Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in an address over the weekend that the Constitution does not dictate that the federal government must be neutral between different religions or between religion and no religion at all. He added that God has been good to the United States in the past because Americans have honored Him.
Scalia gave the remarks on Saturday at the Archbishop Rummel [Catholic] High School in a suburb of New Orleans. The justice was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1986 and is the court’s longest serving member.
“To tell you the truth there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from?” he said. “To be sure, you can’t favor one denomination over another but can’t favor religion over non-religion?”
The First Amendment to the Constitution provides, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Scalia also said there is “nothing wrong” with the idea of presidents and others invoking God in speeches.
Scalia told the audience that during the Sept. 11 attacks, he was in Rome at a conference. “The next morning, after a speech by President George W. Bush in which he invoked God and asked for his blessing, Scalia said many of the other judges approached him and said they wished their presidents or prime ministers would do the same,” the Associated Press reported. (Read more from “Supreme Court Justice Scalia Just Dropped Bombshell on Battle Over Religion and Government” HERE)