|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Wednesday, October 5th, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|At Valley View Christian Church in Dallas, the views are exceptionally clear. We are all sinners.* Our sins will be forgiven if we “receive Christ” and are “baptized into Christ.” Nothing less than a full public dunking will do, according to the VVCC web site, accompanied by publicly “confessing” Christ. Do those things, and you go to heaven. Don’t follow the program, and plan on burning in hell for all eternity, or until the flames go out, whichever comes last.
All are entitled to their views, of course, even if those views casually brand all Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Confucians, Taoists and other non-evangelicals as unrepentant sinners, condemned to an afterlife of perpetual torment. But our founders agreed with Voltaire when he declared “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” and our laws governing freedom of speech and the practice of religion are written accordingly. And so the good congregants of Valley View Christian Church have a perfect right to congratulate themselves and their co-religionists on their own virtue, while consigning the rest of humanity to eternal hellfire.
Except that one of those congregants is destined to be our next Supreme Court Justice. Harriet Miers, the White House Counsel, was baptized, worshipped, taught Sunday school, and served coffee and doughnuts at Valley View according to the New York Times**. As a corporate lawyer, her previous job, or as the president’s counsel, her born again convictions didn’t much matter: helping corporations and politicians stay out of trouble with the law is an entirely godless business anyway. But as a Justice of the Supreme Court, Ms. Miers' evangelical faith may pose a few problems.
For one thing, anyone who comes before Justice Miers is already guilty. Guilty as hell, for that matter, since we’re all sinners. Of course the law says that the accused is presumed innocent until proven otherwise, but that’s just human law. God’s law trumps human law every time for the born again. And if everyone is already guilty, there’s no need to hear arguments on one side of the case or the other. Why, for that matter, waste time reading briefs or studying precedents? Justice Miers needs only one word in her legal vocabulary: guilty. The only brief she need ever read is the bible.
Then there’s the little matter of punishment. According to Valley View Christian Church, just as we’re all guilty, so are we all subject to forgiveness. Receive Jesus, goes the Valley View view, and you are absolved from sin. You’re still guilty, mind you; you can’t help that. But you won’t suffer eternal damnation. On the other hand, if you don’t receive Jesus it’s straight to the eternal barbecue. What could be worse punishment than that? Hence in Justice Miers court, fines, jail terms, and death sentences will be as irrelevant as legal arguments. Justice Miers will need only one question in her legal arsenal: “Are you ready to be saved?”
Those who answer “no” are cooked, not to say fried, but that was their destiny anyway. For all who answer “yes”, it’s a one-way ticket to the pearly gates. Just don’t forget to send your tithe to Valley View Christian Church.
This page predicts a vast reduction in the prison population. Also a corresponding increase in the Supreme Court docket, though for those with cases before the new Justice, that won’t be a problem. In the no-brief, no-argument, one-question Miers court, justice will indeed be swift, as well as blind. Utterly.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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