to have the calm-cool-and-collected power of reason sufficient to adjudicate the laws of this land for decades to come.  His behavior set off a chain reaction of similar shout fests by members of the committee, who are alleged to be reasonable too, and who had the duty of deciding whether or not to approve him.  By the end of the day, ” Weak Point, Shout!” had moved from the margin and became the message.

Just a little while ago…Brett Kavanaugh was moved forward for a confirmation vote by the full Senate.  It is amazing what had to be set aside (in mental acumen, reasonable investigation, and political process) for this to happen.  But that’s the way it is whenever wisdom falls prey to wildness.  When “Weak Point, Shout!” prevails, much more is at stake in this nation than who becomes the next Supreme Court judge.  The soul of the nation is in jeopardy.

A thread of hope remains as the full Senate votes whether or not to confirm Kananaugh.  We can only hope that there will be no “Weak Point, Shout!” marginal notes controlling their deliberations–a way of talking that only perpetuates mayhem and potentially seats one of its provacateurs on the highest court in our land.  No joke.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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