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"God's Justice and Ours" Does Scalia have a problem with democracy?

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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-04 04:09 PM
Original message
"God's Justice and Ours" Does Scalia have a problem with democracy?
Edited on Fri Feb-27-04 04:26 PM by MissMarple

JohnO'NeillsMemory posted the link to this. I think its own thread is apropos. This does put one in mind of the divine right of kings.

"These passages from Romans represent the consensus of Western thought until very recent times. Not just of Christian or religious thought, but of secular thought regarding the powers of the state. That consensus has been upset, I think, by the emergence of democracy. It is easy to see the hand of the Almighty behind rulers whose forebears, in the dim mists of history, were supposedly anointed by God, or who at least obtained their thrones in awful and unpredictable battles whose outcome was determined by the Lord of Hosts, that is, the Lord of Armies. It is much more difficult to see the hand of Godor any higher moral authoritybehind the fools and rogues (as the losers would have it) whom we ourselves elect to do our own will. How can their power to avengeto vindicate the public orderbe any greater than our own?

So it is no accident, I think, that the modern view that the death penalty is immoral is centered in the West. That has little to do with the fact that the West has a Christian tradition, and everything to do with the fact that the West is the home of democracy. Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in postChristian Europe, and has least support in the churchgoing United States. I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next? The Christian attitude is reflected in the words Robert Bolts play has Thomas More saying to the headsman: Friend, be not afraid of your office. You send me to God. And when Cranmer asks whether he is sure of that, More replies, He will not refuse one who is so blithe to go to Him. For the nonbeliever, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence. What a horrible act!"

And he adds:

"The mistaken tendency to believe that a democratic government, being nothing more than the composite will of its individual citizens, has no more moral power or authority than they do as individuals has adverse effects in other areas as well. It fosters civil disobedience, for example, which proceeds on the assumption that what the individual citizen considers an unjust laweven if it does not compel him to act unjustlyneed not be obeyed. St. Paul would not agree. Ye must needs be subject, he said, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For conscience sake. The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible. We have done that in this country (and continental Europe has not) by preserving in our public life many visible reminders thatin the words of a Supreme Court opinion from the 1940swe are a religious people, whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being. These reminders include: In God we trust on our coins, one nation, under God in our Pledge of Allegiance, the opening of sessions of our legislatures with a prayer, the opening of sessions of my Court with God save the United States and this Honorable Court, annual Thanksgiving proclamations issued by our President at the direction of Congress, and constant invocations of divine support in the speeches of our political leaders, which often conclude, God bless America. All this, as I say, is most unEuropean, and helps explain why our people are more inclined to understand, as St. Paul did, that government carries the sword as the minister of God, to execute wrath upon the evildoer."

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israruth Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-04 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Right objects to democracy
Scalia and the Christian right do not believe in democracy.They believe that the only proper role for government is to maintain a moral system of law and order. Bush is the leader of the Christian right in the U.S. and has said that Scalia is his favorite Supreme Court Justice. When is America going to wake up?
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-07-04 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Hi israruth!!
Welcome to DU!! :tosat:
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-04 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wonderful
It looks to me like he forgets that governmental power is derived from the assent of the people, as stated in the Declaration of Independence.
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forgethell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-04 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yet the death penalty
has been abolished in Europe generally against the will of the people by unelected beaureaucrats. Is this democracy??
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mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Nope World Union....
I don't approve of the death penalty but it should be up to the people to decide...not the few elite.

Maybe, they're worried they might be on trial and get the death penality in the end? Like GW Bush declared the right to attack the Hague.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. 1999 poll in western Europe says 34% support the death penalty
"In his poll, Gallup asked participants: Are you in favor of the use of the death penalty? Throughout Western Europe, including all EU members, the average of those who said they were in favor, averaged 34 percent."

