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October 7th, 2013
12:31 PM ET

Scalia says atheism 'favors the devil's desires'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - As the Supreme Court begins its new term Monday, the devil is not on the docket - but the Evil One apparently is on the mind of Justice Antonin Scalia.

New York magazine has published a fascinating new interview with Scalia in which the outspoken jurist tackled a number of topics. But none seemed to surprise Scalia's interviewer, Jennifer Senior, more than his views on Satan.

The interview was conducted on September 26, the 27th anniversary of Scalia's swearing-in as a justice on the high court. He is one of a record six Catholic justices on the Supreme Court.

After Scalia and Senior discussed heaven and hell (he believes in them; she doesn't), the justice said in a stage whisper, "I even believe in the devil."

"You do?" Senior replied.

"Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, come on, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that," Scalia said.

Senior asked Scalia if he's seen evidence of Satan's work recently.

"You know, it is curious," Scalia answered. "In the Gospels, the devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore. ... It’s because he’s smart."

MORE FROM CNN: How to argue about religion online

Scalia said the Devil has gotten "wilier" and convinced people that he and God don't exist. The justice added that he doesn't think that atheists are Satan's minions, but that disbelief in God "certainly favors the devil's desires."

Senior asked if it's "frightening" to believe in the devil, which seemed to annoy Scalia.

"You’re looking at me as though I’m weird," he answered. "My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil."

Scalia, whose son, Paul, is a Catholic priest in Arlington, Virginia, also said Pope Francis is "absolutely" right about the church needing to concentrate more on mercy and outreach than on fighting the culture wars.

MORE FROM CNN: American Catholics agree with Pope Francis on ending culture wars

"But he hasn’t backed off the view of the church on those issues," Scalia said. "He’s just saying, 'Don’t spend all our time talking about that stuff. Talk about Jesus Christ and evangelize.' I think there’s no indication whatever that he’s changing doctrinally."

Finally, Scalia said he has not "softened" his views on homosexuality.

"I still think it’s Catholic teaching that it’s wrong. OK? But I don’t hate the people that engage in it. In my legal opinions, all I’ve said is that I don’t think the Constitution requires the people to adopt one view or the other," Scalia said.

MORE FROM CNN: Church and state, executive power on Supreme Court docket

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Catholic Church • Courts • Culture wars • Devil • Pope Francis

soundoff (3,730 Responses)
  1. Haha

    He's right, the devil's real, but the Bible describes him as a fallen angel, not a person. He's also right about the more people embrace atheism and are blind to this the more it favors the devil. Look at all the Gen Y atheist and what they say. You would think that their philosophy would be that of Frederick Nietzsche, but on every point they line up with Aleister Crowley and Anton Lavey. They are Satanist. It should be a surprise either Laveyan Satanism advocates being an atheist that uses black magic, which how can that exist for someone that's truely an atheist? The reason this shouldn't suprise us is Lavey predicted that this would take place, that the Satanic world view would grow because most families had what he called the Satanic alter in ther home. According to him the alter is the TV, and he was right the TV has taught us to be selfish materialistic, and to worship ourselves and celebrity.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I'm as religious as a rock. I'm married, have two kids, never drank, smoked or did drugs. Have been working since I was 16 (I'm now 51) Do you you still think I beleive in satan?

      October 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • Boonana

      Christians, Jews, Muslims are all atheist towards thousands and thousands of gods that the mind of Man has come up with over the years. Non believers prefer to take this logical thinking one further step, one god further.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • NoSacredCow

      Some people are willing to believe in anything that suits their purposes.
      It explains the Tea Party and Right Wing Christians.

      October 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • larrylinn

      “Religion has convinced people that there's an invisible man ...
      living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every
      day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn't
      want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a
      special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish
      for you to live forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream,
      until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and
      he needs money.”

      George Carlin

      October 12, 2013 at 7:09 am |
  2. Kafir

    And we've got this guy sitting on the highest court in the United States? Really, America? Really?

