Judge Sotomayor… Qualified or Questionable, you decide?

The debate is on, I tend to see Pat as being racist and bigoted in this speech, but I am sure there are plenty of other perspectives.  Freestyle with me, why is Judge Sotomayor such a controversial figure for the RNC?

Published by Drew G. I. Hart, PhD

Drew G. I. Hart is a theology professor in the Biblical & Religious Studies department at Messiah College with ten years of pastoral experience. Hart majored in Biblical Studies at Messiah College as an undergraduate student, he attained his M.Div. with an urban concentration from Missio Seminary in Philadelphia, and he received his Ph.D. in theology and ethics from Lutheran Theological Seminary-Philadelphia. Drew was born and raised in Norristown, Pa and has lived extensively in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA as well. Dr. Hart’s dissertation research explored how Christian discipleship, as framed by Black theologies and contemporary Anabaptist theologies, gesture the Church towards untangling the forces of white supremacy and the inertia of western Christendom which have plagued its witness in society for too long. As two traditions that emerged from the underside of violent and oppressive western Christian societies, he found Black theology and Anabaptism each repeatedly turning to the particularity of Jesus in the gospel narratives. From that arises an ethic of solidarity with the oppressed and pursuing liberation in Black theology and an ethic of radical peacemaking and ecclesial nonconformity in the Anabaptist tradition. Each challenge the violent and oppressive logics of mainstream western Christianity and salvage the call to follow the way of Christ. Together in dialogue they deepen our analysis of the churches failures and the need for Jesus-shaped repentance. His work beyond teaching and writing has included pastoring in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, working for an inner-city afterschool program for black and brown middle school boys, delivering lectures and leading anti-racism workshops, collaborating with local faith-based organizers and activists in his city, and doing a broad range of public theology. He is also a co-leader for a local Harrisburg faith-based relational network called FREE Together which has collaborated with POWER Interfaith, MILPA, the Shut Down Berks Detention Center movement, and a little with the Poor People’s Campaign. Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew Hart, has received great reviews by Publisher’s Weekly and Englewood Review of Books. Endorsing this resource, Shane Claiborne said, “This book is a gift from the heart of one of the sharpest young theologians in the United States. Hold it carefully, and allow it to transform you--and our blood-stained streets.” As a text, Trouble I’ve Seen utilizes personal and everyday stories, Jesus-shaped theological ethics, and anti-racism frameworks to transform the church’s understanding and social witness. Trouble I’ve Seen focuses on white supremacy as an overarching framework for understanding racism, with careful attention to its systemic and socializing dimensions. However, unlike sociology textbooks on the subject Dr. Hart also considers the subversive vocation of Jesus and the nonviolent yet revolutionary implications his life ought to have for his followers today. His newest book project is entitled Who Will Be a Witness?: Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance and will be published September 1, 2020. Who Will Be A Witness? invites the church to liberate its centuries long captivity to supremacist practices, and to expand its restricted political imagination in view of Jesus’ messianic reign. The book guides disciples of Jesus into joining God’s delivering presence through scriptural reasoning, historical reflection, practical theology for congregational life, social change theory, and the Christian call to love our neighbor. It is written for congregations, leaders, and students that understand that pursuing God’s justice goes way beyond waiting around for electoral seasons to come around. It is about the ongoing vocation of the Church right now, at the grassroots level, seeking after the wellbeing of their neighbors through faithful, strategic, and concrete action. Drew recently joined the Inverse Podcast team serving as a cohost along with Australian peace activist Jarrod Mckenna. Together they interview interesting people and explore how scripture can turn our ethical imagination and the violent and unjust systems of our world upside-down, which contrasts with interpreting the Bible as a tool for the status quo. Dr. Drew Hart was the recipient of bcmPEACE’s 2017 Peacemaker Award, a 2019 W.E.B. Dubois Award from a Disciples of Christ congregation, and in October 2019, Dr. Hart was chosen as Elizabethtown College’s 2019 Peace Fellow. Each award recognized him for his local and national justice work and public theology. You can find Drew Hart on Twitter and Facebook, or you can catch him as he travels and speaks regularly across the country to colleges, conferences, and churches. Drew and Renee, and their three boys (Micah, Dietrich, and Vincent) live in Harrisburg, PA and attend Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren.

6 thoughts on “Judge Sotomayor… Qualified or Questionable, you decide?

  1. Hi Drew,
    There’s not much that President Obama is going to say or do that won’t be vigorously attacked by the RNC because they have no say anymore. It has to be really, really hard when you’re used to wielding power to lose it overnight.

    I’m keeping unity in my thoughts and prayers, but I think it’s going to take some Divine Intervention, a knocking of heads together, to get us there. We shall overcome, as a very famous man once said.

  2. This was the perfect example of the difference between doing what’s right and doing what feels good.
    After Pat spends the entire first part of his answer explaining that this nomination is for the highest court in our land and that only the very very very best and brightest mind should be considered for the position no matter what the race – Rachel asks, “But don’t you “feel” good about a Latino getting the nod”.
    Totally asinine.
    Anyone who agrees with her position should be subject to a world full of professionals and technicians ( surgeons, dentists, roofers, plumbers ) where the people in those positions aren’t the brightest, don’t necessarily know what they’re doing, can’t be depended upon to give the best care to you or your loved ones…
    I’d like to see the look on your faces when you are wheeled into the operating room and find out the person holding the knife got there because of social engineering instead of knowledge of the subject. Maybe then you’d see the wisdom in Pat’s argument.
    In the meantime – those of you who agree with Rachel just go ahead ‘feeling good’ about mediocrity for the sake of diversity.
    Sotomayor was asked today, “Does a person have the right to defend themself in their own home if attacked”
    The woman could not answer.
    Could not answer if the second amendment says what it says. Could not answer a question that simple…

    Beam me up Scotty.

