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Scalia Complains on Church-State Rulings

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by bb_baptist, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist New Member

    Jun 22, 2000
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    Courts have gone too far to keep religion out of public schools and other forums, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says.

    Although the Constitution says the government cannot "establish" or promote religion, the framers did not intend for God to be stripped from public life, Scalia said Sunday at a religious ceremony.

    He contended that the Constitution has been misinterpreted both by the Supreme Court and lower courts. As an example, he pointed to a federal appeals court ruling in California barring students from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase "one nation under God."

    That decision is on hold pending further consideration by the same court, but the Supreme Court could eventually be asked to review the case.

    Scalia, the main speaker at an event for Religious Freedom Day, said past rulings by the Supreme Court gave the judges in the pledge case "some plausible support" to reach that conclusion.

    However, he said, such decisions should be made legislatively, not by courts.

    The rally-style event about 50 miles south of Washington drew a lone protester, who silently held a sign promoting the separation of church and state.

    "The sign back here which says `Get religion out of government' can be imposed on the whole country," Scalia said. "I have no problem with that philosophy being adopted democratically. If the gentleman holding the sign would persuade all of you of that, then we could eliminate `under God' from the Pledge of Allegiance. That could be democratically done."

    The crowd repeatedly cheered Scalia, whose son Paul, one of nine children, is a priest at a nearby Roman Catholic church.

    Several hundred people joined the justice in singing "God Bless America" after a brief parade through downtown sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

    "He's the voice of reason on the Supreme Court," said Jim McFall, a retired FBI agent who organized the parade. "His remarks were right on the money. The pendulum has swung too far and people have said `enough is enough.' We'll see it swing back."

    Scalia used the event to reiterate criticisms that the Constitution is being liberally interpreted.

    "It is a Constitution that morphs while you look at it like Plasticman," he said.

  2. Pennsylvania Jim

    Pennsylvania Jim New Member

    Oct 8, 2000
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    Three cheers for Justice Scalia!!

  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 20, 2002
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    Don't get too excited about Scalia... He is not a friend of religious liberty.

    In the Supreme Court case, Employment Division v. Smith (1990), he wrote "We cannot afford the luxury of deeming presumptively invalid, as applied to a religious objector, every regulation of conduct that does not protect an interest of the highest order."

    In that dense legal jargon, he is saying that a religious person’s right to practice their religion is a “luxury” that should be discarded if the religious rights clash with the government’s need for uniform rules.

    He has been soundly condemned for this ruling by his fellow justices, religious liberty organizations (including the ACLU, the American Center for Law and Justice (Pat Robertson’s group), various Baptist religious liberty organizations including the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs and the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty board).

    His comments initiated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that passed Congress a few years ago but was struck down by the Court because of a question of separation of powers. (The Court ruled that Congress was trying to interpret the Constitution, a role reserved for the Court.)

    Do some research on Scalia to see what I’m talking about…

    For some basic information, here’s an article that mentions Scalia and the RFRA in Christianity Today:


    [ January 13, 2003, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]