The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has certainly demonstrated the current political and cultural polarization of our country. It is a tragedy to see the humanity of Justice Scalia lost in light of the position he held on the nation’s highest court. However, one might argue this seemingly heartless behavior is really a tribute to the faith, values and work of the man. When the legacy of a man is bigger than the man himself it is a testament to a life well lived.
Justice Scalia was a defender of life, marriage and individual rights. He championed a conservative understanding of the Constitution. His wit, rhetoric and quick thinking were quite legendary around the court. Such a person takes on a persona which supersedes one’s mortality. While there are many who will mourn the man, there are many more who will ridicule or cheer his legacy.
Justice Scalia once said, “Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” Could there be a better epitaph for a man of faith and principle? Justice Antonin Scalia will be greatly missed for the practice of his faith as well as his wit, charm and sense of humor. There have been few public servants in the life of our country who truly have been bigger than life but Justice Antonin Scalia was one of them.
May our own passing be of such impact that those left behind will miss not only our presence but what we stood for while present.