On matters such as abortion access, the death penalty, equal rights for gays and lesbians, and other "hot" topics, there has been considerable change during the intervening centuries. However, today's understanding and is immaterial when it comes to interpretation of the Constitution as an enduring document.
Bruce Hausknecht, spokesperson for the Fundamentalist Christian group for Focus on the Family Action, said that conservatives hoped President Bush would nominate a strict-constructionist to replace Justice O'Connor, who resigned in mid-2005. He said:
Further comments on analogies to the religion:
A strict constructionist approach to the constitution and legislation bears many points of similarity to a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation of religious documents. Within Christianity, for example, many fundamentalist and other evangelical believers regard the Bible as being God's word: text written by human beings under the inspiration of God and thus inerrant (without error). They concentrate on the meaning of passages as they were written down by their authors thousands of years ago.
Perceiving the constitution and legislation as living documents bears many points of similarity to more liberal interpretation of religious documents. Within Christianity, for example, many believers view the Bible as containing attempts by the author to promote their religious and spiritual beliefs. Some of this material was of significance only for the late bronze-age, pre-scientific tribal culture in which the books were written. Some biblical passages are regarded as profoundly immoral if applied to today's culture.
Vincent Crapanzano, a professor of anthropology and comparative literature at the Graduate Faculty of CUNY, has written a book titled "Serving the Word: Literalism in America from the Pulpit to the Bench." It discusses literalism as a judicial and religious philosophy. 2 Publishers Weekly's review of the book states, in part:
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