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May 19th, 2010
08:58 AM ET

Do 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants?

Religion scholar Stephen Prothero will be a regular contributor to CNN's Belief Blog. With his bestselling book "Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–And Doesn't," Prothero became the country's leading explainer of how religion undergirds much of American life and history - in ways that most us don't realize. With his new book, "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," the Boston University professor has taken his franchise global. A few times each week, Prothero will offer posts on the hidden faith angles behind the news.

By Stephen Prothero, CNN Belief Blog contributor

I think I might have done the math wrong.

Shortly after President Obama nominated Elena Kagan (who is Jewish) to replace Justice John Paul Stevens (who is Protestant) on the Supreme Court, I was quoted in Boston Globe, Beliefnet, and CNN stories, saying that her nomination represented one giant step away from the not-so-good-old-days of Protestant parochialism. "I don't think this means Protestant America is over,” I told the AP, “but I do think it means the old way of thinking about Protestant America is over."

On Monday morning in USA Today I argued, against bloggers like Beliefnet’s Rod Dreher, that the religious commitments of judges matter. I then called for a more religiously diverse Supreme Court. Why not an agnostic? An evangelical? A Muslim?

In all these articles, I was doing the math like this: 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 0 Protestants. I’m no longer sure that’s right.

Shortly after I filed my USA Today piece, I had a conversation with Nora Rubel, a University of Rochester religion professor and an observant Jew. Professor Rubel said that most Catholics in America think pretty much like most Protestants, so the Supreme Court’s Protestant/Catholic mix doesn’t really matter. I then observed that many Reform Jews are equally Protestantized, which led us to wonder whether the Jewish/Christian mix doesn’t really matter either.

The Protestant ethos has long ruled American political institutions.  The current Congress is 55 percent Protestant, and every president except for John F. Kennedy has been an heir of the Reformation. But Protestantism also colors America’s religious institutions, and not always inside the lines of Protestant denominations. 

Today many U.S. Catholics and Jews think like Protestants. They believe that religion is something we choose as individuals rather than inherit as communities, and they view it primarily in terms of faith rather than practice.  None of this comes from either the Catholic brain of Aquinas or the Jewish mind of Maimonides. The progenitor of this faith-based understanding of religion (who also happens to be the patron saint of religion rulings at the U.S. Supreme Court) is the American Protestant thinker William James, who famously defined religion as "the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.”

When Supreme Court justices genuflect before this subjective understanding of religion - and most, perhaps all, of today’s sitting justices do - they are thinking like Protestants.  And there is little to suggest that Elena Kagan, whose bat mitzvah occurred in a Reconstructionist synagogue in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, would not go and do likewise.

So if you do the math more carefully, it may go something like this: 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants.  Either way, we could use more religious diversity on the Supreme Court.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Courts • Judaism • Opinion • Protestant

soundoff (820 Responses)
  1. Alex

    I long wonder why the middle east could never be settle, and now I know. The Jews want to continue to use America for their tool and the majority of America is buying it. You are either an American or not. This is where all your loyalties should be. If you are driven by religion or connections to a former homeland, then we got problem. Every ruling will be base on your connection to your past. I love America, and everything I do in this country, is America first and America only. Some of you might have to reread my post and take some time to understand it, I hope you do. Follow the events that has happen in the past, present and future. Follow the rulings of the court and see who is the ruling benefiting.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  2. kryg

    6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 highly educated non-Protestants in every 12 Americans perhaps. Supreme Court Justices are simply sampling reflection of the US population.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  3. Rob

    I think this is a great article that actually admits there is no separation between church and state and all you idiots on here thinking that's real are completely living in a fantasy world. Of course there is no separation of church and state!! Are you blind? There should be, but there isn't. If there was a separation of church and the President would never end his speeches with "God Bless America". Our currency wouldn't read "In God We Trust" and GAYS WOULD BE ALLOWED TO MARRY! So all you fools shut the hell up. God is alive in the American Government and running our lives.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Tina

      Actually, we have an imperfect partial separation of church and state. In a government that does NOT separate church and state, the government legislates where you must worship, what religious customs you must follow, and then quite often punishes you if you do not do so.

      There! And I even refrained from the use of the word "fool"!

