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Scalia Says State Should Not Be Neutral to Religion

Plus: Flying Anglican bishops, Kristof at it again, clergy in Canada turn to the union, the Air Force and Christianity, Thanksgiving ministry, and more articles from online sources around the world.

Note: Due to a technical problem, this article from November 24 was not posted until November 29.

"We are fools for Christ's sake … We must pray for the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world," Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a group of religious lawyers.

A Catholic, Scalia was invited to speak to the St. Thomas More Society, where he said the "wise" and "sophisticated" of the world consider faith foolish. According to the Chicago Tribune, "The 'wise' consider Christian fundamentalists to be 'simple-minded' and irrational because they believe in miracles and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he said. But it is more irrational to reject the possibility of both, he said."

Later, Scalia spoke to the oldest Jewish community in the U.S. in New York. He told the crowd, "There is something wrong with the principle of neutrality." Neutrality as envisioned by the founding fathers "is not neutrality between religiousness and nonreligiousness; it is between denominations of religion."

The Jerusalem Post says Scalia may be in line for Chief Justice. "With speculation that Rehnquist is on the verge of retirement after a recent diagnosis of thyroid cancer, Scalia may be the leading candidate to take his place."

"I suggest that our jurisprudence should comport with our actions," he said. The Post writes, "If America's approach toward religion does change, it should be through democratic process, not 'judicial fiat.' America believes in 'a personal God who takes an interest in the affairs of man,' Scalia said. Quoting a line from Psalms that says the faithful will surely prosper, he added, 'I think it is no accident that America has prospered.'"

It doesn't seem that Scalia is really gunning for the Chief Justice ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
Previous Weblog Columns:
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