Monday, April 09, 2007

Regent Univ.: Christ Almighty What a Pal

One of the back stories of the U.S. attorney scandal -- you know, the one that Republicans said would quickly fade -- is the major role that graduates of Pat Robertson's Regent University law school have played in the Bush administration.

Some 150 Regent University alumnae have signed on with Bush, but that is what televangelist founder Robertson intended. The school's motto is "Christian Leadership to Change the World" and the express goal is, as Slate scribe Dahlia Lithwick puts it:
"Not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America but also to enmesh the two."
This bring us to Regent alumna Monica Goodling, who until Friday was senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Justice Department liaison to the White House. Monica is spending more time with family these days after resigning because of her insistence on taking the Fifth Amendment when called to testify before a Democratic-controlled congressional committee regarding the scandal. This, she explains, is because she is concerned that she will get into big trouble for telling the truth.

More from Lithwick:
"Is there anything wrong with legal scholarship from a Christian perspective? Not that I see. Is there anything wrong with a Bush administration that disproportionately uses graduates from Christian law schools to fill its staffing needs? Not that I see. It's a shorthand, no better or worse than cherry-picking the Federalist Society or the American Bar Association. I can't even get exercised over the fact that Gonzales, Karl Rove and Harriet Miers had their baby lawyers making critical staffing decisions. The baby lawyers had extremely clear marching orders.

"No, the real concern here is that Goodling and her ilk somehow began to conflate God's work with the president's. Probably not a lesson she learned in law school. The dream of Regent and its counterparts, such as Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, is to redress perceived wrongs to Christians, to reclaim the public square and reassert Christian political authority. And while that may have been a part of the Bush/Rove plan, it was only a small part. Their real zeal was for earthly power. And Goodling was left holding the earthly bag.

"In the end, Goodling and the other young foot soldiers for God may simply have run afoul of the first rule of politics, codified in Psalm 146: 'Put not your trust in princes, in mere mortals in whom there is no help'."
More here.

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