ABA Journal


U.S. Supreme Court

Scalia: The devil is getting ‘wilier’ and society is getting coarser

Oct 7, 2013, 01:20 pm CDT


I wonder what other supernatural imaginary beings Scalia believes in. Ghosts? Vampires? Zombies? Pixies? Goblins? Fairies? Djinns?

One thing is certain.....He should recuse himself from any cases involving issues of mental health or the insanity defense to criminal liability.

By Andythelawyer on 2013 10 07, 1:35 pm CDT

So the summary of Scalia's interview is essentially, "kids these days"?

By EsqinAustin on 2013 10 07, 1:47 pm CDT

Andythelawyer's comment is blatant religious bigotry. Under his/her reasoning, no orthodox Christian should be allowed to serve on a jury, serve as a judge, or have any meaningful role in the justice system. Reprehensible.

By KTB on 2013 10 07, 1:59 pm CDT

Opinion polls show that approximately 60 percent of the American population believe in the existence of Satan. That being the case, Justice Scalia's beliefs here are quite mainstream here.

By Yankee on 2013 10 07, 2:34 pm CDT

Interesting point by Scalia regarding the Devil. Come to think of it, God also has stopped popping up on a regular basis, sending prophets, directing genocides, and generally talking with everyday people. Perhaps the two have reached a sort of detente or adopted a more laissez faire approach to their work. Maybe they stopped caring.

Or maybe the Bible does not only describe events that literally occurred.

But that part about ladies using the F-word, seriously, what is this world coming to ?!

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 07, 2:36 pm CDT


No. That's not a summary of Scalia's interview.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 2:38 pm CDT

@6: Indeed - after reading this synopsis in this article (which really was "kids these days"), I followed the links and read the full interview.

It was an interesting interview of the Justice, with nothing surprising. In fact, it was rather telling.

By EsqinAustin on 2013 10 07, 2:46 pm CDT

Scalia's comments about religion don't reveal him to be unfit to serve on the highest court. What reveals that he is unfit to service is his inference that, because "ladies" drop the f-bomb, we are somehow even closer to the demise of western civilization. The practice of manners apparently requires a higher standard for women.

By plink on 2013 10 07, 2:56 pm CDT


In truth, his interview is paraphrased as "liberals these days [sigh]". And he's right.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 3:03 pm CDT

@9: That is certainly *one* view.

By EsqinAustin on 2013 10 07, 3:10 pm CDT

one potential defense in criminal cases is DEMONIC POSSESSION. Some lawyers ahve actually given it a shot in CT and TX. The argument is, I did not have the required intent, ebcause the devil was inside me. It wa snot me doing the act.

The devil made me do it, more or less.

Seems liek ti could work on the right facts witht he right jury.

In that case, i'd be lookign to kick off any jurors whod id not believe in an active devil in daily affairs.

I had a case where we were going to run it; had an expert in demonic possession; live in a conservative devil hating community.

abandonned the defense for other reasons.

would really like to runa DEVIL defense!

and if the judge shuts me down and wont let me run witht he devil, I am hopeful scalia and some devil believing group on the supreme court will grant cert to determine whetehr the Constitution grants my clients the right to effective assistance in counsel in trying to summont he devil as a witness.....perhaps that's not the right way to frame the issue for the Supremes...

anyway, screw that im gonna win at trial!

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 07, 3:37 pm CDT

Liberals believe equally in the existence of the devil. They just assign the name "Koch Brothers".

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 3:39 pm CDT

Does it ever bother you Scalia haters that he and your darling Ruth Bader Ginsburg are close friends who share genuine respect and affection for each other? Or do you just write that off as the Devil's work?

By W.R.T. on 2013 10 07, 3:58 pm CDT

There is an argument to be made that jurisprudence is coarser for some of the recent US Supreme Court opinions which have eschewed the courtesies once afforded to fellow justices.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 10 07, 4:11 pm CDT

I don't understand why everyone takes this so literally. Scalia is just the ultimate internet troll, the Italian Elie Mystal. The only wrong note was his comment about Seinfeld.

W.R.T. - Ginsburg is the darling of the left only to someone who does not read her opinions. Structurally, they have the same ex cathedra textualism as Scalia's, and the same authoritarian grandparent frame of mind. In a way, it is kind of sad, since things are going to get worse for each of them before they die.

By Pushkin on 2013 10 07, 4:20 pm CDT

Figures that 'Andy the Lawyer' would the first out of the box on this. As Scalia said, Jesus himself spoke about a real devil and a real hell, but apparently Andy is of such stature that he can call Jesus and his followers insane and liars. I found that liberals are real brave when they disagree with Christianity, but not many of them seem to be brave enough to go after Islam.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 07, 7:04 pm CDT

The left picks and chooses among Jesus' statements in order to support a 21st century political agenda--kinda like "Hey ma! These ain't sandals I'm wearing, they're Birkenstocks!"

The other stuff--y'know, heaven, hell, judgment, sin and "I am the Son of God"--is some scary right wing scheit. When He gets to talking about that, ferget that wacky dood.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 7:34 pm CDT

"The left picks and chooses among Jesus’ statements in order to support a 21st century political agenda . . . ."

Pretty humorous statement!

Yes, Jesus was clearly equivocal about caring for the poor and the sick and about pacifism.

The "left" merely spin His teachings to argue that he supported these things, while the empirical evidence and other parts of His teachings surely demonstrate that He cared nothing for the poor and the sick and was in favor of both institutional and individual violence.

He surely rejected self-sacrifice and charity. His greatest proponent was Ayn Rand.

Welcome to Biblical Revisionism 101.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 10 07, 7:55 pm CDT

@17: "The left picks and chooses among Jesus’ statements in order to support a 21st century political agenda—kinda like “Hey ma! These ain’t sandals I’m wearing, they’re Birkenstocks!”"

So does the Right, with both Jesus's statements and the Bible overall.

So...did you have a point that goes beyond expressing your personal view of liberalism?

By EsqinAustin on 2013 10 07, 7:59 pm CDT

Jesus made it clear that there was a Hell originally created for the devil and his angels, but also that there was forgiveness offered through His death. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said the first was to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind and the second is like unto it, to love your neighbor as yourself (see the Good Samaritan).

By jdj on 2013 10 07, 8:35 pm CDT

Paul: your kick was way wide of the goalposts. Work on that in practice this week.


By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 8:40 pm CDT

WCD, did you not get that his post was sarcastic and not a positive statement of fact?

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 07, 8:45 pm CDT

Yes, of course. The point underlying his sarcasm is what missed the goalposts. By about twenty yards.


By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 8:54 pm CDT

@don' mess with

That the right does that is very old news. You folks have been hammering that since the 80s. The 1980s, if not the 1780s.

I wasn't expecting anyone in this board to acknowledge that the left does the same thing. Your response will be to denounce false equivalence. I agree wholeheartedly: the right should not justify itself by stating that it is no worse than the left.


By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 8:57 pm CDT

Pray tell, what did Jesus say that indicates He would be opposed to government initiatives and programs that ensure children receive proper nutrition, or affordable healthcare?

Let us be fair here and give conservatives an opportunity to refute the popular view of Christ as a pacifist who loved children and provided free healthcare to the sick and free food to the poor. I eagerly await the scriptural citations which conservatives rely upon in their informed refutation.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 10 07, 9:06 pm CDT

I was wondering which of the following statements you disagreed with:

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Light."

"No one comes to the Father but through me".

"Simon Peter answered: 'You are the Christ, the son of the Living God. Jesus replied "..this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven".

Ridicule all three? Bingo. Your DNC membership card is in the mail.

My point is that Jesus should not be put into a 21st century box, a mere foreshadowing of a Volvo-driving liberal democrat. In addition to ministering to the poor, he also claimed to be the Son of God, said that those who seek God must profess their faith in him and he is the way, truth and the light. Not one of the "ways", but "the" way. I mean: that's some highly judgmental scheit, no?

My point is that liberals cherry pick the social justice statements and make no legitimate attempt to engage the rest of what He said. They just write it off as a right-wing wet dream.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 9:22 pm CDT

There is no equivalency: Conservatives cannot cite scripture for this position.

Rush Limbaugh famously embarrassed himself as a person quite ignorant of the teachings of Christ when he asked of his listeners, "What would Jesus take?" Limbaugh answered "nothing."

One can rationalize all day, but Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated through His life and death that our path through this world should be one of sacrifice and not of acquisition.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 10 07, 9:45 pm CDT

I see now.
Focus on what SOME people (across the political spectrum) reject (Christ's divinity) but never address Christ's commandments or what all Christians (liberal or conservative) must believe: That charity towards others, even unto self-denial, is a central tenet of Christianity.

Yes, you have identified another tenet, but one which requires nothing of those who hold it other than a simple profession of belief. That is certainly the least that can be expected and probably why so many conservatives can meet the requirements of this threshold tenet. Speak of your belief with a bowed head and then do what you will. Just like public prayer -- which Jesus specifically rejected. It is pretty clear that lip service alone will not impress your Savior, but you have the Limbaugh Christian Talking Points down pat.

By Paul the Magyar on 2013 10 07, 9:55 pm CDT

You are woefully ignorant of the countless steps taken by Christians throughout the world, every day, to make this world a better place and to bring the love of Christ to others. But that's not my point.

Jesus' claim to divinity was an inseparable part of his teachings, repeated throughout the Gospels, which is why liberals struggle so hard with what to make of him. They want desperately to make of him no more than a persuasive, thoroughly secular graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work and then simply to refuse to grapple with the rest. You can't, if you any have intellectual integrity at all.