    October 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  3. kathy

    Yes...Satan is sure alive and well....and his name is Antonin Scalia.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  4. Xavier Czyz

    The article stated...Scalia said the Devil has gotten "wilier" and convinced people that he and God don't exist. The justice added that he doesn't think that atheists are Satan's minions, but that disbelief in God "certainly favors the devil's desires."

    I like Justice Scalia, but I question how he his privy to information that the rest of us are not. He said the devil has gotten wilier and convinced people God doesn't exist, but he offers no evidence for his statements. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and he should understand this as a lawyer. That which is offered without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. He should know that too.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Honest Abe

      The devil IS a real person... and his name is John Boehner!

      October 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Oncler

      Do you really need evidence to support people leaving the belief of God? All he is doing is tying the two together. Its not difficult to understand. His position is the Devil is deceiving people not to believe in God and the supporting evidence is the growing group of atheist.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • Sean

        There are more atheists than ever before because we have access to more knowledge than ever before. There are thousands of lies and untruths in any religion or in "holy book" so why believe what is obviously false? Monotheists are a dying breed but there will always be pockets of ignorance, waiting for the rapture, or for their judgement day, or whatever. Gives people something to focus on and to bond with, rather than dealing with the world head on.

        One day the gods of Man will be gone, and we will be old enough not to need new ones...

        October 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  5. wcb2000

    Then I expect the justice should be willing to allow a, "the devil made me do it", defense.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  6. sciencelady

    I am an atheist.
    I am not motivated by the devil. I am not evil. I don't do evil things.

    In addition to being an atheist, I am also a humanist. I care about people individually and collectively. I spend my time planning and acting on what can be done to improve society. I donate money and time to equitable, efficient, charitable foundations such Freedom Beyond Belief and many others.
    Also, I am rational, reasonable, and skeptical. Big claims require big evidence.

    Scalia's incorrect assumptions of atheists being immoral should shake freethinkers, agnostics, atheists and skeptics into action. Come out, come out where ever you are. Unless your government will kill you for it, than nevermind.

    It's time to come out.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      We're out already, haven't you been reading this blog?

      October 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Mark

      You sound like a sincere atheist. I am a sincere theist. I am reasonable ( I have a doctorate in medicine), charitable and caring towards my fellow man. Sounds like we would be friends.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • sam stone

        if you are a sincere theist, please answer this sincere atheist's question

        how can free will co-exist with an omniscient god?

        October 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
        • Mark

          Are you sincere?

          October 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • sam stone

          yes. are you?

          October 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Oncler

      Truly a weak comment and cry unification... Scalia is not saying a atheist isn't cable of doing good, that argument is played out. Try something else..

      October 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Ben

      Well said! (and you too Mark 🙂
      Peace to all, without ignorance, gods, souls, or after lives!!

      (but if a new god does show up with some actual proof, I'm open, I mean, I LIKE SURPRISES 🙂

      October 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  7. Satan had one son too?

    Sorry bible thumpers – there is no god.

    You worship the "teachings" of a book of fables which was transcribed by hand over hundreds of centuries, with each copy more embellished then the previous. If you ever played the game of telephone as a child, you

    know that once you whisper something in one person's ear and by the time it's gone around the room it's nowhere near the sentence you started off with. And you expect your precious book of fairy tales to still be truthful

    accounts? Haha.

    Not to mention you're talking about so long ago that the people were so backwards they could not explain much of the universe, and ended up giving god-names to normal every day stuff. Oh that bright globe in the sky?

    That's Apollo dude! It must be a god! Sure, that's ancient greek history – but you get the point. Man had practically no understanding of the scientific world around him, and was very backwards. Of course they would see

    certain things and look upon them as divine, magical, etc.

    Next, man as a sentient being is "afraid of the dark" and feels so self important they just can't bring it to themselves to believe after death there is nothing – oblivion. Of course he invents an invisible sky father to help

    him explain away the unknown or the terrifying.