      May 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  4. Glo

    There is a HUGE difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. It's just that most Protestants are too ignorant to realize it and most of them don't really even know what they believe. Read the catechism and it will become clearer. The pope is the "vicar of Christ" and he has supreme authority in their religion. Protestants do not have a pope-figure and do not have saints to worship (designated by the pope who seems to be the only one able to appoint sainthood and only chooses other Catholics. So I guess Protestants and other religions are out of luck in the holy appointments). Even the 10 commandments in the Catholic bible is different than the 10 commandments in the "Protestant" bible (eg, New King James, NIV). Read it for yourself!!! For those of you who think those 2 religions are interchangeable are truly ignorant. Protestantism arose from "sola scriptura" (the bible only) whereas Catholicism beliefs are not based on scriptures alone (eg, purgatory, adoration of saints, etc). I agree with the importance of diversity on the Supreme Court and find it disturbing that the majority of justices are of one religion that reports ultimately to one figure (the Pope). I agree with the need for diversity especially on a court that can determine the laws and our freedoms (or lack of them). I know there are conservatives and liberals in all religions but our presidents should've done a better job of protecting all Americans by choosing a more diverse court. (There is definitely a conservative swing to the court now which bodes badly for those Americans who do not share those views/religions). Someone once stated "Force is the last resort of all false religions." You can apply throughout history and it's absolutely true. Any religion that forces people is truly wrong. I hope that our nation never forces religion or religious beliefs on its people but I have a feeling we are heading there... I'm conservative myself but would never want my neighbors or my schools to be forced to follow my beliefs.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • kryg

      You need to study the Catholic Catechism. Go to the library, read the online Catholic Catechism, or buy a copy from your nearest bookstore before posting anything about the Catholic Church. You are spreading misinformation. Some Americans might take legal actions against you.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • Jim

      That's great advice for yourself, kryg. Go read your catechism.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • kryg

      Jim: I know the Catholic Catechism and I know many Protestants spread misinformation about the Catholic Church. I used to be a Protestant but converted to the Catholic Church after graduate school.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • Jim

      And I teach Catechism to 8th graders (do you know the significance of that?). Please explain what the oringal poster said that is wrong.

      May 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • meh

      While I mostly appreciate and respect your comments – My Catholic Bible says in one part – We are saved by Faith alone and then in another part – its say we are saved by our Faith and our works. So technically we are all right – we just choose to pull out the sentence or two that defends our point of view and pretend the other doesnt exist.....

      As I said, I am a Roman Catholic and I am not in anyway bashing my own Faith. As in everything being said on this page..... maybe if we actually read everything word by word before assuming that what we are shown is the only Truth. The same goes to Catholics and Protestants – I choose to believe in the Faith and Works and I am sure the Baptists assume I will burn in Hell for that belief. But doing good works cant be all that bad- unless it doesnt mean doing good things in our actions for our most basic beliefs. thats just me.....

      May 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
    • BrianCNN

      I think the bottom line here is that the author of the article was wrong on yet another point: Catholics and Protestants are different in many regards.

      As to the concern over Supreme Court Justices' potential to be swayed in some way by the Pope: I seriously doubt that someone that gets to a position of this magnitude would be influenced directly by the Pope–these are pretty much the biggest of the biggest wigs in the country who have had a lifetime of experience in the legal profession. The nomination/selection process is brutal, but revealing. Any trends of undue influence throughout their careers should be noted and considered. So, after having served a lifetime in a profession and having suffered all of this scrutiny, I doubt that any of these could have been planted by the Pope so many years before.

      May 19, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • meh

      @Jim Again, I am a Roman Catholic with all of the beliefs – but it is unfortunate that putting someone down based on what you read in the Cathechism is not right either. Yes I understand our Faith acknowledges the Papal Vicar as the interpreter of the Bible and thereby our Faith. I think we are all guilty for giving such a shallow response. I dont think we represent Jesus very well and doubt Jesus and the apostles would ever say the same to their believers.