Look: the man claimed to be the Son of God. Either he was a complete lunatic, like the people who think the CIA has placed transmitters in their teeth, or he was on to something really big. If he was a lunatic, with a profound cognitive dissociation with the real world, why rely on him to score political points? Go figure it out after you get done flailing at Limbaugh.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 07, 10:13 pm CDT

Boy, you atheists are rabid proselytizers. I'm always shocked, but never amazed by it.

Which commandment is that, anyway?

By associate on 2013 10 07, 10:41 pm CDT

Now now. Just because I don't consider Nancy, Jesse and Bernie Sanders members of the Holy Trinity does not make me an atheist.

But yeah: we wily. Like the Debbill Hisself. We always proselatin', prossilizing, or whatever you said. We gon' kidnap you and yo' kids and force you into Bible Camp and make you sing hymns all the live long day. Hab mercy!

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 08, 12:18 am CDT

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

By CLaw3 on 2013 10 08, 2:41 am CDT

@CLaw3: That's a rather weak "trick". Apparently, the "devil" is no great magician.

By EsqinAustin on 2013 10 08, 2:50 am CDT

Justice Scalia is a sheltered man. If he thinks society is coarse now, he should have been alive during the Middle Ages. And people were more religious then.

I am really over these middle- and upper-class children not understanding what life is all about, then lecturing the rest of us on our behavior. *I* haven't even seen how bad life can get here in the U.S.; I know that, but I've seen more than he has.

By Dana on 2013 10 08, 5:24 am CDT

Really, I just thought Andy's comment was incomprehensible...

But it's a free world we are allowed not to make any sense whatsoever...

By concernedcitizen on 2013 10 08, 6:52 am CDT

Odd that in 2 days of postings nobody has been able to answer my question at #1.

As for #35, I'll try to dumb it down: A judge who attributes evil, criminal and illegal acts to the work of a supernatural being external to the defendant is logically incapable of attributing such acts instead to mental illness. Since mental illness may be a defense to criminal liability, such a judge should not preside over such cases. That would be unfair to the defense.

Whether or not any number of famous ancient desert primitives believed in the devil or any other supernatural beings is not the point.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 10 08, 3:12 pm CDT

Andythelawyer @ #36: No one answered your question at #1 because: (1) it is a stupid and insulting question; (2) belief in a supernatural entity such as the Devil/Satan as historically conceptualized in Christianity does not ipso facto lead to the conclusion that mental illness does not exist or should not be taken into account in legal proceedings, criminal or otherwise; and (3) your arrogant, flippant, and dismissive tone signals that you don't really care what others think, unless they agree with you. I gave you the benefit of the doubt at first, thinking that perhaps you only made such a bigoted remark because this is a comment forum where people sometimes write things without first thinking them through. Your second post, however, dispels all doubt. You were not simply being crude and vulgar. Your bigotry is intentional.

By KTB on 2013 10 08, 3:54 pm CDT

#37 -- Neither name calling nor mischaracterizing points with which you disagree make your arguments more persuasive.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 10 08, 4:17 pm CDT

#37 -- And the less objectively proveable someone else's belief system is, the less "respect" that belief deserves.

I don't question the sincerity of your beliefs. You're welcome to embrace any you like as a matter of faith. I question their verifiable truth. Faith, after all, is the belief in the unproven and unproveable.

Questioning the objectively reality of someone else's beliefs is not bigotry. It's logic, applied to facts, in action.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 10 08, 4:26 pm CDT

@37. I think what you're saying is you kind of believe int he devil, but not, like, really really beleive if it would help a defendant.

Are there any circumstances where you would acquit a defendant because he was possessed by the devil when he did the act?

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 08, 9:19 pm CDT

I for one am glad that Scalia and his fellow travelers keep on making these types of statements as they are a reminder of why what passes for 'Conservatism' these days truly is a mental disease.

By Moderate Centrists Independent on 2013 10 08, 10:28 pm CDT

I'm a moderate liberal, so not a Scalia apologist. But I think his points were misconstrued and dumbed down to the level the media thinks its readers expect.

His point about the devil was to confront the idiot interviewer who feigns surprise that anyone could believe in the devil when most major religions in the US believe in the personification of evil in the form of the devil. Some of the best philosophical thought and literature wrestles with ideas about the devil. It is an uneducated mind that does not know this. Scalia's reaction seems to be not about the devil so much as to the interviewer's pretense of being so cool he doesn't know anyone who believes in the devil,

His point about "ladies" and the f word was that the word is used all the time, everywhere, not that it's used at all. I'm a woman who uses the f word, but he's right in regard to the coarseness of using it all the time in whatever place you're in and that women used to play a central role in commanding respect and higher standards in our culture. Our grandmothers might have used the f word in private but they elevated the level of respect and communication in public.

There is no mental disease in his thinking. Only those who want to misconstrue his views because they disagree to make him sound crazy. I'm an Obama supporter; voted for Hilary in the primaries before voting for Obama; voted for Kerry, Clinton, Dukakis, and Mondale (my first vote at 18). So like I say, I'm not a Scalia fan but am very disturbed at how ideas we disagree with in this culture are misconstrued to make people appear crazy rather than addressed directly with better ideas.

By Santana on 2013 10 09, 3:10 am CDT

Even though I do not share your voting record, to put it mildly, your comment is remarkably intelligent and generous, on all fronts.


By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 09, 3:48 am CDT

42, that's the problem with being a thinking man in a sea of morons. (and having your words paraphrased by someone who hates you)

By associate on 2013 10 09, 3:29 pm CDT

Of course Justice Scalia believes in me. He's one of my favorite people in the whole world!

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 09, 4:10 pm CDT

#42 -- Mostly correct, but not in this case. When Judge Scalia proclaims his belief in the devil, he is not speaking metaphorically -- and when he justifies the belief by stating that most Americans also believe in the devil, he's confusing popularity with objective truth.

Not many centuries ago it was a universally accepted truth that the sun revolved around the earth -- and that did not make it so. Same here.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 10 09, 4:17 pm CDT

it's goingt o be a lot harder to prove the devil doesn't exist than whetehr the earth revolves around the sun.

so, all you devil believers, can one escape criminal liability if you are possessed by the devil and a religious expert in demon possession confirms it?

I would love to argue it! I just don't think a judge will let me.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 4:32 pm CDT

@47 - Seems like your possession defense just boils down to insanity. And by the same token, if your client is prone to demonic possession, the same rationale of removal from society that warrants locking up the criminally insane would probably justify locking up your client.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 09, 4:35 pm CDT

absolutely not. Being possessed by the devil, an independent demon, bears no relation to insanity. Insanity is a disease, which may or may not be treatable. A person possessed by the devil has no "disease". They are healthy except that the devil has temporarily taken up residence in their soul. The devil may leave of his own free will, or alternatively, be driven out by court appointed exorcists.

There is no danger once the devil is removed, at least, no more danger than that any of us may at some point be possessed by the devil. So no rationale for keeping the formerly possessed incarcerated.

If I can prove to you that he was possessed by the devil, and you beleive the devil exists, can you vote Not Guilty because my client had no criminal intent?

By defensivelawyer on 2013 10 09, 5:05 pm CDT

if you can't possibly vote NG, I'm goign to have to ask the court that you be excused for cause. We call it a "demon-eligible" jury panel.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 5:07 pm CDT

I am thinking th edevil may be the actual culprit in many of these "crimes" that we think ont he surface have been committed by our brothers and sisters.

Really, the devil is getting wilier! Courts need to keep pace with the devil's wiles and not convict people who are unable to fight off this increasingly wily devil.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 5:28 pm CDT

of course the devil is int he details.

we will need expert witnesses who know the mark of the Devil, and who can easily distinguish between the devil's work, and individual people's bad acts.

not all cases are the devil.

but probably the majority...

this is how you win unwinnable cases!

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 5:29 pm CDT

@50 - But possession would result in a condition of the defendant's mind whereby the possessed does not know what he or she is doing or does not know the wrongfulness of his or her actions. If not exactly insanity, possession sounds very close as a defense, and would relieve the defendant from liability for the same reason, i.e. no criminal intent.

I would suggest with respect to likelihood of being (re?)possessed, that one who commits a crime while possessed by the Devil would absolutely be more likely to be possessed in the future. Demons choose who to possess not without reason, and we know they are clever. If one possession results in the successful commission of a crime, the person that was possessed has proved to be a very suitable target for subsequent possession. Additionally, since we know how tricky the Devil is, it would have to be an incredibly high burden to demonstrate that the defendant is no longer possessed, as opposed to only dissimulating being free of the Devil's control in order to be let free, and potentially cause further harm at Lucifer's bidding.

Finally, why limit demonic possession to a defense for the defendant? Just imagine the opportunities for collateral attack of a conviction that are created by the prospect of demonic possession, whether the possessed was a prosecutor, judge, juror, or witness. Probably the only claim of demonic possession at trial that might not merit vacating a conviction would be possession of the defense attorney.

You asked whether judges might allow such claims to be raised in court. I think so, but probably only on Halloween.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 09, 5:32 pm CDT

insanity must result from a "mental disease or defect".

possession by the devil is not a disease or a defect. It is the Dark One inhabiting our healthy minds. and when Beelzebub exits, he leaves our mind in the same healthy condition as whn he first entered.. i think.

I just don't see it as insanity.

INsantiy can be argued int he alternative.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 6:35 pm CDT

It really doesn't matter whetehr or not the devil is more likely to possess you in the future. We do not incarcerate people because of potential future dangerousness. There is no mental disease or defect requiring detainment in a mental institution. If the devil exists--and we know he does--then the devil can act int he world. Through real people. Using them as a puppetmaster might manipulate mere puppets. Relieving them of any will, any intent whatsoever.

And so there simply is no criminal intent. Not guilty.

