Once again, the big news of the week reminds us of our mortality and of our ultimate pending fate. If 2020 has taught us anything, it ought to be how fragile life truly is and that, as James 3:13–15 cautions us, we should never take tomorrow for granted. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed from this life on Friday due to metastasized cancer. While the temptation is strong to immediately begin the political calculations of what this may mean for the balance of power on the Supreme Court, the future of Roe v. Wade, and how all this will effect the 2020 elections, let us not be so hasty in our ambition that we forget that a human being has died, and her soul is now entering into eternity. Before arguing with our co-workers and friends about whether or not President Trump should immediately nominate Justice Ginsburg’s replacement or whether it would be hypocritical for Mitch McConnell to vote on such a nomination before the November election, let us instead use this opportunity to have the most important conversation possible.
Formerly a Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law and Columbia Law School, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was instrumental in launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973–1980. She was appointed a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980 before being chosen in 1993 by President Bill Clinton to be the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. As a pioneer and staunch proponent of gender equality and women’s rights, Justice Ginsburg became a pop-culture icon. Now, perhaps our nation’s most iconic judge finds herself standing before the ultimate Judge.
It was no secret that Justice Ginsburg struggled with favoritism when ruling from the bench. First-and-foremost, she was an ideologue who was all-too willing to view the law through a political lens. Among other things, this led her to consistently favoring the LGBTQ community in her rulings. Most notably, she supported a 1996 decision that lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual people are a constitutionally protected class, and she ruled in 2015 that same-sex marriages are a constitutional right. In fact, she personally performed numerous gay weddings and officiated a gay U.S. ambassador’s vow renewal.
Furthermore, Justice Ginsburg consistently championed the right for women to kill their unborn children. In a 2007 dissent she even declared partial birth abortions to be “necessary and proper.” Many have long considered her to be the primary obstacle to seeing Roe v. Wade overturned.
Justice Ginsburg’s positions on LGBTQ issues and abortion gained her popularity and a near cult-like following in this life. Even before her death, history ruled in her favor with numerous books, documentaries, and movies immortalizing her name and achievements. However, Ruth Bader Ginsburg must now stand before her creator and give an account for how she lived her life (Rom. 14:12). Unfortunately, we can be certain that God will not judge her as favorably.
I dare say that God will not view Ginsburg as a champion of equality and justice because her equality came at the expense of the unborn, and her justice was limited to those who were both born and had the “right” ideology. If anything, Ginsburg is likely to be judged a champion of evil by God. She spent a lifetime opposing God’s moral law by advocating for the murder of innocent babies who were created in the image of God and openly thwarting God’s created design and purpose for gender and human sexuality. As such, she finds herself on the wrong side of God’s warning in Isaiah 5:20, 23, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter … and deprive the innocent of his right!”
Perhaps most importantly, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a non-observant Jew who did not communicate any interest in following Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Tragically for Ginsburg, Jesus taught, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). By all accounts, it appears that Justice Ginsburg rejected her only means of salvation from death and eternal separation from God (John 3:36; 2 Thess. 1:9).
Historians and cultural commentators may judge Ginsburg well, but how will God judge her now that she is standing before a holy God, whom she fought against her entire life. It may be that her place in history has come at the expense of her soul. This ought to be a stark reminder to every one of us that we should be more concerned about God’s judgment than we are about the judgment of history. Every one of us will eventually give an account to God for how we have lived our lives (Rom. 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:9–15). When that day comes, there will be no opportunity to appeal the decision (Rev. 20:11–15).
Far more important than the balance of the Supreme Court, the future of Roe v. Wade, or the effect all this may have upon the 2020 election is whether or not we are prepared to stand before the divine Judge. As such, let us first focus our conversations on ensuring that we’ve settled this question before becoming distracted with the inevitable political fight that is brewing.
1. “Profile of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” On the Issues, n.d. Accessed September 21, 2020. https://www.ontheissues.org/Profile_Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg.htm.
2. Becker, Jim. “Justice Ginsburg: 25 Years Supporting LGBTQ People, Others.” Baltimore out Loud, August 17, 2018. http://baltimoreoutloud.com/wp/justice-ginsburg-25-years-supporting-lgbtq-people-others/.
3. “Breaking: Supreme Court Upholds ‘Partial Birth’ Abortion Ban.” Think Progress, April 18, 2007, 2:16 p.m. https://archive.thinkprogress.org/breaking-supreme-court-upholds-partial-birth-abortion-ban-5701c65ad35/.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.