While we could speculate that the prophecies are still to come, the timing of these prophecies make it appear there is a more certain fulfillment rather than later. Otherwise, why does Jesus put so much stress on the people of island nations such as Samoa and the Philippines to move to higher ground? This would make no sense if the catastrophe would not happen for years. At the end of 2012, Jeffs predicted there would be no 2013, even causing the town’s grocery store to close down temporarily. Does this sound like short-term or long-term prophecies? Despite the many tricks and nuances, it appears that the FLDS prophet is batting .000. Just like in baseball, there are no “do-overs” in creating prophecies.
Many saw the Sherbert decision as a victory for the principle that all religions should be treated equally in the eyes of the law. In this case, South Carolina had a Sunday closing law (similar to the Pennsylvania law noted above) that favored workers who observed Sunday as the Sabbath and protected them against the hard choice imposed on Sherbert and those of other faiths (like the Jewish businessmen in Braunfeld ) whose Sabbath falls on another day. But others saw the ruling as a path to granting special privileges for religion. In particular, they worried that the compelling interest test would tip the balance in favor of religious exercise and would lead to more and broader claims for special religiously based exemptions from legal requirements generally imposed on all citizens.
The great virtue of such a political approach to analyzing the judiciary is that it is not limited to historical revisionism of the Warren court. These lessons are of general significance. The court does not stand outside of American politics, but rather is a part of it. That does not mean that judicial independence is a myth, or that judicial activism raises no problems for a democracy. But it does mean that judicial power is limited and that the court must be understood in terms of the politics of the time. The constitutional innovations of the Warren court were products of the generally confident and ascendant liberalism of the 1960s. The tentative conservatism of the Rehnquist court reflects the incomplete success of the Reagan Revolution. There is no shortcut to social and political change.