Once the defendant raises a plausible issue of demonic possession, then the burden should shift to the prosecution to prove beyond a reoasnable doubt that the defendant was no possessed by the devil. Same as self-defense...

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 6:44 pm CDT

@55 - I wasn't suggesting the two are identical, but it sounds like having one's mind controlled by the Dark One would be a pretty significant defect of the mind.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 09, 6:49 pm CDT

I think the burden would still be on the defense, again, as in an insanity defense. Clear and convincing proof required of possession.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 09, 6:51 pm CDT

This is really an issue of adverse possession.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 09, 6:57 pm CDT

And regarding likelihood of possession and locking up the possessed, I was trying to analogize to the insane, who even if acquitted on account of insanity, may nevertheless be placed in custody and kept there sometimes for decades. The same rationale used to keep the insane locked up could apply to those possessed by Satan. Sorry if I wasn't clear, I do not do criminal law.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 09, 6:59 pm CDT

I guess it's not useful or interesting to point out that Scalia is out of touch, but only 57 percent of Americans still believe in the Devil (65 percent of Republicans, though) and only 50 percent of 18-25 year olds. (Google it if you don't believe me.) So it's barely a "mainstream" idea anymore and, like a lot of tired ideas, is certainly a disappearing notion. (Does anyone else worry that a Supreme Court Justice seems to actually believe an invisible fiend is influencing our world?)
As for the coarseness of the world, I much prefer a world that allows people to say the F word and is fine with nudity, but increasingly discourages racial and sexual discrimination and bigotry, as was mainstream when Scalia was growing up. When will this tired buffoon go away?

By Legal Rebel on 2013 10 09, 8:02 pm CDT

no defect.

When G-d is speaking through people, as when people speak in tongues, the mind is not ina state of imperfection, or even changed. One is merely a vessel -- a speaker -- for the Holy Spirit, to amplify the voice of another.

So it is with Satanic Possession. It si as if you are a megaphone that the Devil has got a hold of and is yelling through. Nothing you say is "you" or from you or intentionally said by you. Youa re completely under his influence.

Now I need to find an expert..

The defense in CA has the burden of proving insanity, but only by a preponderance of the evidence. a little more evidence than not. And if there are two reasonable inferences, and one points to guilt and one to innocence, the jury ahs no choice, if it follows the law, but to choose the one that points to innocence--in this case, demonic possession.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 8:28 pm CDT

speak up, those who beleive int he devil! I'd liek to hear some affirmation that this defense could wotk! I'm seriously considering it.

Interestingly, in voir dire, people generally may try to get excused because their religious beleiefs preclude them from judging another person. In this case, it seems like atheists would have to be excluded as being unable to judge since they cannot seriously cosnider the defense.

the whole idea has got me very excited.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 8:31 pm CDT

heres the relevant portion of the interview

You believe in heaven and hell?
Oh, of course I do. Don’t you believe in heaven and hell?

Oh, my.

Does that mean I’m not going?
[Laughing.] Unfortunately not!

Wait, to heaven or hell?
It doesn’t mean you’re not going to hell, just because you don’t believe in it. That’s Catholic doctrine! Everyone is going one place or the other.

But you don’t have to be a Catholic to get into heaven? Or believe in it?
Of course not!

Oh. So you don’t know where I’m going. Thank God.
I don’t know where you’re going. I don’t even know whether Judas Iscariot is in hell. I mean, that’s what the pope meant when he said, “Who am I to judge?” He may have recanted and had severe penance just before he died. Who knows?

Can we talk about your drafting process—
[Leans in, stage-whispers.] I even believe in the Devil.

You do?
Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.

Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …
If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.

Have you seen evidence of the Devil lately?
You know, it is curious. 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.

So what’s he doing now?
What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.

That has really painful implications for atheists. Are you sure that’s the ­Devil’s work?
I didn’t say atheists are the Devil’s work.

Well, you’re saying the Devil is ­persuading people to not believe in God. Couldn’t there be other reasons to not believe?
Well, there certainly can be other reasons. But it certainly favors the Devil’s desires. I mean, c’mon, that’s the explanation for why there’s not demonic possession all over the place. That always puzzled me. What happened to the Devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament.

What happened to him?

He just got wilier.
He got wilier.

Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. 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.

I hope you weren’t sensing contempt from me. It wasn’t your belief that surprised me so much as how boldly you expressed it.
I was offended by that. I really was.

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 8:43 pm CDT

seems liek hes leaving open the demon defense...

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 8:45 pm CDT

L'enfer c'est les autres.

The evidence is all around us. Even on this board.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 09, 8:48 pm CDT

so, wine country, your'e the jduge, can I run my demonic possessiond efense?

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 8:59 pm CDT

Sure. It's best against a T formation quarterback with a strong arm.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 09, 9:05 pm CDT

"One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan: 'Where have you come from?' Satan answered: "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it". Job 1:6-7

A footnote to my translation (the NLT, or New Liberal Translation) states that when He wrote this, He was really questioning Ted Cruz. So all the people who are threatened by Scalia's remark can take a deep breath and relax.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 09, 9:41 pm CDT

Game on!

Devil defense!

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 09, 10:10 pm CDT

I understand that, as a betting man, Satan prefers the Arizona State football team.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 09, 10:25 pm CDT

defensive lawyer, I think your keyboard is possessed by the Devil.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 10, 12:06 am CDT

I write in praise of Santana (no. 42) above!


I think that Scalia's attack on the interviewer was well taken. Both Catholics and Protestants believe in the devil, the personification of evil. And, indeed, how can you have a personification of good (Jesus Christ) without a contrary personification of evil? Remember, in the New Testament the devil personally tempts Christ to renounce God and accept all sorts of bribes, embracing evil instead. Of course, Christ rejects that -- but how could such a temptation take place if there is no one to do the tempting? It's like saying you love the light, but have no darkness with which to contrast it against.

There is no INSANITY there in Scalia's view, just a very well articulated and historically valid point of view -- and a view which the majority of Americans (who, btw, are in no way "politically correct") happen to share. Now, as to insanity, what about those who deny the existence of both good and evil... yet somehow ignore all the examples we have, day in and day out, of both? That's what the other alternative, moral relativism, leads us to in the end. Not a workable world view, not at all.

So, well said, Santana. We don't have to agree with Mr. Justice Scalia on every point, or even on most points, to applaud him here.

By SavannahGuy on 2013 10 10, 2:26 pm CDT

you can have a "good" without evil.

This is the essence of monottheism. In Judaism, there is no beleif in a "devil". there is some entity known as Satan, in the Torah, who does mischief, but he acts under the command of G-d. Only later, in the New testament, does the Devil get all independent and full of himself.

So, yeah, monotheism, one G-d. Seems at least for Jews to preclude the idea that the devil is a separate powerful G-d like entity of evilness running about.

But isn't the perfect lawyer to runa devil defense Alan Dershowitz, just as you'd want a jewish guy to represent you on a naszi hate crime charge? And if you can't afford that jewish lawyer, I'll run your devil defense for less...

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 10, 4:27 pm CDT

by the way, the demonic possession expert I contacted (seriously) says they need a full mental health workup as part of their exorcism protocol...


By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 10, 4:29 pm CDT

what was the framer's position on the devil.

was there a devil made me do it defense way back when?

By defesnive lawyer on 2013 10 10, 4:30 pm CDT

Look, guys, this is flattering, but you're wasting a lot of time. Every time one of you invokes my august personage, it distracts me from working with Michelle Bachman. And frankly, my internet bandwidth really is not very good in Cocytus. (Yes, I should have thought of that before taking control of all the cable internet providers.)

Anyway, I'd much prefer it if you'd get out there and actually get stuff done. Go protest equal rights in the name of the Big Guy to make him look bad for me. Or go quote his Book as a justification for cutting benefits to the poor. Now _that_ is some good work.

Seriously, we're doing a good job here, and I don't want you slacking off.

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 10, 4:55 pm CDT

Dear justice Scalia: You should know.

By charlegman on 2013 10 10, 7:32 pm CDT

It appears he made it through the somewhat coarse The Usual Suspects...

By hmmmm on 2013 10 10, 11:05 pm CDT

I don't think the devil is getting wilier so much as people are just getting stupider.

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 11, 6:39 am CDT

If Scalia were an originalist, how could he ever have cited Wickard v. Filburn in the Raich case? Pragmatic, perhaps even intellectually dishonest, but not originalist.
It was hearing Scalia speak at my school that made me realize I had not the stomach to be a lawyer.

By Anna Vrankar on 2013 10 11, 10:30 am CDT

The worst decisions are those motivated by pay-backs. I knew a clerk for Scalia; when the Gore case came up, Scalia ranted, raved, and cursed saying that there was no way he would let Gore win. George Washington wrote about the movement to institute a monarchy in the colonies after the war was won, stating that he had not fought for the old ways, but for democracy and freedom. Other Republican appointees have exhibited the same shrinkage of intellectual prowess. Clarence was at Yale Law School (along with Bill and Hillary) when I was a ten percenter in Yale College (the other ninety percent were dynasty, such as George W. Bush, who never attended class). I recall one day when Clarence's briefcase snapped open to spew forth porn. Roberts reminds me of Rehnquist; the latter pushed through decisions restricting Article I rights vis a vi the Eleventh Amendment. The former, who will be the Chief for decades, has opened the door to monied conservatives and closed the door as much as he could to the voting rights of blacks and Latinos. Overall, Scalia and Clarence should not be in the Supreme Court.

By Laurens R. Schwartz on 2013 10 11, 10:35 am CDT

It's not at all surprising to hear a man say that he believes in the entity to whom he sold his soul..