    Sorry bible thumpers – the 95% of you on the planet, whatever your religion – you're all insane. You believe in, and your religion(s) have killed or would kill for – a lie. You are sick and twisted.

    When an atheist helps a little old lady across the street, or donates to a charity, it's not because they want to score points to avoid an imaginary lake of fire when they die. It's because they are genuinely good people,

    Since religious nuts act out of FEAR, and not goodness, that makes athiests morally superior to religious nutbags.

    Please wake up and smell the coffee – you are responsible for your own actions. No god is going to forgive or save you. The sooner you stop blaming your problems and resorting to cheap incantations, the sooner the

    world will take responsibility and become a better place.

    No Your Mama insults here – just cold hard facts no religion can refute. Truth, facts, reason should be your god – not some make believe dude in the sky.

    Love,
    Athiests of the world

    October 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Topher

      Satan had one son too?

      "Sorry bible thumpers – there is no god."

      Careful. You're making a claim. That means you have to prove it.

      "You worship the "teachings" of a book of fables which was transcribed by hand over hundreds of centuries, with each copy more embellished then the previous."

      Nope. Bibles are translated from the original languages. Not one after another after another.

      "If you ever played the game of telephone as a child, you know that once you whisper something in one person's ear and by the time it's gone around the room it's nowhere near the sentence you started off with. And you expect your precious book of fairy tales to still be truthful."

      Except the NT writers involved eyewitnesses ... either themselves or they talked to the eyewitnesses.

      "Not to mention you're talking about so long ago that the people were so backwards they could not explain much of the universe, and ended up giving god-names to normal every day stuff. Oh that bright globe in the sky?"

      First, that's not Christianity. Second, even if they couldn't explain the universe it wouldn't matter. The Bible isn't a science textbook. That's not the point. It's a history book and tells of humanity's creation, fall and deliverance by grace.

      "Sorry bible thumpers – the 95% of you on the planet, whatever your religion – you're all insane. You believe in, and your religion(s) have killed or would kill for – a lie. You are sick and twisted."

      Logical fallacy. It doesn't matter if 100 percent are for or against, that doesn't prove anything one way or the other. Oh, and it's another logical fallacy to say you are one of the few who are sane.

      "When an atheist helps a little old lady across the street, or donates to a charity, it's not because they want to score points to avoid an imaginary lake of fire when they die. It's because they are genuinely good people."

      There are none who are good. No, not one. Let's not forget, if Christianity completely goes away as most of you "atheists" say you hope for, you're taking away the one group who builds the most hospitals, adopts the most children and gives the most to charity. Not saying "atheists" don't do those things, but the numbers aren't even comparable.

      "Since religious nuts act out of FEAR, and not goodness, that makes athiests morally superior to religious nutbags."

      Hold on. In your worldview, you can't say someone is good or bad or that an action is good or bad. All you can say is you have a preference of something because you don't have a higher standard-giver. So everything is just an opinion.

      "Please wake up and smell the coffee – you are responsible for your own actions. No god is going to forgive or save you. The sooner you stop blaming your problems and resorting to cheap incantations, the sooner the world will take responsibility and become a better place."

      Better place? See my answer above. And God has already saved me. And He would save you, too, if you'd humble yourself instead of proclaiming your own goodness.

      "No Your Mama insults here – just cold hard facts no religion can refute. Truth, facts, reason should be your god – not some make believe dude in the sky."

      I think I did just refute you.

      Love,
      The Church

      October 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
      • Ben

        The first poster wins Topher, you have a lot of holes in your post. An easy one to point out is regarding the bible, you said "... It's a history book and tells of humanity's creation..." 100% FALSE. Anatomically modern Humans have been around for at least 200,000 years. Simple cells first appeared on Earth nearly 4 billion years ago. We had insects 400 million years ago, dinosaurs 300 million years ago and flowering plants 130 million years ago"...

