John C. Richards, the Managing Director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, is not overjoyed about Donald Trump’s pick of Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retired Anthony Kennedy. Here is a taste of his piece at Christianity Today:
This tenuous relationship between judicial appointments and partisanship is why I am less excited about Kavanaugh’s nomination—especially when couched in terms of conservatism. While a more conservative court may be good for America, it hasn’t always been good for Blacks in America.
For many Black Christians, conservative strategies have historically had a disparate impact on our communities.
In Dred Scott vs. Sandford, a conservative court previously held that people of African descent could not be U.S. citizens. For the record, in the history of the Supreme Court, the Dred Scott case is regarded as the court’s worst decision.
Conservative strategies created the War on Drugs in the 1990s that has led to the U.S. far outpacing any other nation in the world in mass incarceration rates—which has resulted in a disproportionate amount of people of color in prisons across our country.
The truth is that many Black Christians aren’t so much looking for a more conservative court as they are looking for a more fair and neutral court—devoid of political influence.
Ultimately, I want to encourage my White brothers and sisters in Christ to temper their celebration a bit. To be fair, many Black Christians would render a hearty amen to right to life and religious freedom issues that led many White Evangelicals to vote the way they voted in November 2016.
But let me be clear here. If there’s any concern about the Black exodus from Evangelicalism, we need to be sure that right to life is a womb-to-tomb issue—valuing human life and rights from conception to death.
We need to be sure that religious freedom and free speech extends to athletes who silently protest social issues in public spaces. We need to call out the hypocrisy of NFL owners who ask athletes to “just play football” and turn around and endorse federal judicial nominations on team Twitter accounts.
To make this nomination about Roe and dough (i.e. the religious freedom highlighted in the Christian baker case) ignores other essential issues Christians should care about—including immigration, health care, and labor laws.
Read the entire piece here.