October 3, 2014 1:43 pm -

[su_right_ad]It’s surprising Anthony Scalia would say such a thing given his reputation as a constitutionalist.

Scalia said Wednesday that secularists are wrong when they argue the Constitution requires religious references to be banished from the public square.

Justice Scalia, part of the court’s conservative wing, was preaching to the choir when he told the audience at Colorado Christian University that a battle is underway over whether to allow religion in public life, from referencing God in the Pledge of Allegiance to holding prayers before city hall meetings.

“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 nonreligion,” Justice Scalia said.

Uh, yeah, that’s kinda what it means.

“And if the American people want to do it, I suppose they can enact that by statute. But to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.”[su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

29 responses to Scalia: Constitution Doesn’t Stop Government From Favoring Religion

  1. tracey marie October 3rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    No establishment means just that thumper in a black robe

  2. mea_mark October 3rd, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Is it time to impeach Scalia yet? Sounds like he wants to disregard the constitution. Isn’t that an impeachable offense?

    • jasperjava October 3rd, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      I think the standard is still “high crimes and misdemeanours”. Unfortunately, being an ignorant radical extreme right-wing shmuck is not a crime.

      • M D Reese October 3rd, 2014 at 2:52 pm

        It should be. It should also be painful.

  3. arc99 October 3rd, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t see how government can favor religion without violating the first amendment which states that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion’

    The 14th amendment extends the restrictions on Congress, to the states as well.

    Further, article 6 explicitly forbids any religious test as a condition of serving in federal public office. Again, how does government favor religion unless it somehow determines the religious leanings of public servants?

    If you are going to allow a nativity scene on public property and declare by statute that only nativity scenes are allowed, then that belief is given a protection under the law not extended to any other belief.

    I tend to defer to the opinions of court Justices who I presume are far more learned in the Constitution than I am. But in this instance, I see zero constitutional logic in Justice Scalia’s remarks.

    • M D Reese October 3rd, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      I think he has the Constitution all mixed up with the buybull.

    • jasperjava October 3rd, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Government has breached the establishment clause many times. The motto “In God We Trust” is clearly unconstitutional, yet it’s engraved on government buildings and on your pocket change.

      The argument appears to hinge on what we understand as “establishing” religion. Right-wingers seem to think that government can engage in all kinds of religious activities, as long as no official religion is established. Historically, the Supreme Court has taken the view that government should refrain from religious activities, unless they can be fair and inclusive of religious minorities. I think it’s a “separate but equal” argument and can never be equitable. Government should be secular, period. No prayers, no invocations, no “In God We Trust”.

    • Dwendt44 October 3rd, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Judges often tap dance around such constitutional wordage. They claim that ‘god’ is a word without meaning or is so ‘generic’ as to be meaningless, so there’s no ‘endorsement’ there.

      • mea_mark October 3rd, 2014 at 6:18 pm

        Definitions of God vary greatly. If I was to guess, I would say that word probably has more definitions than any other word out there. Everybody seems to have at least a slightly different view on what God is or how it should be defined.

      • tiredoftea October 3rd, 2014 at 9:46 pm

        Yup, like xerox and Kleenex.

  4. OldLefty October 3rd, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I think he is really losing it.
    He seems to think that because HE likes it, that guarantees it’s constitutionality.

    • granpa.usthai October 3rd, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      most people in positions of absolute authority seem to have the same problem.

      J. Edgar, for one.

  5. granpa.usthai October 3rd, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I kinda like the idea of the USA having a bigger naughty Satan erected in front of the US Supreme Court Building with a bigger exaggeration than Canada’s. Make me feel a bit of national pride to see women from all over the world gawking and saying wow!

  6. Bunya October 3rd, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I think Scalia is going the way of Pat Robertson. He’s become a senile, babbling old man who’s outlived his usefulness.
    IMO, he should either retire or die, whichever comes first.

    • fahvel October 4th, 2014 at 2:37 am

      when the hell were either of them useful?

  7. M D Reese October 3rd, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Of course, the only religion that this applies to is christianity…

  8. rg9rts October 3rd, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Only a stupid Long Island Catholic would say something as ignorant as what this clown said….Pete King would too

  9. tiredoftea October 3rd, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Wow, just ‘f’ing wow!

  10. Kick Frenzy October 3rd, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    He should be immediately impeached and removed from his position.

    Such a blatant affront to the actual meaning of the Constitution is grounds, in my opinion, for a supreme court justice to be seen as lacking the requisites for being a judge in the first place.

  11. Spirit of America October 4th, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Not believing in a god(s) is a belief system(religion) in of itself, as is muslim/hinduism/christianity/judaism/wiccan etc. The clause ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of‘ applies to all religions and is somewhat simple: Uncle Sam cannot have an official state faith, regardless of what that faith is, including atheism. So if a city says ‘you can put up a holiday display for religion #1 but not on religion #2’s’, that would by caveat violating the 1st. How ever, if a city says ‘never can a religious display be put up on a holiday’, that too by caveat would be endorsing a religion.
    Banning a prayer before a city meeting does indeed violate the “prohibiting the free exercise of” aspect. Having rotation of the city board, so that each can have their ‘prayer(even for atheists a silent moment of nothing if they wish)’ achieves free exercise of and non-establishment of.
    Now, the above being said, I honestly think that this issue has been blown way out of proportion and importance. If a city council or high school football team, etc wants to say a prayer of any kind(a decree there is no god(s) or a specific prayer of faith) only the very very weak could take any offense at all, period.
    I have heard prayers and such from satanists, christians, jews, muslims, atheists and many more and I never broke down in tears, no bruises/broken arms/comas, no lawsuits cause I was offended, no loss of money, literally no impact on my life at all, none.
    More power to the person is my view, regardless of their belief; I wasn’t hurt by their words. I think many are a bit thin-skinned any more, too touchy.
    Again, my view.