It wasn't unelected bureaucrats who abolished it; it was elected members of parliaments (or maybe direct referenda too, in some cases). That's indirect democracy, as practiced in the United States too.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-04 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
4. Bring back King George!
Oops, they already have. :puke:
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rfkrocks Donating Member (846 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-27-04 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. He is so dumb!!!
Having read the Bolt play on Thomas More he misses a HUGE part of the plays power,i.e., GOVERNMENT executing an INNOCENT MAN!!!DUH!!! So the play does exactly the opposite of his argument-a moving portrayal of government power pushing around people who question the establishment. More says in the play "threaten like a minister with justice" as opposed to being a dockyard bully. Central casting for a dockyard bully=Scalia the great duck hunter
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mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
6. This government is in a holy war with it's citizens....
Edited on Sat Feb-28-04 09:00 AM by mac2
Abstract link:

According to the NY Times, Justice Scalia told an audience that the church should rule.

Isn't this a theocracy and not a democracy he supports? Hasn't he violated the Constitutional concept of Separation of Church and State? Scalia like all government employees, swore an oath, on the Bible, to protect and defend the Constitution and our democratic system. Not a church run system of government.

"ABSTRACT - Sean Wilentz Op-Ed article criticizes Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's view of church-state relations expressed in address at University of Chicago Divinity School in January, especially idea that divine authority is supreme and that state should be subservient to church; says remarks show bitterness against democracy, strong dislike for Constitution's approach to religion and eager advocacy of submission of individual to state; drawing (M)"

Scalia has made two misjudgments recently. Link:

RE: Cheney and his energy force.

"Justice Scalia told The Los Angeles Times that social contacts between judges and officials with cases pending are permissible when officials are sued in the course of their public duties. He compared his situation to justices' dining at the White House when a suit involving a president is pending. But vacationing with a litigant in a small group, outside the public eye, raises a far greater appearance of impropriety than attending a White House dinner. And Mr. Cheney's case involves not just any action, but one calling his integrity into question."

RE: Pledge of Allegiance "under God".

"This is the second time in recent months Justice Scalia has cast doubt on his impartiality. Last year, he told a civic gathering that the decision about whether the Pledge of Allegiance should contain the words "under God" should be left to legislators, not courts, when that issue was headed to the court. After a litigant protested, Justice Scalia reused himself."

The Senate Judicial Committee should ask for Scalia's resignation. He has abused his power and is not ruling as a responsible judge on the highest court of the land but for his own religious agenda. Let's not even begin to talk about his involvement in picking the President (whose father appointed him) in 2000 election. It was abuse of the courts in the "selection" seeing to GW Bush voting rights but not VP Al Gore's. He stopped the re-count of ballots as is the state law in Florida.

Supreme Court Scalia is very corrupt and arrogant with power for his own (Catholic) religious agenda. As a Supreme Court Judge, he represents all the people ("We the people" for the democracy) not just his own church beliefs...putting in place a theocracy agenda.

Which religious group will win...Babtists, Pentecostals, Jews, Catholics, etc.? The one with the most power and political support. People worried about the large number of Catholic immigrants to this country at the turn of the century gaining political power. Maybe, we should not have given them the "American Dream" of education and public responsibility because now...RWers are out to destroy our democracy for a theocracy.

I know, there are many religious people that don't approve but they don't have the sense to see this is going on do they?

Priests have been all over CSPAN regarding their abuse cases. Is this a government issue? The Pope won't address it's a mute issue is it not? I don't like paying my tax dollars for CSPAN to do this. There are more important government issues aren't there?

Has Bush sold us out to religious tyranny for his own profit and power? Believe me, religious organizations won't win in the end. Tyranny will. Remember Germany?'s election time. Time for sex and religion. Don't talk about the Bush failures.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. Scalia is a monarchist
based on that. :crazy:

All this talk about being subjects, deriving governing authority from God.

This is the 21 Centure equivalent of divine right of kings.

I'm sure any day now, Scalia will be saying how great it would be to bring back the droit de signeur :eyes

This guy needs to GO!
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-04 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. Well, if Fat Tony...
Thinks "Death is no big deal," why doesn't he just do us all a favor and KILL HIMSELF!!!!!!

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
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