By Anna Vrankar on 2013 10 11, 10:43 am CDT

Wow. It is clear the ABA puts a spin on things, and reading these comments proves the point of Justice Scalia's statements. This is a blog for the ABA, yet the comments contain poor writing, rude unrelated political rants, and anti-religious prejudice. Unfortunately rude political rants seem to prevail on this site too. I wonder why the ABA felt it necessary to post only this portion of Justice Scalia's interview? Maybe because they know their audience. Remember, Justice Scalia granted an interview to someone who probably carries a political bias, like much of you who commented. The interviewer then only shares what the interviewer's bias deems worthy. We end up ingesting whatever the interviewer writes in the article, not every word in the interview. Then the ABA whittles it down further to amplify and spin whatever portions they deem worthy for posting. I am truly glad I let my ABA student membership lapse. It is clear the ABA is a biased partisan political organization and does not support my values.

By Law Student on 2013 10 11, 11:13 am CDT

@ Andy:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (Psalms 14:1-3).

I would argue this goes for the Devil too (a fool denies his existence as any other created being), but since you're so hostile toward the idea of the one, I think I can logically conclude that you discount the existence of the Other, and that, I fear is your greater issue here today.

Does this mean you are also a card-carrying member of FFRF? Sad...

By LawJake on 2013 10 11, 11:24 am CDT

Andy, I'm with you on most of that imaginary stuff, but djinns? Djinns are real. It's in the Koran.

By billow on 2013 10 11, 11:47 am CDT

Justice Scalia's comment chiding the reporter about the devil is spot-on. The content of print and on-line media is rife with social outliers, cynical H.L. Mencken-wannabes who think themselves more enlightened than the mainstream Americans they happily reduce to grotesque caricature. Scalia is right, the devil is wily: he's figured out all he needs to do is take over the mainstream news media.

By COTWA on 2013 10 11, 11:53 am CDT

Justice Scalia’s comment chiding the reporter about the devil is spot-on. The content of print and on-line media is rife with pieces written by social outliers, cynical H.L. Mencken-wannabes who think themselves more enlightened than mainstream Americans they happily reduce to grotesque caricature. Scalia is right, the devil is wily: he’s figured out all he needs to do is take over the mainstream news media.

By COTWA on 2013 10 11, 11:56 am CDT

It is amazing how opinionated people can be when they are too timid to use their real names when sharing those opinions :)

By Anna Vrankar on 2013 10 11, 12:06 pm CDT

@84 You cite a source that commands worship of a specific deity as support for the existence of that deity? That is a pretty biased source, don't you think?

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 11, 12:11 pm CDT

Do any of you have any idea how messed up this comment section is? Are you serious with a debate over the existence of the Devil? And 'Defensive Lawyer' spelling God "G-d"? Really? Didn't want to use his full name? The creator of the entire universe and everything we know of from the atomic level to the vastness of space does not want his name spelled out fully? He's funny that way. I guess it would do no good to inform most of these comment contributors that a God vs. The Devil discussion is insanely ridiculous. Here's an idea: think for yourself. Don't blame the devil for our problems. He didn't do it. We all make decisions. Society is suffering BECAUSE of the Devil? That is truly insane thinking - full on delusion. Silliness, all of it.

By Matthew on 2013 10 11, 12:17 pm CDT

I found a djinn in a bottle once, apparently mislaid by some guy named "Gibley," whose name was on the bottle. I put it on some ice in my spare bathtub (so now it's a bathtub djinn).

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 11, 12:26 pm CDT

Ah the blatant hypocrisy. Scalia says he's contrarian and uncomfortable when the majority of people agree with him, yet in the same interview states that the majority of Americans believe in the devil as support for the correctness of his own belief. He rails against the "coarseness" of today's society, the notion that (gasp!) the "ladies" are using the F word, yet queries whether the interviewer is "so out of touch" with the rest of society. It's not simply his views that are concerning, but rather the inconsistencies and illogic of his reasoning.

By Lane C. on 2013 10 11, 12:32 pm CDT

Lord Help Us!

By greyghost on 2013 10 11, 12:44 pm CDT

"Magistrates are not a terror unto those who do good, but to the doer of evil." Go Magistrates! The courts of this world are not intended to discern that which is spiritual. Since we cannot punish the devil, I guess the defendant will do just fine. Even the prosecutor subjectively believes you are a servant of darkness, no longer held in in power, I am afraid the state must be a little more hard nose in the execution of justice. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Possessed or not we will stand on the rules of evidence.

Foolishness to the Greeks

By Foolishness to the Greeks on 2013 10 11, 12:55 pm CDT

Seems the entire community missed his best line:

"Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil.”

You might expect that grammar from W, but a Supreme Court judge? Pretty funny.

By chilaw on 2013 10 11, 12:57 pm CDT

Andy McLeod: Go to the Time Out corner and think about what you did. (bathtub djinn, indeed)
Matthew: What are you, the "Too Silly" policeman from Monty Python? Of course this is ridiculous. The ABA Journal is as much a professional journal as "People" magazine, or haven't you noticed?

By billow on 2013 10 11, 12:58 pm CDT

Considering I have always believed that Scalia had a close personal relationship with Satan, it does not surprise me that he believes in Satan.

To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen: "Mr. Reporter, Satan is a friend of mine, I've worked with Satan, and you, Mr. Reporter, are no Satan."

By the way, #1, my thoughts exactly.

By Dcinsider on 2013 10 11, 1:19 pm CDT

@3 I am not Christian but I found Andythelawyer's comments just as offensive, and I suspect that he has no more use for Orthodox Jews than he does for orthodox (or Orthodox) Christians.

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 1:28 pm CDT

The problem with institutionalizing the teachings of Jesus in government run programs is that you rob both the giver of charity and the receiver. The giver no longer is able to make the personal choice to give, but is rather forced under threat of imprisonment to give the needy. The needy are robbed of receiving in the spirit of charity, but rather believe the gift to be an entitlement.

By LoveOneAnother on 2013 10 11, 1:30 pm CDT

To all who have posted to suggest that their religious beliefs reflect the one truth, and that all of us who disagree with them, or otherwise ridicule them because we think they are bananas, sorry to have offended.

I happen to be an atheist. I find religion to be absurd, and those that practice it often the least Christian people I've ever met. However, you certainly have a right to your beliefs. The problem, which #1 aptly states, is when those religious beliefs interfere with secular duties, such as being a Judge.

I will defend your right to practice your religion, but I will oppose your attempts to force your religious beliefs upon your fellow citizens through legislation, or through "judicial activism" as practiced by Justice Scalia.

I grew up in New England and was taught that religion is a private matter. One does not discuss their religious beliefs in the workplace, and one never imposes their religious beliefs upon another. It was always considered impolite and lacking in social graces. How I wish the rest of this country understood that simple fact.

We debate politics in the public sphere, not religion.

By Dcinsider on 2013 10 11, 1:30 pm CDT

I absolutely believe that Hitler and Stalin were influenced by the devil.

By CT Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 1:33 pm CDT

I write because so the posts here mostly seem to assume that people like me don't exist. I am a devout person of faith who believes that other religions have much to teach me about God and faith, who reads the Bible in its historical, scientific and technological context, who assumes that everything I know and believe is subject to further enlightenment and correction through contemplation and conversation, and who usually votes Democratic because I believe the teachings of Christ about how to live in community compel me to do so. I believe in the strict separation of Church and State and reject civil religion. I agree that the far left is arrogant and uninformed about faith and that the far right would run their own candidate against Jesus in the primaries because they disagreed with almost everything he taught. Scalia bothers me because he is cavalier about executing people for crimes they did not commit, and not surprisingly, unconcerned about executing the mentally ill, notwithstanding the possibility they did not understand the nature of the acts for which they are going to be killed. And because I believe he is intellectually dishonest--alternately choosing to reject or embrace "original intent" and legislative history to suit his results oriented analysis. He spoke to my law school class years ago. When a student asked him if he thought the Court would eventually overturn Roe vs. Wade, he told the student "I hope you are not going to become a lawyer because any lawyer should be smart enough to know that I cannot comment on issues that might come before the Court," totally embarrassing and humiliating the student. In the same talk, Scalia spoke on a number of issues likely to come before the Court and talked about several pending cases. Later that day, he stepped off a curb in front of my car while jogging because he was oogling some coeds. My Christianity compelled me to brake, against my better judgment.

By Anomalaw on 2013 10 11, 1:36 pm CDT

@36 and 37 - Andy, here are some things you might not know. I am sure you are intellectually curious not to dismiss them out of hand without checking.
1. Those who believe in the existence of Satan do not "attribute[s] evil, criminal and illegal acts to the work of a supernatural being external to the defendant." In Jewish (and I think Christian, as well), theology, Satan may at times tempt humans into committing evil, criminal or illegal acts, but the choice of whether to commit the act is up to the human being. That is what makes us human, and what makes the actor morally responsbile for the act.

2. The existence of evil and the existence of mental illness are not incompatible. I cannot speak for Christianity, but certainly Jewish law recognizes that some bad actions are the result of mental illness and that the actor in those cases is not criminally responsible in those cases.

Mutal caricature is not a recipe for productive discussion.

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 1:37 pm CDT

Since we are all reaching deep into our belief systems, the Buddhists say "Look in the mirror; you don't exist". And in the Abrahamic tradition we can agree to this extent: Each of us develops a persona, suitable for survival in our immediate environment. When I am with religous people I confess I believe Jesus came to bring us close to God, we killed him (all of us, it has to be all of us for the mystery to work), that he came back from the dead to forgive us. But when I'm in court, I put on the persona an officer of the court within a tolerant, secular republic. When in my spiritual persona, I believe there is a God and a Devil, and the Antichrist may be walking the world, but he is almost certainly an oil billionaire who buys and sells conservative politicians; the real gospel of Jesus is found in Liberation Theology. Can I go back to my Officer of the Court persona? We have to sell the rule of law under our tolerant, secular republic and Justice Scalia isn't helping us very much. People have to buy it in every generation. It won't work unless everybody puts a little bit more into it that he/she takes out of it.

