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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. JJ

    This alone shows why we should never vote in another Republican president.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  2. the AnViL™

    devintard spittled:

    "Fortunately, with live in a free country, protected from warped minded ideologues such as yourself."

    the tragic reality is – it's unfortunate that people who live in a free country have their liberty, equality, and freedom consistently retarded and subverted by delusional citizenry who find ways to inject their religious idiocy into our secular republic.

    the united states is not now – nor was it ever founded on xianity. we are a nation of many people with many beliefs and many ideals – and we're guaranteed the freedom to worship whatever imaginary men in the sky we choose – or

    October 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • the AnViL™

      ... or – BE FREE from it.

      and we're not.

      those of you who believe in the literal existence of gods and the supernatural are absolutely deluded. you hold false beliefs. false beliefs that have consistently failed when exposed to the scientific method. beliefs which always have and always will bend over to science.

      always.

      yes – it is you – the people who hold false delusional beliefs in bronze-aged middle eastern blood cults – who believe you're morality is divine.

      you – are the true force of darkness in this world.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • bones

        Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

        8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

        -2 Peter 3

        October 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
        • Randall "texrat" Arnold

          Part of a story. No way to verify or disprove. Your point?

          October 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
        • Observer

          "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."

          Yep, that story about creating the world in 7 days did seem ridiculous.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • sam stone

          bones: your iron age mythology is only convincing to those who accept the authority of those tales

          if you want to quote "scripture" to make yourself feel all godly, knock yourself out

          but if you feel that you will convince anyone with it you are mistaken

          October 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • sinner

          I rather see life for what it really is; good, bad, and ugly. I have no misunderstanding of my mind set; I do wonder why all GOD worshipers judge non-belivers, though. I have read the bible, and somewhere in there it states, "Those without sin cast the first stone."The bible has been rewritten many times by humans. Religion keeps the poor undercontrol, and has for thousands of years.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  3. Jason

    Hey, Scalia! Sorry to inform you, but rational thought will win. Sciene always beats religion - and always will. So thankful we have SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!!!!

    October 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • atheist

      unfortunately, you are wrong. It is true that US History class and political classe teaches that America is the only country that has a separtion of state and church. This is obviously a lie!

      Legal holidays in America alone already tells you the govt. is christian. all this arguement on abortion is all about religion. the list goes on and on.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • ATM

      Science does not win. 80% of Americans cannot get the correct answer to this very basic math problem. 3+4*5+6= . No math no science.

      Furthermore liberals are not prolific and per Darwin s theory of natural selection you have to have children to be fit.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  4. I have seen the devil

    Yes, I believe the devil is presently the longest sitting member of the Supreme Court of the United States.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  5. Ben

    "They believed it, so should I" is how independent thought dies.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • K

      But truly original thoughts also don't come from the uninformed. It is important to know what has been traditionally/historically believed. When I teach physics to college students, I don't leave out Newton's laws because they might curb original thought. We build on the shoulders of giants.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  6. dan rob

    I am happy to be atheist. I respect the fact that many people believe in a god. Actually, What i will not tolerate is religious extremist trying to mandate that guide my life according to their religious dogma. If a person wants to believe in a supernatural being, that is their choice, just don't try to legislate according to your own religious dogma. As to Scalia, well, i have nothing positive to say about him. I have no respect for him or Thomas, they are hypocrites and do not care about the legal profession. They were put their to allow bigotry and corporate interests to be have a real voice. He uses his power as a Supreme Court Justice to give credence to bigotry and to increase the hold on common people by the super-rich.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • sinner

      Wake up man, leave god out of the government and the satan you speak of; ok. I have a great idea, put American's back to work. Yes, employment is the key to opening doors. The time has come for fairy tales to be left in grade school; pal.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
  7. Roger

    I believe in Jesus. I believe in a God that is our Father in Heaven that wants each of us to return and live with Him. Jesus Christ is the way to return and live with Him. There is a devil that is miserable, and wants us to be miserable as well. That is why he tries to lead us away from Christ.

