God, (that crusty old conceptual abstraction in consciousness), has a dedicated legal advocate on the Supreme Court of the United States. His name is Antonin Scalia. He’s the longest serving justice there; and ever since President Ronald Reagan appointed him to his exalted perch 1986, his fervent judicial quest has been to deny the effect of First Amendment Establishment Clause in the Bill of Rights – you know – the part which requires our government to remain neutral in matters of religion.
Antonin Scalia is on a mission from God.
Recently, he told an audience at Archbishop Rummel Catholic High School, in in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana, that the idea of government religious neutrality is bunk. "To tell you the truth there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from?" he declared. "To be sure, you can't favor one denomination over another but can't favor religion over non-religion?"
Where did it come from? In Everson v. Board of Education, SCOTUS, without dissent, declared that the Establishment Clause forbids not only government practices that “aid one religion” or “prefer one religion over another,” but also those that “aid all religions.” In short, the government must remain neutral in matters of religion. The Establishment Clause erects a wall of separation between church and state, according to Thomas Jefferson.
Never-mind all that Scalia reasons. “God has been very good to us. That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name we do him honor. In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations and in many other ways," said Scalia. "There is nothing wrong with that and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that.”
Huh? God has been good to us? The Revolutionary War was won because of God? The Battle of Midway was won because of God? God favored the Americans over the Japanese?
I think there is definitely something wrong with that. There is no evidence of it. Those are purely religious beliefs – not historical facts. Obviously, Justice Scalia believes that there is an invisible man up in the sky that has been good to us; who favors Americans over other nationalities because we (our government) honor Him. God apparently doesn’t favor other governments that don’t honor Him.
But the U.S. Constitution doesn’t mention Scalia’s God; nor does the Declaration of Independence, or any of the other foundation documents of the United States. Now, of course, Justice Scalia is entitled to his religious beliefs. I don’t deny that. He’s entitled to them no matter how irrational they are. But that doesn’t give government officials license to invoke their religious beliefs in the course of performing their official duties.
As a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia does not enjoy the right to deny the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
But he does it anyway.