      It puts ourselves down to a lower level and I thought there is some song about They will know we are Christians by our love – not our insults. Actually, you had an opportunity to clarify exactly what is in your Cathechism – but instead chose to degrade the person for their lack of knowledge. When you get to the bottom of everything – that is the real problem.... we have no respect for anyone who has a different view than our own. I think we are right but only because I chose to go back to the begining to try and see exactly where words were changed up and the purpose. I might be wrong – but how sad to think the biggest issue with our sister Greek Orthodox Church is that they think Peter wasnt the only apostle. Yes I know Jesus gave the keys to Peter – but in context with the Romans wanting power for just themselves. That to me sounds like only what the Apostle Peter was doing was of any importance. I also thought it was a group of one or more that determined which books were to be included in our Bible. I have no problem with one Pope – but I think we miss the point of Gods intent when we so easily dismiss a valid point. I would have like to believe there was one Vicar but then mini-vicars in the other major areas- but I chose Roman Catholicism so I recognize Pope Benedict as the Vicar of my Church. Once again, man's words and interpretations divide us not the actual words themselves.

      I have always wondered why we accept that God intended during the time of Joseph and his brothers to send someone to cause a bad thing to bring about the required change – yet we are so unwilling to believe Judas' betrayal was known and in Gods plan. Yes I know that is not what is in the Cathechism. What happened to actual debate of an issue versus saying because I said so. Which would lead to a more peaceful existenence? I would go with the showing by discussion and leading by example – not condescending and especially to one of our fellow believers in the Catholic Church. You dont really know what she has read or learned and who taught her – I dont recall growing up hearing my Priest to get a Cathechsim book so I wasnt so stupid in my faith.... you hopefully find yourself in that place because you have been willling to learn. I had many views wrong about the Church until my daughter went to Catholic School and I joined a Bible study.. My point is I think you were a bit harsch and judgemental – which leaves some wiith a distaste for our Faith and we have lost the opportunity to provide someone with information. I may not agree with all Catholic beliefs, but I choose to be a Roman Catholic and therefore have worked hard to understand why we believe in certain things we do – and I think I am a stronger believer in my Faith for that.... 🙂

      May 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  5. cb

    diogenes99 – You commented:
    Perhaps the next step toward diversity is to nominate an atheist. If no-one on the court can understand how tax-sponsored religious events, religious oaths, pledges and affirmations is an insult to non-believers, then perhaps we need someone on the court who does.

    @ diagnes99 – Please, you think that because we have chosen the right to believe in God, who is also the Creator of all Atheists, is an unsult? What is the problem with you foolish people? No one can force anyone to believe in God. All of you whining and crying because you feel that believers are forcing God and His Word on Atheists, but as you see, all of you are still Atheists and have harden your heart towards the True Living God. That is all of your problem, not ours!! To God be all the Glory Honor and High Praise! We lose nothing if any of you desblief! We will still beleive with or without all of you!!! Thank God that Athiests have no part in court or we would all be in a crappy situation! So, back off! We are believers, rather you like it or not!!!!!

    May 19, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Luke

      Hi CB, do you believe in Thor, Pan the Goat God or Poseidon? Congratulations, you're an atheist too. I, to steal a line from Richard Dawkins, just take it one god further, rejecting the idea of Yahweh. Think real long and hard before you reply, CB. You're in for a battle and I only will discuss this with you if you promise to remain calm and rational.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • Howie

      Your poor spelling and grammar would demonstrate your lack of intelligence if you had not already stated your idiocy by professing belief in invisible sky men.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • cb

      @ Luke – First of all, no I don't beleive in these not existing gods: in Thor, Pan the Goat God or Poseidon. I never heard of them. I believe IN God the Father-Jehovah, God the Son-Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. It is written, For He is God and besides Him, there is no one. God forbid that I become an Atheist in the name of Jesus Christ. :- )

      May 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • cb

      @ Howie – Sorry, Mr. Nutty Professor, no one told me there was a spelling and a grammar test! This is what I am talking about, people like you! Ignorant and in denial! You will every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

      May 19, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
    • Luke

      cb – then you have concretely proven to all your lack if knowledge of history, literature, culture, world religions and thought. Thor was worshiped by more humans throughout history than your god, Yahweh. As was Poseidon. Pan was worshiped, but only in remote parts of the world for a short time, but still a dominating figure if human history. Quite simply, you aren't worthy of debate and have the mentality of a misguided and sheltered child.

      May 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • cb

      @ Luke – Many even know believe in many other none existance gods, so what's the difference from then and now? You don't want to accept that you are in denial, so guess who is closed minded and blind?

      May 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • BrianCNN

      cb, don't worry too much. "Atheist" in these forums is typically just code for "closeted gay rights activist".

      May 19, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • cb

      @ BrianCNN – Thanks! Not worried about them at all, they worry about us a lot!

