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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tom Parker: A Justice After God's Own Heart

“I am so thankful that, even in these perilous times, the Lord continues to give us sign after sign of hope. Every time a godly leader demonstrates that he fears God more than man, the Lord reminds us that He has not abandoned this God-blessed nation.” — Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Ministries

These words, in a statement issued in April of this year, were written in reference to a man I mentioned briefly in my first post: Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker. At the time of the entry in question, all I knew about Justice Parker was from reading his dissenting opinion last weekend. Since then, I have endeavored to learn more, and the more I learn, the more I admire this man, and the more I desire to follow in his footsteps.

Sovereignly placed into office in November of last year, Parker ousted one of the very opponents who stood against former Chief Justice Roy Moore on the issue of whether or not the state can acknowledge God. As was only fitting, Roy Moore himself swore Parker into office on January 14th of this year, and Parker immediately began following in his footsteps. After only a few months in office, Parker distinguished himself by being the only sitting state Supreme Court judge to speak out, at the death of Terri Schiavo, against the judicial tyranny and executive abdication of responsibility by those authorities empowered by law, but who failed to use their abilities to save Terri’s life. The state-sanctioned killing of Terri Schiavo, said Parker, was a “shameful miscarriage of justice” in violation of the Constitution of the State of Florida and as a direct result of "public officials lacking moral courage and fearing man rather than God.” In the aftermath of countless elected officials allowing their principles to be entombed by political pragmatism, Justice Parker refused to compromise the truth:
"By unduly exalting the judiciary and excusing the executive and legislative branches of government from their constitutional duty to protect life and the most vulnerable members of our society, the Schiavo case establishes a dangerous precedent of judicial supremacy."

"Thomas Jefferson warned us of the dangers of judicial supremacy: 'To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.' Sadly many elected officials are content to accept such despotism because it helps them avoid controversial issues."
In a day and age where leaders of principle are few and far between, there are several things you quickly recognize about Tom Parker. The first and foremost is that he fears God more than man and is consequently the personification of principled, Christian leadership. He is a skilled thinker who understands the Constitution, but more importantly recognizes the Christian presuppositions of all law. Finally, in a demonstration of great wisdom and foresight, he has surrounded himself with strong, Christian legal minds and a staff that will stand with him and not give in to the pressures of those who viciously oppose the truth. On all accounts, Alabama Justice Parker is a justice after God’s own heart.

I have full confidence that, like Roy Moore, when persecution rears its ugly head, Tom Parker will not back down. Pray for him, that God will strengthen, sustain, and protect him. And pray with him, that God will raise more likeminded leaders, even among ourselves, in fulfillment of His promise through the mouth of Isaiah, “I will restore your judges as in days of old, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called, The City of Righteousness, the Faithful city.“

Amen, Lord. Let it be so.