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."
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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.
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"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.
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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.
"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."
- Chapman Cohen
Can you not come up with something original to say? Or are you really this stupid?I thought so.
so you quote the Bible – a book a folklore from the Bronze Age
So where is your evidence of god's existence? Since you are the one claiming the existence of a magic sky daddy, the burden of proof is on you. There is zero scientific proof of any god. The default position is that god does not exist just as the Tooth Fairy does not exist.
Um....he was quoting someone, therefore it was not original....
they're just SO ignorant they "quote" the Bible then complain someone "quoting" someone isn't "original"???
Kinda like quoting scripture, right?
Actually, "DUDE" Jesus said that all the fornicators and adulterers will not be entering God's kingdom. He publicly condemned these ones who refuse to change. Most of the food stampers are willful fornicators who refuse to change and want society to pay for them.
"are there no prisons are there no workhouses" I don't think that was what Jesus wanted
You should read the Bible. Jesus makes it very clear what he wants and it is NOT for a society where a bunch of loser unwed teenagers have babies that they cannot support for the rest of society to pay for. It does not matter what you "think" Jesus meant. The message is very clear. You must be an unwed mother leeching off the system and bringing this country down.
which VERSION?? so which is it? a zygote is precious or when they bring it to term they're leeches?
What He makes clear that he includes those that are marginalized and the most vulnerable into his Ministry. I wonder how that escaped you, Puckles?
How convenient for you to believe so. It just happens to coincide with wanting to keep more money for yourself.
Yeah. There is NOTHING wrong with my wanting to keep more of MY hard earned money for myself. You are probably a lazy food stamper to. Some words of advice to all you food stampers : GET A JOB like the rest of us.
Has it ever occurred to you that you might just be an idiot? Personally, idiots are FAR MORE dangerous to this country than people who abuse food stamps. I hope you don't have kids..
You are right, GOD had a law for his people to punish those adulterers and theives to be punished by the public. This was BEFORE Jesus' coming.
This is where the Old Testament "Old Law" ends, and the New Testament "New Law" comes into play. To put it simply. But this does NOT apply for the current society of which we live. Which is also clearly stated in the New Testament.
But Jesus said in the NT that he hadn't come to abolish the old laws.
I fornicate almost daily but still have time to make more money than you. BOOM!
Yawn. You're a little too transparent, poe.
Jesus was a liberal.
Jesus wasn't proscribing the best way for a society to live in the long term. He was describing what people needed to do RIGHT THEN for the coming new kingdom. His was not a long-term strategy, he believed that the end was coming during their lifetime. Just something to keep in mind...
Satan was a good hockey player.
Already???? It gets earlier and earlier every year.
They've got his mug up there and there's still another three weeks til Halloween...
YAWEH, god of the Christ followers is in HELL for plagiarizing numerous stories in the bible. How did he think he could get away with that, everybody knows you aren't supposed to steal! Silly gods, tee hee 🙂
"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." James Madison
Scalia should KNOW better
Wow, and he's like a fully grown man with a career and everything, not an inmate in a psychiatric ward. Amazing.
I truly feel sorry for all you atheists who are more than likely soon to be destroyed.
If it bleeds...we can kill it (again)
WOW it's not like we've never heard the end is coming before.....
You've heard it and now you shall see it.
Doesn't it concern you that the "loving" and "caring" god you follow is so intent on killing and destruction?
more blah, blah, fvcking blah empty proxy threats
i have a theory that vindictive petty pr1cks take comfort in a vindictive petty pr1ck god
puckles here is another data point in support of that hypothesis
By whom? The imaginary man that lives in the clouds?
If by soon you mean in another 2000+ years, then you are correct, all of us will be gone by then, barring a slew of scientific breakthroughs.
"Satan is a real person." said Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia. That's all you need to know about his qualification.
The majority of Americans believe in God and Satan. That in no way makes a person unintelligent, illogical, or unqualified to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Please explain to me why this would make a person unqualified. Have many of the great scientist or inventors of our time been unqualified for their jobs?
In no other time did the Justice's EVER put their personal beliefs out there – they understood they represent WE THE PEOPLE ALL the people not just the one's like them.
