Fun Facts of Lent, Day Four: Reflections on the Death of Justice Scalia

There was a bible verse I was trying to find today, and in looking it up I made the foolish mistake of reading the comments section on a religious article. “Why do people need a bible verse to convince them to do the right thing?” a commentator asked.

I don’t think people need bible verses to make good decisions, however I have noticed the right verse can do wonders towards pushing me in the right direction. For example, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today. To put it mildly, I was not a fan of Justice Scalia’s work on the Supreme Court. I disagreed with a number of decisions he made over the years. One could go so far as to call him an enemy of mine, since he fought on the opposing side of political battles that meant a great deal to me. But today on my social media accounts I was bombarded with “thanks for the empty seat” sentiments and “ding dong the witch is dead” memes. Something about it didn’t sit right with me. I couldn’t find the words to describe what felt wrong. So I found something else to push me in the right direction.

Ginsburg and Scalia ride an elephant in India in 1994.

Ginsburg and Scalia ride an elephant in India in 1994.

The verse is a bit different in Matthew and Luke, but the sentiment is the same: There’s no virtue in only showing love to people you already like. It’s easy to love people who love us. It’s easy to like people who agree with us. Being nice back is not a struggle, it’s our natural human response. Everybody does it. I’ll bet the same people posting memes now will call Ruth Bader Ginsburg a natural treasure when her time comes. And while I’d say she is, so was Scalia. Because both have spent lives in service to a country they loved, speaking and writing intelligently on matters they cared passionately about. Perhaps it is no surprise that they were such good friends.

The sun shines on both the good and the bad. The rain feeds the crops of righteous and unrighteous alike. So it would seem that God’s standard for judgement is quite different than ours, and perhaps that is from whence we should take our cue. Jesus said to treat others as you would want to be treated. But there’s an unspoken caveat to that statement: do it even if you don’t like how they are treating you. So consider how you would want others to speak about you after you’re gone, and do likewise. It’s not always easy. But if you need some encouragement, here’s something you could read:

Matthew 5:38-48

Luke 6:27-36