Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Saturday, October 08, 2005

We've been hurt by a friend

Lost in all the fireworks over the Miers nomination is another question appearing at Hugh Hewitt's new blog effort, One True God Blog.

This question reads: When injured by a friend or colleague, what ought a Christian to do?

Perhaps Hugh just "happened" to put up this question in response to some of the invective thrown his way this past week.

"Shill," "toady," "kool-aid drinker," and --yes-- W's "Joe Conason" --the unkindest cut of all-- have all been attributed to me by colleagues on the center-right. Actually, there are even worse descriptions, but I maintain a PG blog. Fine, all around. Let fly, friends, you owe me nothing except your candid opinions. But you might owe the president more.

There is one reply to the question, from Mark Roberts. It is a soothing reply, and I hope Hugh finds solace in it.

On the flip side, those of us who are seething over this bizarre nomination could read the reply with a very cynical mind. I know it is very unfair to Mark Roberts's thoughtful reply, but some of the post could be read as if talking about President Bush, from the viewpoint of us wounded followers, wondering why we've been betrayed.

The Psalms are full of complaints about enemies, but the bitterest pain of all comes from the betrayal of a friend: "Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me" (Psalm 41:9)
Why does this matter? Because when we've been hurt by somebody close to us, it makes all the difference in the world to know that God understands and cares. Without a doubt, the deepest pain I've felt in over twenty years of ministry has come from the actions of friends, or people I've considered to be friends.
Not that the pain disappears. That takes a long time, usually. But God has used my experiences of the betrayal of friends to draw me closer to Him, and for this I am truly grateful.
Thus, ironically and mercifully, God has used injury from a friend to deepen my faith and strengthen my relationship with Him.
I haven't even begun to talk about things like forgiveness.

It will be a long time before the sting of this missed opportunity fades. With so much at stake, it's difficult to think of forgiveness. But, for us Christians, we may need to let go of our anger, and once again focus on what is eternal.


  • At Sat Oct 08, 09:29:00 PM, AJStrata said…

    Betrayel is a two way street. The anti-Miers crowd betrayed all of us in a fit of fear and panic

    Damage is done.

  • At Sat Oct 08, 10:17:00 PM, Sirc_Valence said…

    What's up AJ. I haven't commented on your blog lately because I lost my password to comment there and had to toss my laptop into the closet for a while there, after it got messed up.

    Jeff, I think that President Bush meant well.

    Here it has led to a pretty comedic effect, I have to say.

  • At Sat Oct 08, 10:28:00 PM, Jeff said…

    I would certainly agree that President Bush meant well with this pick, though it seems to have been poorly thought out.

    But as I argued here, I think it is a sign of strength when a party has a knockdown fight. Do you see the Democrats having fights about how far they should run away from the MoveOn/Sheehan wing of the party? No, because they can't afford to.

    I don't agree that lasting damage would be done. Quite the opposite, I think the base would be energized if this pick were withdrawn, and someone like Luttig were nominated.

  • At Sat Oct 08, 10:30:00 PM, Sirc_Valence said…

    For anyone that is still sore about this, or if you find the reason, you should really consider contacting Republican officials about this.

    Here are a couple of addresses to start with:

    Republican National Committee
    310 First Street, SE
    Washington, DC 20003

    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

  • At Sat Oct 08, 10:55:00 PM, Kurmudge said…

    Good grief, all the fuming over someone you don't particularly know, and you refuse to consider the possibility that there might have been thought-out reasons for the selection? Like Snowe, Collins, Specter, DeWine, Chaffee, and Warner all promising to vote no if one of the "fire-breathing conservatives" was picked? Why simply assume that Bush broke faith with his base? I strongly suspect that in this case Bush found out to his chagrin that his own party RINOs would revolt if Brown, McConnell, or Luttig were selected. Or he knows something else we don't.

    But at least wait for the hearings to abandon ship.

  • At Sat Oct 08, 11:41:00 PM, hammerswing75 said…

    When injured by a friend, you let them know what's on your mind and then you forgive them. I think that this works on both levels. I hope that Hugh will forgive those who have insulted him. Likewise I hope conservatives will forgive Bush for making (what seems like) a poor decision.

