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How Justice Scalia Set the Anti-Religion Crowd Straight

Justice Scalia rocked the secularist establishment in many ways — from his views on abortion and same-sex sexuality to affirmative action and religion and the founding of the United States.

In a speech he gave in January of this year, Justice Scalia said:

“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.”

The study of American history will show that the atheists, ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation don’t have a constitutional or historical leg to stand on when they file suits against religious displays, sectarian prayers, monuments, or anything else religious as it relates to government.

They get away with their legal theatrics because (1) the general population is ignorant on the subject and (2) the courts rule in terms of precedent and not history.

“During a speech at Colorado Christian University on [October 1, 2014], Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit religious references in public places, including schools.”

Anyone who says otherwise on the facts of the case is lying. After Mitt Romney’s “Faith in America” speech delivered at the George Bush Presidential Library in College State, Texas, on December 6, 2007,1 Geoffrey Stone, professor of law at the University of Chicago, wrote that it “called to mind a disturbingly distorted version of history that has become part of the conventional wisdom of American politics in recent years.”2

The distorted version of history belongs to Professor Stone as I point out in the essay “University of Chicago Law Professor Attempts to Rewrite America’s Christian History.” It’s available as a free download here.

Scalia got to the point with this jab at secular convention:

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over non-religion.”

The dissuasion is made possible because the religious history of America is not taught in public schools, and if any part of it is taught, students are told that America is a better place without a fundamental religious belief system.

Many secularists can lie about America’s rich Christian heritage because they are confident that few people will take the time to research the topic.

Case for America's Christian Heritage
Case for America’s Christian Heritage: FREE DOWNLOAD

For example, Brooke Allen writes in “The Faith of our Founding Fathers definitely wasn’t Christianity,” “Our nation was founded not on Christian principles but on Enlightenment ones. God only entered the picture as a very minor player, and Jesus Christ was conspicuously absent.”

As my above referenced essay shows and the numerous books that I and others have written on the subject, this is a big lie. As it’s been said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

Scalia quoted the First Amendment, something secularists don’t generally do since its wording disestablishes their claims:

“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.”

Scalia then asked, is it “freedom of religion” or “freedom from religion”? It’s clear by the First Amendment and the history of our nation that it’s freedom of religion, contrary to the claims of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The states wanted the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution to mute the power of the national government on infringing on these four freedoms.

At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, most of the states had their own religious statements written into their state constitutions. Consider these examples:

Delaware—

“Article 22. Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust . . . shall . . . also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:

“I, _________________, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.”

North Carolina—

North Carolina’s 1868 Constitution stated that “all persons who shall deny the being of Almighty God” “shall be disqualified for office.” The 1776 constitution, that remained in effect until 1868, included the following (XXXII): “That no person, who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.” North Carolina describes itself as a “Christian State” in the 1868 constitution (Art. XI, sec. 7).

Massachusetts—

The Constitution of Massachusetts stated that “no person shall be eligible to this office, unless . . . he shall declare himself to be of the Christian religion.” The following oath was also required: “I do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have firm persuasion of its truth.”

Pennsylvania—

Pennsylvania’s 1790 constitution declared, “That no person, who acknowledges the being of God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this commonwealth.”

These are hardly examples of a secularized, no-God, “Enlightenment” philosophy.


  1. http://n.pr/ZQZUwg and http://nyti.ms/13mTnJP and http://bit.ly/koFeWL 

  2. For a comprehensive contrary opinion, see Ellis Sandoz, ed., Political Sermons of the American Founding: 1730—1805 (Indianapolis: LibertyPress, 1991). 

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Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1979). He has served as researcher and writer at the Christian Worldview ministry American Vision since 1980 and President since 1984. Today he serves as Senior Fellow at American Vision where he lectures, researches, and writes on various worldview issues. Gary is the author of 30 books on a variety of topics – from "America’s Christian History" and "God and Government" to "Thinking Straight in a Crooked World" to "Last Days Madness." Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the “Bible Answer Man,” hosted by Hank Hanegraaff and “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders. Newspaper interviews with Gary have appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marietta Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Tribune.

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