      May 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Luke

      BrianCNN – I am indeed an atheist and do believe in equal rights. You have very clearly shown, and pubically nonetheless, that you are hateful bigot. Enjoy.

      May 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Would be nice if they were all just atheist

    May 19, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  7. jane doe

    how rudely inconvenient! hush! stop counting!

    May 19, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  8. Pat from Connecticut

    To think in this day and age we feel we must behave a certain way or a higher power would punish us...is beyond belief! If everyone just lived for today, doing good things, being reponsible and just trying to make the world a better place – what a difference it would make! But then, the empires of each religious group – the power, the mo
    ney, the egos – would be gone....hummmm.........maybe that's the answer to finding world peace

    May 19, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  9. Marc Schwartz

    Holy Hyperbole Richard Aberdeen. Wanting an atheist does not mean we would have a crazy one. We did not pick Catholics from the Spanish Inquisition. Apparantly, you have never met an atheist if you think they are naive (Richard Dawkins, Christoper Hitchens). Religion should be independent of one's qualifications. It would be nice to have an agnostic or an atheist, but I do not want one over a more qualified justice. If the candidates are very close, then diversity would be nice. Keep forced religion out of people's lives.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  10. Anon

    Why should we even care what their religious beliefs are as long as they don't interfere with the court of law?

    May 19, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Howie

      Because religion is not rational, and we need rational decisions from these people. Any person who professes religious belief is stating in no uncertain terms that they make decisions that are completely unfounded on any type of fact or logical process. These are not the people we need deciding the future of our country.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  11. David

    All this religion. Must be the Dark Ages.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • John P

      After all, if it wasn't for the constant of religion through our thousands of years of history, we'd still be in the dark ages...

      May 19, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Luke

      No, it's America; where 40% of the population rejects evolution, just a few ticks higher than Turkey, a Muslim partial theocracy.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • meh

      @Luke

      hehehehe I believe in evolution as a possibility and I am a Roman Catholic.... I just beleive God is the one who started the process. How could anyone deny science... hehehehe

      Do any of us truly know one dfinitive way or another? No, because there is no proof that God doesnt exist. So technically we all should be agnostics – I think they believe that that they dont know the answer. Which is probably one of the better answers. So now someone just needs to scientifically prove if faith exists. I would love to know the results – I value science no different than you do. 🙂

      May 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Luke

      meh – No. That is where the problem begins. Evolution is not a possibility. It is a concrete and proven fact and the very basis of biology. However, religious folk continue to outright reject, think of new theories or just say God did it where there is no evidence to support it. If you must know, albeit very briefly, the origins of the universe being and end with E=MC^2. Mass*The Speed of Light Squared = Energy. However, the equation works in verse too. That is, Energy can create Mass and Light. The LHC in Europe is attempting right now to rebuild that Energy. Furthermore, you are missing the ball completely. Hundreds of claims within the pages of the bible, and other holy books for that matter, have repeatedly been proven to be false. With so many concrete rejections, Adam and Eve for example, the rational mind rejects everything else. In other words, you can't cherry pick a few lines here and there and say it's true. You as a Christian can only claim all of the book to be the word of god or none of it. You can't have it both ways.

      May 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • meh

      @Luke

      🙂 I believe God created the sparks and all of the science. That is just what I beleive. Something started or set forth the entire planetary system into existence. To me this is no different than saying Science is a god – and I kindly disagree with the – Have to take the Bible in whole or not at all....isnt that the problem to begin with? Why must there be this "all or nothing"? I am not saying anyone has to believe or have faith, but that also doesnt mean I think we are religious idots who believe in fairytales as others attempt to logically explain why God doesnt exist.

      Just by your comment, you are allowing religion to shape each of us in only one way or another. I know the problems I imagine Atheists must experience living in a God based society for the most part..well I dont know exactly. But your same criticisms of religion bring you to this same level of pick a side.

