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.

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The New Progressive

America was created not as a traditional nation, but as a nation of fundamental beliefs.  It was our belief in man’s natural rights, the equality of all persons, and a strong belief in republicanism. These core beliefs are what make America the country she is.  James Madison was concerned and rightly so about the structure of a republic so large and diverse as ours would be. No other nation in the 1700’s or in the past had attempted such a feat.

The creation of a federal government,with so much power, seemed to be a threat to some, and yet it was thought to be to some the solution to the passions, special interests, and unjust actions of the states.  This is what the Federalist and Anti-Federalist debates were about. The Federalist Papers clearly define for us the role of government. It should be understood that originally there was apprehension if not fear of “Democracy” by Madison and a number of founding fathers.

Over the past 200 years and counting, We as a country and a people have been changing and and redefining who we are within the scope of our beginnings and in the idea of Federalism.

It is now the 21st Century, and time and history is changing quickly.  It appears however, that as a country we still maintain that nation of fundamental beliefs, that they are in danger of  of being swept aside. If our beliefs and our republicanism is somehow changed then we may face a slow demise  that is similar to the republics of the past.  A change is needed in our political processes that returns us toward the ideals of our founding fathers.

The New Progressive is not liberal. It is a process by which the elements of the Constitution  are discussed and debated within the merits of a proposed bill. The proposed bills should be for the good of the nation. There will be on occasion proposals by state for specific assistance and those need to be treated in the same manner. Compromise is the name of the game; it is about addressing the needs of the country.

The idea that “Republicanism and Democracy”  are one in the same is indisputable. However, the “Republicanism” of Madison and the Federalists could return us to a more representative form  of government. The individual American in the era of “Democracy” may be getting lost in the political process of party mechanics and special interest.

This is a process where Americans can look at the political parties, Democratic Party  or Republican Party and determine the role of the party in question and if it is meeting the needs of the people.  The guise of big government is your enemy is not the problem, it is “special interests” and the political parties themselves.  The American Voter, is a fickle lot who does not trust politicians, but does not vote regularly.  It is essential that the citizens of America vote.

The idea of dismantling the federal government goes against the concepts and and ideas that make this nation. This notion that the states some can better manage many of the agencies or programs is beyond scope. It is also important to remember that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and our structure as a nation requires clearly defined roles spelled out for Republic to work. We are after all the United States of America.