Bill Maher had plenty of material to work with on “Real Time” last week considering the fact that both Rep. Michele Bachmann and Justice Antonin Scalia publicly addressed their concerns about the end days and the devil (respectively) in the same week. Maher does not hesitate to ridicule such idiotic nonsense as shown in the following video. He clearly thinks he is much more intelligent than they are.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) — Did Justice Antonin Scalia have to announce his belief in a literal Satan less than a month before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear argument on government-led prayer? Yes, he probably did.
Someone asked him.
In a semi-playful interview in New York magazine conducted by Jennifer Senior, Scalia expounds on his judicial philosophy — including his lonely 1988 dissent in a case upholding the Independent Counsel Act — but public interest in his comments focused on his belief in the devil, heaven and hell, and on his remarks about popular culture.
Scalia, 77 and a devout Roman Catholic, has been on the Supreme Court for 27 years. He’s known for his bluntness, and his lack of concern about how people react to it.
He also has a political tin ear. In 2009 Scalia and Vice President Dick Cheney spent part of a week duck hunting at a private camp in southern Louisiana — just three weeks after the court agreed to take up the vice president’s case involving lawsuits over secrecy and his handling of the administration’s energy task force.
In the New York magazine interview, Scalia said he believes in heaven.
As for H-E-double hockey sticks: “It doesn’t mean you’re not going to hell, just because you don’t believe in it,” Scalia said. “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!”
At one point, Scalia leans in and whispers, “I even believe in the devil.”
Asked to elaborate, Scalia said, “Yeah, he’s a real person … that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that,” rejecting a suggestion that many Catholics do not.
But he adds, “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. …
“What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.”
The justice tells Senior he’s in the “mainstream.”
“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 … removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil.”
Scalia’s right. One of the more recent surveys, a 2007 Gallup poll, shows belief in the devil rising, with a huge majority saying Satan is real.
Only 55 percent of the U.S. public believed in the reality of the devil in 1990. By 2007 that figure had risen to 70 percent, not many fewer than the 86 percent who said they believe in God.
Gallup News Service said the results are based on telephone interviews “with a randomly selected national sample of 1,003 adults, age 18 and older, conducted May 10-13, 2007.” The margin of error was 3 percentage points.
Nevertheless, a 2008 speech by former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., caused a stir when it surfaced during the 2012 presidential election. Santorum, like Scalia the son of an Italian immigrant father, told a Catholic college audience in Florida that Satan was targeting American institutions, especially its colleges and the realm of politics.
The Catholic Church “has always held that the devil is real, not a mythical personification of evil,” Catholic.com said.
“The church’s teaching on the subject is clear from its liturgy. At baptism, those to be baptized are called upon to reject Satan, his works, and his empty promises. The church provides an official rite of exorcism, which presupposes, of course, the existence of Satan.”
Maher was quite right in saying that Scalia and Bachmann are the same kind of idiot. But they are not part of a lunatic fringe. They are mainstream and there are millions just like them – people who think the world did not make itself, that there is a God, that God came to earth as Jesus Christ and taught us how to live. (Indeed Bill O’Reilly just wrote a book, Killing Jesus, which he says is not a religion book but a history book.) Is there any doubt that our country was less coarse, less violent, and more moral in previous generations when Christianity held sway? Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family recently stated that we are “absolutely awash in evil.” We do our nation no favor when we soft-pedal our Christianity and fail to appreciate its need and effect on our culture.
The Tea Party stands for fiscal responsibility, a constitutionally limited government, and a free market, which is all well and good. If you look deeper into Tea Party patriots you find that many of them are also pro-life, believe in God, and appreciate their country’s Christian roots in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Yet they are wary of taking a stand on the so-called “social” issues like homosexual marriage and abortion fearing it will be off-putting. If you love the good, the true and the beautiful, if you think there is a God who has given us guidelines for living, I say to the Tea Party and true Christians of every stripe stand now with Scalia and Bachmann and their ilk. There are millions of Catholics like Scalia and millions of Christians like Bachmann, good and honorable people, first class American citizens. We need to stand strong and unapologetic about our Christianity.
The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, “Lo, here it is!” or “There!” for behold the kingdom is God is in the midst of you. — Luke 17:20-21