On Saturday, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court was found dead. He apparently died in his sleep from natural causes at a resort hotel while on a hunting trip in Texas with friends. The man who found him said he looked very peaceful. “He was lying very restfully. It looked like he had not quite awakened from a nap.”
Later that same day, nominees at the 9th Republican Presidential Debate led the charge in demanding that our current President not be allowed to name the successor to the dead Justice. “Delay, delay, delay.” In fact, within minutes of finding out that one of the conservative voices on the Supreme Court had been silenced, people all over the nation were asking what would happen to the current cases before the Court, who would President Obama nominate to fill the vacancy, would it be someone moderate enough that the Senate would approve, or should the Republican-led Senate deny the sitting president the opportunity to place the next Justice on the highest court of the land, effectively saving that decision for whoever will take office after the election.
In the meantime, the Justice’s body was taken to El Paso to be embalmed before being returned to Washington. His family is mourning him. His fellow Justices on the Supreme Court are mourning him. Those who saw him only as a vote for or against their ideology are either horrified that he’s gone or happy about it. Hopefully those who are happy about the change in the makeup of the Court will keep their delight under moderation out of respect for the family of the deceased. Those who feel they lost an important vote on the Court have already shown their disrespect by quickly forgetting the man to focus on how his loss affects their own agendas.
Over the next week or so, Justice Antonin Scalia will be memorialized and remembered as a husband, a father, a great legal mind, a “strict constructionist,” and a member of the United States Supreme Court for nearly 30 years. Much more will be said about how his loss will affect the current Supreme Court and what the Court will look like when a new Justice is finally appointed and confirmed.
As for me, I will pause and remember that a man has died.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
What is it time for you to do?
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What is my mission as an author? It's a tough question, but I believe the goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they really believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.