    I am so grateful for good people in leadership positions and I pray for them.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You believe things for which there is not a bit of evidence. In any other domain, holding such beliefs would be called delusional, as in mentally ill.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
      • Just a guy

        Evidence is an individual experience and relationship with the Lord

        October 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
        • gregski

          Do you even know what the word evidence means?

          October 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
        • AE

          Evidence is what God gives believers to trust in Him.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • devin

        "You travel in circles that are so, so removed from main stream America.." You may want a self application here.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • Tom

        You are uninformed. I have been supernaturally healed from am couple of diseases in an instant by God's power. I have experienced God's presence and witnessed witchcraft in Africa.
        You have absolutely no scientific proof that spiritual realities do not exist.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • JJ

          You have absolutely no scientific proof that fairies do not exist.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I thought science described and explained natural processes; what's this business of it proving the existence of things? Can't any decent philosopher demonstrate the non existence of any idea or matter (spirit and body, if you will)?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
      • AE

        Why do you act so unreasonable?

        Oh, yea, because you are a human being. Not a logical being. You are deeply flawed and wrong about many things. It is impossible for you not to be. You are not the source of logic, reason or what is best for others. You are a human being living in an imperfect world. Yes, logic and reason are good things to embrace. They are survival skills. We ALL use them.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Randall "texrat" Arnold

          Oh no. Not everyone uses logic. Many don't even make an attempt.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • AE

          Who doesn't use logic? A person with severe mental problems?

          October 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • Randall "texrat" Arnold

          The intellectually lazy. No mental illness required.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • AE

          Even intellectually lazy people use logic.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The intellectually robust utilize logic far better than the intellectually lazy; however, the lazy don't understand it, don't care about it, and don't care that they don't understand it or care about it. They always have their lazy "goddidit" or "because-he-works-in-mysterious-ways" answer, so what's the big deal with logic, anyway?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
        • AE

          Can you provide an example of someone who says "goddidit" or "because-he-works-in-mysterious-ways". Are these real people, or people you are imagining?

          October 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        How about you all gather your evidence for your delusions and submit it for validation using the scientific method. Or using the American justice system's rules of evidence? You don't stand a chance in either case. You have nothing but your empty claims. But do go ahead and amuse us. . .

        October 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • AE

          I actually had to do that for my job. I passed.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Then you should be able to post your dissertation, minus any identifying data. I bet you won't.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • AE

          God is real.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Prove it.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
        • AE

          Do you want to know God?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Here comes the old "ya gotta believe to believe" riff. . .

          No, I do not want to know any god. I have determined that the probability of there being any god is so low (virtually zero) that there is no reason to live as if there are any, even just one. But I am open to any real evidence, so please proceed as if I really, really want to know some god, any god.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
        • AE

          So you are saying there is a small chance God exists. You have some hope?

          What kind of evidence do you want? The evidence you ask for sounds like you want something like a science experiment you can control. But God is in control. Not you.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          What kind of god is in control but provides no method by which measurement may demonstrate that such is the case?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          As above, for the hard of reading, evidence according to the scientific method or the justice system's rules of evidence. Just like that which you claimed elsewhere you have already assembled.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Have to laugh, AE...you say the atheist wants something they can control...because of your deep insecurities, you need something to control you and make you feel safe.

          It is the disposition of humans to need to be in control and/or to have someone (such as a savior) provide them with great security.

          Unlike one who believes in propositional Truth, the genuine scientist delights in not having control when she falsifies her own hypothesis.

          Though I am not an atheist, I admire their courage to "go it alone..." They are far more corageous than I was as a Christian and far more than any Christian I've known or read about.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
        • AE

          S-3B Viking

          No that is not what I said.

          I don't think all atheists want something they can control. I'm not talking with a genuine scientist here. I'm talking to HotAirAce who seems to say if there is something I can't prove with "the scientific method" I should reject it.

          I admire a lot of atheists, too. But not ones that insist I am delusional and incapable of handling logic.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Hi, AE..you're not 12. Why do you care what someone on an obscure blog says about you...they know nothing about you...who you are what you do.