        The overriding "problem" with most Christians (or any theists really) is lack of study. They seem to be spend most of their time memorizing holy book passages or mumbling prayers for things they personally want. If every church in the world suddenly started to actually teach Humans real knowledge, then maybe they would have some benefit. Just too many lies though involved in the entire Jesus/Love/Hell narrative. I doubt you will ever come to grips with this Topher, but your death will be final, not a bridge to another realm. The love you feel in your heart is real, but it also really for a fictional creation 🙂

        October 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
        • Topher

          Ben

          I appreciate the conviction of your beliefs. But ...

          "An easy one to point out is regarding the bible, you said "... It's a history book and tells of humanity's creation..." 100% FALSE."

          So the Bible doesn't tell of man's creation? Your statement is false.

          "Anatomically modern Humans have been around for at least 200,000 years. Simple cells first appeared on Earth nearly 4 billion years ago. We had insects 400 million years ago, dinosaurs 300 million years ago and flowering plants 130 million years ago"..."

          How do you know that? You have a presupposition and bias. But that's OK, so do I.

          "The overriding "problem" with most Christians (or any theists really) is lack of study."

          Logical fallacy. You have no idea how much I or anyone else study.

          "Just too many lies though involved in the entire Jesus/Love/Hell narrative."

          Like what?

          "I doubt you will ever come to grips with this Topher, but your death will be final, not a bridge to another realm. The love you feel in your heart is real, but it also really for a fictional creation 🙂 "

          Actually, I used to be an "atheist" and believed the way you do. But I found the evidence FOR God more compelling than that against.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
        • nataS

          So many gods, so little time...

          October 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • G to the T

          Topher – you have more faith in the integrity than I am willing to give. And I don't think that most historical biblical scholars would agree with your assessment (at least in my studies on the topic).

          If you want to take your belief in the integrity of the bible as a matter of faith, that's fine but you should assert it as a belief, not a statement of fact.

          October 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • dorianmattar

          Who cares if he has faith in the bible, the bible is s farce no matter what.

          October 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • ROO

        @Topher

        "Careful. You're making a claim. That means

        you have to prove it."

        -that's rejecting an unsupported assertion, not making a claim. It's like saying to a person who says 'leprechauns don't exist', "Careful. You're making a claim. That means you have to prove leprechauns don't exist." That's moronic reasoning. Something non-existent would have no evidence, so their position is already supported. You have to present evidence for the claim of existence since making the claim require evidence for it to be valid.

        "Nope. Bibles are translated from the original languages. Not one after another after another."

        -That doesn't mean the translations are original translations since there are no existing originals, only copies of copies. Also copies get changed by copiers who make either mistakes or intentional changes which then get repeated in later copies by copiers who were ignorant of this assuming they were making a simple copy of an unaltered text. That is the problem with having many copies. No two copies of the bible are the same, particularly regarding the new testament.

        "Except the NT writers involved eyewitnesses

        ... either themselves or they talked to the

        eyewitnesses."

        -wrong. The new testament writers were anonymous Greek speaking Christians already part of the christian faith by that time. Even biblical scholars are aware of this. Neither the gospels nor epistles were contemporary to the time period the events were alleged to have taken place. The new testament was written by highly skilled Greek writers trained in Greek composition, with philosophical concepts already similar to Greek philosophy. It was not written in first person like an eye witness report, but rather third person like a story. None of the writers claimed to be eyewitnesses and one gospel even states upfront as repeating material from other hearsay accounts

        October 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • ROO

        @Topher

        "So the Bible doesn't tell of man's creation? Your statement is false."

        -that doesn't equate it as a historiography since many ancient religions tell many different stories for "man's creation". The bible is a book of literature. The bible's historical claims are contradicted by findings in both the historical and archeological record particularly concerning Israel's origin, the Exodus, and the conquest of Canaan. Scientifically, the biblical depiction of "man's creation" is dismissed by evidence in genetics. Genetics can give an estimate of time-frame due to molecular clocks of genes, including genetic markers inherited from common ancestors.

