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- by Linn Barnes

I was raised Catholic, and although I am no longer actively part of the church, the basic dogma has never left me. People joke about 'Catholic Guilt' and rightly so, but it is real. What it means, or, implies, is not complicated or esoteric. When you are raised 'Catholic', as in most of the world's great religions, you are instilled with a 'working moral compass', a ground-in set of do's and don't's that stays with you for life. At least that's the idea. Of course, the Church (God) provides sanctions and housing for the most egregious of sinners in someplace called 'hell', but also relief for repentant sinners and a means to seek forgiveness called 'confession', which, if you really mean it, can get you back on the straight and narrow with a clean slate. Sins are categorized from 'venial'. everyday smaller transgressions, to the much more serious 'mortal' sins, like rape, murder, etc.. With all this in mind, Brett Kavanaugh is a conundrum. How could he have led the life he describes and still maintain his profound devotion? All I can assume is that he must have kept the confessional seat plenty warm for a very long time. And, in particular, 'thou shalt not lie', and if you do, you must confess and redeem yourself, or, you will suffer dire 'consequences.' He lied openly and repeatedly in front of the entire known universe. He has made no attempt to atone for what we all witnessed. The assault on Dr Ford in their teen years is, in spite of her eloquent testimony, unfortunately, more difficult to 'prove'. I choose to believe her, but I cannot prove it. Whether I need to prove it is another question altogether. The other accusations are equally difficult, so I suppose only his Father Confessor will know, maybe, since there is every reason to believe he is a 'selective confessor'. I met Chief Justice Roberts, a devout Catholic, after a concert Allison and I gave some years ago. While our politics may differ, he is a calm and brilliant man. He has demonstrated this all of his life. Brett Kavanaugh is not this man. His path is in every way suspect. That should be enough to disqualify him, but, apparently for the Republican majority he gets a pass. Where are the sins at this point? I think they are certainly heaped in spades on Kavanaugh, but they also must be counted among the cynicism and hypocrisy of the ruling majority. Can sins be collective? Yes, I think we can say there have been historical instances of 'collective sinning' by certain nation states for instance. However, I think the culpability, in this case, rests with the individuals who must choose to endorse Kavanaugh's appointment or reject it, the supposedly responsible members of our Congress. Where shall they go to atone for this appointment and upon whose ears shall their confessions fall, if at all...