Who Are You To Judge? (Election 2020, Part 2)
Amy Coney Barrett’s ongoing confirmation hearing in the US Senate highlights the criticality of Presidential elections. Indeed, many conservative Christians voted for Donald Trump in 2016 based almost entirely on this issue – the appointment of Supreme Court Justices and judges all across this land.
For the past four decades, the phrase “Judicial Tyranny” has come to the forefront. It’s the idea that instead of adjudicating or interpreting the law, judges at all levels of our society have been making law. Granted, legislating from the bench is often cloaked as “interpreting” or “applying the law.” But from my perspective, it has surely felt like a tyranny foisted upon our society. Things that should come from our State Legislatures and our US Congress, now routinely come down to us at the end of a gavel.
For example, consider how so-called Gay Marriage is now referred to as “the law of the land.” Why? Because of a Supreme Court decision. Abortion. Law of the land. Why? Roe v. Wade.
And yet courts do not make law! At least they’re not authorized to according to our Constitution.
Imagine how a court “discovered” a right to chop up a baby in the mother’s womb imbedded in the words of our US Constitution. I have read it several times. There’s not a single word in it that would compel a reasonable, literate person to conclude the Framers and Authors of that document expected our society to give women the right to murder their babies. It’s judicial insanity. Tyranny. The same could easily be said of Gay Marriage.
Yes, I am an originalist.
That is, I expect Supreme Court justices to interpret the true “Law of the Land” (US Constitution) in a strict and literal manner. What did the original authors mean by what they wrote? What did the words mean in their original context? What they meant then, they mean now. The meaning of a document does not change. Words have objective meaning, else language is pointless. Readers do not determine meaning. Authors do. Instead of reading our situation into a text, we should read the original meaning and situation out of the text. Whatever principles are actually in the text itself, we apply to our own context. But invent principles that are not in the text itself we should not do.
My thinking here should not surprise anyone that knows me. I am, after all, a Reformed Southern Baptist Pastor committed to exegesis (Greek for “to know out of”) of the biblical text in its original context. The only preaching model I desire to follow is Expository. The point of the text is the point of the sermon. The structure of text is the structure of the sermon. What God’s words meant then (when they were written) is what they mean now. Objective truth does not change. Implications of the truth for us today may well vary, but authority resides in the text itself, as the Author gave it to us.
Appointment of judges, and especially Supreme Court Justices, is one of the most significant consequences of a Presidential election. Lifetime appointments may bless or curse us for many generations. Consider that in my entire lifetime, it has never been illegal for babies to be slaughtered in the womb. All because of a few Justices appointed by a President. Imagine an America where 60 million dead babies (the majority of which were precious black babies) are alive and with us today.
The Democratic Party Platform supports federal funding for Planned Parenthood. (PP is one of the most ironic business names in history, by the way. It should be called Avoiding Parenthood Responsibilities.) The party platform cloaks its support of abortion mills in seemingly racially-sensitive language: “We will . . . restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides vital preventative and reproductive health care for millions of people, especially low-income people, and people of color” (p. 33).
Well, PP surely doesn’t provide healthcare for millions of black babies in the womb!
The Democratic Party Platform also explicitly supports appointing judges who “will respect and enforce foundational precedents, including . . . Roe v. Wade” (p. 40). The platform also supports the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which has been used as a club to discriminate against Christian business owners all over America.
The Republican Party platform says, “We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion, or to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than to provide healthcare” (p. 13). The GOP platform also denounces “activist judges” (p. 13).
The distinction and choice could not be clearer.
“Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9).