        October 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  8. David

    -If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. ~Anon

    October 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  9. David

    -The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. ~Ben Franklin

    October 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  10. David

    -The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends. ~Albert Einstein

    October 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  11. dastreagus

    This NOVAROMAN here thinks Scalia is helping humanity. I am a polytheist and Scalia speaks about a duality of evil and good.. I've had the misfortune of experiencing a few "evil" forces and his faith regards them as one.. in either case it has always been a benefit to any bad actors to pretend they do not exist.

    I was born into a catholic upbringing, but changed quite a bit, as I found my belief in the Olympians, it is usually a catholic who in my eyes knocks the ball out of the park with making an interpretation suited for survivability on the earth. I'll probably always have better parties and entertainment than the justice, yet if I was unaware of the "devil" force he mentioned I probably wouldn't have made it.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  12. fsmgroupie

    protestants believe that the pope is the anti-christ.. this must be the satan that scalia is talking about.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  13. Verimius

    Satan is a purely imaginary being, a product of the human mind. Scalia, unfortunately, is real.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  14. COMMON SENSE

    Every on here is all opinions but no facts. How do you know hes stupid? HES A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE! Hes probably had more education then you can even hope of having. To each there own. If you dont want to believe in God, fine dont. But call people fools and idiots because they believe in things you dont. Your no better than all of the strict religiously affiliated people who try and force their religion on you except you try and force your lack of religion on others. so please STFU and do something productive to better the world around you instead of flaming at others because your to pigheaded to live and let live. * climbs off soap box

    October 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • COMMON SENSE

      * gets back on soap box

      Why do people assume God doesnt exist because they cant see him. You cant see air but it affects you everyday. You cant see everyone in the world at one time so do you also believe that they dont exist because Hey if you cant see it its not real.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Nance

        Not even going there. Your name belies your posts.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

          Wise, Nance – very wise.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
        • COMMON SENSE

          Nance please go there. I want to hear what you have to say. Im not trying to advocate for religion and i apoligize if i did unitentionally. but please explain to me how the name i choose" belies my post"

          October 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Mike

          C.S., aside from your apparent inability to use apostrophes, equating a deity to 'air' on the basis that neither can be seen not only requires no common sense, but is indicative of its absence altogether; I suspect this is why they did not want to "go there."

          While air cannot usually be 'seen', it can be felt, heard, measured, etc. All you need to do is breath to know air exists. A deity is far more akin to Bigfoot, the Easter Bunny, or Russell's teapot.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
      • Verimius

        You can measure air. It follows predictable physical laws. Different people can perform experiments with air and get the same results every time.

        You could also verify the existence of any person in the world, but there is nothing you can do to verify the existence of God.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • COMMON SENSE

          Maybe we should all die and find out for sure.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          After you. Do report back if you can.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • Robert Gemerek

          Right, but just as you can't prove god exists, you cannot disprove it either. Which is why people shouldn't speak about god as if they have the facts because nobody has the facts except dead people.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
        • Mike

          Robert, with all due respect, the people who shouldn't speak about something unproven are those who advocate its existence.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Robert, You can't prove that Zeus doesn't exist but you don't believe in him. There is no more evidence for any god than there is for Zeus. Those making the claims should provide the evidence, and the creation myths are shown to be incorrect – so the house of religion is built on sand.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          According to the Bible (Eccl 9:5), the dead know nothing.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
        • Oncler

          You can come to conclusion based on reality. In other words that there is something rather than nothing. You can conclude because of causation there is a creator.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
        • John

          Hey Santa, don't worry, you'll get there soon enough.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Because it is not common sense – it is not any kind of sense.
        I see no evidence for a god and until I do I will remain an atheist. The air can be detected by experiment. Other people in the world can be located and visited. You really need to work on your logic.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Oncler

          I can understand your frustration. We live in a "what have you done for me lately" world. I think most people believe in God because there is air you can measure. Because there is something rather than nothing.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
      • Dude

        God is irrelevant.

