Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
In the summer of 1945 Nazi Germany was defeated. That fall and winter many of the top leaders of the Nazi regime were put on trial and found guilty of crimes against humanity. Justice Jackson in his opening speech famously asked, “Does it take these men by surprise that murder is treated as a crime?” The murder of Jews, gypsies, and other undesirables was not only legal, but legally compelled in Germany. The concentration camps were for all intents and purposes “settled law.”
However, in spite of that 18 men were hanged for following the law. When a law in my town conflicts with a state law then the town law is invalidated since the state is a higher authority. If the state passes a law in conflict with federal law the state law is invalidated. If a federal law conflicts with the constitution the federal law is supposed to be invalidated. If we were the vassal of a larger empire then the empire would be able to override our laws. However, being the strongest military power in the world there is no greater force on earth that can hold us accountable. Yet when we look at the original constitution we see things like the 3/5ths compromise and see that not simply as cultural marker, but as a moral wrong. How is it that we can go back to the highest law of the land and say it is unjust? St. Augustine put it this way, “A law that is unjust is no law at all.” Historically throughout western civilization (post Constantine) the ultimate authority of the law was grounded in God and the imago dei. That is, laws are just of they reflect God’s nature and respect his image bearers. Laws that conflict with God’s nature or harm those who bear his image without cause are unjust. The Nazi regime blatantly and intentionally violated those norms, and the consequence was clearly evil to all but the most depraved. When we look and say “this is wrong” we are not simply saying it is illegal – it was legally compelled. We are also not saying “what is wrong is simply what we agree is wrong” because Nazi Germany agreed to a different standard. Rather we are recognizing that in this world some things comport to a standard that none of us get to choose, and some things violate that standard. The laws are there to codify and enforce the true standard that we all have an intuition of. Not all laws will uphold that standard, and given our imperfections and limitations we may not be able to agree to what the standard is. However, that limitation does not imply that there is no standard any more than physicists disagreeing on physical models proves there is no real physics. Sometimes the laws that are enacted are so egregiously counter to the true standard that those who followed the law are culpable and worthy of punishment. That is what the International Military Tribunal recognized in 1945-1946.
For decades now we have been killing the most vulnerable among us, and have recently grown to celebrating those deaths. On September 11th 2001 at the World Trade Center 2,606 lives met a tragic end. A memorial lies at the site with the names of every person who died that day, including the names of 10 women along with the phrase “and her unborn child.” Every day in cold bronze the reminder is there of the tragedies that we went through as a nation. On January 28th a memorial commemorating the deaths of unborn children sat under a pink glow celebration of the deaths of unborn children. While 2,606 people in New York lost their lives that day, roughly the same number of lives that are lost every 2 weeks from abortion in the same city. In 1859 each slave state in the United States had the authority and power to end slavery and they chose not to. In 1939 Nazi Germany had the authority and power to end their horrific treatment of Jews and Gypsies and chose not to. I truly believe the consequences that levied were proportionate to the injustice performed. I am slightly sickened when I think of the appropriate consequence that our country should bear for our treatment of babies still in the womb.
Today, this very day the Supreme Court had the opportunity to end some small portion of that injustice. Yes, the effect would have been small, but it would have been real. Today, this very day there will be approximately 27 abortions in Louisiana. Twenty seven lives will end, twenty seven souls will be brought home to their creator without ever having learned to love. Twenty seven pure innocent babies who have never done anything wrong, and will never meet their fathers will go to their Father’s arms. If John Roberts had taken seriously his task to administer justice, justice that is true justice, justice that aligns with the law that is higher than the law of men there might have just be 26. Yet John Roberts lies on precedent and settled law, stating that he must uphold what has been upheld regardless of anything else because the highest law is whatever the Supreme Court has said in the past. Never mind that he disagreed when it was said, never mind that the original statement contradicts the actual constitution that he has sworn to uphold, never mind that it treats as trash to be discarded those who bear the image of God. No, precedent is the law to which John Roberts defers. Sadly John Roberts now shares a portion of the guilt for every life that would have lived in Louisiana but does not. That is a guilt that I wish he did not bear, but one I certainly did not place on him.
My prayer now is that Ruth Ginsburg no longer serve on the Supreme Court, and that another who is more worthy takes her place. Next spring I will be praying that Clarence Thomas decides to retire and another equally worthy take his place. I also pray that John Roberts recognize that all authority comes from the Father, and that his ultimate allegiance is not to precedent, or even the constitution. His allegiance and his job is to align justice in this great nation with true justice. I hope and pray that John Roberts in the future makes decisions that protect the weak and uphold the innocent in the future. May there never again be a day when the right of a mother to murder her children be protected by the Supreme Court, may there never again be a day when a memorial to those who died before birth be bathed in a celebration of the unborn dead. If those responsible for justice in this country continue to allow ongoing perversion of justice, may God the Just bring about true justice.