There’s more at stake for America today than probably any other day in my lifetime. It’s very rare that a president gets to make a Supreme Court nomination. Yet the president elected today will likely make three or four of those nominations, if time marches on. How much does that matter? More than you or I can imagine. Surely more than I want to contemplate if the Democratic party claims the White House.
Because of one vote in the Court, Americans are allowed to exercise their religious freedom in the work place. You remember that case—the Hobby Lobby case. It’s been huge in the protection of the consciences of Bible-believing business owners. That case was won for Hobby Lobby by a margin of one vote. It was five to four.
So was the voting in the Heller case. You know, that’s the one that struck down the prohibition of citizens in the District of Columbia owning handguns. It’s the one that protects your right to own a gun. Five to four. We were within one vote of losing the second amendment right to bear arms.
It was five to four in the case that prevented the removal of crosses from public lands. Justice Kennedy stated the essence of that Supreme Court decision: “…the Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion’s role in society.” But barely does it “not oblige”. Once again, one vote saved the day.
It was five to four in the case of Dale vs. Boy Scouts of America in which the Boy Scouts were protected from forced acceptance of homosexual leaders. One vote made the difference that day in the year 2000. (In 2015 the Boy Scouts of America ended their ban on gay leaders. But the ramifications for all associations/clubs would have been great, were it not for that one vote that effectively reversed the decision of the lower court.)
The tide will be turned in the Supreme Court today. In one direction or another, the course of our country will be set by the electorate will of the people. The Democratic party platform reads:
“We will appoint judges who defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, and will protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion…”
It’s important to know that this statement is in the first line under the heading of “Appointing Justices”. It’s not even under “Reproductive Rights” or “Abortion”. This platform would like to make it crystal clear that, of all of the various subjects of appeal heard by the Supreme Court, this is the one subject specifically chosen and lauded to be the litmus test for Court nominees should Hillary Clinton win the White House. Prospective justices will never be pro-life. The fate of millions of babies will effectively be decided today.
On the other hand, here is a quote from the 2016 Republican platform. This is not found in any section about justices. It’s in a section called “The Fifth Amendment”—a portion of a larger section called “A Rebirth of the Constitution.” There are strong words therein—words that ignite hope in people like me who grieve over the 1.3 million still killed yearly in America. Here are a few of them:
The Constitution’s guarantee that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property” deliberately echoes the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that “all” are “endowed by their Creator” with the inalienable right to life. Accordingly, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.
We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare. We urge all states and Congress to make it a crime to acquire, transfer, or sell fetal tissues from elective abortions for research, and we call on Congress to enact a ban on any sale of fetal body parts. In the meantime, we call on Congress to ban the practice of misleading women on so-called fetal harvesting consent forms, a fact revealed by a 2015 investigation. We will not fund or subsidize healthcare that includes abortion coverage.
We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
One platform will prevail. That’s right. It will not merely be a candidate which wins. It will be a platform. An ideology. A basis for court appointments and, ultimately, decisions that will bear on our ability as Christians to freely practice Christianity. I believe the goodness—even the vitality–of the republic hangs in the balance today. Oh, I know we will go on practicing Christianity whether it is legal to do so or not. I know we will be Christians even if persecution against Christians becomes a reality in America. I know our true citizenship is not registered in the republic of our birth, but in the monarchy of our second birth. Still, I love the gospel and I hope it can have free course in our United States throughout the lives of my grandchildren. I hope they can freely conduct business without spiritual compromise. I hope they can demand rights as parents over the decisions made by their minor children. I hope they can teach all of the counsel of God in America during their lifetimes—even the parts about homosexuality and the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. (There’s some strong language in the platforms about that, too.)
Today is consequential to that end. Remember when you mark that ballot: It’s a platform for which you vote…a platform that will permeate the decisions made in the most influential governing body in the United States of America. Let freedom ring for all of our children and grandchildren.