By Todd Wm. Ristau
(lights up on GEORGE BUSH, standing at a podium.)
BUSH: Theres been, uh, a lot of chatter whispering guessing about my nomination of Harriet People in congress saying she isnt smart enough to be a supreme court justice that shes promised people things that shes just getting nominated because shes the person who gives me legal advice Let me put it this way, you think she isnt qualified and Im just paying back some favors. You people got a lot of nerve, you know that? Im the President. Im an important person and people all over the world recognize that, but you people think you can do better than me. You cant. But, I prayed on it, and I talked to my closest personal advisor last night, and he urged me to withdraw Harriet Miers, and so, thats what Im doing. Not because Im weak, but because Im strong. Im strong enough to know when to just listen to advice and when to actually take it. (pause) And so, Im nominating someone you all already love. Or, if you dont love him, youd better start loving him, because if you dont love him, youre going to have a powerful want of air conditioning in the not too long from now. Heh..heh. (pause) Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next Supreme Court justice of the United States My best friend Jesus.
(GEORGE BUSH walks off stage and JESUS CHRIST enters. A hundred flashbulbs go off. He sits at a long table, wearing a nice suit with a flag lapel pin. He is behind a microphone, pushes his hair to one side and addresses the Senate. Seated in the audience are five SENATORS, who speak without standing.)
JESUS: Thank you. Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished members of the Senate, I am ready for your questions.
SENATOR 1: Mister Christ
JESUS: Senator, you can call me Jesus.
SENATOR 1: Mister Christ, we havent had a lot of time to review your record or your legal paper trail, but you are a public figure and I have to say that some of what is in the public record is of great concern to some of us in the Senate and to our constituents.
JESUS: I understand. Please, feel free to ask any questions you might have. A lot of what a person says in their youth are but stones on the path which takes them to a mature understanding. I recognize there may be seeming contradictions and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.
SENATOR 1: Id like to begin by asking you about your devotion to democracy.
JESUS: Im sorry is that a question?
SENATOR 1: Ive looked through your speeches and writings and I cant find a single mention of democracy or a discussion of individual freedoms in any of them.
JESUS: Senator, I have long used the terms King, King of Kings, and Kingdom of Heaven to illustrate a metaphoric point. If I had the chance to do it again, I believe I would replace that archaic terminology with President, President of Presidents, and Democracy of Heaven.
SENATOR 1: So you do believe in the democratic institutions which make this nation great?
JESUS: I think it is clear that God is in a tight campaign to win the popular vote in the hearts and minds of the people of this nation, and that the granting of free choice to humanity was a tacit affirmation of democratic principles--and the precious right of choice, even if one chooses to make bad choices.
(Jesus smiles, he thinks he scored points with the Senators)
SENATOR 1: So, you are pro-choice?
(Jesus looks nervous, murmurs among senators)
SENATOR 2: If the Senator will yield, I have some questions about the role of the judiciary.
SENATOR 1: I do so yield, but with the proviso that I may return to this important question.
SENATOR 2: Jesus, I have noted in your public speeches several instances of a predisposition toward mercy. If confirmed as a Justice of the Nations highest court, would you administer harsh punishment when warranted?
JESUS: The merciful will receive mercy.
SENATOR 2: Thats what youve said. My constituents are ardently in favor of the death penalty as both a punishment and a deterrent. We are very concerned about your having taken steps in the past to halt the legal execution of an adulteress.
JESUS: Senator, it is true that I halted that execution, however Id like to point out that I later submitted to my own execution.
(Murmers of approval from all senators but #2)
SENATOR 2: But you were not guilty of the crime for which you were executed. Not only were you innocent of that crime but of any crime, and yet you paid the ultimate price for the false accusation! Doesnt your very death therefore stand as an argument against death as a punishment?
(Jesus looks nervous, murmurs from the senators)
SENATOR 3: If the senator will yield
SENATOR 2: I do so yield, but on the proviso
SENATOR 3: Yes. Jesus, many of my constituents are hoping for a strict constructionist to sit on the bench. A judge who will interpret the constitution literally, as the founding fathers intended it, as they wrote it, and not legislate from the bench.
JESUS: George mentioned this to me.
SENATOR 3: Youve said that not one jot of the law can be changed, and yet you have also been sharply criticized for taking a stand against being too strict in the interpretation of law saying that love of the letter of the law blinds one to the spirit of the law. Is that still your position?
JESUS: Havent you read what David did when
SENATOR 3: (confused) Im sorry?
JESUS: When David went into the temple and ate the bread which only the priests were allowed
SENATOR 3: I dont think a parable is appropriate here. We are interested in specific answers to specific questions, not symbolic evasions. Please answer the questionare you, as a judge, there to interpret the law or to create the law?