          Their opinion of your mental state is just an opinion.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Actually AE, I don't care what you *think*. I care about you spouting your insanity in public and using it as a basis for making decisions that affect others. Now I am not saying you personally do that but you have made claims that you cannot support, and I see no reason to let them stand in a forum such as this.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
        • AE

          S-3B Viking

          And why do you care...?

          HotAirAce

          Thanks for trying to keep the message boards safe.

          There is plenty of evidence that people who believe in God are not insane. It was one of the things that was very hard for me to admit when I was atheist.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          I care about you, AE...I'd love to know you personally and see you live your life for a year, for example, to see if Jesus actually exists as evidenced by the way you live your life day-to-day.

          And I can't get over how many folks are offended by another who "insults" them in writing...

          Still waiting for the US to graduate from High School.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
        • AE

          S-3B Viking

          Can you get over HotAirAce's statement that anyone who believes in God is mentally ill? Do you ignore it or take a stand and defend your position that that statement is absurd?

          October 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          AE, are you mentally ill? (And what is wrong with those who are? You, as a Christian should be overflowing with compassioin for them).

          The fact that it bothers you so much tells me that Hot has won this round and it speaks more about you and your need to protect your ego....Paul and Jesus had a lot to say about being singled out for your beliefs...SO WHAT....

          After you walk away from your computer, does HotAirAce still fill you mind? Then, yes, you should talk to a counselor.

          It is just an insult. You supposedly know the creator of the Universe...does it matter what that some one calls you a name?

          Have fun and enjoy the chance to allow these folks to teach you things about yourself and your beliefs.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
        • AE

          No. And I don't describe people with different belief systems as me as "mentally ill". I have great compassion for mentally ill people and I think it is pretty low to use their condition to try and insult a person.

          You are now doing to me, what you are criticizing me of doing to HotAirAce.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          AE:... I think it is pretty low to use their condition to try and insult a person.

          So what, AE. It is a message board. You don't know the first thing about "HotAirAce." You've never lived with him, you've not had lunch with him...for all you know he could be a well known pastor who is being believes this is his ministry to challenge believers...people love the chance to dawn a mask (what the Greeks called a "persona" and be someone else).

          That you are so overwhelmed by what someone says on a message board is nothing short of childish immaturity.

          AE: ....You are now doing to me, what you are criticizing me of doing to HotAirAce

          What? I'm not "doing anything to you. And even if I were, what DOES IT MATTER?

          You can't even diffuse your own ego for moment to engage someone who is trying to show you something about yourself. You are running on emotion and "I'm a victim" overload. Clearly, you wouldn't have done well being genuinely persecuted had you lived in the 1st Century.

          GET OVER YOURSELF, AE. And grow the hell-up! Grow some internet skin.

          One of the greatest things that ever happened to me, a young 19 year old on my first cruise int the MED was to have my fellow aircrewman verbally insult, make fun, and essentially abuse me because of my then beliefs and personality.

          I was forced to grow up. But at sea on a 100,000 ton piece of steel confronting a Soviet submarine, IT MATTERED!

          Here, on a blog...but you go for it, AE.

          I wish you well.

          Bu

          October 7, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
        • AE

          "That you are so overwhelmed by what someone says on a message board is nothing short of childish immaturity."

          You are doing the exact same thing. Take your own advice.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
        • S-3B Viking

          Do you have kids, AE? Remember your statement if you do...or if you plan on having them someday.

          It is not an attack....it is not an insult....it is an attempt to get you to think about why you are reacting the way you are. In the same vein as you might try to witness to an atheist here on a blog because you think you are helping them.

          It requires wisdom to not be so sensitive as an adult...to see what all this is and what it is not.

          Thanks for teaching me tonight, AE. I've learned a lot.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:08 am |
        • AE

          Thanks for trying to fix me.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:14 am |
      • HotAirAce

        Go ahead – explain the logic in believing in supernatural beings when there is no evidence for any of them.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
      • AE

        Are you familiar with Martin Luther King, JR? Do you know he received hundreds of threatening phone calls promising to murder his infant daughter if he didn't stop fighting for the freedom of oppressed Americans?