By KurtLaw in Michigan on 2013 10 11, 1:40 pm CDT

I am scouring, scouring, and scouring for a criminal defense available to one who is possessed by the devil......It just cannot be that we can convict a someone of a crime when the devil has commandeered their body and forced it to commit atrocious acts against society like murder.

A possession defense is brilliant because we can reduce the prison population by exercising all those, in prison and on trial, who are possessed by the devil and then release them into society to be productive citizens.

Funny how many solutions are right under our noses!

If there is a devil, why is he just now getting smarter? And what kind of brain does he have that evolves over time?

By Hershall on 2013 10 11, 1:41 pm CDT

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

I had _nothing_ to do with that.

Your pathetic species created those two all on your own.

And you're making more every day, really. Look at how vicious this one message board can be. It's just a question of how much power anyone like some of these people can grab and use.

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 11, 1:44 pm CDT

Good work. I seriously love how you quietly slipped in some requirement that the J-man would want the poor not to think of a gift as an entitlement.

That is seriously excellent rhetoric for pretending to follow him and undermining his entire agenda.

You may just be my employee of the month!

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 11, 1:46 pm CDT

DCinsider: You should have a bumper sticker: I brake for Scalia.

Scalia oogling coeds? He doesn't have about a million kids because his thermostat is set really low.

As for the Orthodox (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) what do they have in common? Believing the Reason for the Fall from Paradise, they treat their women very, very badly. (my opinion, and feel free to attack me as a religious bigot.)

By billow on 2013 10 11, 1:47 pm CDT

@37 and @38,
Andythelawyer, please keep your own advice in mind. As for mischaracterizing, Blackstone states that the laws of Britain are inseparable from Christianity, which is the reason he cites for disqualifying Jews from serving as judges. Yet he also cites the legal principle that the insane are not criminally responsible for their actions. It seems that history disproves your thesis.

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 1:50 pm CDT

@102: You wanted to run him over because he was looking at some co-eds? And you needed to trust in your Christian faith to apply the brakes? Remind me to stay at home when you step into the driver's seat. Good grief.

By CT Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 1:52 pm CDT

@18 - I come to bring not peace but a sword?
Let him that has no sword sell his possessions and buy one? (Apologies to my Christian friends of I misquoted that one a bit but I'm sure you can correct it).
Yeah, sounds like unadulterated pacifism to me.
Ask the currency exchangers about his non-violence.

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 1:52 pm CDT

Does the comment about the Satan influencing Hitler and Stalin allow me to invoke Godwin's Law and end the discussion?'s_law

By billow on 2013 10 11, 2:00 pm CDT

@112 - More evidence that as an internet discussion grows longer, the odds that someone will invoke Godwin's Law approaches one.

By Oort Cloud on 2013 10 11, 2:03 pm CDT

Godwin's Law is hereby suspended for this thread.

Sorry, but I actually like it that you guys compare anyone you disagree with to Hitler. Legitimate discussion is not something I tend to advocate. You do much better when you demonize everyone who doesn't agree with you.

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 11, 2:06 pm CDT

Just throwing it out there that "everyone believes in something," obvious I know, but just because someone believes something with actual conviction to either follow, or at least know their belief through-and-through, doesn't mean they can't keep impartial in a position that requires them to. Whether a person can or not, is case by case, and a stereotype shouldn't be applied here. Just my thoughts.

By Z on 2013 10 11, 2:07 pm CDT

@62: The discussion about possession is a distraction if you're talking about Christian doctrine. If we all have the sinners' penalty to pay, then it doesn't matter if the murderer, liar or thief was "possessed". We all botched it as free moral agents. Its been 'game over' since the Garden of Eden.

@76: "or go quote his book as a justification for cutting benefits to the poor". Its funny watching liberals try to get all biblical and justify government graft in the name of religion. Christ's direction to care for the poor was on a personal basis like the good samaritan did, and not directed at governments. Governments take by force and the point of caring for others as described in the bible is to do it when you don't have to and because your faith compells you to. Its clear you don't get it.

@89: I guess it depends on where you plan to spend eternity. If he who owns heaven tells us the way to get there then I'm ok with whatever bias there is in that. Further, its no 'command' if eternity is of no concern to you. It sounds like it is not and you are free to exercise some other faith if you want.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 11, 2:09 pm CDT

@90, I can't speak for Defensive Lawyer, but I write G-d out of respect, the same way that in Hebrew we do not write out His name unnecessarily. This is not necessary in English since G-d is a mere descrptor and is not His name, but many religious Jews follow this same rule in English as an extra stringency. Although I disagree with much of what Defensive Lawyer has written here, I do agree that he has accurately described the role of Satan in Jewish theology.

@83, exactly my sentiments.

@60 "a lot of tired ideas, is certainly a disappearing notion.
" Like the tired and disappearing ideas that it is irresponsible to have children with someone you are not married to, or to do so repeated times with different people. Or that men should support and help care for and raise the children they have fathered. Or that abortion should be reserved for saving lives instead of as backup birth control. Or that babies who are born after a botched abortion are human beings who deserve to live, and not medical waste to be killed by neglect and then disposed of. Or that there is executing murderers is no more inconsistent or immoral than fining embezzlers or imprisoning kidnappers. Or that religious belief is just as worthy of protection against discrimination as is mental illness (excuse me, 'transgendered people, as celebrated in the recent print edition of ABA Journal) and sexual immorality.

If you tell me there are old ideas that were not good ones, I will agree, including racial and religious discrimination, slavery and debtors' prison, to name just a few. If you think that fact leads inescapably to the idea that all old ideas are bad, please don't think that you can step out of a 50th floor without falling simply because gravity is an old idea. The one old idea you seem to endorse is discriminating and ridiculing those whose religious beliefs conflict with the prevailing morality and world view.

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 2:11 pm CDT

No, no, no, you misunderstand. I *agree* with you. It's very important that you use that logic to prevent the government from caring for the poor and the needy to the best of its ability. I'm with you all the way! The J-man would *definitely* want you to use the story of the Good Samaritan as a justification for railing against food stamps and other social welfare programs. I think your understanding is exactly right!

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 11, 2:11 pm CDT

@104: The real gospel of Jesus will not be found anywhere near liberation theology except to disabuse its followers of the lie. Your comment about conservative politicians sounds exactly like what I would expect the anti-christ to say.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 11, 2:17 pm CDT

Scalia is partly responsible for the decline in civic culture which he accurately describes. His lack of self reflection is his most repugnant quality. You don't go duck-hunting with the Vice President, for example, when you are about to determine once and for all his very controversial assertion about executive secrecy, contemptuously shrug off the people who very reasonably point out the appearance of impropriety this represents, and then expect that such conduct will not incur contempt of court. The decline of civic culture is an expression, in part, of a decline in respect for public institutions, among them the Supreme Court supremely. At any rate, devils are often accompanied by fools, and to paraphrase Schopenhauer, you will always be the playthings of both if you expect to see them going about with horns and jangling their bells.

By Wortmanberg on 2013 10 11, 2:18 pm CDT

Good show! Anyone who disagrees with you or doesn't share your values is the antichrist! Stay vigilant!

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 11, 2:20 pm CDT

And now we have some concrete evidence of why Scalia's opinions on the Court have been so bizarre. When the highest court in the land has someone on it who reshapes the constitution (and the bible) to fit his own political philosophy, our nation is in deep trouble.

And his arrogance is amazing. It takes chuztpah in the extreme for Scalia to criticize writing today and then say, "Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil." It's "you or I" fella! But I bet you've rewritten the rules of grammar too.

By Dan on 2013 10 11, 2:21 pm CDT

Yes, plink! The "ladies using the f-word" comment slapped me right in the face! How out of touch with the real world can you be? What Scalia fails to understand is that the "coarse" movies and television shows are reflecting society as it actually is, not the other way around. I am also unhappy about the lack of civility in current U.S. society, but I don't blame the arts.

His comment that most of mankind throughout history has believed in the devil is just wrong. For example, in Judaic cultures, the devil is not really a thing. Of course, there is a belief in God, but "the devil" just doesn't show up much. I think all religions believe in evil, but that is a lot different than believing in "the devil."

By pinkvibes on 2013 10 11, 2:21 pm CDT

I find it interesting he states he is a contrarian and doesn't feel comfortable when the majority agrees with him but he uses the converse of that rationale to strengthen his arguement that the devil exists. Maybe it is time to, as he states, "... re-examine my position!"

By nobody on 2013 10 11, 2:35 pm CDT

Scalia's views may not in fact reflect majority opinion:

Depends, apparently, on what questions you ask.

I'm more concerned that he chooses to live in the conservative echo chamber, and to limit his exposure to the real world.

By Ham Solo on 2013 10 11, 2:39 pm CDT

@125: "Conservative echo chamber"? In D.C.?? I hope you're kidding. I suspect that what you're really concerned about is that he hasn't been co-opted by the liberal echo chamber that is D.C. You probably resent the confidence with which he holds his views and you probably have a sense that he's right, but like a kid not wanting to admit fault to his Dad, all liberals can do is sneer whenever his name is mentioned.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 11, 2:50 pm CDT

Interesting read, thank you for the link Ham Solo.

My comment was more a statement on his illogical perspective and his inablility to follow his own tenents in short order, rather than whether he truly is in concordance with a majority.

