The SCOTUS Band of Theologians
Justice Kennedy’s rapturous ode to love in his written opinion on Obergefell v. Hodges owes more to the tone of the Sermon on the Mount than it does to a legal document. His usurpation of the role of priest and religion is apparent, as he led the four other oracles of the U.S. Supreme Court to redefine for all the institution of marriage. What that decision augers for the future remains uncertain, but it is without question an ominous omen for those who disagree.
It must be heady stuff for the black robed priests of SCOTUS to believe they have decided the fate and social constitution of an entire nation. As the chief justices of the most powerful nation on earth, it should be exhilarating to think their decisions have authority and power even to influence the entire direction of the global community.
But the moments in which the justices wander into the realm of theology rather than law are the very times they have committed the most egregious and grievous errors. It has been when they have attempted to take the measure of the nature of mankind and the worth of human life; it has been when as a band of theologians rather than as a group of lawyers they attempt to define humanity’s most sacred rites and the meaning of humanity itself by means of law that they have wrought the most carnage on mankind and society.
The chief problem with the Obergefell decision is that it attempts to delve into and define what are sacred matters belonging not to the State and not to law, but to God, the Church and the individual conscience. It is not the first time, nor will it be the last time the august court has attempted to deal with matters over which it has no jurisdiction.
In the Dred Scott ruling, the intrinsic worth of a human being was diminished to the status of property. Rather than find the legal concerns about “property” invalid altogether, the Court took the narrower concerns of states’ rights advocates and the classification of human beings as property as definitive for their decision.
However, deciding the worth of a human being was outside their sphere of competence, belonging more properly to theology, particularly Jewish and Christian theology that proclaimed every human being has eternal value as being made in the image of God. The concept was also enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, which stated all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Undeterred by elevated and transcendent concepts that are above and which define law -- not vice versa -- the Court made its decision based on a completely reductionist view of humanity as property, with disastrous and ruinous consequences we are still living with today.
The Court erred disastrously again in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. Again, the justices assumed god-like status by ruling according to their narrow notions concerning the worth and status of human beings before the law and within society. Gone again was the overarching theological concept that established every human being, regardless of race, as equal before the law because of his or her status as human beings fundamentally worthy of equality.
The Court took a diminished view of the human being as defined by and therefore separable by race. It took the position that humans can be compartmentalized within society according to the color of their skin. By refusing to utilize the larger theological concept of humans as having intrinsic worth, and by substituting narrow and tortuous legalities based on the reductionist view of contemporary politics and law, the justices ensured catastrophic results that would play out in Jim Crow laws as well as separate facilities for education -- this is to say nothing of separate water fountains.
In the case of Roe v. Wade, the Court decided to define the worth of human beings according to the contemporary creed of radical feminist prophetesses and their devotees, once again bowing to current political events and the pressures of a narrow, radical element of society. Relying on massively erroneous pseudo science and feminist ideological purity, it ruled the unborn human being was not intrinsically worthy of the protection of the law, but as in the Dred Scott case, was the property of its owner, who had the right to dispose of property as she saw fit. The draconian decision allowed abortion on demand throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy. The result has been the destruction of some 55-60 million unborn children.
Further, the view of unborn children as property rather than as unique and sacred created beings worthy of life has led to unimaginable horrors, Kermit Gosnell’s “clinics” and the sale of baby parts by Planned Parenthood being the most recent. This is to say nothing of the diminishment of medical ethics resulting from the ruling of the Supreme Court of the land.
Unimaginable horrors have resulted from the distorted, attenuated theological (and scientific) viewpoints of a few black robed men and women who wandered into realms and spheres in which they had no standing.
As noted, most recently the Court has ruled that same sex marriage is now the law of the land. Let’s be blunt: The Court has no business redefining marriage according to law, though it certainly can be and has been argued the law has an obligation to support it.
Marriage has been defined by all societies throughout the ages in only one way -- as a union between a man and a woman. In the West, Christianity and Judaism, the history of which goes back at least 4,000 years, have defined and honored marriage as a covenant between man and woman before God. For Christians, the union signifies a mystical truth of Christ’s relationship with his Church. For orthodox Christians and Jews, the marriage contract is a sacred covenant and is not to be redefined by contemporary vagaries of ideology. It is a mystical union that cannot by its very nature, be subject to the laws of mankind. That is why devout Christians and Jews take their marriage vows before God, and therefore not to be broken lightly.
But once again, a few men and women have taken on themselves the role of the oracle of Delphi; or, to put it in Christian terms, the role of prophets, priests and kings, rather than the role of interpreters of law. They have decreed marriage, without any warrant other than the pressure of fanatical leftists, to be any construct anyone decides it to be.
The justices had to know their arbitrary and a-historical, anti-religious decision would put them and their allies in direct and irreconcilable conflict with all orthodox Christians and Jews. They had to know -- or at least sense -- that by putting law in opposition to faith, history and long tradition, they were doing the same things they did in the Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe v.Wade decisions. They had to know they were arrogating to themselves spheres of authority in which they had no say at all. They had to sense they were treading where angels fear to tread.
Now, having declared ex cathedra from the bench of the law what marriage now is to be, the lawyer/theologians will doubtless choose to reinforce their legal junta’s power by forming other decisions inimical to all people of faith in America. Now radical lawyers all over the country will view the SCOTUS decision on marriage as precedent and as the means to enforce their ideological agenda by all measures possible.
Law will be used to trample on faith. Law will take the measure of humanity and its sacred institutions. The force of the law will be applied to dissenters because the Left now believes it has the power to enforce its views on people of faith.
As the last days of WW II drew to a conclusion, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill discussed the future of Eastern Europe with Joseph Stalin. Churchill advised Stalin to carefully take into account the views of the Vatican. Stalin sarcastically responded “How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?”
In other words, I have power. I decide the fate of nations. The Pope of Rome doesn’t.
Powers of the earth, be they Stalin or SCOTUS, often arrogate to themselves power that is not theirs. They believe they can assess and determine human nature, the worth of the Church’s most sacred sacraments and the very direction of history by means of law and the force of law.
They believe they have assessed the situation, know their strengths and have determined the opposition is weak and insignificant. So they pit themselves against the Church and against everything it stands for.
Their opposition always has been and will be in vain.
Stalin and his divisions are long gone.
It is the Christian Church that remains, as she has divisions and powers Stalin knew nothing about. It remains as she always does when she remains faithful to the God it believes and trusts in.
Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her its prize for excellence in systematic theology. A frequent contributor to American Thinker, her articles have appeared in many other online magazines. She has given and is available to give lectures on politics and religion. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org