        You know who he says gave him the strength to fight on?

        God. He testifies that without God he could not have gone on. Powerful evidence he provides.

        God is real.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • sinner

        Bravo!

        October 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Belief and unsubstantiated statements are not evidence. Marty could just as easily have been suffering alcohol induced delusions after a night of drinking and whoring around.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
      • bones

        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

        Abram believed the LORD, and He credited it to him as righteousness. -Genesis 15:6

        October 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
      • AE

        I'm going to trust Marty's testimony over your testimony. And it is not like there is just Martin's testimony alone. There are lots of other people's testimony I trust to.

        I have faith. Trust and confidence in God. Real stuff.

        October 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So you will trust Marty despite his very unchristian behaviors? What other double standards do you subscribe to?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
        • AE

          I never said he was perfect. But what he did was beautiful. Yea, like me he has some issues. We all do.

          What about your character defects and shortcomings? Or are you flawless?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Nope, definitely not perfect, but not the hypocrite your hero was.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • JJ

      This "devil" as fooled all the other 6.5 Billion people of the Earth to not be a Christian? Wow...what a powerful demon!

      October 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Stan

      Roger you are absolutely right. It is the minority that keeps yelling that those who believe in the existence of God is not in touch with main stream America. Anyhow who says that you have to follow main stream America and the they are right. If only the scales that blind had fallen out of their eyes.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • BOb the Prairie Dog

      NO ONE knows what happens when we die and ANYONE claiming such knowledge is a liar who probably wants your money.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Roger

      I know God lives. All things denote His existence. As an scientist I spend my life trying to understand the world I live in. I love to learn and understand how things work. The more I understand, the more I marvel at His matchless power and understanding to have created this wonderful world.
      God has given each of us the free agency whether to believe in Him or reject Him, but I choose to serve Him. The joy that comes from loving and serving God is infinitely more important to me than the approval of any man that may choose to mock my beliefs.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
      • AE

        Thanks. Nicely put. I like this quote.

        “A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.”

        –Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., (a man who has demonstrated a great understanding of science. I'll trust him over any non-scientist atheist posting on here!)

        October 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        If you can't prove the existence of your god using the scientific method you do not know god exists. All you have is an unsubstantiated claim and you know what scientific journals do with those.

        October 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • AE

          I can't imagine trying to apply the scientific method to everything I know. Do I have to use the scientific method to prove to my girlfriend that I love her? Or use it to prove to someone what my favorite song is?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Your girlfriend may ask for some pretty serious evidence to support that claim, AE.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • AE

          Right. And there are ways to find evidence outside of the scientific method.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          Ummmm, we're not talking about an emotion here. We're taking about an alleged supernatural being that interacts with material things here on Earth. Seems perfectly reasonable to me to ask for just a smidgin of actual evidence. Again, in any other domain, believers would quickly be diagnosed as delusional, mentally ill.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          So quit chattering and get on with presenting whatever evidence you like.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • AE

          We don't live in your imaginary realm where people who think differently from you are mentally ill.

          We live in reality.

          Your intentions in seeking God are very important, I believe. I had to seek humility and found my pride and arrogance are the greatest obstacles of the evidence of God in my life.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          AE, yes or no, are you going to present evidence to conclusively and definitively proof your claims that some god exists?

          October 7, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
        • AE

          Basically you just want me to prove God to you and only you. I can't do that.

          There are people that I can. But not to ones that don't want it.

          October 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
        • HotAirAce

          I'll take that as a no, followed by "ya gotta believe to believe." Silly me, thinking that a christian would actually live up to their bluster.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • AE

          And yet God still exists. And your denial doesn't erase all the evidence in the world that points to God.

          I just couldn't prove that to you and only you. But I can see the evidence (your words/amount of time you spend talking about religion and God) you are seeking Him. It just takes a little bit of faith. I wish you well.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Blah, blah, blah, blah. May you recover from your delusions soon.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:08 am |
        • AE

          You too! Keep coming back.

          October 8, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  8. niiiice

    we are many hundrecds of years away from our John Lennon/Star Trek world..

