It’s been over a week since I sat in the august chamber of the United States Supreme Court, listening to Chief Justice John Roberts deliver the most watched-for opinion in as long as 40 years. It was a real roller-coaster ride for me–just about as terrifyingly brief as the theme park version. As the Chief began, it seemed clear a majority of the justices had shot down the president’s signature legislation. A moment later, it became clear they had not. I went outside the court, addressed clergy and lay activists, did a few media interviews, then laid prostrate on the pavement in repentant prayer for a government that had egregiously violated it’s God-given boundaries.
Having said that, I must tell you two more things: I found myself in deep conflict. I know many people who will benefit greatly from this law–my own family members among them. I was deeply concerned for those who thought if the law had been struck down, they would have been bereft of the health care they so desperately need. I’m sorry for those anxious months of waiting. Of course, only time will tell whether government can deliver on its many promises. After all, it has let us down more than once. My greater concern, though, is for the unwilling patients–that is the pre-born and “being-born” for whom the government is sure to deliver its promised maiming and death. The health care law will be a huge boost to the abortion industry and to its merchants of death and suffering.
Now for the second thing I wanted to say, which may be harder for me to explain. I don’t blame John Roberts for any of this. John Roberts did not make the law on which he ruled. That was the Congress at the instigation of the President. I blame them. John Roberts did what I would expect him to: he held to his convictions. He doesn’t want the Court to be an activist one for the right or for the left. The way I know John Roberts, I believe he was quite sincere in believing this was the way to accomplish that objective.
I know plenty of my colleagues and friends–especially the Supreme Court lawyers among them–strongly disagree with me. They believe John Roberts abandoned his conservative, constitutionally-based beliefs. Well, I’ll leave the legal analysis up to the legal experts. They’ll determine how sound Robert’s constitutional reasoning was. My concern is only the judgment of the man I know; a man of sincere Christian faith, deep devotion to his family, and love of his country. He also has a brilliant mind, yet he remains remarkably humble and very approachable.
From my pastoral perspective, John Roberts is a good man, even if, in the estimation of many, he made a bad decision in this case. I’m enough of a Calvinist in my theology to believe none of this escapes the knowledge, nor will, of an Almighty God. If it reminds us of anything, it’s that we can never place our ultimate hope for anything in the hands of human beings. God is our source. We must always turn to Him–and not to government–to help us. The liberals cannot save society–as they have hoped to do for more than a century now–and, now we know, neither can the conservatives!
Please continue to pray for Chief Justice John Roberts and his family. I’d be overjoyed to tell him you are doing so.
PS Perhaps the worse news for many: It’s back in our hands as the electorate. Pray for your members of Congress, then contact them. Tell them how you feel and what you want them to do. Write the President. Write Mitt Romney. (Or, Ron Paul, for that matter!) Get registered–and vote. Then, perhaps you won’t need anything from John Roberts or anyone else. You will have been used by God in answer to your own prayers!