        If he exists, he completely ignores humans, and is is therefore unworthy of worship.

        Anyone who believes prayer works has forgotten that god give humans "free will."

        October 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • Oncler

          Your last line has no bearing on prayer. Whatever scenario it is your thinking about doesn't negate prayer.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • David Adams

        By that logic, you must believe in all the gods.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • John

        Get it cold enough and you can, indeed, see "air". Air is nothing more that the state of chemicals in the environment in one of the states of matter, ie, solid, liquid and gas aka "air".

        October 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
      • Fish Jones

        Air can be measured. We can see the effects of air and measure those effects and PROVE that air was the culprit. God? not so much. Sure, you can speculate all day, but simply put, adding God to the equation of the universe creates more holes than it covers. Adding God in the equation creates many paradoxes that simply cannot be answered, which is why that mathematically/scientifically, God does not exist and is not "the answer"

        October 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
      • Maxwell's Demon

        Why are you creating a straw man?

        October 7, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Nance

      Being stupid and being crazy are two different things. I haven't seen too many comments saying he's stupid.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • JJ

      First of all, learn some spelling, grammar and punctuation before you decide to use this new fangled Internet thingy to spew your ignorance. Second, someone who's making laws of the land for all of us should not be delusional believing in ghosts, demons, fairies, flat Earth and such. No, he's not stupid, just delusional which is frightening.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
      • COMMON SENSE

        So minor grammatical errors are a problem to you. They also show the grand scale of my ignorance? Right. SO SORRY.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • JJ

          Minor?...lol. You should break out a 2nd grade English text book and review your comment.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
        • John

          Goes to level of intelligence, or lack thereof.

          October 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • Rimuladas

        Justices don't make the laws.....

        October 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • John

          Haven't you heard, "activist" judges do make the laws. Just ask any conservative.

          October 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Matthew Hutchinson

      I will go one further and say he is not stupid(unless you call believing in imaginary beings that no one alive has ever seen) but this kind of talk has no place coming out of the mouth of a Supreme Court Justice's mouth. Separation of church and state must happen. Have we learned nothing by watching the middle east, that is what happens when god comes into politics

      October 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      I haven't seen anyone saying he's stupid – just partisan and delusional.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  15. joe

    Yes he is a real person and he goes by the name of DICK CHANEY was there ever any doubt?

    October 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  16. Mattdaddy

    Fascinating. That's what we aspire to. A world where we believe what everyone else believes regardless of the evidence. The Earth is flat. Global warming is a government conspiracy and we know exactly where Iraq is hiding their weapons of mass destruction!

    October 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  17. steve

    Scalia is right. The vast majority of the nation believes in one religion or another. 90% of the planet also believes in one of the main religions. All you atheists are a small minority that tries to antogonize others through ridicule and mockery, and then you wonder why we don't like you. Try being respectful of others' beliefs, and then you'll get more respect.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Ouch

      Perhaps you could try having beliefs that are worthy of respect.

      The Christ myth and accompanying fairy tales are only worthy of ridicule.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • kevin

        agreed – since when did respect other people's beliefs about anything else?? If Scalia believes in unicorns, or that the Holocaust never happened, should we still respect his spectacularly stupid beliefs??

        October 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Christ is a lie

      Why might atheists think believers are a little thick. Hmmmm, let's see......

      Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in an “afterlife” comes from the field of:

      (a) Astronomy;

      (b) Cosmology;

      (c) Psychology; or

      (d) Judaism, Christianity and Islam

      Q. 2 What is the only thing capable of making 40% of the country utterly stupid enough to think the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake:

      (a) paleontology

      (b) archeology

      (c) biology; or

      (d) Judaism, Christianity or Islam

      Q. 3 Please complete the following sentence. It is not uncommon in many parts of the World for a young man to strap a suicide vest to himself and blow himself up and members of a rival __________

      (i) corporation

      (ii) university

      (iii) research insti.tute; or

      (iv) church?

      Q. 4 It is only acceptable as an adult to believe Bronze Age mythology like talking snakes, the Red Sea splitting, mana falling from the sky, a man living in a whale's belly, a talking donkey, superhuman strength, a man rising from the dead and angels, ghosts, gods and demons in the field of:

      (a) history

      (b) literature

      (c) anthropology

      (d) religion

      Q.5 I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am being obstinate and closed minded due to my:

      (a) hetero$exuality

      (b) genetics

      (c) nationality; or

      (d) religion.

      Q6. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

      (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

      (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

      (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

      (d) your average Christian, Muslim or Jew who believes that prayers are answered

      Q7. Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

      (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

      (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

      (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

      (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

      Q.8 The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

      (a) Architecture;

      (b) Philosophy;

      (c) Archeology; or

      (d) Religion

      Q.9 What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

      (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in

      terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

      (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

      (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas all religion is regional and a person’s religion, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than a matter of upbringing;

      or

      (d) All of the above.

      Q.10 If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

      (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

      (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

      (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

      (d) my religious belief.

      Q.11 Who am I? I don’t pay any taxes. I never have. Any money my organization earns is tax free at the federal, state and local level. Despite contributing nothing to society, but still enjoying all its benefits, I feel I have the right to tell others what to do. I am

      (a) A sleazy Wall Street banker

      (b) the mafia

      (c) A drug pusher; or

      (d) any given religious organization

      Q. 12 I believe that an all-knowing being, powerful enough to create the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies, watches me have $ex to make sure I don't do anything "naughty" (like protect myself from disease with a condom, for example). I am

      (a) A victim of child molestation

      (b) A r.ape victim trying to recover

      (c) A mental patient with paranoid delusions; or

      (d) A regular Christian, Jew or Muslim following my religious belief

      In short, nothing in history of human endeavor can make otherwise smart, functioning people believe the most implausible of supernatural absurdities the way religion can.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

        I personally like 7(d) the best

        October 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        I think I passed this exam.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • dastreagus

        it's not a candy canes and gentle breezes. I'm sure that we all agree on that regardless of our larger than life beliefs.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
      • ES

        Spot on with Q8. Normally people consider murder to be a crime, but add religion into the mix and suddenly murder of whole groups of innocent civilians becomes the right thing to do.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • Oncler

        I like how you attack every stereotype religion while accomplishing nothing.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Maxwell's Demon

      I'd probably respect you more if you weren't such a hypocrite. Also, the number of people who believe in something has no bearing on whether or not it's true.

      October 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  18. jj

    Shows just how out of touch the Faux News watching rightwingers are. They really expect to be taken up in the Rapture and don't care what fear, panic and confusion they bring to our country and the world. They expect the end of days soon and are doing everything they can to bring it on.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Topher

      Fear? Panic? Confusion?

      October 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • sam stone

        Where would evangelism be without fear?

        Not that promises of hell are an effective way of getting poeple to believe

        But it sure makes the one making the threat feel all fvcking godly

        October 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  19. ChicagoComments

    Really Antonin? Really, you believe that the devil existing because some fairy dust character believes in the devil, because "...more intelligent people..." than you believe in the devil, because "most of mankind..." believes in the devil. Is this the quality of your thinking, logic and ability to deduce.

    It is shameful that you would voice your opinion on a matter of personal nature- it destroy s your credibility and objectivity. It is embarrassing that you sit on the Supreme Court for all Americans and pontificate (whoops, sorry, it's best word I could think of...) on the devil and atheism without a shred of tangible evidence except you own problematic view of reality.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.