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October 1, 2018, 12:00 AM

My Two Cents


“Hello, my name is Brett Kavanaugh and I have a confession to make.”

I don’t imagine anyone expected that opening line from the Supreme Court nominee at his recent hearing. But his angry denials were equally surprising and almost comical (“c’mon Brett”). Now his testimony more than his past, is shining an unfavorable light on his judicial temperament. Maybe he was just that mad. Or maybe he was advised that this was the best way to defend himself. The best defense, they say, is a good offense.

I don’t feel qualified to weigh in on whether this man should be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. I confess to not having read his own opinions extensively, and relied, instead, on second hand news. All indications are that his adult life has been exemplary. Most (including those who don’t agree with his politics) say that he is a good and generous man.

But as I listened to judge Kavanaugh’s fiery testimony my thoughts turned toward the place and the power of confession in our lives.

In the home we are taught to be honest. But in the the world of social interactions we slowly absorb the importance of never admitting to anything even if we were guilty. I remember my dad (who was a very good man) gently telling me as a new driver how it is best not to say too much at the scene of an accident. This was after I had just rear-ended someone and told the other driver, “I’m sorry, I was following way too close.” We have to be very careful about publically admitting ever doing anything wrong. Fair enough.

But then, this. Those who follow Jesus (Brett Kavanaugh included) are constantly confronted with his call to repentance. By all accounts the people who made Jesus really mad weren’t the sinners, but the people who were quick to judge others and who claimed not to have sinned themselves.

This isn’t to suggest that what she said is true. Or what he said is true. But, I do remember how boys treated girls when I was in high school just a few years before the nominee in question. And I like to wonder how things would have gone for the judge if he had said something like what most of us would have to say if asked about our own coming of age. “I don’t remember doing this thing of which I am accused. But I did some things when I was young- but old enough to know better- that I am not proud of. And to whomever I hurt, I am so very sorry.”

Deny, deny, deny is the way to save our skin.

Confess, repent, and be forgiven is the way to save our souls.

Or so we say we believe.

Shalom,

Rick

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