Saturday, January 16, 2016

233.9 - Outrage of the Week: Antonin Scalia says government can promote religion

Outrage of the Week: Antonin Scalia says government can promote religion

And now our other regular feature, this is the Outrage of the Week.

And here we have another repeat winner, a man who has been a font of outrageousness over the years, Supreme Court Injustice Antonin Scalia, more properly known as Justice Skeletor. He has again proven himself an embarrassment to his position and an affront to reason.

Speaking at Archbishop Rummel High School in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana, on January 2, Skeletor said the idea of religious neutrality has "no place in our constitutional tradition."

The First Amendment, he maintained, only bars the government from favoring one religion over another. It does not bar the government from favoring religion over non-religion. In other words, if you are an atheist or an agnostic or perhaps even just a non-practicing whatever, the First Amendment affords you no protection and no rights. Supporting religion is all part of our "constitutional tradition."

So here's my challenge to Skeletor and to all the rest of you: Find all of the references to God in the Constitution. Here's a hint: There aren't any. The only mention of religion prior to the adoption of the First Amendment is Article VI, paragraph 3, which says that
Justice Antonin Skeletor
no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Federalist James Iredell, dubbed "the ablest defender of the Constitution" in the period its adoption was being debated, noted the objections to the provision, that people might elect "pagans and Mahometans" (which was how Muslims were referred to at the time) or even those "who have no religion at all [emphasis added]." But, he replied, "How is it possible to exclude any set of men, without taking away that principle of religious freedom which we ourselves so warmly contend for?”

Which means that, contrary to Skeletor, the idea of religious freedom including those "with no religion at all" was part of our "constitutional tradition" from even before it was adopted. Which means Skeletor is not only a reactionary religious fanatic, he is, as usual, flat out wrong.

His presence on the court is a daily outrage.

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