By denying God YOU are putting your personal beliefs out there. Prove to me that God does not exist. Didn't think so.
Prove to me that it does.... Yep, didn't think so either
Prove to me Santa Claus does not exist.
If you make an extraordinary claim, you must follow with extraordinary proof...the burden of proof lies with the believers not the other way around. God does not exist because I have never seen or experienced proof of his existence, period.
You prove it to me if you want me to believe...faith is illogical.
Prove to me that Zeus doesnt exist and I'll use your method.
If Antonin Scalia had said he believed the Tooth Fairy was a real person, would that bother you? At ALL??
Satan is a created being just like man is a created being. He was an angel of light, who along with a third of the angels, were cast out of heaven and driven deep into the core of the earth. Jesus said "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven".
google the TEAPOT theory
Harry Potter was a Wizard. He defeated Voldemort as a baby and then again as a young adult. He is the saviour of the Wizarding world.
See I can read fiction too.
yes satan is one of those illegal Aliens who keeps trying to vote....but do you think a picture Id would stop him(it)
What a Doucebagg.
So when is God and the Devil gonna come on a talk show and show us they're REAL? or are they waiting for their own REALITY SHOW???
God is going to put on a reality show real soon and you had best hope you are on HIS side when things go down.
I'll keep an eye out on the TV guide until then IMAGINARY!
And by "real soon," you must obviously mean any day now, give or take a couple thousand years. "Imminent return" does not mean the same thing to Christians as the rest of us. People have been waiting a really long time for those end days.
If it bleeds...we can kill it.
Are you threatening someone? Because death threats can land you in jail.
There is a ton of proof that the devil exists. Just look around you at people and how the act nowadays. This is total proof that the devil exists and that he is influencing the entire earth.
ABSOULUTELY! ALL THOSE REPUBICANS WHO VOTED TO CUT 40 BILLION FROM FOOD STAMPS!
Cutting food stamps is actually a GOOD thing. All welfare should be cut off and ppl should be left to fend for themselves like they did in the past. This will cut down enormously on the overpopulation problem and all the nasty little uneducated tramps who keeping popping out kids.
"are there no prisons are there no workhouses" GOP mantra
I think Jesus said that.
Jesus must be so proud of you: "Blessed are they they prey upon the poor and the fatherless, for they shall inherit the earth."
Christ said to his apostles "Heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked." He also told them, "Freely you have received, so freely give." Better bone up on your own scripture.
You sound like a Social Darwinist. It's kind of funny how you people want to keep Darwin out of our schools, but want to apply Darwinism (wrongly) to our society, and would be eager and willing to let millions of people just starve.
lol – Humans are capable of atrocities all on their own bucky
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire
"What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason."-Voltaire
Voltaire, among other things, believed that all races had independent origin and believed that biblical explanation of race origin is ludicrous. He was wrong about this. What made you think that he was not wrong about the existence of a supreme being?
Why not Nyarlathotep or the trickster Raven? Why raise this particular story of gods and monsters above all the others?
And don't waste time about miracles or fulfilled prophecies or emotionally fulfilling role models. Those are plentiful in the Greek myths and the Epic of Beowulf and the Legend of King Arthur. You'll need something outside the story.
True, as Father Giovanni Battista della Porta wrote in De Furtivis Literarum Notis, "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"
Wow, ok. So, people who are Chritians ( this is at least 80% of americans) believe that Satan is a real person?
I am going to lookat my cowoerkers with new eyes as of today.
Think of "personality." "Person" is not necessarily synonymous with "human being"; it's rooted in the concept of "persona," or character. Christian doctrine even says God is "three persons in one." It's a way to identify a type of being.
Satan is real and his name is Antonin Scalia. The right to have ones own belief system is now the work of the devil if you do not think like him. Term limits folks, term limits oh, did I say term limits.
On the contrary, he is one of the biggest promoters of the 1st Amendment. I can't even tell where you got your statement; it appears you haven't even taken anything out of context, because your statement isn't grounded on any context.
it's good he still has suck up's.
Well, if your going to go out on a limb and profess to believe in God and all His works – part of the package is the existence of Satan.
I mean, you can't just pick and choose which parts of the BIble you believe in – it's part and parcel, right?
