Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On the death of Robert Bork: truthful jurists, false Gospels

Judge Robert Bork died today at the age of 84.

My life-circumstance was such that I got to follow a good bit of the Bork hearings, when President Reagan had nominated the great man to the Supreme Court. I never forgot what I heard, and I have never forgiven the unrepentant, corrupt men who maligned and rejected him: Kennedy, Specter, Biden, Metzenbaum, Inouye, Packwood, Chafee, others.

Bork would have been frustrating at times, but he would have been one of the greatest justices in American history. But it wasn't to be.

One of the main issues in those hearings was the issue of originalism, of original intent: that the documents should be read in terms of authorial intent, in terms of the way the Framers meant them to be read. It was not the role of the courts to do justice, arbitrarily and differently defined from fad to fad; it was their role to read, understand, and apply the law as written. Not to legislate from the bench.

Of course the great and specific fear was for the sanctity of one of the greatest "rights" ever fabricated despite the Constitution, but in its name: the "right" to murder unborn children who are inconvenient or imperfect. That was probably the largest single central issue to Bork's opponents.

Admiring the man as I did, I was deeply saddened to read years later that he converted to Roman Catholicism.

This was not only tragic, it was tragically ironic. A man known for insisting that the Constitution be respected as the law of the land, and that it be read according to authorial intent, trusted his soul to an institution devoted to obscuring and perverting the teachings of its putative central document, the 66 books of Scripture. Though he rejected a court that legislated and created law from the bench, Bork embraced a church that did all that and worse with Scripture.

Lest anyone hope that Bork somehow actually heard and believed the Gospel, despite Rome's official dogmas, we must sadly note that he said this at the time: "If you get baptized at my age, all of your sins are forgiven. And that's very helpful."

There you go. One brief external act, and Heaven overlooks Robert Bork's crimes against God.

There is nothing of broken repentance, of a Gospel-tilted worldview; nothing of boasting in Christ, of trusting to His righteousness and His blood alone, by grace alone, through faith alone. Nothing, in other words, of the  Biblical and true Gospel of Christ. Just praise for a ritual... which is Roman Catholicism. As I commented at the time, "How evil must a sect be, that would encourage an old man to take that to the grave as his trust!"

Of course, had Robert Bork read the Bible as he insisted on reading the Constitution, he never would have come within a hundred miles of Rome. He would have seen that salvation comes through faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31). He would have seen that salvation is in Christ alone through faith alone by grace alone (Rom. 3:19—5:21). He would have looked to Christ and God's grace alone for a sovereign work of salvation (Eph. 2:1-10). He would have never tired of glorifying Christ and His saving grace (1 Tim. 1:15; Titus 2:11ff.) — not a ritual.

Of course I hope that someone found Bork and preached the Gospel to him, and that he repented of his trust in deception and believed in Christ. And I can totally believe that the mainstream media would not report such an event, if it occurred.

But if not, then there is yet another soul to be charged against the monstrous institution of the Roman Catholic Church in its centuries-long pursuit of sending more and more souls to a hopeless eternity, trusting in falsities and and rituals and hocus-pocus and vain lies for the salvation we all so desperately need — and which we all can find, in Christ alone.


Kerry James Allen said...

And of course his name lives on in the vile politics of our day.

According to columnist William Safire, the first published use of bork as a verb was "possibly" The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of August 20, 1987. Safire defines to bork by reference "to the way Democrats savaged Ronald Reagan's nominee, the Appeals Court judge Robert H. Bork, the year before."Perhaps the best known use of the verb to bork occurred in July 1991 at a conference of the National Organization for Women in New York City. Feminist Florynce Kennedy addressed the conference on the importance of defeating the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. She said, "We're going to bork him. We're going to kill him politically ... This little creep, where did he come from?" Thomas was subsequently confirmed after one of the most divisive confirmation hearings in Supreme Court history.
In March 2002, the Oxford English Dictionary added an entry for the verb Bork as U.S. political slang, with this definition: "To defame or vilify (a person) systematically, esp. in the mass media, usually with the aim of preventing his or her appointment to public office; to obstruct or thwart (a person) in this way."

Solameanie said...

If you don't mind, I want to link to this post over at my place. I didn't know about Bork's conversion to Catholicism, and I don't think I've read a better worded summation of the tragedy of a late-life, pre-death cannonball jump into the fire. Tragic he didn't get on the court, and also a tragic eternal decision.

DJP said...

Feel free.