Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia either doesn’t understand the Constitution, or he is trying to rewrite history.
During a speech at Colorado Christian University on Wednesday, Scalia told the crowd that the Constitution doesn’t say that “the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion,” according to The Washington Times.
Regarding removing religion from the “public square,” Scalia said,
“That’s a possible way to run a political system. The Europeans run it that way, and if the American people want to do it, I suppose they can enact that by statute. But to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.”
“We do [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” said Scalia. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution.”
The conservative judge failed to mention that “under God” was only added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, hardly making it a long-standing American tradition.
Scalia even referenced Thomas Jefferson, quoting him from the Virginia Declaration of Religious Freedom that, “God who made the mind of man made it free.” He did not, however, abring up that Jefferson also said:
“Because religious belief, or nonbelief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
Claiming to be a strict interpreter of the Constitution, Scalia chastised other justices who believe the Constitution is a living document that evolves along with the American people.
“[The Supreme Court’s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes,” said Scalia, “is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and nonreligion. That’s just a lie. Where do you get the notion that this is all unconstitutional?”
It’s safe to say that the other justices get the “notion” directly from the Constitution, something that Scalia obviously doesn’t actually understand. He says he doesn’t believe the constitution “morphs,” but he consistently hands down rulings that go against a literal interpretation of the document but fall inline with conservative ideology.