By nobody on 2013 10 11, 2:54 pm CDT

What a great man and Justice. I admired his writing through his decisions while I was in law school. If only we had seven more like Scalia and Thomas.

By Slaw on 2013 10 11, 2:57 pm CDT

Dcinsider: That's ok; we think what you believe is absurd too. Moreover, you assertion that religious people having their beliefs assist them in carrying out their public duties (not secular you sophist) is just silly. For example, do you think the environmentalist wackos religious belief that Man affects the climate, and therefore we must hobble our productive capabilities, should influence government employees carrying out their public duties?

By Slaw on 2013 10 11, 3:01 pm CDT

127: Following his tenents? I was not aware he owned rental property, but if he's doing that, they should complain.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 11, 3:05 pm CDT

Tenets - My mistake, thanks for pointing it out Wine Country Dude.

By nobody on 2013 10 11, 3:14 pm CDT

There's nothing like a good 'ol fashioned medically unnecessary invasive ultrasound legislated by older, white gentlemen of culture to cure those foul mouthed ladies.

By rosslaw on 2013 10 11, 3:17 pm CDT

Nothing brings out petty, self-righteous, derisive and ignorant snark like a story about Scalia. Or a story about religion. Mix the two and you have guaranteed traffic from those who are sure they have evolved to a higher plane, and that human failings are the sole province of our forbears and of those benighted relics who bitterly cling to the same conservative politics and religion. All would be well if we, like our betters, would drop the scales from our eyes and confess that religion is the cause of, and not a check against, human shortcomings. How thankful would should be that, for now at least, our betters are putting up with us.

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 3:23 pm CDT

Quite welcome, nobody. For a moment there, I feared there was no end to this man's depredations.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 11, 3:27 pm CDT

@129 - Man's contribution to climate change is not a "belief". It is knowledge based on empirical evidence. There's a bit of difference between the two, as someone who claims to be religious should know. But anyway, why aren't we discussing the Nazis?

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 11, 3:36 pm CDT

The Post has veered to the right and that still isn't enough for him. The Washington Times isn’t even a real newspaper. And the WSJ op-ed page hasn't even pretended to be credible for 30 years, when L Gordon Crovitz took it over and openly announced he wanted to be a provocative bomb thrower.

He's basically announcing to the world he’s choosing to live in a bubble.

BTW, plenty of us who are quite religiously observant nonetheless find this "devil" stuff to be bizarre nonsense, at least to the extent it is not just meant as metaphor.

By johnl17 on 2013 10 11, 3:38 pm CDT

I resent that.

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 11, 3:40 pm CDT

How about the climate change Nazis? (can't help myself :-)

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 11, 3:42 pm CDT

I'm about to invoke "Thunderdome". Two men enter, one man leaves.

By billow on 2013 10 11, 3:55 pm CDT

Hear hear, #42. I am no Scalia fan, but I am really tired of the ignorance and lack of nuance in what passes for "discussion" of religious beliefs in much of mainstream "news." Anyone who'd ever read an issue of Christian Century or even Sojourners would know that not all liberals are atheists.

By NCLawyer on 2013 10 11, 3:55 pm CDT

@25: Let me show you the error of "the popular view of Christ as a pacifist." Try reading the Bible sometime and you will find that in Matthew, Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace, but to bring a sword...I will turn a house against itself for the sake of righteousness...Father against son..."

So, absolutely, Jesus cares about the less fortunate and kids, but that does not absolve us of the obligation to "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." For some strange reason, the false prophets have deceived the masses into believing that neither God nor Christ have standards for our conduct. Yes, the Devil is more wily - but, as we Southern Baptists also believe, the Devil is a lie.

Is that enough to debunk the "pacifist" myth for you?

By IvyDevilDog on 2013 10 11, 4:09 pm CDT

Three Points:

1) see what happens when lawyers talk about religion;

2) does this mean that Flip Wilson's "the devil made me do it" is no longer a valid defense, AND

3) Scottie - Two To Beam UP. No sign of intelligent life here.

By Two to Beam UP on 2013 10 11, 4:15 pm CDT

@135: Your empirical evidence has been thoroughly debunked. It was an anti-capitalist fraud to begin with.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 11, 4:31 pm CDT

To Santana @ 42:

I consider myself a moderate conservative, and I had exactly the same reaction to this thread that you described in your post above. I could not have said it better.

By Robert in SD on 2013 10 11, 4:31 pm CDT

@136: The Washington Times isn't a real newspaper because it presents a perspective that you disagree with. You liberals amaze me with your tolerance.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 11, 4:35 pm CDT

It's not real newspaper because it doesn't publish useful news.

We included it in the clipping service at my firm for awhile but stopped for that reason. Nothing to do with its ideology, although the fact that it was founded for the purpose of advancing an ideology doesn't help I'm sure. I'd meet their reporters and they'd tell me how hard it was to try to be a serious journalist at a paper that was not devoted the enterprise of serious journalism.

But hey go ahead and write a standard issue liberals suck post (though you meant iintolerance of course); it wouldn't be an ABA thread without one.

By johnl17 on 2013 10 11, 4:50 pm CDT

As somone who spent 13 years in Catholic schools I was surprised to read Scalia's statements of what Catholic dogma teaches. He says that everyone is either going to heaven or hell. I was taught that there is a place called purgatory and one called limbo. Purgatory is sort of a half way house before someone who has been moderately bad goes to heaven. Limbo was the place where those not baptised as Catholics spent eternity. It was just kind of a blah kind of place - but nobody had to burn. Did Scalia forget about those places or has Catholic dogma changed? I don't know because I have become a non-believer. And if the dogma changed how did that happen? I thought dogma was - dogma. I recently spent some time with 7 former classmates and we had an interesting discussion about our faith or lack thereof. Four continued to be practicing Catholics and four became either atheist or agnostic. I guess not surprisingly the four practicing were conservative in their politics and the atheist/agnostics were liberal or much more moderate. I think the subject of religion, its effect on the law and the law's effect on religion arre fascinating subjects. Many of these posts are thoughtful and thought provoking. It is too bad that so many comments are at best flippant and at worst mean spirited.

By redwood on 2013 10 11, 4:51 pm CDT

#84 -- I don't carry membership cards for anything but my state bar membership, and I don't have one from the FFRF or any other cult.

But my personal beliefs are irrelevant to the discussion. One need not be an atheist to disbelieve in the devil or any other supernatural creature.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 10 11, 5:12 pm CDT

I am not a religious person; however, I was raised Catholic and am married to a jew. I do not believe that Supreme Court Justices need to be sharing their religious views with everyone. I think we just need to read his opinions to know where Justice Scalia stands. Whether the devil exists or not, we, as lawyers, see evil in our day to day work. I have faced it in my position weekly. It's easy to blame the devil when people do bad things. I think it's a scape-goat to help us explain why bad things happen to good people. The fact is that people need to be held accountable for crimes when they are culpable. I have never seen "the devil made me do it" defense work.

By LAWGRL on 2013 10 11, 5:36 pm CDT

I think his negative and scared attitude about the world come through in his decisions.

By Little Devil on 2013 10 11, 5:55 pm CDT

@Slipkid: No, Jesus did not speak of hell. He spoke of Gahanna, which is entirely different. Sheol is not hell either.

@Wine_Country_Dude: Exactly how Jesus referred to himself is a source of controversy. He didn't say he was "Son of God" at least not as a way of distinguishing himself as divine, or as somehow having a closer relationship with God than anyone else. When you think about it, to Jesus and his listeners, everybody is a Son (or Daughter) of God.

The same goes for the "Son of Man" sayings. Today it is common (outside of academia) to assume this means divine. In fact, it was probably just a way of referring to oneself in the third person.

I am an attorney, just like (I assume) the rest of you. The only reason I know this is that I am married to minister with a doctorate who trained in Germany (God listens more closely when you pray in German, you know) who knows Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

Claims like J. Scalia's that hell and the devil are real because that's Christian doctrine are alarming because they suggest his worldview is informed by beliefs that vary substantially with many, many other people. (I also submit that his religious views aren't particularly intelligent either, when viewed in light of modern theological scholarship, but that's far beyond the scope of this forum.) I'm a Christian and I don't believe either exist. Moreover, there are millions of Christians in the world who agree with me -- granted that's minority view, including in the U.S., but it's not some fringe crackpot view either.

Then, of course, there are all those people who aren't Christians at all.

By Mamelo on 2013 10 11, 5:59 pm CDT

@142: Some of us do not just write about religion, we live our relationship with Jesus. I know you think you are really, really cute (and smart) writing that there is no "intelligent life" when God and Jesus are discussed. I will pray for you because you need it. I hope you pray for me also - because we have all sinned and fallen short of Glory.

By IvyDevilDog on 2013 10 11, 6:39 pm CDT

@152 - You stop that right now! That kind of talk does *not* fit my agenda. You're supposed to be tricking people into cutting food programs for the needy or... hating gays and women. Under no circumstances are you to actually display... compassion and mercy.

I do not like it when people resort to soft words rather than wrath.

By The Morningstar on 2013 10 11, 6:57 pm CDT

@ 26 WCD - Actually, whether Jesus said "No one comes to the Father but through me" is an interesting question. Servetus, the Spanish physician who was the first to acurately describe pulminary function, and who studied religious texts in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic, was condemned and burned alive in a fire of green wood (to make it a slow roast) with all his books chained to him for asserting that Jesus had been mistranslated by the Council of Nicaea and that what he really said was that "no one comes to the father but as I have." For this blasphemy, the root of Servetus being a unitarian rather than a trinitarian, Calvin, himself under indictment for heresy by the Catholic church for asserting that priests are not essential intermediaries for having a relationship with god, bent and twisted the law of Geneva to have him executed. As a non-resident the worst punishment for the offenses Servetus was accused of, under the law then in effect in Geneva, should have been banishment. But defending religious doctrine was so important that with the support of people like Martin Luther, also under indictment for heresy, Calvin decreed that it was important to kill him with a horrible death.
To me, this illustrates why religion should have no place in judicial discourse.