  • At Sun Oct 09, 02:09:00 AM, Mike H. said…

    Part of the fight -

    "Both Republicans and Democrats should be alarmed that Bush seems to believe his power to appoint judges is absolute." Ann Coulter

    Yeah, who does he think he is? Frist or Hastert or Cheney Should be appointing the SCOTUS associates. Or maybe even Pelosi or Reid. Someone should explain the constitution to him. ;)

  • At Sun Oct 09, 02:53:00 AM, ed said…


    1. I didn't know Kennedy, but I took him on faith because I was told he was good.

    2. I didn't know Souter, but I took him on faith because I was told he was good.

    3. I didn't know Stevens, but I took him on faith because I was told he was good.

    4. I didn't know O'Connor, but I took her on faith because I was told she was good.

    See a pattern here?

  • At Sun Oct 09, 08:09:00 AM, Vermillion & Pico: Our Political Website said…

    "Why we’ve been betrayed?”

    Just how, I have to wonder, have you been betrayed? Had President Bush nominated Hillary Clinton to the Supreme Court, yeah, we’d have been betrayed. Had the President sought to put Tom Daschle (who now needs a job) on the Court, we’d have been betrayed.

    But the President didn’t nominate either of those gentlemen. Instead, he nominated a conservative, someone he has known and with whom he has worked closely for over a decade to the Supreme Court. Harriet Miers may not give us the knock-down, drag-out, grind Chuck Schumer’s face in the mud donnybrook some conservatives wanted, but she does give us the end result we want: another conservative on the Supreme Court.

    For us to have been betrayed, we would have to ask what injury was done, what was denied to us that we deserve. If Miss Miers’ nomination is one which puts a conservative on the Court, which has always been our goal, then the only thing that we appear to have lost is the bloody fight.

    Do we really value the battle more than we value the achievement of the goal? Apparently, some people actually do.

    A longer version of this comment is on Common Sense Political Thought.

  • At Sun Oct 09, 09:21:00 AM, Matthew said…


    It will be a long time before the sting of this missed opportunity fades.

    With all due respect, I disagree.

    Harriet Miers is a strict constructionist with a sharp and tough mind. She will improve the Supreme Court starting from the first day she puts on her robes.

    I think the loudest and most smug critics of President Bush on the right need to get an infusion of humility, STAT.

    The idea that George Will, Ann Coulter, or even Charles Krauthammer knows better than the president how to evaluate the merits of Harriet Miers before the hearings have even started is a very unfunny joke.

  • At Sun Oct 09, 03:05:00 PM, Jeff said…

    About the question of betrayal, I put my answer in a separate post.

    Hammerswing75, those are wise words.

    Ed, I say: Precisely.

    Mike and Matthew, of course President Bush has the power, and right, to nominate his choice. But on what basis has he made this decision? Miers cannot possibly be the most qualified. So what was the basis for the decision?

    She very well may turn out to be a reliably conservative vote. But there are other candidates with a much more evident conservative judicial philosophy. Why weren't any of them nominated?

  • At Sun Oct 09, 04:06:00 PM, Jimmie said…

    "Harriet Miers is a strict constructionist with a sharp and tough mind. She will improve the Supreme Court starting from the first day she puts on her robes."

    I commend your ability to predict the future with such sureness.

    I, on the other hand, would prefer to work with what we may reasonably know, which is that Miers and Bush share the same Constitutional ideas.

    As long as that's true, no one can say with a straight face that she's anything like Scalia or Thomas. The President did, in fact, break a promise.

    That can be forgiven in time, but not until after he and his party knows very well that there are real consequences for going back on your word. I'm willing to forgive, but only after the President shows some sign that he's done wrong and attampts to remedy it.

  • At Sun Oct 09, 06:28:00 PM, GaryS said…

    Republicans would indeed be well served by evincing the ability to withstand a high-minded and passionate battle over what constitutes a well qualified conservative justice. Unfortunately, unsupportable charges of betrayal and elitism pointlessly drag the debate down to a level that hurts everybody.

    Bush promised to appoint justices that were strict constitutionalists and would not "legislate from the bench" in the mold of Scalia & Thomas. He never promised to appoint a renown constitutional scholar. Likewise, charges of elitism against the anti-Miers crowd have no basis in fact. Both sides should start with the presumption that both sides are honestly trying to do what is best for the court and the country.

  • At Sun Oct 09, 07:40:00 PM, The Hedgehog said…

    The most important mistake my fellow conservatives are making over the Miers nomination is to consider President Bush's pick a personal betrayal. That has led to an emotional response, which has in turn led to a great deal of invective and sloppy thinking that should be beneath us all. I have blogged extensively about this all week and was even privileged to be interviewed on Hugh's show about it Friday.

    Let's follow the advice of James 1:19:

    "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath . . . ."

    There's too much wrath being spilled in Miers' direction, and too little hearing going on.


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