      For the Athesists to truly prove there is no God means you have to establish a world religion that isnt based on God whatseover. 🙂 Then you can go back and remove all of the incorrect assumptions and beliefs. Then that will show us! 🙂 jk

      which is funny because isnt this the whole argument – neither side able to prove or disprove the other 100%? We really dont know. It is Faith that determines your side. Is there such a word as faith that exists in the scientific world? Again- there was a time when science said the earth was flat. Thank goodness someone continued to question the science and here we are with irrefutable truth that the earth is round. 🙂

      If this makes no sense – sorry, I have been looking at these all day. But I appreciate for you not completely slamming me to start. Doesnt science start with a hypothesis? an educated guess? I guess the way I see it from the beginning of time is we as human beings are so intolerant to anothers opinion – especially if it is different from our own. Why couldnt science not create a brain that has the same basic beliefs? What happened in evolution that can show how our brain went from not being logical to logical at some point? Isnt that what makes us human and different? Or wouldnt we all be humans by now? I am just kind of kidding – but I believe in science no differently than someone who doesnt believe in God. Do you think it has not ever crossed my mind that what if this like one big cosmic joke? Make most of the human race believe and act on something that doesnt exist? I dont know – I cant answer that. I certainly cant answer it for anyone else. Isnt that what makes as unique as human beings – to think and see thngs differently? Otherwise we would all be the same, think the same and know the same? We would live perfection – either all of us right or all of us wrong? 🙂 I posted somewhere about we are like dogs chasing our tails over and over and getting nowhere. I guess that is my point to the entire thing – all we have fought about since the beginning of our evolutionary brains is fight over whether a God created the world.A difference of opinion is humanities problem – not religion. If you think about it..... Yes – I dont think religion should be shoved down someone's throat. But atheists do to believers what we did to them – force us to remove any reference, call us stupid etc – no, we are both at the same low level of our being human. So maybe the question should be how do we survive together with varied differences of opinion? At least that is my opinion...hahaha Have a good week with God in your life or not! :)Just obey the laws and our side will do the same – I think atheists need to do a better job at explaining they do believe in a set of moral standards i.e laws. I am more tolerant because an atheist so kindly enlightened me that they realize the need for some type of organized government etc. 🙂

      May 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
    • Luke

      meh – Do you believe that a teapot orbits the moon? Can you prove that there isn't one? No, but is very clearly a false statement. Very simply, I just reject the idea that the supernatural god, Yahweh, is behind it all. The claims of the holy books have been rejected, closing the case on the rest of the story. Furthermore, if you do not follow your book, you are not a Christian. You are a deist. I am trying to be kind, but I must state facts when they are presented. Additionally, it wasn't science that said the earth was flat, it was the simple minded religious that said that. Somehow, they still exist today. And yes, they are flat earth creationists, a subset of the Christian faith. Hey, they're on your team, not mine.

      May 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • meh

      @Luke lol, I answered you in full detail and it didnt post...haha So the short answer is Yes I do believe teapots orbit the earth, maybe not the moon. They are in the shapes of broken up asteroids, old satelittes any any other space junk we humans have littered in our space.

      I beleive the flaw in your argument is that because I believe in God, I am unable to think for myself. We agree some things can or can not be true. Based on logic is a great example for something to be true. But logic does not equal science imo – because logically it makes no sense how many things work or dont. Isnt that the purpose of a hypothesis? I am no scientist – but I dont think it is logical to think because I believe in God, I dont believe in science.

      I dont recall anything in the "book" that says I have to choose. Even my Catholic faith teaches that some stories in the Bible are literal and some are not. It is the way our ancestors attempted to pass along history in the ways/understandings at the time.

      To say say the scientists who said the earth was flat are on my side is completed illogical and unscientific. Are we not both human beings who live, breathe and die? I am sorry religion has done to you what you attempt to do now. Either we believe in God or science.

      So maybe they arent in the shapes of teapots – but the answer is yes. 🙂 lol

      We continue to discover new things in science that have always existed – we are just building equipment or performing experiments to prove this things so. That doesnt mean because it was wrong they are on my side.

      We are all capable human beings with brains and judgments and a soul. Oh wait – what do atheists believe regarding the soul? If we could prove or disprove everything by science, I would like to think we would live in a perfect world with perfect people. just a thought.. 🙂

      May 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • meh

      @Luke P.S. If we were indeed living in the Dark Ages – I have no doubt I owuld be charged with heresy. But believe it or not, just as humans have continued to evolve – Churches have changed their views to be in line with science. It in no means that the Catholic fiath has changed their original belief system, it has always been the same. Like any large organization, people are involved and they are not perfect. I dont think the Pope would say he is a perfect human being.

      And as a fellow human being, I will apologize for the less evolved that have called you names. I dont agree with that pettyness. Again – people are separate than words and we are incapable of separating the two. In no way have intended for my words to say you are any less of a person because you are an athest.