But isn't that what everyone does? Interpretation is inherently picking and choosing, isn't it?
Absolutely. But you'd be amazed at how many devout Christians will extoll the existence and virtues of a god....yet look like you've insulted their intelligence when you ask them Satan's existence.
Well yes, but then you also have to believe in talking donkeys, people turning into pillars of salt, prophets riding fiery chariots into the heavens, and other fantastical fairy tales.
Hey, did they change the headline from "Scalia believes the devil exists"
It always gets me thinking when I see the reasoning of atheists. I wonder how can they not see the design. The fact that you can contemplate whether or not there is a God should at least be a start. Then let's look at all the design in the universe. I don't mean the things that seem cool..I mean the things that must have been designed by someone or they wouldn't be there. The size of an electron, the speed of light, the pull of gravity. Even the physical placement of things in our solar system like the moon. You believe that all this just happened to be perfect for us? Because after all if the speed of light were any faster or slower life couldn't be sustained. And the fact that light has a constant speed at all is actually kind of weird also. Because it's been thought that if there are no designed laws, light should be able to vary in speed. It doesn't change though and the fact that it doesn't change just so happens to help sustain life. That's not odd to you? It doesn't seem like something designed it to be that way? It sure seems like we just walked into a hotel room and everything is exactly the way we would want it.. from the curtains, to the brand of shampoo and the clothes in the closet .. everything is exactly the way we want it...they're all perfect and you think it's just a coincidence. No...there's no coincidence here. Everything is perfect because it was designed that way. And that designer is God. You can say it just happened and so here we are but That train of thought doesn't make much sense.. 'it just happened'?
google the TEAPOT theory – so where's the talking snakes?
So, of all the possible explanations for the wonders of nature – you're sticking with the invisible man in the sky explanation?
I'd rather believe that than that we came from a bunch of monkeys, who were, at some point, some thoughtless, formless amoebas, that spawned out of a tub of snot that was created when a bunch of rocks banged into each other.
Your utter lack of knowledge on the subject is shown in your ability only to narrow the ideas down to sheer hyperbole. Kind of hard to take anything else you say seriously, now.
Back in the Stoned Age, people got their food by banging rocks together.
Some college student wrote that on a history exam. Was that you?
So your evidence of god boils down to everything is perfect so it must have been designed? In other words you have no evidence of god's existence. If humans were designed so well then why do we suffer from diseases? It does not seem as though your designer did that good of a job. Earth's moon was formed by a large asteroid slamming into Earth before it cooled, there was no god required.
Thank you for the response. You are right that I have no evidence of God other than my own intuition and reasoning of what I observe in the universe and choose to believe. It may be exactly that you know? A test to see who chooses to believe and have faith even when faced with doubt after what they observe. I know the what ifs get tiresome. Trust me I get that. But what if it is actually that? What if it's a test? You're equipped with the ability to choose to believe. You could do so right now. Here, I'll play the game the other way too... I'll play "what if there's no God and I was a fool the whole time"... Well then it doesn't matter if I'm wrong because there will be nothing afterwards.. but at least I choose to try and do good with my time instead of living life as if there's not consequences (and I'm not saying all atheists live this way ) About the diseases made by this 'imperfect' God. I personally don't think the human mind can understand the reasoning. And I'm not trying to cop out of the answer. The easiest way to answer if I think that some of the bad things that are here, are here because of choices we as a whole have made. Some people are innocent bystanders to the free will that was a necessity to test us. I think it's a little confusing now, and no one has it exactly right but with faith it will all make more sense later. And the thing that leads me to believe that in the first place is that i see design when I look around.
That is just one of many theories. There is no proof that is how the moon was formed. Science does not always equal facts. Thats why they are called theroies or hypothes (ok spelling police, back off). The point was – we are not hear by pure coinicidence or cosmic accident. If you believe that, you are ignorant or not even trying.
Get a clue, get a clue. If god were as obvious as you claim (or even as obvious as math or chemistry), we'd all be in agreement on the topic. God either doesn't care that so many people are wrong about his will and nature, or he doesn't care about humans, or he doesn't exist. There's no sense in believing in something so invisible and undetectable that it is also irrelevant.
