Scalia: Government Can Favor ‘Religion Over Non-Religion’

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argued in a speech to a Christian college on Wednesday that the separation of church and state does not prohibit the government of the United States from favoring religion over atheism, or non-religion.

Speaking at Colorado Christian University on Wednesday, Scalia defended his strict interpretation of the Constitution, claiming that secular concerns over religion in public life are “absurd.” According to The Huffington Post, Scalia argued that the Constitution only protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

“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,” Scalia said.

“We do Him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” he continued. “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.”

Scalia, a conservative Christian, was appointed to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan. His remarks came during a day of appearances in Colorado, during which he lectured students on the Commerce Clause, and received an Honorary Doctorate from CCU President Bill Armstrong, according to The Washington Times.

“At no place on Earth does Justice Scalia have as many admirers as he does on the Colorado Christian University campus,” said Mr. Armstrong.

Earlier this year, Scalia supported the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, which held that the tiny town in New York could continue to open their legislative sessions with prayers, as The Inquisitr previously noted. According to Scalia, viewing the Constitution as a malleable document that changes with the times is a dangerous act.

“Our [the Supreme Court’s] latest take on the subject, which is quite different from previous takes, is that the state must be neutral, not only between religions, but between religion and non-religion,” Scalia said. “That’s just a lie. Where do you get the notion that this is all unconstitutional? You can only believe that if you believe in a morphing Constitution.”

Asserting that he wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if it were his responsibility to decide ethical questions, Scalia noted his lack of belief in a malleable Constitution.

“And some of my colleagues have said, ‘Oh, we agonize a lot.’ I don’t agonize at all. I look at the text, I look at the history of the text. That’s the answer. It’s not my call.”

Scalia also asserted that if Americans want a more secular political system that is neutral in the case of religion, it can be enacted through statute rather than constitutionally.

[Image via ThinkProgress]

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