October 14, 2005

"What else is there to say, in any case, about a middling bureaucrat and yes-woman than that she attends some mediocre place of worship?"

Who hasn't been waiting for a nicely pissy Christopher Hitchens rant about Harriet Miers?

15 comments:

aidan maconachy said...

Hitchens is largely correct on this.

It's not proper for Bush to invoke Mier's religion in making the case to wary conservatives. Quite aside from atheists like Hitch being offended, how must Hindus, Buddhists and others feel ... because the message is basically "she's okay because she's part of the high powered Christian holy roller club".

It goes beyond bad taste.

In addition, we have Rove purportedly spouting off to Dobson, offering reassurances that she is evangelical and pro-life. Yikes! That she has those convictions is one thing, but stating them in this fashion is basically offering a nudge nudge, wink wink to the effect "no worries, she will vote the right way". This from people who have been wailing about judges departing from the constitution in order to bolster special interests. Please!!

Even if I shared Ms Miers personal beliefs, I STILL wouldn't want a Supreme Court justice elevated in a manner that smacks of back room cronyism.

No wonder Chris is dropping random "f" words in the article ... I can relate to his frustration with this.

Effern said...

So which direction are the pre-confirmation winds blowing the USS Althouse?

My scorecard says "unsure", then "con", then "pro" (mellowing, anyway).

The "mediocre place of worship" line was a pretty crappy thing to say. I am not of that faith, but I would never say that about anyone's church. But overall I thought the article was fairly well-reasoned, although I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to see this somehow neatly tie in with his book about Jefferson.

whit said...

You can alway expect an otherwise right thinking Hitchens to go ballistic over religion.

jinnmabe said...

I normally like Hitchens but that was just stupid. He completely undermined his own valid point with his standard anti-religious talking points. Yeah, yeah, you think we're all insane for believing in God, I got it, Chris. That's the way to convince people, tell them they're stupid.

Plenty of religious people think it's dumb that religion is offered as one of Miers's best features (some would say her only feature). But doesn't Hitch's mention of Harry Reid confound his point? I'm a Mormon, and I'm not reassured at all by Dobson's choice or Bush's religious assurances.

alikarimbey said...
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Undecided said...
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Undecided said...

I enjoyed CH's piece in Slate. I certainly don't want a bible-thumper on the Supreme Ct. Do you? People who think he was too harsh on religion in general need to consider whether an avowed atheist would or could be chosen for a spot on the court. Of course not. The evangelicals are generally very intolerant and even hateful toward the irreligious and they would be up in arms. Harriet Miers seems too educated and cultured to be so narrow-minded much less a hypocrite with regard to her own religion. But Hitchens is sadly right about the requirement for overt religious qualifications or passing a 'test' as he puts it to be placed on the highest court.

whit said...

In this article, Hitchens reminds me of his arch nemenis, George Galloway in that he displays the fact that he's lost his mind. What he doesn't know about the bible is appalling. "The Bible oftens advocates infanticide"?! When it comes to religion, the man is off the wall irrational. Also, he states that the only reason she was selected was because of her religion. Come on, that's pushing the vitriole a little too far. Reprobate.

downtownlad said...

Ann Coulter talks about Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her column this weeks.
"She may be a nut who belonged to a subversive organization, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated first in her class from Columbia Law School — and that was before Harriet Miers was applying to law school."
Let's face it - there just aren't that many people who graduated first from Ivy League Law schools. Less than 10 a year.

aidan maconachy said...

whit -

actually the Bible does contain examples of infanticide. I try to avoid going around quoting chapter and verse, but here goes ...

Exodus 1 :15-16 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

Mathew 2:16-18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

Acts 7:19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.

whit said...

aidan: examples yes, advocating no!

m.g. said...

Nathan Sharansky, in “On Hating the Jews,” which was published in Commentary in October 2003, has this from the Book of Esther, where it recounts some of the arguments that Haman, a Persian, used to push for the annihilation of the Jews:

Among the Jews, all things are profane that we hold sacred; on the other hand, they regard as permissible what seems to us immoral. . . . The rest of the world they confront with the hatred reserved for enemies. They will not feed or intermarry with gentiles. . . . They have introduced circumcision to show that they are different from others. . . . It is a crime among them to kill any newly born infant.

On which Sharansky comments:

Did the Jews actually reject the values that were dominant in the ancient world, or was this simply a fantasy of their enemies? While many of the allegations leveled at Jews were spurious—they did not ritually slaughter non-Jews, as the Greek writer Apion claimed—some were obviously based on true facts. The Jews did oppose intermarriage. They did refuse to sacrifice to foreign gods. And they did emphatically consider killing a newborn infant to be a crime.

Seems Hitchens, in his pathological hatred of faith, has it exactly wrong. Wonder if he’ll post a correction on the Slate site?

Go here for a free copy of the Commentary article.

aidan maconachy said...

"Seems Hitchens, in his pathological hatred of faith, has it exactly wrong. Wonder if he’ll post a correction on the Slate site?"

He wasn't writing a thesis on infanticide in the bible, he dropped ONE sentence; a reference to infanticide that happens to be corroborated by biblical sources, some of which are cited above - verbs such as "advocating" notwithstanding.

Wanda said...

The whole point of the quote is the word "advocating". It's just one sentence, but it's a slur - you wouldn't be so dismissive if he dropped the 'n-word' into the middle of his essay just because it only occurred once. Any book about the Holocaust is going to contain descriptions of infanticide; it's only the Nazis who ADVOCATED it.

aidan maconachy said...

Wanda "Nazis" refers to people who made decisions to extreminate an entire people, including children. The "Bible" is an inanimate object, incapable of issuing orders for infanticide.

Read the Hitchens quote again ...

" ...although the Bible often recommends actual infanticide—and is thus open to "interpretation"—this congregation's view of Roe v. Wade is well-known ..."

In saying the Bible "recommends" Hitchens stating a fact. In parts of the Bible there are in fact recommendations that relate to acts of infanticide. He also added that therefore one's reading of Bible may be open to "interpretation", which is fair enough.

He didn't say Jehovah, Moses or Jesus ... Pharisees or Sadducees ... or any other person or group were pro-active adocates of infanticide. He correctly stated that in certain chapters, the Bible contains "recommendations" with respect to infanticide ... and this happens to be factually correct. In response to whit I offered three Bible quotations that validate Hitchen's assertion, and you can see them above.

Bringing the Nazis into this isn't helpful.