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Published On: Wed, Jan 6th, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia says we can favor religion in public square

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia always offers his strong opinion about the role of religion in American society, and he has once again made headlines with what he called a “sermon” in which he said the U.S. Constitution can favor religion over “nonreligion.”
In fact, Scalia told a gathering at a Catholic high school near New Orleans on Saturday that“one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor.”
Scale of Justice photo/DTR via wikimedia commons

Scale of Justice photo/DTR via wikimedia commons

“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,” he said in a brief talk at Archbishop Rummel High School in Metarie.

“There is nothing wrong with that, and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that,” added Scalia, a Catholic.
New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond introduced Scalia to the crowd of about 600 that had gathered for an annual celebration of religious freedom.
In his brief remarks, Scalia said that the principle of religious neutrality has been twisted by jurists since the 1970s to mean that traces of religion must be banished in favor of a purely secular public square.
He called that idea “absurd.”
“To tell you the truth, there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from?” he said. “To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another. But we can’t favor religion over nonreligion?”
Scalia said justices should follow the customs and common experiences of the American people on matters of faith more than “abstract principles.”
He said that if the American people at some point decide they want to “impose” secularism on the U.S., “I don’t have a problem with that as long as it is done democratically,” but “Don’t cram it down the throats of an American people that has always honored God on the pretext that the Constitution requires it.”
Scalia is the high court’s longest-serving justice, appointed by Ronald Reagan and is now 79.
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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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