In our age of hyperbole it’s tempting to call June 2018, especially the last few days, some of the most important for generations to come, judicially speaking. So, I won’t do that.
I will say, however, that we’ve just witnessed some very important stuff.
From the beginning of the month with the Masterpiece Cakeshop reversal and continuing through decisions regarding a Washington florist and California crisis pregnancy centers, the Supreme Court has exhibited a rightward shift in the judiciary. Yesterday’s announcement from Justice Anthony Kennedy of his impending retirement made it even more so.
It’s time to say it. Those who checked “Donald J. Trump” as president on the first Tuesday of November 2016 strictly for a Supreme Court seat are justified in their choice based on that reason. Criticize the president for other things – and yes, there are many things over which the president deserves criticism – but today those who voted for him on this point alone have to feel vindicated.
Because now, the president is set to nominate the same number of Supreme Court justices in his first term that Clinton, Bush, and Obama did in in their eight years in the White House. That means should he be a one-termer or have to step down for some other reason, the president would already leave a long-term effect on the highest court in the land. Already, there are predictions he could get a third nominee considering the age of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 85.
“It may be quite some time before a president will have the opportunity to so clearly and decisively impact the judicial philosophy of the Court,” wrote National Review’s David French.
Religious liberty is a foundational aspect of our republic. Like other conservatives, I’m very happy with these developments. However, be careful about falling into the same trap as those less-than-thrilled with this week’s events.
I don’t feel it necessary to give examples here; you know how to Google. Just trust me the usual characters weren’t happy and chose very colorful ways to express it.
Want to know where someone’s treasure lies? See how they respond to something being taken away. They can get dramatic and lose focus on what’s really important. I know this because I live in SEC Country. People sit in sackcloth and ashes for a week because a field goal pushes wide right.
Want to know where people find their peace? Check out their social media feeds. Today, many of us have shelved our filters and feel the need to comment on every. single. topic. Pausing and thinking something over has become a lost art. The result is we know pretty much what others are thinking at practically any time. We became 1984 and did it willingly.
Accepting the gospel begins with understanding our need for a Savior. You’ve probably heard the phrase “God-shaped hole.” We want to know we have meaning, a purpose. Dismissing the existence of God doesn’t eliminate that desire. I’m not the first to come up with this theory, but as more people deny God’s existence, they have to put that faith somewhere else. Many, it appears, place it in politics.
Politics matter. Elections matter. However, Christians don’t put their trust in chariots, our peace comes from the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7; Isaiah 31:1).
We’re called to be involved in the culture to help redeem it toward the gospel. That includes the political process. Be happy when elections and judicial decisions go your way. Regroup when they don’t. In either case, remember the heavenly kingdom of which those of us in Christ are citizens.
Sure, be knowledgeable and active in earthly politics. But don’t consider it your salvation.