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Scalia: Constitution Permits Court to Favor Religion over Non-Religion

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Jul 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I think much of the rest of the court disagrees and I think Scalia is reading too much into into the establishment clause.

    Antonin Scalia Says Constitution Permits Court To 'Favor Religion Over Non-Religion'

    The separation of church and state doesn’t mean “the government cannot favor religion over non-religion,” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued during a speech at Colorado Christian University on Wednesday, according to The Washington Times.

    Defending his strict adherence to the plain text of the Constitution, Scalia knocked secular qualms over the role of religion in the public sphere as “utterly absurd,” arguing that the Constitution is only obligated to protect freedom of religion -- not freedom from it.

    “I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over non-religion,” the Reagan-appointed jurist told the crowd of about 400 people.

    “We do Him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” the conservative Catholic justice continued. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution.”

    Earlier this year, Scalia joined the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Town of Greece v. Galloway, which held that the New York town could continue opening legislative sessions with sectarian prayers.

    Scalia has since used the case to press for the approval of public prayers in schools, legislatures and courtrooms.

    In June, Scalia criticized the Supreme Court for declining to review Elmbrook School District v. John Doe, a case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that a public school district's decision to conduct graduation ceremonies in a church violated the Establishment Clause.

    In a dissent joined by Justice Thomas, Scalia argued that “at a minimum,” the Supreme Court should remand the case for reconsideration, noting that “the First Amendment explicitly favors religion.”

    On Wednesday, Scalia also criticized members of the Court who champion a more evolving, “living” view of the Constitution -- a judicial philosophy he has previously said only an “idiot” could believe.

    “Our [the Supreme Court’s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes, is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and nonreligion,” Scalia said on Wednesday, according to The Washington Times. “That’s just a lie. Where do you get the notion that this is all unconstitutional? You can only believe that if you believe in a morphing Constitution.”

    If Americans want a more secular political system that guarantees those distinctions, they can “enact that by statute,” Scalia said, “but to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.”

    In another public appearance on Wednesday at the University of Colorado Boulder Law School's annual John Paul Stevens lecture, Scalia compared his efforts to restore constitutional originalism to the challenges faced by "Lord of the Rings" protagonist Frodo Baggins.

    “It’s a long, uphill fight to get back to original orthodoxy. We have two ‘originalists’ on the Supreme Court,” Scalia said, referencing Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. “That’s something. But I feel like Frodo … We’ll get clobbered in the end, but it’s worth it.”
  2. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

    Jul 21, 2009
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    Just ****ing die already.
  3. Refman

    Refman Contributing Member

    Mar 31, 2002
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    I don't think Scalia is correct in his interpretation. However, the First Amendment does not guarantee that you will be free from public religious display. The Supreme Court building erected in 1935 prominently displays a frieze of Moses carrying the Ten Commandments.
  4. dback816

    dback816 Member

    Oct 21, 2003
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    Can they impeach Scalia?
  5. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2002
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    Scalia is a real pain in the side of this nation
  6. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

    Dec 22, 1999
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    That's on a lot of law related stuff. Sort of a history of the law rather than an expressly Christian deal. And I wouldn't consider it "prominent."


    From Wiki:
  7. HTown_DieHard

    HTown_DieHard Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Doesn't he have anything better to do while on the clock?
  8. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

    Apr 14, 2003
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    Who cares? Diego Rivera painted much better murals in those years.
  9. Nook

    Nook Member

    Jun 27, 2008
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    Scalia has wet dreams about bringing the Inquisition to the US of A. Of course he would first have to overthrow the current Catholic Church as it is too liberal and open minded. He would reestablish the "One True Faith" with mandatory service every Friday and Sunday and self flagellation would be encouraged.
  10. False

    False Member

    Apr 26, 2011
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    I think he is likely right from the originalist perspective which he purports to use. Still, it goes to show that originalism alone is an absurd instrument through which to construe the Constitution.
  11. basso

    basso Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    May 20, 2002
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    i'm an a-religious person, but it's not hard to imagine an instance where someone would purport to be "offended" by Moses' presence there, and bring suit to have it removed.
  12. Amiga

    Amiga 80s
    Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2008
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    how do you go from "no law respecting an establishment of religion" to law respecting establishment of ALL religions?

    anyhow, from the 1947 majority decision on the establishment clause and reference to Jeffernson...


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