Justice Scalia had many admirable attributes as a constitutionalist. He was perhaps best known for his originalist perspective. That means basically he believed the constitution should be interpreted as originally intended by its framers.
Justice Scalia’s stand has been attacked by the contemporary philosophy of progressivism. Ironically one of his personal friends on the high court was Ruth Bader Ginsburg who subscribes to the concept of a ‘living constitution.’ A general perception of a living, or dynamic, constitution is that it should be updated periodically to reflect the changing cultural and moral values of America.
A constitutional originalist would logically be closely associated with conservatism. Conservatism is not a term found in the Bible, but according to Webster it means to preserve, or keep, what is established based on tradition. Other synonyms would include ‘maintain,’ ‘guard,’ and ‘protect.’
Now then, let’s direct this discussion to Biblical precepts.
The Bible states unequivocally that God establishes the laws for mankind, and we already know His laws are immutable and non-negotiable, i.e. compromise is not an option. So it’s clear that disobedience to God’s laws have severe consequences.
It all began in the second chapter of Genesis with God’s initial commandment given to Adam.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:16-17
Now the fruit of the tree wouldn’t cause death, but disobedience to God’s command would cause Adam’s death. And we know the rest of that story.
A couple millennia later, shortly after God made His timeless covenant with Abraham, God proclaimed that Abraham was trustworthy to keep and pass on His commands, both within his family as well as in following generations.
“For I have known him (Abraham), in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” Genesis 18:19
The Hebrew word for ‘keep’ is very similar to Webster’s definition of ‘conservatism.’ Synonyms include ‘observe,’ ‘hold,’ ‘retain,’ and ‘obey.’
After Israel’s bondage in Egypt, while in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land, God revealed His standard of righteousness and justice to them.
God also gave a strict warning relative to altering the law in any way.
“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe…You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” Deuteronomy 4:1-2
Remember, ‘observe’ is synonymous with ‘keep.’ There were to be absolutely no additions to, nor subtractions from, God’s law. Man was not to impose his own standard of what was considered ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’
Thereafter, God established His judicial and court system to monitor Israel’s obedience to His laws and commandments.
“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates (towns), which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe…You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live…” Deuteronomy 16:19-20
God had given Israel all they possessed; therefore, He had full right to determine and impose His definition of justice and its administration.
The Hebrew word ‘pervert’ means to ‘subvert’ or ‘overthrow.’
And significantly, all judgment was to be done without partiality. There was to be no leaning to the right or to the left.
The contemporary concept of ‘balancing the Supreme Court’ defies all reason as well as scorning God’s immutable instructions.
And thus it was, Justice Scalia was despised by those with a bent towards progressivism for the same reasons constitutional conservatives held him in high esteem. Everyone can decide for themselves if he will be missed or mocked.
As would be expected, his replacement will be closely scrutinized and vetted.
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