Joe Biden entered the 2020 presidential race recently. A veteran of the Senate and two other presidential bids, Biden is certainly no newcomer. It remains to be seen whether his longevity in politics is an asset or a liability.
After his announcement, the focus turned almost immediately to the Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings and Anita Hill’s testimony accusing Thomas of sexual harassment. When neither of my kids had heard of these hearings and their importance, I had to remind myself that this was some 30 years ago!
The news cycle focused on Biden’s chairmanship of these hearings and the discriminatory way the Ms. Hill was treated by the Senate committee at that time. Biden, as chairman, is still held accountable.
Biden’s announcement and the focus on those long-ago confirmation hearings coincided with the conclusion of our Confirmation Program here at FCC. So I found a connection.
Every time I lead this class, I always emphasis to our youth that whatever Statement of Faith they develop now as part of the program is only to represent what they believe right now. This is important because our faith should always evolve over time based on our lived experience. Our relationship with God should never be stagnant but rather a dynamic part of our lives.
It got me thinking. What if I were held accountable for my beliefs in God 30 years ago? Or my actions and political beliefs at that time? It is not that we should all have the chance to evolve in our thinking, it is that we all NECESSARILY evolve in our thinking simply by being alive. Hopefully, we should all be able to look back on our lives and see how we have changed for the better.
Was Anita Hill treated fairly during those hearings? Certainly not. Was Joe Biden responsible? Yes. Would he do things differently today? Also yes. Accountability is important, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think any of us would want to be judged by who we were 30 years ago. I certainly wouldn’t want our confirmands to be held to the Statements of Faith they shared on Sunday 30 years from now.
Who we are today is what matters. In fact, it is all that we can control, really. It is from who we are today that we can craft who we will be tomorrow and in the years to come.
Everyone should have that chance.
See you in church,