Last Update July 25, 2003
Supreme Court Justice Scalia is the person who will perhaps have the greatest impact in helping the Religious Right establish its sovereignty. President Bush has talked about Scalia and Thomas as the justices he admires the most.
Scalia was instrumental in helping establish the Federalist Society. He has been making public statements lately that reveal his ideas. He spoke at the University of Chicago Divinity School in January, 2002, and wrote an article for First Things, in May, 2002. He quotes St. Paul: "...Government...derives its moral authority from God. It is the minister of God with powers to "avenge" to "execute wrath" including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakenly a reference to the death penalty)."
Scalia appears hostile to Democracy: The "consensus" [that government is the minister of God] "has been upset, I think by the emergence of democracy...It is much more difficult to see the hand of God...behind the fools and rogues...we ourselves elect of our own free will." He sees democracy as obscuring the divine authority: "the reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure divine authority...should [be] the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible."
Scalia views the United States Constitution as "dead" rather than as a living document that evolves along with society. "...the Constitution that I interpret is not living but dead...It means today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted." This view of the US Constitution as "dead" could become the basis of a strategy to dismantle the separation of church and state. In a speech on January 12, 2003, at a Religious Freedom Day event, Scalia said that the principle was not imbedded in the constitution and therefore should be added democratically. An amendment to the Constitution would be impossible to achieve in the current political climate, so the argument is disingenuous.To read the reaction of Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United, to Scalia's speech Click Here
The Death Penalty
Scalia's article in First Things is about the death penalty. He writes: "Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is, the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral."(emphasis his)
The following is a link to Scalia's entire article: Click Here
The textbook, America's Providential History (see Topic on Dominion Economics) views the death penalty as "the backbone of civil government." The book goes back to the time God brought Noah through the flood: "When God brings Noah through the flood to a new earth, He re-establishes the Dominion Mandate but now delegates to man the responsibility for governing other men in order to protect human life. He does this by instituting capital punishment - the backbone of civil government."
Scalia's comments, and the historical perspective in America's Povidential History are of particular concern in light of the actions of Attorney General John Ashcroft. He is aggressively enforcing federal death penalty law by targeting the Northeast where federal prosecutors have been reluctant to seek death sentences.