    October 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Sad...but true.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  9. JLS639

    Go read the original interview. It is a great read. The whole Satan part is small and uninteresting.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  10. TheTruth

    Satan = Goldman Sachs (and the like)

    October 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
  11. age of reason

    ...since jesus never existed, this is all a moot point!

    October 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Topher

      Even secular historians say Jesus existed.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
      • age of reason

        ...not soooooo fast! Sir Edward Gibbon (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) stated......"the ancient Romans,the greatest record keepers, recorded famines, civil wars, comets, conquest, earthquakes,but the greatest event in history (sic the birth of "jesus christ")............NOTHING!
        No writers or historian was such a prolific writer as was Sir Eddy! He was a christian ( an apostate catholic in protestant England) and he vehemently stated that one of the four reasons that the Roman empire collapsed, was CHRISTIANITY!
        This clumsy hallucinator (and opportunist $$$$$$$) "Prof." Bart Ehrman (Did Jesus Exist?) cannot hold a candle to such a scholar as Sir Eddy Gibbon! He was an expert on vulgar Latin, homeric Greek and ancient antiquities!

        October 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        "Even secular historians say Jesus existed."

        Some ancient preacher dude of his description may well have existed...just not a magical, son-of-god, worker of miracles dude. That stuff is clearly impossible.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
        • age of reason

          ..yes...you must be an engineer too! Thanks for the logic thought!

          October 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  12. Bob

    That is really depressing. That someone in a position of such power is that delusional.

    October 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • bones

      Question for the atheists out there: how was the earth created? And if you say, "oh, there was a big bang, and we are a dirt clod that got flung off in one direction, etc." then I will ask, "where did the big bang come from?" Where did the energy and matter that came out of the big bang come from? What existed before that? And what caused infinite nothingness to produce matter and energy? It is against scientific principles that matter can be created nor destroyed... so how did all matter come to exist?

      October 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
      • JJ

        Go pick up a 3rd grade Science text book.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • age of reason

          ...and also read "Dick in Jane"! oooops!

          October 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • bones

          In other words, you have no response, so you think a snarky comment about 3rd grade science books will make you look smart.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Only a delusional believer thinks "some god did it" is more correct than "we don't know."

        October 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
        • BOb the Prairie Dog

          True, but you can't have an argument with an agnostic. It's no fun!

          October 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        What makes you think infinite nothingness is all there is beyond our universe? And if that's the case then how did it spawn your God? Also matter is somewhat illusory. Bound energy as it were so all that really exists is energy and that seems likely to have always existed since it can't be created or destroyed. The emergence of our universe is just the latest form that some of that energy happened to take.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • Markus

        The answer is that the universe contains equal parts positive and negative energy, so on the largest of scales there is nothing, and there has been no creation.

        There are four ingredients to make a universe: energy, matter, space and time. Einstein reduced this to two: energy/mass and space/time. Quantum mechanics calculations of energy contain square root terms, permitting negative solutions. The negative energy solutions would appear as a 'hole', or extended degree of freedom: a space. Space/time is made/filled with negative energy, in contrast to the positive energy of matter and light (and more exotic things). And in the observable universe, within reasonable measurement limits, the sum is virtually zero. There is then, literally, nothing to explain.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          Bones, rebuttal? Bones? Hello?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
      • Pseudotriton

        Just because you don't understand the answers to those questions doesn't mean scientific experts don't either. And even for those that we do not currently have complete answers for it does not automatically default to "a creator".

        October 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
      • Pseudotriton

        Your question is analogous to someone 500 years ago asking: "What makes the thunder and lightening when it rains?" Since people back then did not have the scientific understanding of such natural phenomena, they just attributed to an invisible omnipotent being. Such notions appear ludicrous today with our expanded knowledge, but seemed perfectly reasonable back then. The same can be said by questions that we do not have adequate knowledge to address today.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • a reasonable atheist

        You should bone up on "scientific principles" because your statements are highly erroneous.

        Matter pops into existence all the time.