JESUS: I am not the creator of the law, I am the fulfillment of the law.
(Senators look nervously at each other.)
SENATOR 4: Senator, if you will yield--
SENATOR 3: I do so yield.
SENATOR 4: Im concerned about your position on privacy. I see here in one report of that you said "Nothing which is covered up will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops." Is this accurate?
JESUS: It is.
SENATOR 4: How can a government functionor even a private householdwithout an expectation of privacy?
JESUS: Where nothing is secret, there is no need of lies.
(Nervous murmurs among senators)
SENATOR 1: Jesus, I notice in your "teachings" that you seem to have a bias against wealth and those who have it. Something about a camel and a needle, and if you would be perfect, sell everything you have, including your home, and give everything to the poor.
JESUS: Well, let me explain about that
SENATOR 4: Is it your position that the only perfect people are the impoverished and homeless are to be exalted above the owners of property?
JESUS: I was illustrating, perhaps with hyperbole, that the things of this world can blind you to spiritual truths.
SENATOR 3: (with a chuckle) So, youre saying that if confirmed you will forgo a salary?
JESUS: Is receiving something without sacrifice a satisfactory illustration of justice? Or of value?
SENATOR 4: The senate will ask the questions, Jesus, and you will confine yourself to answers.
SENATOR 5: Jesus, you sound to me like a communist. Frankly, some of us find that very disturbing. America is founded on the principle of a free-market economy and in an era where welfare reform is perhaps the single most import issues facing us, it is alarming that a nominee for the Supreme Court should be on record as having said that everyone should give to anyone who begs of them whatever is asked of them.
JESUS: Poverty issues are very important to me.
SENATOR 5: Yes, that much is clear. Are you, Jesus, anti-wealth?
JESUS: I do not conspire against wealth. It is wealth that conspires against you.
(Murmurs among the senators)
SENATOR 1: Jesus, as you know, this is a nation at war.
JESUS: Ive talked with the President about that a lot.
SENATOR 1: Yes, and frankly, some of the quotes attributed to you have us very concerned about how you would rule in matters directly pertaining to the execution of that war and the fundamental doctrines of
JESUS: The senator is talking about Pre-emption.
SENATOR 2: Yes youve said: "Dont resist one who is evil" and advocated turning the other cheek if struck. You have cautioned against vengeance.
JESUS: The whole "love your enemies" thing has been blown out of proportion, and as the President has tried to convince me, the issue of turning your cheek after being struck is only an issue if you allow yourself to be struck in the first place. I would advocate not being struck. Taking steps to avoid being struck before the striking occurs.
SENATOR 3: Is that the same as saying "strike or be stricken"? Or are you talking about appeasement?
(Jesus looks nervous again, fiddles with the flag on his lapel, senators murmur)
SENATOR 2: Jesus, as a nominee to one of three branches of government Im concerned about the extent of your personal relationship with the President and how that might compromise the separation of powers. Will you continue to have private conversations with the president if confirmed?
JESUS: Yes. I will talk to anyone who talks to me. Id talk to you, too, if you called out to me, no matter what time or what subject.
SENATOR 4: Could you describe the nature of your conversations with the President? Have you ever discussed matters of policy, the execution of the War on Terror, or matters which might come before the judiciary? Is your role that of an advisor or a confidant?
JESUS: When we talk, he mostly does all the talking. He listens very selectively. When I advised him that if your enemy hungers, to feed him; that if he thirsts, you should give him drink, and that by doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head .I think he just heard the coals of fire on his head part.
SENATOR 5: I see. You do not believe in pre-emptive acts of warfare, or in taking just retribution for violent acts against the state? You think the rich are imperiled by their wealth and should give it away to anyone too lazy to work but with enough gall to ask for it You think anyone who asks to be forgiven should be forgiven no matter what their crime You are soft on crime because you think its better for your soul to have your wealth stolen from you than is to "hoard" it .You are a pacifist of the Peace at any Cost school of thought .
JESUS: Senator, I think you are misrepresenting
SENATOR 5: Im trying to get a clear picture of your underlying philosophy and Im not sure I like what Im hearing.
JESUS: Senator, it boils down to this. I think that if you can help, you should help. I think that loving your enemies includes not killing them. I believe that you cannot over come evil with evil but only with good. And I think that there is no crime which can not be forgiven if forgiveness is honestly sought.
SENATOR 1: Thank you, Jesus Youve been very cooperative.
(Long pause Jesus stares up sorrowfully at the audience.)
JESUS: You think Im too liberal to be on the Court, dont you?
SENATORS: (in unison)Well be in touch.
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