Maybe it is because she was a media darling and her person and life cultivated a huge following. Perhaps it is our recognition of the importance of the Supreme Court, the third estate, and the significance it has in the government and wellbeing of our nation. Wherever one stands on the political spectrum, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg contributed deeply to advancing the American Dream.
Gifted with an extraordinary intellect and love of the law, and blessed with a superb education, she used her gifts to address inequality in all forms. While she was especially recognized for addressing gender inequality in the workplace, her decisions and writings had far-reaching impact in the areas of racial inequality as well. She so forcefully opened up the issues of equality for all Americans that consciousness of these critical matters became more and more central in the law and in our own lives.
From before the time I played Little League, it has always amazed me how each of us, no matter how young and little, have a sense of what is fair. We may not like it when it rubs against our personal actions, but there is a universal assent to that old saying: What’s fair is fair!
Philosophers, theologians, jurists, and scholars through the ages have supported what is known as Natural Law Theory. This is a system of laws based on values intrinsic to human nature that each person can deduce through reason and faith.
In the middle ages, St. Thomas Aquinas appropriated these theories from the Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Cicero among the Romans. And our own Declaration of Independence has its underpinning in Natural Law, infused with Christianity’s assertion of the dignity of each person.
Justice Ginsburg fought against sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and more for the equality of every person. Her popularity speaks deeply to our human core about fairness for all.
I believe each of us is created by God and within our very DNA we yearn for fairness, justice, harmony, hope, and love. Whenever the law of the land lifts up the essence of these longings, we want to stand and applaud.
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 26/27, 2020
Saint Augustine, a doctor of the church, once wrote that the first, second, and third most important attitude in Christianity is humility. In today’s second reading, Saint Paul is concerned with how we conduct ourselves in our community of faith. He urges us to let our conduct be worthy of the Gospel we say that we believe; and that it all begins with humility.
He asks us to consider others beer than ourselves, and to serve them by looking out for their best interest, not ours. Consider how Saint Paul’s appeal to imitating Christ’s humility can enhance your relationships.