        The earth was not flung off from the big bang, it is an accretion of pre-stellar & post-stellar materials, known as the solar nebula, that orbited in a cloud around our sun during the formation of our solar system, which was 9 billionish years after the big bang.

        What happened before the big bang? No one knows! Science won't make a statement about that until it has suitable evidence to justify such a statement.

        October 8, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  13. Daniel

    It's scary that this man makes important decisions regarding our country....Does he say magical things to keep the monster under the bed from eating at night? Hail Zues! I need some shrimp!

    October 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • AE

      No.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  14. Billy

    Strange to me Scalia mentions Catholic or the church several times but never uses the term Christian. I once asked a fellow if he was a Christian and he replied, "no sir, I'm a Catholic".

    October 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Topher

      Yeah, that's usually the case. Catholics prefer to be called Catholics. And Protestants will usually tell you Catholics are not Christian because they are outside of orthodoxy. We each consider the other anathema.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
      • Kyle A. Reed of Indiana

        This is not true. All Catholics, Bapists, Methodists, and every other branch of Christianity are united together under the body of Christ and the knowledge that Jesus Christ died for our sins. God Bless.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
        • Topher

          Baptists and Methodists are brother/sisters in Christ. But as far as Catholics? Not even close.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
        • HASSA

          Amen. Thank you Topher, for your Christian ethical point of view of not passing judegement on others.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Cedar Rapids

          Ha! Go to Northern Ireland and tell the Protestants and Catholics how they are joined in Christian brotherly love.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Topher

          HASSA

          "Amen. Thank you Topher, for your Christian ethical point of view of not passing judegement on others."

          Where does it say not to pass judgment on others?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • sam stone

          Remember, kiddies, gopher is god's personal spokesman

          He is qualified to determine who is a True Christian (TM)

          Don't believe me?

          Just ask him

          October 8, 2013 at 5:25 am |
      • HotAirAce

        Peanuts! Popcorn! Get your cold drinks here!

        Nothing like a true Scotsman hissy fit fight. At his should be good. . .

        October 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
      • Derek

        Catholics don't consider Protestants 'anathema' at all. As long as they had a trinitarian baptism they are considered fellow Christians, but are merely wayward. I'm sorry if Protestants are still protesting, but most protestant Christians I meet think Catholics are also Christian, but maybe that's because in Illinois Protestants are in the minority.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • Topher

          Derek

          "Catholics don't consider Protestants 'anathema' at all."

          If you don't you need to update your doctrines. It's still in the catechism.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
  15. the AnViL™

    those who believe in the existence of gods – including "justice" scalia – are delusional.

    they should be prohibited from voting, serving on juries, or as judges, or holding ANY public office. they should be strictly prohibited from purchasing or owning firearms and teaching public school.

    tolerance of religious idiocy has to end – the sooner the better.

    enough is enough

    October 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Jim

      I couldn't agree more. No religious person can prevent his beliefs from influencing decisions. The supreme court should only allow agnostics or atheists.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
      • bones

        Oddly enough, the most intolerant people I've ever met were atheists. Not a jab, but just an observation.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
        • Observer

          bones,

          Speaking of intolerant people, talk to Christians some time about equal rights for gays or the legal operation called abortion. Talk to them about returning the Pledge of Allegiance to how it used to be. Get serious.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
        • sam stone

          really, bones?

          how many atheists are attempting to deny christians their civil right like many christians do with gays and marriage?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
      • Derek

        There are many kinds of Atheism, so if there ever is an Atheist on the Supreme Court, please give us one that believes in metaphysical realities and objective morality. Preferably give us an Atheist that also believes in God and Jesus.

        October 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • AE

      How delusional are they?

      Like so bad you refuse to seek medical treatment and shun technological advances because of the contributions of delusional religious minds?

      October 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
      • bones

        Yes, of course, use the miniscule percentage of believers who eschew medical services as your measuring stick for ALL believers.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
        • AE

          In my town, most hospitals are named after religion: Menorah Medical, Providence Hospital, St Mary's, St John's. Even the ones with secular names... had their start with religious roots.

          October 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Just a guy

      Wow – you are the evil one!

