By Stephen D. Foster Jr. | 4 January 2015
It’s clear as day in the First Amendment, but Justice Antonin Scalia apparently has never read it or he is blatantly ignoring it. Either way, such idiocy does not belong on the Supreme Court.
The Establishment Clause of the Constitution states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
This means that the government cannot support one religion over another , and nor can government promote religion over non-religion.
But conservative Justice Scalia declared otherwise during a speech at a Catholic high school in Louisiana.
According to the Associated Press, “Scalia said Saturday the idea of religious neutrality is not grounded in the country’s constitutional traditions and that God has been good to the U.S. exactly because Americans honor him.”
“To tell you the truth there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition,” Scalia claimed. “Where did that come from?” he asked. “To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another but can’t favor religion over non-religion?”
Scalia went on to claim that America has been successful because of God and argued that the government should honor the Christian deity, telling the students to not let anyone tell them otherwise.
“God has been very good to us. That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name we do him honor. In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations and in many other ways. There is nothing wrong with that and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that.”
The Hill reports that Scalia also had words for Americans who support secularism.
“Don’t cram it down the throats of an American people that has always honored God on the pretext that the Constitution requires it.”
This is a man who sits on the Supreme Court of the United States, yet he has a profound ignorance of one of the most important parts of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers added the Establishment Clause precisely because they did not want the government supporting religion in any way.
Apparently, Scalia thinks he knows more about the Constitution than Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both of whom wrote that the Establishment Clause erected a wall of separation between church and state.
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802
“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. We have solved … the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in a speech to the Virginia Baptists, 1808
“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
~Founding Father James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”
“Every new and successful example of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance.”
~Founding Father James Madison, letter, 1822
Scalia is an embarrassment who should resign from the bench in disgrace. For someone who calls himself an originalist on the Court when it comes to interpreting the Constitution, it sure sounds like he has no idea what the Establishment Clause means even though it’s pretty clearly worded and has been clearly explained by two Founding Fathers. If Scalia had his way, the United States would be declared a Christian state and Christianity would be forced down our throats every day despite the fact that such a thing is forbidden by the Constitution.