Holiness and Justice and Perfidy of the Supreme Court

Last week we began looking at a fourth sign of holiness to accompany those of Joy, Courage and Generosity already named.  Justice is that fourth sign.  Holiness today surely has to do with working for justice: Eco, social, economic, racial, gender and gender diversity justice.

“Kangaroo Court.” Supreme Court photo on Wikimedia Commons; kangaroo photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash

In a rather stark example of synchronicity, the Supreme Court, ostensibly an arbiter of justice, delivered its latest decisions at the same time we began our series on Justice and Holiness. 

The court struck down laws that acknowledge the unjust history in America that treated slaves as 3/5 of a human being and attempted some remedy done these millions of people over hundreds of years by considering race as a partial dimension in accepting students into higher education as well as loan forgiveness.

Not really “the Supreme Court” so much as six members of the Supreme Court, each chosen by avowed operative of a fascist religious cult, namely Leonard Leo.  The same fellow is front and center in photographs of rich white billionaire republican donors buddying up with at least two of these judges on lavish vacations worth multi-thousands of dollars of unreported gift-giving. 

After SCOTUS ruled a web designer entitled to refuse same-sex wedding work based on the First Amendment, the hypothetical case is shown to be based on fraud. ABC News

No court in the country is so compromised as this so-called supreme court.  But they go on and on, lacking any shame whatsoever for their crimes. (Yes, it is a crime for public officials to take bribes and it is a crime not to report such “gifts” and it ought to be a crime to jeopardize the reputation of the third branch of government).   

Advancing blithely on and passing legislation that a clear majority in the country do not want (cf, Dobbs), they act not like a court of  jurisprudence but as another legislative branch making laws and tearing up laws that republican lawmakers could not themselves get passed.

I expect universities to buckle down, dig deep, stir their moral and legal imaginations and create end runs around this mistake.  We shall see.

CNN senior Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic describes the Supreme Court justices’ delivery of their decision and dissent on rolling back affirmative action.

Meanwhile, a minority of the court have spoken out eloquently about these damaging undoings of American justice.  About vetoing loan forgiveness for students, Justice Kagan writes: “In every respect, the court today exceeds its proper, limited role in our Nation’s governance.” 

It will take holiness—and organizing and action and good people running for office and much more including joy, courage and generosity–to move beyond the perfidy of this compromised supreme court.  

To be continued. 

See Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 109-112.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Defend Diversity students outside the Supreme Court as affirmative action cases argued inside – Students for Fair Admissions ,Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Univeristy of North Carolina. Photo by Victoria Pickering on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

How are you undergoing holiness today by working for justice?  What realms of justice are you choosing to work for? What realms of injustice are you choosing to oppose—and how?

Recommended Reading

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book!  Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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9 thoughts on “Holiness and Justice and Perfidy of the Supreme Court”

  1. Avatar

    Of the 8 billion people in the world any number of which may look to bring and injustice upon another at any given time. Whose business is it to address these ‘injustices’? Is grounding a child for misbehaviour in fact unjust? Who is know the answer? There may or may not be injustices in family settings, social clubs, the school yard, the workplace, the government, in domestic and foreign cultures and religions, and in the justice system itself. It is the business of the people in all these settings but not all are in all these settings.
    Do we not need to determine where we fit in and bring justice to those, we encounter on the path we take? Or do we indiscriminately put our nose in other people’s business? It is a ‘free’ world out there and we could be ‘poked in the eyeball’ or literally punched in the nose, for not minding our ‘own store’. We know that the Lord wants us to be champions of our own lives and follow the path with Him. Is the Lord asking us to get involved in every ‘nook and cranny’ of existence when we are looking to navigate capably in our current capacity? Is it possible that we sometimes ‘take on a Moses complex’ and believe we are individually chosen to lead a nation? We need to unabashedly know our place and be as effective as we can be in our place, knowing our place is not in everyone else’s business while we do not mind our own. How can we be both supportive and effective while still minding our own store’?– BB.

  2. Avatar

    In response to the social injustices caused by institutional violence/sin, I have to strongly recommend a current documentary available on Prime Video called “The Lost Century: And How to Reclaim It” (2023). This is the best review I found that summarizes the documentary:

    “An eye opening look at how the corruption of governments and multinational companies go hand in hand for the sake of profit and protection of their wealth at the cost of humanity.
    The well presented documentary guides you through the history, and what could have been if not for the greed of energy companies and their commercial interests. Clean energy solutions buried under aggressive governmental policies… innovative scientists bullied or killed. This is not a cooked conspiracy theorist documentary, this is the real deep state, an expose of self interest groups and the preventable destruction of our earth.”