      October 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • devin

      Fortunately, with live in a free country, protected from warped minded ideologues such as yourself.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom

      You should start a revolution like the one in 1917 in Russia and force everybody to believe what you do. Don't forget to kill everybody else who does not share your view. Set up some gulags in Alaska.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Torquemada

      People who believe in God are delusional? What do you believe? That 13.8 billion years ago, all the energy and matter in the universe suddenly, unbidden, burst into existence in the Big Bang? Not only that, but all the laws of physics that govern the energy and matter also happened to spontaneously arise? Not just spontaneously arise, but to be present so that even the tiniest variation in any of those laws (according to Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project) would have either caused the universe to collapse immediately or to expand so rapidly that the stars wouldn't have been able to be formed. And in that initial Big Bang, do you believe there were present all the seeds that eventually grew into mathematics, natural selection, truth, beauty, justice, and peanut M & Ms?

      Why is it that one of the immutable laws of physics is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but you are willing to believe that all of space, time, matter, and energy could come about in a Big Bang? How could the Big Bang happen (and I don't doubt that it did) unless it were created by something outside of space, time, matter and energy. In other words - by God.

      Now tell me again who is delusional.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • bones

        Well said. But the beauty of atheism is that you can just choose to ignore all the many traces of God, because all your latte-sipping friends will think you're cool.

        October 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          just what "traces" of god are atheists ignoring?

          October 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
        • sam stone

          bones, you are a pompous fool

          your proofs of god are SUBJECTIVE

          get over it

          October 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • the AnViL™

        Torquemada typed blah blah blah

        that's a lot of questions about life the universe and everything....

        you want answers? want to know the truth? here's a clue, son...

        you won't get it from any religions. they've never been right about the nature of the universe.

        only science will get you there.

        deal with it.

        October 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • bones

      Ah, the stench of intolerance, all in the name of "tolerance". If you don't see the irony in your comments, then you are deluding yourself.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
      • the AnViL™

        only immature and/or retarded minds believe intolerance of bad things is bad.

        protip: intolerance of bad things is good.

        delusional thinking is bad – and it's even worse when lots of people do it at the same time – and seek to nullify equality for those who do not hold their delusional beliefs. these people work overtime to retard all of humanity by attempting to insert their mythologies into our public school science classes.

        monotheists are the antithesis of enlightened – as they are the truest form of darkness on this planet.

        tolerance of religious idiocy is worse than religious idiocy itself.

        ~cha cha cha~

        October 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
        • AE

          Not buying your theory. There are people who believe in God that are doing good things for us. I can't scapegoat all the world's problems on religion.

          October 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  16. Smeagel4T

    Every bit as real as Harry Potter, Antonin. It's time to retire.

    October 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  17. devin

    The man simply stated he believes in the devil. Exactly what is it about this statement that brings out such malevolence from the atheist/agnostic crowd? Actually, it's rhetorical, I know the answer.

    October 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      You clearly missed his comments about atheists and LGBTs.

      October 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  18. Badly-Bent

    Come on, the civil servant exam does not have this as a question? Who screwed up?

    October 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  19. the lloydster

    catholicism=the molester religion

    October 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Kyle A. Reed of Indiana

      This may have happened on one or two ocassions, as sin is a reoccuring problem that can corrupt even the "best" of people if temptation upon them is strong enough. But this is a sterotype unlike anyother. Muslim radicals shoot males,females and children alike for simply speaking against their views. All books inform people, but only the bible transform them. The bible is in fact the only human instruction manual of proper living, and thats teaching the life and ways of Jesus Christ, the son of God, Who has lived a perfect life, commited no sin, and laid down his life for our sins.

      October 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
      • yup

        Seriously? one or two? try hundreds that we know of and have evidence, thousands we assume, and millions very possible.

        November 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  20. jim

    What a bizarre, absurd, tragic country. To give such an imbecile so much power for life is just incomprehensible. How can rational people just accept this level of delusion in someone responsible for deciding the laws we are all bound by? We badly need a method to remove SC Justices who are mentally deficient.

    October 7, 2013 at 8:54 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.