    • sunburned October 6th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      >Banning a prayer before a city meeting does indeed violate the “prohibiting the free exercise of” aspect.

      No it doesn’t. It provides no bearer for any member of the citizenry to practice their religion according to their conscience.

    • JohnnyD October 6th, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      I must say, I disagree. atheism IS NOT a “belief System”, in the sense of a religion, and represents the exact opposite: It is comprised of people whose only common characteristics are lack of any common characteristics.

      Yes, they all disbelieve in a god. But each does so for their own reasons, and not because the writings in some ritualistic tome, or some preacher in a church, say they should. Atheists don’t have a “church” where they all go to talk “atheist stuff”, and pay homage to their non-existant gods. They don’t have any “preachers” going door-to-door attempting to win people over to the joys of atheism. They don’t have any TV televangelists relating “the word”, because there is no “the word”.

      All there is is a belief in the processes of science as a means to describe what we see in the world, and seek to describe that which has not yet been. That in no way shape or form is equivalent to “faith”, because faith is a belief in the veracity of statements not proven to be factual or real. That’s why it’s called “a leap of faith”.

      People who believe science is sufficient to describe the universe without invoking a god believe so not because they have “faith” in the science, but because it can be mathematically and structurally PROVEN by repeated test results that it is the best, most accurate definition we have based on the state of the science. So the definition will always be changing, not because it is WRONG, but because it is “incomplete”, and science is always learning new things about old theories, because they have new methods and machinery with which to look.

      • Spirit of America October 7th, 2014 at 12:18 am

        “in the sense of a religion”… of course not in the sense of a religion, a religion is the how one worships, the ‘trappings & ceremony’ if you will. A faith is the what one believes in.

        Q: Do you believe there is a god?
        A: No
        That is a belief. And since it has never been proven that a god(s) exist or not, it is indeed a ‘leap of faith’ either way, that there is or isn’t a god.

        “They don’t have any “preachers” going door-to-door attempting to win people over to the joys of atheism.”
        at google, type in “atheist billboard”, click on ‘images’.

        • Dwendt44 October 7th, 2014 at 12:38 am

          Billboards are MOT going door to door. It’s merely an ad or a public comment on religion, in general or specifically one religion.
          A it’s is a ‘faith’ either. Since there is no god(s), no supernatural beings, faith isn’t involved. “I don’t believe in god” isn’t a ‘faith’ it’s a statement that there is no faith.

          • Spirit of America October 7th, 2014 at 12:59 am

            “Billboards are MOT going door to door.”
            LOL LOL LOL, ok, you are right… it is not going door-to-door… I recon that’s akin (door-to-door or billboards) as fax polling to email spam.
            In my view, proselytizing is proselytizing, which I thought was the point being made.

            “I don’t believe in god” = “I believe there is no god”
            It is a belief, and since no proof there is no god, it is a belief, a faith in that statement.

          • Dwendt44 October 7th, 2014 at 1:07 am

            There’s also no proof that unicorns don’t exist, or that Tooth fairies aren’t real. The point about proof is that those claiming that there is a god, never mind a specific god, are required to prove it, not the other way around.
            Atheist billboards or signs on a bus aren’t recruiting, they are commentary about false claims by religions. ‘You can be good without god’ How does that recruit? Pointing out that our first five presidents were NOT christian, how does that recruit?

          • Spirit of America October 7th, 2014 at 1:15 am

            “There’s also no proof that unicorns don’t exist, or that Tooth fairies aren’t real”
            Interesting use of false analogies. When analyzing an unknown, do you know what a data point is?

            “The point about proof is that those claiming that there is a god, never
            mind a specific god, are required to prove it, not the other way around”
            Wow, so only 1 side has to prove their point? No, the claim that there is no god, to be considered a truth, must prove itself just as much as the other way around. Until 1 side or the other has such proof, both are taken on faith.

            “Atheist billboards or signs on a bus aren’t recruiting, they are commentary about false claims by religions.”
            Read some of the boards, they are indeed recruiting to the faith of atheism.

            “Pointing out that our first five presidents were NOT christian,”
            Re-writing history doesn’t change a thing about history.
            Washington was a member of several congregations, wrote often of Providence and was even an Anglican vestryman.

        • JohnnyD October 7th, 2014 at 9:27 am

          The difference between one and the other is that the religious person has faith that an event will take place, based on no repeatable, verifiable empirical evidence derived from experimentation, that it will occur, just a promise that it will, because it has been predicted long ago and documented in a book which they trust to be correct and accurate in all details.

          The atheist has faith only in those events taking place which have been shown by repeatable, verifiable empirical evidence derived from experimentation, to occur, or shown that they SHOULD occur. By “shown” I mean demonstrated and witnessed by contemporary experts who can attest to the accuracy and applicability of the test methods, procedures and practices, and who is demonstrably qualified to do so, as verified. Which are usually expressed in a manner which reflects the degree of uncertainty inherent in the results due to uncorrectable factors (instrument error, faulty experiment premise, etc.) and/or factors which are presumed to exist based on analysis of data already on hand, but which have yet to be resolved (as in the recent demonstration through experiment of the existence of the Higgs Field, which mathematically could be shown to exist, but to that point had never been seen in action. The experiment predicted the result.)

          • Spirit of America October 7th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

            Very good write up, interesting read.
            But as to “there is a god” is a belief and “there is no god” is also a belief. Neither has empirical proof.