The 'fine-tuned' constants are words in a description of the universe built by scientists. Less ambitiously, I could describe an apple as 'round and red'. That description is 'fine-tuned' because if you change 'round' to 'square' or 'red' to 'blue' it no longer describes the real apple. This does suggest intelligence: my intelligence, since I created the description. And the intelligence in the universal constants is the intelligence of the scientists who developed them to describe everything.
All your nonsense about the universe potentially being different due to the slightest change in the past making it inhospitable is as irrelevant as the words 'blue apple'.
Very good points you make. My main thought though is this.... The universe having conditions perfect for us being here. Is it random and so here we are, or was it designed and so here we are. Let's go back to the hotel idea. If you walk in a hotel and everything is the way it is in your room. replicas of all the stuff you have and like...they're all in the hotel room when you walk in.. do you think it just happened to be that way and since it is that way it must have always been that way before you had your room that way, or do you think some one did that because you were coming? I know we can't come to an agreement because of the nature of the subject...but it really truly does seem more like someone designed this place than it does that it just was and so here we are.
The hotel analogy is inappropriate because you are entering an environment fit for you. But when we are born in the world we are in fact fit for the environment (by evolution). If the environment were different then, of course, different creatures would have evolved, or not have evolved. But if humans are looking around then of course this particular environment is the only option.
The puddle says: "Wow!! Just look at the shape of this hole I'm in!!! It was made specifically for just my shape and nothing else!!"
Your hotel comparison is utter nonsense. If the universe was any different we wouldn't be here to observe it. We wouldn't exist. Marvelling at the existence of exact conditions required for a form of life is like a guy falling without parachute from a plane on a stack of hay and lives to tell about it (it's a real event actually) – and the guy says: "this must've been by design, if the hay wasn't there I wouldn't be here to tell you the story". No, you dimwit, if the hay wasn't there you wouldn't exist now, just like thousand others who weren't so lucky. A theory says there are an infinite numbers of universes, each with its own laws of physics. These universes might exist in paralel or one after another (in our understanding of time). This particular universe we're in has laws which allow a manifestation of energy called life, with trees, dogs, mosquitoes and religious nut jobs. Other universes might create nothing at all (in our understanding of "nothing"), or much more "evolved" forms. Since the number of trials is infinite, absolutely every imaginable form of matter/energy can and will be created. That's what "infinite" means. As for your hotels : if there are an infinite number of rooms in your hotel (or an infinite numbers of hotels), and an infinite number of maids just throw things at random in each room (towels, colors, carpets, photos etc), and you have an infinite number of lives in each you walk in every room, there is a mathematical certainty you'll walk in a room that will be exactly as you please, with your family photos on display to boot.
It's hilarious how the religious put out the same tired childish arguments, centuries old. Those arguments have been destroyed for centuries by genius philosophers – not that the zealots will read them, or being able to comprehend them.
Read Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer, at the very least read THE bible destroyer essay of Thomas Paine ("The age of reason").
Study those for several years. Then you'll have something to marvel at : how pathetically clueless you are right now.
Considering that 99.9% of the universe is unfit for any life, let alone human life, I have a hard time believing it was created with us in mind...
If conditions weren't good for life, it would not have arisen. Just like it hasn't arisen in all the other planets in our solar system.
So God slowly designed our universe over billions of years by destroying entire solar systems to make others. And he also designed humanity by callously driving extinct 99% of the creatures that have existed on our world.
Your god is not very efficient.
I don't believe that he slowly designed it. I think he designed it billions of years ago with a plan of action in place that would make you most doubtful unless you had a lot of faith. It's the laws that were put in place at that moment of creation that I see all the design in. And time... eh I don't know. If we do some experiments on a petri dish to the bacteria we're evaluating and watching it grow, it may seem like many years to the bacteria...but to us it may only be a couple minutes.
Create a simple bacterium from nothing. You can't even create a simple atom? Yet, it is so simple!
You're assuming that the universe was built for us, not that we only came into existence because the conditions were right...big difference my friend.
It's truly amazing that amoebas thought all this up! If I find a paperclip in the woods, I see the work of man. And yet man cannot see the marvels of the universe! Scientific Law: matter cannot be created or destroyed. Where did it come from? Why is there something rather than nothing?