Do 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants?

Sad but true. I think that the commentary on the CNN website is close to the real thing.

Do 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants?

"…In all these articles, I was doing the math like this: 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 0 Protestants. I’m no longer sure that’s right.

Shortly after I filed my USA Today piece, I had a conversation with Nora Rubel, a University of Rochester religion professor and an observant Jew. Professor Rubel said that most Catholics in America think pretty much like most Protestants, so the Supreme Court’s Protestant/Catholic mix doesn’t really matter. I then observed that many Reform Jews are equally Protestantized, which led us to wonder whether the Jewish/Christian mix doesn’t really matter either…"

I’m not sure but I think that, traditionally-speaking of course, the answer is 42.

You are correct, that is why they have towels under their robes. :smiley:


I’m afraid it all did rather read like “good grief, I’ve got to put something together for today’s blog.”

No matter what, always remember DONT PANIC!!!


There is a nugget of truth to be pondered. We all like to suppose that while others are feeble minded simpletons, WE are the true independent thinkers. :rolleyes:

The facts are that America was heavily formed by two major groups: Protestants of Calvinist descent and Deists (who were the largest group of the day that fancied themselves the true independent thinkers).

The philosophy of these groups still heavily influences American culture to this day, whether we consciously recognize it or not.

Labels like Jewish, Catholic and Protestant don’t mean much.
More meaningful, perhaps, four Justices are from NYC (Staten Island is the only borough not represented), all have gone to elite East Coast universities.

To really shake things up how about a Buddhist who attended University of Texas Law School?

Actually I’m thinking a different equation.

9 black robed rulers in 1973 = 50 million dead and counting.

Today many U.S. Catholics and Jews think like Protestants. They believe that religion is something we choose as individuals rather than inherit as communities, and they view it primarily in terms of faith rather than practice. None of this comes from either the Catholic brain of Aquinas or the Jewish mind of Maimonides. The progenitor of this faith-based understanding of religion (who also happens to be the patron saint of religion rulings at the U.S. Supreme Court) is the American Protestant thinker William James, who famously defined religion as "the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.”

When Supreme Court justices genuflect before this subjective understanding of religion - and most, perhaps all, of today’s sitting justices do - they are thinking like Protestants. And there is little to suggest that Elena Kagan, whose bat mitzvah occurred in a Reconstructionist synagogue in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, would not go and do likewise.

So if you do the math more carefully, it may go something like: 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants. Either way, we could use more religious diversity on the Supreme Court.

6 Catholics for sure do not translate into being even one step closer toward a Catholic definition of abortion in America.
And the only thing more Protestant than a Protestant is a modern American Jew.

I am not so sure that this is such a bad thing for America though.

Why are Catholic professionals so lukewarm on this issue?

Because they want to maintain credibility with the majority of people. However there are Catholic professionals who are not lukewarm on the issue.

Why is it that for so many Catholic p;rofessionals, it is more imortant to maintain credibility with the majority of people rather than to maintain crediblity with the Catholic Church and its teachings?

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