Biblical Law and Justice Antonin Scalia

photograph of the justices, cropped to show Ju...

Does Religion Motivate Justice Scalia? Or is it his view that Democracy is the Antithesis of Religious Law?

Justice Antonin Scalia has an extremely narrow and personal view of the US Constitution, he is misinterpreting his role as a Justice of the Supreme Court to presume that his moral judgements were and are in preference to the Law of the Land.  Perhaps in reading the Federalist Papers, the Papers of Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton and those who supported the Constitution understood the value of separation of Church and State Justice Scalia may have had a preconceived idea that Democracy and the Constitution were invalid substitutes for religious law.

Justice Scalia is the person who could have the greatest impact in helping the Religious Right establish its sovereignty. President Bush has talked about Scalia as the justice he admires the most.Supreme Court J

In an article published in First Things, a journal of religion and public life, in May, 2002, Scalia quotes St. Paul:

“…Government…derives its moral authority from God. It is the minister of God with powers to “avenge” to “execute wrath” including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakenly a reference to the death penalty).”

Scalia appears hostile to Democracy: The “consensus” [that government is the minister of God]

“has been upset, I think by the emergence of democracy…It is much more difficult to see the hand of God…behind the fools and rogues…we ourselves elect of our own free will.”

He sees democracy as obscuring the divine authority:

“the reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure divine authority…should [be] the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible.”

Scalia views the United States Constitution as “dead” rather than as a living document that evolves along with society.

“…the Constitution that I interpret is not living but dead…It means today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”

This view of the US Constitution as “dead” could become the basis of a strategy to dismantle the separation of church and state. In a speech on January 12, 2003, at a Religious Freedom Day event, Scalia said that the principle was not imbedded in the constitution and therefore should be added democratically, which means through a constitutional amendment. An amendment to the Constitution on church-state separation would be impossible to achieve in the current political climate, so the argument is disingenuous.

Scalia, speaking to a crowd of about 150 in Fredericksburg to mark a “Religious Freedom Day,” asserted that America’s Founding Fathers never meant to “exclude God from the public forums and from political life.”

“Scalia sounds like a TV preacher, not a Supreme Court justice,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “His job is to uphold the Constitution, not promote religiosity.”

via Biblical Law.

Advertisements