Antonin Scalia Says Constitution Permits Court To 'Favor Religion Over Non-Religion'


This should get a make a lot of secularists really upset, but if Justice Scalia is wrong, why did the founding fathers make freedom of religion the first two clauses of the first amendment? They obviously understood that religion is a good thing in a society to be governed my laws rather than by men.


Justice Scalia is an originalist.

It is clear that the intention of the Founding Fathers was not to ban religion from the public square, but to preserve the United States from an established religion as existed under the British rule.

The “wall of separation” and all the accretions thereto are glosses on this original concept by people with various axes to grind. Once the Court took a wrong turn, it has been stuck with trying to jam things such as “In God We Trust” and the embarrassing preference of the Court itself prior to that wrong turn for religion into a procrustean bed of incoherent bad decisions.

Scalia will get no traction with his position, but kudos to him for presenting it.



Nailed it. Atheists should cling with a death grip to the disbelieved and to them black-box unknown entity enshrined in law as the “Creator” that insures our rights. Atheist Alan Dershowitz kicks and screams about man needing to be the source of human rights; and then after 9-11 was calling for torture all around. So if THAT man was the source of human rights, we’d be in a heap o’ trouble, especially considering the government’s defining Vets as terrorist material that theoretically would be, under atheists like Dershowitz, first in line for torture.


Hi Trader.

Antonin Scalia: Constitution permits favoring of religion over non-religion

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the constitution permits favoring of religion over non-religion.

^ Through THIS point the UPI story gives straight news reporting … but it can’t get through the lead without editorializing and inserting PC programming into how one must react to the news. Case in point (editorializing highlighted in RED below per my opinion)

By Gabrielle Levy | Oct. 3, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Updated Oct. 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

DENVER, Oct. 3 (UPI) – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said the separation of church and state --*** one of the most important tenets of the Constitution *** (sic) – is not absolute.

Why sic - (an error)?

"Separation of Church and State … " is neither the most important tenet OF the constitution or even IN the Constitution. Those words aren’t there anywhere in the document. Those who WANT that to be the case creatively extrapolate the single word “establishment” into supposedly being a clause (the perpetually trumpeted “Establishment Clause” … now with capital letters added) then interpret that clause to BE a tenet …and wait there’s more … “one of the most important tenets of the Constitution” (to THEM … PC’edly interpreted, natch).

Thomas Jefferson in ANOTHER of his writings wrote courteously to some Baptist ministers using the phrase " … a wall of separation between Church and State …" to assure them that their faith was not going to be banned by an intrusive state (as some had been in Britian with its state Church, the Church of England) in the recently become independent former British Colonies.

  1. Read the Constitution yourself … or at least the FIRST Amendment (YES the very FIRST) to the Constitution … and you won’t find the word “separation” in it.

  2. The word “establishment” IS there … but the breathtaking overreach into its being “proof” that the founding fathers somehow were “establishing” a secular, god-free state in this OBVIOUSLY :rolleyes: “important tenet” … exceeds the bounds of plausible illusion.

Text of the First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Taken as a whole - this limits GOVERNMENT and guarantees protection to “Church”(es) from Government intrusion by law(s). Note, religion comes FIRST in the Amendment. In England an official state religion HAD been “established” - one that persecuted the others, from Catholics to Puritans etc. THAT is more obviously what the “Establishment clause” addresses IMO.

AND submitted for your approval … the full text of Thomas Jefferson’s (not in the Constitution) Letter to the Danbury Baptists that DID use the phrase “wall of separation between Church and State …”

**Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists
The Final Letter, as Sent
To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.


The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

Ironically, some who so loudly trumpet the “Establishment Clause” as a sort of super mandate for the enforcement of what they imagine to be (but never call it) a secular state that brooks no intrusion of God into public life or government - pretty much contradict Jefferson’s sentiments and assurances to people of faith IMO.


I think they put “freedom of religion” in there because so many people in the many centuries previous were horrifically murdered in the wars between religions and beleifs, so the clause was to try and end the fighting in the new country.
Not that it was necessarily a good thing…because in many cases, religion is not a good thing. In some cases, it makes people fly planes into buildings to kill thousands of people.
That is why Jefferson and others believed in a *separation *of church and state as well, and expressed that–the intent and function of the “Establishment Clause”–a belief that the Supreme Court has shared.