    What’s extremely sad and shocking about this documentary is that it also reveals that most of our world wide human problems of poverty and suffering due to social inequities/injustices and environmental degradation/destruction could be solved rapidly by clean energy solutions already potentially available.

  3. Avatar

    Just curious: your statement that slaves were considered 3/5 human ….. is that actually written in the constitution or was it the prevailing attitude at the time?

  4. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    How I undergo holiness is through the pathways of solitude and solidarity, the pathways of the mystic and the prophetic. Through the pathway of the mystic and it’s practices of solitude; through listening, observing, reflection, meditation and contemplation, within my sacred communion of relationship with Nature, Mother Earth, all of creation and the Divine essence, present in all; I am taught and learn how to be and live in the reality of solidarity with all; in loving, compassionate, merciful and just ways.

    Through the pathway of the prophet and its practices of giving voice to the truth of this holy way of being and living, I unite in solidarity with others; taking a stand against injustices by bearing witness and testifying to the reality of not only the presiousness, beauty and goodness within the life of the all and the everything of creation; but also the sacredness of our interconnections, interrelationships and interdependence, one upon another. I enter into this holiness, through the daily practice, again and again, of actively doing the best that I can to be and live in right relationship, remaining rooted in love, compassion, mercy and these just ways.

    These small steps that I walk forth in these pathways of solitude and solidarity, as both a mystic and a prophet, expressed in my own unique way, are the gifts I have to give, offered from my Given Self. They may be small, but of no less value in the eyes of our sovereign Creator.

    1. Avatar

      Love your language of “solitude and solidarity”! Names the mystical and prophetic dimensions, surely the via negativa and via transformativa, so succinctly (and by no means excludes the via positiva and via creativa since they include both also). Thank you!

  5. Avatar

    The need for “Justice” is arguably what created the need for a ‘peace process’ in 1 very religious country (Derek Scally)….
    Arguably, free education especially of the type that promotes logic and critical thinking, non violent communication and resilient emotionally mature adults is what is required….
    Not doing anything to restore the losses of a subjugated group is how the ‘enabler'(or bystander effect occurs-Dr J.Darley, Bibb Latane) in the drama triangle (karpman)….. arguably….history shows us that ‘upstream’ is where we find the ’cause’ of behaviour’ (BF Skinner)…if emotionally resilient adults is the goal instead of justice, the world would be exponentially elevated in terms of love and resilient relationships.
    Education is what is freeing us (the long term unemployed families of the 80’s)….all I have is gratitude for ‘subsidised’ 3rd level education….my own parents only made it in school to age 12 due to the unaffordability of education, and I know deep in my soul, education is a privilege and was a privelege for all the White (and Coloured) educated, industrialised, rich and developed families all over the world since the time of the philosophers, everything we learned was word of mouth due to oppression, and yet we knew far more than most, arguably.

  6. Avatar

    It is indeed shocking to know that hate is being exported to other countries. The Netflix documentary, “The Family”, tells of the far right working abroad to support anti-queer laws, with some success. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Family_(miniseries)
    I have experienced injustice, and it is pretty clear what it is; anything that is excluding and limiting people from reaching their full potential, and there are many recognizable forms, as Matthew teaches. We do what we are called to do in our own environment to live out and model Matthew 25: 35-45. There are many organizations that are working for justice, local, national, and international. Why not choose one or two and support their efforts? ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Amnesty International all work for justice. Amnesty International Urgent Action sends out notices of the most egregious injustices, and it is easy to use their examples to contact the authorities in the affected nation–it breaks my heart that some of them are in the U.S. Is any one of these groups perfect? no Are we? no. We do our best with what we have, relying on some sort of higher power, God or whatever works for us.

  7. Avatar

    I make no claim of holiness or any other virtue, but this is no court. The criminals posing as justices in this Extreme “court” are political activists paid to destroy individual rights by a fascist juggernaut that is the real government of this country. The Gang of Six have usurped the duties of Congress and there appears to be no one in Congress with the stomach to challenge the hijacking of their power. They force a decent president to use the executive order option to get ANYTHING done at all, since the republican enablers in Congress obstruct every effort and force all conflict to go before the Extreme “court” in order that their agenda be stamped with approval by the unopposed Gang of Six.
    The country will not stand in the face of this deconstruction.

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