The latest horror film:The Supreme Court’s new term

Yesterday’s New York Times (a/k/a Fat Sunday) had several items on the Supreme Court’s upcoming term. I read them in the sort of dread that nowadays pervades me whenever I see the term “Supreme Court.”

True, when the NY Giants pulled off an exciting game over the Arizona Cardinals, I was diverted into that ebullient sense of mutual accomplishment I always get after my guys win. But it’s Monday and I’m dragged back into general foreboding.

I was going to put the Times links here with anxious comment, but this morning my friend Jerry Coyne wrote something far more riveting and important. So here are the Times links, w/o my comments: Supreme Court Turns to Criminal and First Amendment Cases – NYTimes.com;Cases the Supreme Court Is Scheduled to Hear – NYTimes.com.; and, most horribly Red Mass Marks Start of Supreme Court Session – NYTimes.com.

And here, with his emblematic pussycat, is Jerry’s entire post (I agree completely with him about Maureen Dowd which is why I didn’t read her yesterday, but I’m so glad Jerry did).

Dowd on the evils of a Catholic Supreme Court

by whyevolutionistrue

Maureen Dowd’s columns are usually too twee and cutesy  for my taste, but her piece in yesterday’s New York Times, “Cooperation in Evil” is serious: it’s about the Catholic-ization of the United States Supreme Court and all the ill it bodes for our country.

The problem of course, is that religion poisons everything it touches, for the faithful think they not only have a handle on truth, but that they get that truth straight from God. This makes them more assured, and hence more dangerous, than those who get their opinions from secular reason.

At any rate, the odious Antonin Scalia, who seems to show no shame about parading his pro-religion prejudices in public, said this at a speech at Duquesne University:

“Our educational establishment these days, while so tolerant of and even insistent on diversity in all other aspects of life, seems bent on eliminating the diversity of moral judgment, particularly moral judgment based on religious views,” the devout Catholic said.

I didn’t realize that not only six of the nine Justices are Catholics, but they go together to a traditional Mass at a nearby Cathedral.  Well, going to Mass is their right, but going together makes a statement about religion that, to a country ruled by the First Amendment (freedom of religion), is pretty clear.

As the Supreme Court gets ready to go into session on Monday, its six Catholic justices were set to merge church and state by attending the traditional first-Sunday-in-October Red Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral. (It’s hard to believe there’s no Protestant on the Supreme Court.) Through the years, the presiding clergy have aimed their homilies against abortion, gay marriage and “humanism.” Justices of other faiths have attended; but as Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Slate, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stopped attending the Red Mass altogether after hearing her very first homily, which she has described as ‘outrageously anti-abortion.’ ”

As Dowd relates, Pope John Paul II was opposed to the death penalty, and even Pope Ratzi sent a letter to the state of Georgia asking, unsuccessfully, for a stay of execution of Troy Davis.  So maybe the Church has it right on this one, but Scalia dissents:

In his Duquesne speech, Scalia said: “If I thought that Catholic doctrine held the death penalty to be immoral, I would resign. I could not be a part of a system that imposes it.”

Well the Church sort of has, and Scalia’s butt is still on the bench.  Dowd wonders, rhetorically, whether Scalia is “cooperating in evil.”  The answer is yes, and it’s a sad situation when on some issues the American Supreme Court is even less moral than the Catholic Church.

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