My understanding of the intent of separation of church and state(which by the way is not n the Cnstitutin,but a footnote in a journal Jeffersn kept) was that the people would be free to practice their religion of choice without gov’t. interference.This has been misconstrued to read that religion has no place in the public square. :shrug:


Can you please point out where the constitution has these words “freedom of religion”.

Here it is in case you have never read it.

I don’t think this goes with your analysis.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[1]

It sounds like they respect one’s right to religion, not that they are seeing it as a bogeyman.


This may add perspective…,d.b2U


Or a Constructionist which is also a term used, what the Founders of our Constitution or Founding Fathers said.

Granted, G. Washington’s name is not a signee of the Constitution.

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, **we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. **To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
–The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.

"The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite, and these Principles only could be intended by them in their address, or by me in my answer.** And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity,** in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty, in which all those young Men United, and which had United all Parties in America, in Majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her Independence.- John Adams

One can go on for quite awhile on what our Founding Fathers said about religion and as usual, Scalia is correct.


Scalia has been a disgrace to the bench for a long time. He often decides cases in accordance with his own personal prejudices rather than through any legitimate interpretation of the Constitution and does so in ways which sometimes contradicts his own previous decisions.


“The Rule of Law is second only to the Rule of Love. The here and now is less important than the hereafter.” – Antonin Scalia


“The first amendment’s only clause, grammatically, is simply “Congress shall make no law,” and what follows is meant to tie the hands of Congress, not the hands of the people in their localities, with their devotions and their customs. It is a veto on one kind of legal action, and a franchise for ordinary local and cultural action.”

–from an article by Anthony Esolen here.

The first amendment, in other words, is intended to restrict government, not religion or the practice of religion. Scalia is simply stating a historical fact.


Scalia is one of the greatest legal minds of our generation. God bless him.


Blessings to you for such an important post. It’s sad, but also frightening, to see the posts of socialistic atheists and agnostics twist the facts and logic in their efforts to eliminate religion and promote secular and universal domination.
But their words are hollow, because atheists lie that they cannot hear God’s Call, and agnostics are confused or poorly educated.
What is even more sad, and more frightening, are the misguided pseudo-religious who twist Jesus’ words: “My kingdom is not of this world”–into an opposition to all aspects of civil government and a withdrawal of churches into mysticism.


Naked assertion with no evidence. And I would ask illegitimate according to whom?


Your statement applies to the entire bench not just one individual that goes against your own prejudices. The court stopped interpretation of Constitution in the 60’s which has continued to this day. When you agree with a decision it is they are doing a great job when it goes against what you believe than oh they are not following the Constitution. There are decisions they have made that I agreed with but I also know that they didn’t follow the Constitution. Nothing we can do about it. We don’t elect them we just pay them.


Connecticut disestablishes Congregational Church
Though Connecticut had long allowed “sober dissenting” churches to operate legally in the state and collect tax money, the Congregational Church remains the official state church. Dissenting churches chafe under their authority. Connecticut disestablishes in 1818; in 1833 Massachusetts abolishes a law requiring citizens to belong to a church. abolishes a law requiring citizens to belong to a church.

Not many people know or care about history today. At the time of the constitution and bill of rights, many states had established churches. Virginia only disestablished the Anglican Church in 1786. Connecticut was the last to disestablish their Congregational Church in 1818. The first amendment prohibited a national church that would be in conflict with state churches. Somehow people now think the first amendment also prohibits states from being friendly to churches, or even a particular church. That happened gradually at the state level, but the federal constitution was also meant to protect state churches, not prohibit them.

I have a special liking for Justice Scalia because he is the only Supreme Court Justice I have met in person. He was our guest for the Red Mass 13 years ago. It less than a month after the attacks of 9/11 and our cathedral was under heavy security. I also like him because he “judged” our choir to be good. :slight_smile: His son is a priest.


I suspect that Scalia and Palin are actually fraternal twins. Though, she seems to show her age less than he does.


I suspect he means Catholic/Christian when he says this. However, not all religions flow from Catholicism or Christianity.

So which religion do we give preference to? Even something as simple as prayer leads to problems. I don’t think those people who want prayers said before the high school football game would be okay with a Rosary, much less a Hindu or Muslim blessing.


I think if there was a primarily Muslim or Hindu community that wanted to have prayers before a game none of us would care. I certainly can’t imagine why someone would have a problem with Catholic prayers at a Catholic high school football game or Protestant prayers at a Protestant high school.

Actually I would ask the posters that question. If you attended a high school football game against a primarily Muslim or Hindu team in a Muslim or Hindu community would you be offended by prayers before the game?

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