      🙂

      May 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
    • Luke

      meh – You are a kind person, which is appreciated and I do enjoy debating you, however; your kindness does not make you any less wrong or delusional about the origins of the universe, earth, evolution and the natural order of things. You can believe whatever you want, it's a free country. You are, however, not allowed to make up your own facts. That's where you and I will never agree. Sadly, it is the politicians and activists that share similar views as you that scare the everlasting crap out of me.

      May 20, 2010 at 7:52 am |
    • meh

      @Luke

      ditto... but I did clarify that I do believe in evolution – what proof is there that a higher being didnt create the ingredients that sparked creation of our entire universe? Even seeing pictures from however long ago of the process of the beginings of our universe. I dont think anyone has seen the exact moment that the energy or mass or light came into existence. The foundation in science does not explain how each of these came to be and why.

      I am no science major – and I have no doubt your scientific educated mind knows so much more than my own – 🙂 But as science is irrifutiable(sp?) – how does science prove how each of these processes came to be at that specific time – if you are saying they already existed?

      My only point is that it is sad that each side thinks they are infallible. The truth is we really dont know the answer. We continue to learn more and more about science and how it explains/proves so many amazing things – I imagine we may answer even more questions with science- but why is there such a polarity between the two opinions? It just seems the world – in every religion, issue, question, choice is 50-50 meaning 1/2 believee one thing and the other half believe different. Even within individual religions there seems to be two "parties" – usually people more liberal in their beliefs and the others who are conservative and diehard on their beliefs.

      While most posts have blamed religion for all of the harm in this world – I think they need to take one step back and realize human beings caused the issues – we had varying beliefs – we were unable to reconcile our beliefs with someone's who were different. In the name of science – you do the same. You have decided we are the blame and cause of everything bad. That really makes your opinion and treatment no different, no more enlightening or no better than religions treatment of science in the past.

      It seems we are programmed to take a side – with no consideration of the disagreeing group. How can we ever expect peace or harmony when we are all so intolerable of the other. As you stated, science continues to prove facts – people will adapt and open their minds hopefully to science and a God.

      The last post of this blog refers to religion as a virus – no, man and our nature are the virus and, we are also the cure. It is just easier to blame whoever disagrees with our opinion. We will always be "not fully evolved" as long as we continue to chase our tails with our very small minds. Science is good – but that doesnt mean that everyone who believes in science is infallible.

      🙂 I see your name and the Apostle Luke comes to mind..hehe sorry no offense to science intended.

      May 24, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  12. PBnJ

    If there are truly 6 catholics sitting on the supreme court, wouldn't row v wade be overturned?

    May 19, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  13. John

    How could a true muslim be on the SC with their beliefs about the status of womem?

    May 19, 2010 at 11:46 am |
    • Nicolas C

      I was kind of wondering about that... not to mention our government system is debunk according to them.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • RAFritz

      Would they argue that the First Amendment doesn't apply to images of Muhammad?

      May 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  14. Matt F

    How about we stop putting people in charge of the highest court who are so easily manipulated that they actually believe in the ridiculousness of organized religion.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  15. Dora the illegal

    Who cares? The ones running this country are the lobbyist/big corp and their only true religion is $$$$.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  16. sam

    Christianhumanist–you are right. There's also the term "Protestant Humanism" that was used in the time of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Freedom of thought absolutely flourished under Protestantism.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  17. ohiogb

    Shouldn't the justices religious preference be irrelevant since a justice is meant to apply the constitution based upon the law? And in response to some comments above, separation of church and state is to protect the church from the state, not the other way around.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  18. Denise Most Gerson

    Protestant schmatestant! The Supreme Court's chipping away at Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose is the result of Catholic justices ruling their religious convictions, not the law. And they will continue to prevail until they are outnumbered by non-Catholics.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  19. Byte This

    It also equals 0 Hindu, 0 Islam, 0 Bahá'í, 0 Sikh, 0 Buddhist, 0 Taoist... Wasn't it your book that advocated Thomas Jefferson's quote, "Our particular principles of religion are a subect of accountability to our god alone, I enquire after no man's, and trouble none with mine." Get real, Prothero! We have enough pretentious fakes out there already!

    May 19, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  20. tgmee

    I bet most are atheists but they can't admit it. Still too much prejudice.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:41 am |
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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.