  3. Watched the video. Read up on Sotomayor. Not sure where Pat Buchanan is getting his “unqualified” comments. Her bio is incredible. She is obviously very gifted. It is amazing how simple minded Buchanan made himself sound in the argument. He seemed to be unable to see race and power form any other angle than “if someone has power they must have gotten there because they deserve to be there” -except in the case of affirmative action of course (I recommend the book on Affirmative Action by Tim Wise. Really breaks down some misconceptions about it). He actually believes that the 108 white male judges all got there because they were the most qualified and that’s all. . . . .Wow. . .

    1. Renee, I just listened to the clip for the umpteenth time and in no way did Pat say or imply that he believes as you say, “that the 108 white male judges all got there because they were the most qualified and that’s all”
      I heard him say that the majority of the nation was white (90% was his estimate) and that the other 10% were discriminated against. To state fact is not to be biased or racist or to agree or disagree with those facts. He never said those 108 were the most qualified and by admitting that there was discrimination – he most certainly allows for the possibility that there were other’s more qualified.
      He went on to say (giving insight into his own beliefs) that when he sees such things as a line-up at the Olympic race track and it’s mostly blacks, he doesn’t immediately assume discrimination but rather that they are the best and deserve to be there.
      Over and over he tries to make the case for qualifications based on the fact that this nomination is for THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND AND DESERVES THE FINEST MIND no matter what race or gender… and when he makes the case that there most certainly are people on the left more qualified, Rachel simply ignores him (because she knows it’s true?). Pat further pointed out that the President had a list of 4 in which he had only included women for this nomination. Was this nomination (as has been the case in the past by both parties) based simply on gender, race and political bent? . . . NOT on real qualifications that aught to be present in a person nominated to the highest court in the land? I tend to think so.
      I thought Pat made it clear from the start when he mentioned his opposition to the Harriet Meyers nomination that his argument now, as then, is that this nomination is too important to be filled by anything other than the best and brightest.
      You say,: “Not sure where Pat Buchanan is getting his “unqualified” comments.”
      He gets them first and foremost from Sotomayor herself… He uses her own admissions from her own words where she states that she got into Princeton and Yale in spite of her lower test scores ahead of others more qualified. She has said on many occasions that she is the product of affirmative action (as opposed to professional qualifications). He went on to point out that her appointment to the bench so many years ago was an affirmative action move . . . her entire history seems to have been one laced with and enhanced by social engineering rather than the qualifications of herself as a person.

      I would like to point out that it was Rachel who brought up race as an issue in this discussion and kept it there. Further, she worked it over and over so as to try and imply Pat of being racist, which he never gave her reason to do.

      Why is it that when a person (like Rachel) can’t answer a cogent argument and refuses to admit the Left’s hypocrisy (IE… refusing to discuss the Estrada issue… Mr Estrada was as qualified, and probably more so, than Sotomayor but because he wasn’t Liberal\Marxist the left crucified him – “feeling good about a Latino getting nominated for the Supreme Court” wasn’t in the lexicon of the left then…mmmm . . . Why is that? ) and when they can’t\won’t admit they are pushing an agenda rather than upholding a standard of excellence (such as a Supreme Court nominee should possess) they simply pull the race card?

      Why is that? It’s almost treated like a mathematical equation… “I can’t answer your proofs based on the facts – therefore – you are a racist.” Why is that?

      It’s a fact that the Republicans have no stomach for being called racists and they know that they will be if they oppose this nomination based on her qualifications (or any other reason for that matter) – even though the only person who has been shown to exhibit any racism in these hearings has been Sotomayor herself in the case of the fireman. (Which Rachel dismissed and would not address). So, she will be confirmed and it is the country that will suffer . . . again.

      I think that everyone will agree that The New York Times is a Left Wing rag. The other day The Times bemoaned the fact that these hearings have failed to produce useful information in being about to know who Sotomayor is, what she thinks and how she will judge. So, what went on up there? What was this all about? Why call them “Hearings”? Why not just say we’re putting on the usual “Show” in order to get what we want (right or wrong) because we won and we are the ones in power. At least that would be the truth.

      My question to elected officials has always been : “What would you do and how would you act if you actually put the country’s best interest ahead of and instead of your own and those of your party?” I don’t think in this day and age we will ever find out.

      1. Excuse the stream of thoughts, but here they are:

        First of all, we need to clarify that Affirmative action in our country means to look at candidates of EQUAL qualifications and choose someone of a gender or racial minority within this group. Sotomayor’s stating that she is an “affirmative action baby” is not a reflection on her intellect and she knows that. Only those who are ignorant of what affirmative action laws are would think otherwise.
        Pat Buchannon’s statements that Sotomayor’s admission into the schools by affirmative action is an indicator that she did not have the qualifications to be accepted by them is NOT TRUE.
        (He also ignorantly said that he probably did better than her in high school. Well if he was valedictorian of his high school as she was, then they are tied.)

        Pat Buchannon continually said that he does not understand why people question why the 108 previous judges were white males. . He also gives examples of other things that he doesn’t question (white hockey players, black runners, etc). I think that this is HIS WHOLE PROBLEM!!!!! Why is he not questioning?!!!!!!
        Lets wonder why urban black children play basketball and football and why the majority of children on the golf and swim teams are white? Natural talent? or access to pools and golf courses and clubs etc?
        These questions SHOULD be asked!

  4. Lord alone knows why Pat Buchanan is still allowed to be on television.
    You should go to the weblog Little Green Footballs and search his name and you’ll wonder why yourself.
    There is a chronicle of his anti-Semitic and racist bents for all to see; and I’m not talking about the stuff people think they know about…

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