Antonin Scalia is a very conservative, Catholic Supreme Court Judge. On Wednesday, he told a conservative audience that
“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,”
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Scalia said. “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.”
Scalia told the group, which included lawmakers and other public officials, that Americans honored God in the pledge of allegiance and in “all our public ceremonies.”
‘The best of traditions’ is not an argument for continuing a practice. Surely he knows that ‘Under God’ was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 and never should have been. Favoring Justice Scalia’s god over others discriminates against those who are not Catholic. No one should be forced to recognize or abide by the rules of a belief system not of their choice. The text of the First Amendment states:
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.
Obviously, if the US government established a religion, or favored one religion over another, that favoritism would result in that religious belief system being privileged over all others, and over non-belief. This would violate the First Amendment. I don’t know if Justice Scalia cares or not, but the founders sought to prevent any religion from having influence on laws and public policy. The only way to do that is to treat them all equally, and to erect a wall between the church and the state. If laws were written that favored Justice Scalia’s Catholicism, that would force all non-Catholics (which includes non-believers) to abide by laws and policies of a Catholic bent, which would infringe upon the rights of all Americans to be free to choose what to believe, and how to exercise those beliefs. Justice Scalia ought to listen to the words of Thomas Jefferson. In his 1808 “Letter to Virginia Baptists”, Jefferson states:
“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the, “wall of separation of church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
Antonin Scalia is a dangerous, theocratic minded judge who appears to have no qualms enshrining his Catholic beliefs into law and forcing everyone in the United States to adhere to them.