By AlaskaBoy on 2013 10 11, 7:16 pm CDT

One could argue with equal validity that the the USSR's long history of twisting Soviet law, or Eric Holder's shameful perversion of US law, prove that irreligion should have no place in judicial discourse.

By Ohio Lawyer on 2013 10 11, 7:25 pm CDT

"Let's not bicker and argue about 'oo killed 'oo".

Actually, I was thinking that both religious and political indoctrination often leads us, the meanest (relatively) hairless apes on the planet, to kill those who disagree with us. Banana, anyone?

By billow on 2013 10 11, 7:32 pm CDT

Really Ohio, was "irreligion" the basis of their actions?

By AlaskaBoy on 2013 10 11, 7:36 pm CDT

Only 3 points this time and I will try my best to be mostly serious.

(1) Justice Scalia has the 1st Amendment right to say what he says. He did not lose that 1st Amendment right when he became a Supreme Court Justice;

(2) When he sits on the bench he is not required to pretend that he doesn't have a life, that he is not religious, that he doesn't have beliefs or that he agrees with you/us. He is required to do one thing and one thing only : "judge the cases before him based on the law and the facts." I have read dozen of his opinions and he always does that, logically, constitutionally and nearly "religiously." (Remember I said mostly serious and since this para. is satiric it also is protected by the first amendment. Subject to an executive order by Obama, of course) ; and

(3) Don't turn this into a Facebook post, where you argue against each other, correct meaningless information ; instead of arguing about the legal issue. IF you are a lawyer and you want to assess a legal issue, be a lawyer or at least ACT LIKE ONE. (so sorry about the Facebook ALLCAPS).

It's coffee break - so I now will get back to work. Thus, I will now turn off the notify and look again tonight after at least two good glasses of Red wine. It's good for my heart.

By Two to Beam Up on 2013 10 11, 8:11 pm CDT

I hate to tell justice Scalia but Jesus did not believe in the devil. He believed in God. If justice Scalia insists to impose his literalist, fundamentalist views on the world I suggest that he join the taliban.

By Dan Hoehn on 2013 10 11, 8:24 pm CDT

@ 147

Scalia is correct on that point. Everyone is going to end up in Heaven or Hell according to Catholic teaching. Purgatory is a temporary state for those on their way to Heaven. "Limbo" is not a dogmatic teaching of the Church, but was a point of contention among Catholic theologians who pondered what would be the eternal destination for children who died without baptism, but free from any personal sin. The current thinking on the point seems to be that we simply leave it in the hands of a loving God. (Catholics-both liberal and conservative-believe in a loving God)

My experience with Catholics is similar to yours. Those that fall away seem to be social liberals while those who remain Catholics, or return to the Catholic Church, seem more socially conservative. That's understandable I suppose. Scalia certainly falls into the latter camp.

By Robert in SD on 2013 10 11, 8:26 pm CDT

I wouldn't care what Scalia believes if he could acknowledge that the Constitution was intended to protect us from their imposition.

By PBlaw on 2013 10 11, 8:44 pm CDT

Wow there are a lot of people with nothing better to do during working hours that share their pseudonyminous opinions about religion over the Internet. But no one's addressed my confusion about a self-titled originalist citing Wickard v Filburn as precedent in a case that evicerated state's righys

By Anna Vrankar on 2013 10 11, 9:32 pm CDT

@151: We both know that Christ spoke of a lasting eternity. The city dump (Gehenna) may have been used figuratively in places but its clear throughout his teaching that he's referring to a very real hell. In the story about about the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man was not in Gehenna. In Matthew 23:33 he states "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?" Apparently there will be a sentencing of some people and it doesn't sound to me like it will to the city dump.

Also, everybody is not a son or daughter of God. John 8:44; "You are of your father the devil and you want to do the desires of your father." Apparently we have different fathers.

@ 159: "Jesus did not believe in the devil". Care to site your source for that one, sir?

By SlipKid on 2013 10 11, 10:02 pm CDT

All you people who beleive int he devil, tell me more?

I need facts about how the devil operates so i cand efend people.

How does he take people over?

Have you seen him?

Do you think he makes people do things, or just offers suggestions?

I need help for upcoming trials and i'm just guessing about how the devil operates, because I have some doubts about hsi existence. You guys who believe int he devil must know more than me!

Does he take over your thoughts and force you to kill people? How? is it a defense to criminal charges or not?

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 11, 10:15 pm CDT

@164 If you are serious about learning more about this matter, let me suggest "Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans", by the late Malachi Martin.

By Yankee on 2013 10 11, 11:04 pm CDT

@164: I sense that you are anything but serious about this matter. Otherwise you would have already been educated by reading your bible.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 12, 12:36 am CDT

The nuns taught us in Catholic elementary school that when all of us little angels got to heaven everyone in heaven would be able to see what we did - even when no one was watching. When we got a little older we referred to it as The Big Movie. You didn't want to be caught doing something naughty on The Big Movie with all of your friends watching. Later we realized the Big Movie was the nuns way of trying to control behavior. It worked. I think much of religion is like that. I don't know if the devil exists or not, but it really doesn't matter - he would have been invented by some religion. Convincing the faithful that the devil does exist serves the same purpose - real or not - fear of the devil controls behavior. If fear of the devil and hell serves as the basis of a sound moral foundation that's not a bad thing. It's all about who is controlling behavior and what they are trying to teach.

By Redwood on 2013 10 12, 2:10 am CDT

The devil is in the details.

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 12, 3:28 am CDT

I love Scalia.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 10 12, 4:00 am CDT

Scalia is a (lower-case) god.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 12, 4:36 am CDT

@ 170 - Considering the variety of (lower case) gods, that may be a very apt metaphor.

By NoleLaw on 2013 10 12, 4:42 am CDT

Can't we all--Christians and the detestable unsaved alike--just get along?

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 12, 5:16 am CDT

"Ah, Jesús. I like him very much. But he no help with curve ball."

Pedro Cerrano

By Socrates Johnson on 2013 10 12, 8:04 am CDT

We can't see the whole interview, but has Scalia ever admitted to his OWN contributions of coarsening of society? Supreme Court Justices used to be on a pedestal and earned it for righteousness. What about Scalia coming out of church and giving an obscene gesture to a questioner? What about him attending outings with opponents in cases before the SupCt? Doesn't get much lower for a Supreme Court Justice!
His comments about the coarsening of society are projections of his own viewpoints - whatever I do is OK. .

By babalu on 2013 10 12, 10:42 am CDT

It is sad to see people attributing to Jesus teaching of any selfishness. Part of the problem is that many fundamentalist preachers mine the OLD Testament for many of their "prosperity" teachiings. And of course the congregants then confuse Jesus' teaching, too. I call them OT Christians for their adherence to a book that on many points Jesus rejected.
Even if Christians stick with the New Testament, we have to remember that we really don't know for sure what Jesus personally taught because it was only repeated by word of mouth for many years and most of the NT authors never even knew the man personally - and had their own points of view to expound. Plus it was rewritten to please various rulers along the way. Ever heard of the KING JAMES version? Passages were skewed to control not only congregants but also royal subjects. Probably the closest to Jesus' actual teachings are the Dead Sea Scrolls which are more contemporary to Jesus' time and teachings - which is why they were withheld from view by ordinary folks for decades.

By babalu on 2013 10 12, 10:54 am CDT

#153: Thanks for citing the passage where Jesus tells the Rich Man that he will go to hell!

By babalu on 2013 10 12, 11:17 am CDT

@135: Really? Prove it. Oh yeah, you can't. Thanks for playing.

By Slaw on 2013 10 12, 4:28 pm CDT

i am dead serious about a demon possession defense. it's been tried in other states. i'm gathering the news reports to contact the lawyers.

where in the Bible does it say you can't get overtaken by the devil? do

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 12, 9:00 pm CDT

I mean i've read my bible. the jewish part. that stuff in the New testament.not sure what it says there. does it say the devil doesnt act inside people? just kinda pokes at em?

or does he make contracts with people? deals?

or does he just sit upon a shoulder and whisper?

what exactly does he do and could it be a defense?

the reason im serious is i think i can go into court with a straight face, cite this interview, and ask for jury instruction son my demon defense. if the judge shuts me down, ast least we have an issue for appeal.

however, i dont want to be foolsih about christian doctrine.

hell i need an expert...

By defensive lawyer on 2013 10 12, 9:03 pm CDT

@defensive lawyer What you really need is an editor.

By Redwood on 2013 10 12, 10:02 pm CDT

I love Scalia because of and in spite of the fact that he is a "morningstar."

"Jesus personally taught because it was only repeated by word of mouth for many years and most of the NT authors never even knew the man personally"
I'll have you know that this is absolutely true! They did not have "scribes" in Jesus day, except for the bean counters, you know, the tax collectors. And if there was a "literary set" they'd all be talking and writing in Greek anyway. Sheesh.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 10 13, 12:21 am CDT

And the references to "John" and "James" and "Peter" in the names of the books in the New Testament? That's all a load of B. S. because people in academia 2,000 years later say so.

Hmmm hmmm.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 10 13, 12:25 am CDT

No. 178, ghosts and witches are referenced in the Bible, but where possession is referenced, it is attributed to "unclean spirits." I do not believe there is a Biblical account of direct possession of a human by Satan.

