ROBERTSON REDUX

Pat Robertson defends praying for the retirement of Supreme Court justices in an LA Times op-ed today. He begins with a historical summary with which I am in agreement:

For more than half a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has acted as a “super legislature” — no longer interpreting the Constitution, but rather writing and proclaiming its own law.

In 1962, it ruled prayer out of the public schools.

In 1963, it ruled the Bible out of public schools.

In 1973, it applied a “right of privacy” not found in the Constitution as the basis for opening the door to the slaughter of more than 43 million innocent unborn children.

Subsequent federal courts ruled that the Ten Commandments were illegal in schools, that statues of Jesus were illegal in public parks and that prayers on a map in North Carolina were illegal. They even ruled that it was illegal for little elementary schoolchildren to give thanks over their milk and cookies at snack time.

Now the Supreme Court has declared a constitutional right to consensual sodomy and, by the language in its decision, has opened the door to homosexual marriages, bigamy, legalized prostitution and even incest.

All of this is true or at least arguable.

The thing is, though, this is all a purely secular-legal-political argument. Except for the reiteration of the prayer policy:

As I have been quoted as saying, one justice is 83 years old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Is it not possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?

Well, presuming there is indeed a God that has omnipotence and acts in mysterious ways, sure. But, while conceding that I’m not a religious man, I can’t imagine God cares much about how the Supreme Court interprets the US Constitution. After all, God hasn’t put it into the minds of the leaders of the vast majority of countries on the planet to establish democracy, liberty, and all the other institutions we take for granted. So, presumably, this means God lets these things take their political course. Or, alternatively, that there is no supernatural force guiding our politics. Either way, going on TV to petition for this seems silly.

(Hat tip: Howard Bashman)

FILED UNDER: Religion
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Ed Nutter says:

    James,
    “I can’t imagine God cares much about how the Supreme Court interprets the US Constitution.”
    (Proverbs 21:1) The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
    (Luke 12:6, 7) Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

    “After all, God hasn’t put it into the minds of the leaders of the vast majority of countries on the planet to establish democracy, liberty, and all the other institutions we take for granted. So, presumably, this means God lets these things take their political course.”
    (Isaiah 1:10-20) Hear the word of the LORD, You rulers of Sodom; Give ear to the law of our God, You people of Gomorrah: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats. “When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

    So what’s happening in those parts of the world where the opressor isn’t being rebuked or the widow defended? For the most part they’re being devoured by the sword.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Ed,

    Interesting, if rather Old Testament-laden. Still, if there’s an ominipotent being out there who cares about Supreme Court fealty to the Constitution and the hairs on my head, he might ought to do something about all the starving kids in Africa who are dying through no fault of their own.

    And, sure, most of the countries run by dictators are doing really poorly. But then so were countries run by Christian dictators when there was such a thing. And, for that matter, the dictators themselves tend to get by just fine.