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 13, 12:47 am CDT

@175: I agree with your point on prosperity teachings to the extent that goes on, it should not. Disagree however on your comment that the teachings of Jesus being passed on by word of mouth for many years. The earliest written Christian creeds are dated to 3 years after the crucifixion, well within the time of any detractors to "debunk", which did not happen. Further, most of the NT was written by authors that DID actually know Jesus. Even with the oral tradition there were very strict rules to ensure accuracy. Also, the dead sea scrolls were not contemporary to Jesus' time. You may be confusing that with the old testament.

@176: What the passage about the rich man and Lazarus didn't do is give you or any man the right to judge the rich. If you think that God rejects the rich solely because they are richr don't believe the rich man was in hell just because he was rich, I think you misunderstand, and if you're happy about a rich man being in hell, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself. Check out Leviticus 19:15--"Do not be partial to the poor or give preference to the rich". Apparently nobody has a claim to righteousness because of his economic situation.

By SlipKid on 2013 10 13, 1:44 am CDT

Justice Scalia can't trust his own opinions when too many people agree with him, so he'll change his opinions to avoid creating consensus. Unless, of course, we're talking about his belief in Satan. In that case, he'll always side with the majority.

Now there's a man of principle! A contrarian just for the hell of it, most of the time. A man who believes what he believes as long as you don't agree with him. But Satan? Oh yeah. That belief is inviolable and unquestionable because most Americans agree with Scalia.

So Scalia has evidence for the existence of Satan, and he has produced it: Ladyfolk spouting f-bombs, American broadcast TV's gauzy depictions of sex (kissing, basically), coarseness in general.

Satan gives us these things, but Scalia's very best evidence for Satan's existence is: public opinion polls.

Belief in Satan is mainstream. So what? Is Satan in the U.S. Constitution? Was he in a Colonial Constitution? In the Articles of Confederation? In the Magna Carta? Well, he's probably in a handful of obscure English cases from the 1500s or 1600s, and in Scalian jurisprudence that's all you need for "originalism": Foreign law from a different millennium.

Scalia will not allow modern-day public opinion to influence constitutional law, but he'll cite it to justify his anti-intellectual personal beliefs.

Sure, I could picture a herd of pigs dashing off a cliff after becoming possessed by whatever haunts this nutcase.

By Scalian Satan on 2013 10 13, 3:25 am CDT

As long as you aren't too personally invested in the issue.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 13, 3:31 am CDT

I once thought that Jesus was translating the Dhamma into Judaism, and I still suspect that there is a bit of that going on, (there were trade routes between Israel and India at the time), but, as I find myself in the middle of Psalms, in my slow slog through the Bible, I'm pretty confident that Jesus got 90% of his material straight out of the Hebrew Scriptures, the OT.

Then you add in "In the beginning was the Word" etc. and "go out and save" and you get a picture of, not merely a charismatic Hebrew scholar magician, but a veritable Memetic engineer before the "Meme" was even invented officially. "In the beginning was the meme" if you will. Jesus was a true morningstar, (according to the Book of Job there were several, so take your pick).

I still think that Judas' suicide was not part of the plan. The resurrected Jesus, (and I make no claim that it was actually Thomas the Double pried off some Roman crucifix by the highway like a mere follower of Spartacus) , the resurrected Jesus was supposed to publically forgive Judas with a hug and a kiss perhaps. It would have made a better story, with a bigger happy ending, for everyone.
And more drama.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 10 13, 3:53 am CDT

Scalia is still only required to assess the law and facts before him. Which he always does.

Even if he believes Mrs Obama wants to marry Mrs. Biden. Or he goes to Church tomorrow with the Good Witch of the West or the East. I can never remember which one was Good.

By Two to Beam Up on 2013 10 13, 4:36 am CDT

Tom, I think Jesus would have had to raise Judas for the forgiving hug at that point, and maybe the Romans had already buried him. Plus, Jesus probably had a lot of other things on his mind by that point. At least he did not come after Judas as depicted in the SNL "DeJesus Uncrossed" skit.

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 13, 6:14 am CDT

Blogging has its purpose. Even if denigrated by the privileged. Most of those who disbelieve in the Devil nonetheless believe in evil. Good and evil have been the distinguishing characteristic of man since way before the philosopher said know thyself, Nietzsche et al notwithstanding. The personification of evil represents a starting point which extols the significance of man in the world beyond himself, which most modernists, in their hubris, cannot conceive, much less discern, seeing themselves as the center of their own universe, preferring, quite naturally, to cover the misery of their own existence in a denial of evil and an arrogant repudiation of the only way to get out of it - a not so subtle delusion, but certainly coarse.

By gdp on 2013 10 13, 10:14 am CDT

Pope Francis said "follow your conscious."
And that's good enough for me.

But to be the devil's advocate, (with Scalia being the devil, of course), here is a little taste of Satan brought to you by the friendly volunteers at Wikipedia, (speaking of angels.)

“Thirteen occurrences
Ha-Satan with the definite article occurs 13 times in the Masoretic Text, in two books of the Hebrew Bible:
• Job ch.1–2 (10x),[8]
• Zechariah 3:1–2 (3x).[9]
Satan without the definite article is used in 10 instances, of which two are translated diabolos in the Septuagint and "Satan" in the King James Version:
• 1 Chronicles 21:1, "Satan stood up against Israel" (KJV) or "And there standeth up an adversary against Israel" (Young's Literal Translation)[10]
• Psalm 109:6b "and let Satan stand at his right hand" (KJV)[11] or "let an accuser stand at his right hand." (ESV, etc.)”, accessed this morning.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 10 13, 6:36 pm CDT

I think "Devil" is the next older brother to "Evil" (after "Aevil," "Bevil," and Cevil").

By B. McLeod on 2013 10 13, 7:08 pm CDT

"the personification of evil represents a starting point ..."
Huh. I found God before I found Satan. Guess I did it wrong.

By Scalian Satan on 2013 10 13, 7:40 pm CDT

I heard in a sermon from a great Franciscan priest that what the devil really wanted us to believe is that there is "time--so much time that there is just nothing to worry about--and therefore individually and collectively as a group or society we do not have to mend or change our bad ways--and then all of a sudden its simply too late to change". Interesting concept which Justice Scalia may have more leisure and meditative time to ponder in his analysis of the contemporary devil than the rest of us do..

By Jim Riley on 2013 10 14, 12:36 am CDT

Only Evil could drive a motorcycle like that. Proof positive that Satan exists.

By Wine_Country_Dude on 2013 10 14, 4:54 am CDT

I was never a believer, but I saw four signs that the devil read Scalia's interview and decided to make a comeback: The Red Sox, Patriots and Dallas Cowboys, all won yesterday, and Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin marched together to protest the goverment shut down.

If the devil was not behind this, what is the possible explanation??

By donniem23 on 2013 10 14, 10:20 am CDT

@196 That thought occurred to me as well.

By redwood on 2013 10 14, 3:33 pm CDT

Belief in a flat earth used to be mainstream too. Of what relevance is the number of people who believe in something for which there is no empirical evidence? KTB, doesn't the word "bigotry" imply that someone is WRONG? How can you prove that it is WRONG not to believe in the Devil? And Wine Country, your posts about "liberals" in general, show that you think you can generalize about liberals in general. I won't go so far as to accuse you of being a typical right-winger in that regard...just an intellectually limited INDIVIDUAL. And SlipKid, how do you know the NT was written by Jesus' contemporaries, when no copy written by one of Jesus' contemporaries exists or survives? Finally, I'm glad we have justices on our supreme court that draw firm conclusions on things without any empirical evidence. That's exactly what you want.

By Adamius on 2013 10 15, 7:33 am CDT

@198: First, they claim to be written by the Apostles and they were written well within living memory of those that would claim them to be false could have spoken up. The are no competing sources to the Apostles, and why would there be? Also, there is general agreement in the texts written by different authors that serve as corroboration.

The fact that it showed the Apostles themselves in very unflattering light (which is not what one would expect if they were writing for their own vain glory etc). For example, John the Baptist's questioning of Jesus before his beheading, the fact that women were the first to witness the resurrection, the fact that the Apostles after the crucifiction were hiding and cowering, Peter's denial, Thomas's disbelief, etc etc. What of any of that suggests that later authors adulterated the texts for political purposes?

By SlipKid on 2013 10 15, 1:30 pm CDT

Adamius @ 198, you have style.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 10 15, 4:15 pm CDT

In this country we have indeed had courts making judgments involving supernatural entities whose reality lacked evidence: during the Salem witch trials back in the 1600's. A lot of people were put to death based on testimony by 'possessed' individuals who claimed the accused aided Satan in his mission to possess them. Rational-thinking people in the 21st century can see that those lives were snuffed out for reasons not centered in fact and logic, but, rather, in the imaginary and mythological. Now it seems there is a Justice on our Supreme Court today who thinks unseen characters from supernatural mythology, and their supposed intentions, thought processes, and alter-universe powers, warrant serious consideration in determining how our modern-day citizens shall live and what rules they must obey.

By Dinosaurs_Really_Existed on 2013 10 15, 8:47 pm CDT

@201 I would be willing to bet that a vast majority of those who have occupied those thrones would agree with Scalia. I don't practice a religion so I am certainly no authority on the subject but I have seen no evidence that would suggest that devil belief is on the decline.

By redwood on 2013 10 15, 9:25 pm CDT

Dinosaurs Really Existed.

How do you know Dinosaurs existed? Because of your belief that 200 million years old bones (that someone else found) is a Dinosour?

Why can't Scalia have his own beliefs then?

So if your were on the Court, would you be required to recuse yourself on any issue having to do with religion. Simply because you think religion or the Devil are supernatural?

Where would we ever find S CT Justices?!?'

By Two to Beam up on 2013 10 15, 9:37 pm CDT

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