Sunday, June 14, 2015

Antonin Scalia is Unfit to Serve on SCOTUS

A piece in Salon makes the case that I have long argued: Justice Antonin Scalia has becomes so crazy that he no longer is fit to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.  I'd go further and say that the same arguments go to Justice Clarence Thomas as well.  Both put their religious beliefs above all else and openly reject modernity itself.  The United States of America per the U.S. Constitution has no established religion - indeed, any effort to  establish an official religion is unconstitutional - yet Scalia seeks to inflict his toxic form of Catholicism on all Americans regardless of their faith.  He needs to be removed from the Court.  (Note: I love the term "faith derangement syndrome" as described  because it so accurately describes the mental/psychological illness of the conservative Christians - and Muslims).  Here are highlights from the Salon piece:

Readers of this column already know that faith-derangement syndrome has stricken the highest levels of the executive branch of government, . . . .  Now we have evidence that it has spread to the top organ of the judiciary, the Supreme Court.

But first, a clarification. Sufferers of faith-derangement syndrome (FDS) exhibit the following symptoms: unshakable belief in the veracity of manifest absurdities detailed in ancient texts regarding the origins of the cosmos and life on earth; a determination to disseminate said absurdities in educational institutions and via the media; a propensity to enjoin and even enforce (at times using violence) obedience to regulations stipulated in said ancient texts, regardless of their suitability for contemporary circumstances; the conviction that an invisible, omnipresent, omniscient authority (commonly referred to as “God”) directs the course of human and natural events, is vulnerable to propitiation and blandishments, and monitors individual human behavior, including thought processes, with an especially prurient interest in sexual activity.

Secondary symptoms exhibited by sufferers of FSD comprise feelings of righteousness and sensations of displeasure, even outrage, when collocutors question, reject or refute the espousal of said absurdities. Tertiary symptoms, often present among individuals self-classifying as “evangelicals”: Duggar-esque hairdos and Tammy Bakker-ian makeup, preternaturally sunny dispositions and pedophiliac tendencies, sartorial ineptitude and obesity.

Last week, Justice Antonin Scalia delivered a commencement speech at an all-girls Catholic High School in Bethesda, Maryland. He warned the assembled, “You should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented. Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so – sic, italics mine – “and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were.”

Scalia confronts us with a sui generis challenge of great urgency: how to go about declaring a magistrate appointed for life of unsound mind and thus unfit to serve? Scalia rejects the fact of evolution – the foundation of modern biology – in favor of the opening chapter of a compendium of cockamamie fables concocted by obscure humans in a particularly dark age, evidence that his faculty of reason has suffered the debilitating impairment associated with acute FDS. He therefore cannot be relied upon to adjudicate without prejudice and should be removed from the bench henceforth.

We have even more damning evidence of Justice Scalia’s FDS-related impairment  . . . . A couple of years ago, Scalia nonplussed a contributing editor at New York magazine, Jennifer Senior, who made the understandable mistake of assuming that the Harvard-educated SCOTUS potentate lived in the real world, and not in a phantasmagorical realm of djinns and genies and junk cosmogony.

He leaned toward her and whispered, surely with eyes ablaze, “I even believe in the Devil  …  he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.”   By this time, Senior must have been scanning the room for the emergency exit. But she pulled herself together. “Have you seen evidence of the Devil lately?” . . . . Scalia attributed the spread of atheism to Satan, who was “getting people not to believe in him or in God.  He’s much more successful that way.”  Satan had, in Scalia’s estimation, become “wilier,” which explained “why there’s not demonic possession all over the place.”

Scalia’s peevish demoniac harangue clearly had its roots in the past decade or so of New Atheist assertiveness. The faithful sense the mounting impatience among rationalists with beliefs that are not just wrong, they are, especially when influencing public policy, education and legislation, dangerous and regressive.

Faith-addled intrusions into public life extend beyond denying the fact of evolution. Another Republican contender for the presidency, Rick Santorum, has admonished the pope for his forthright stance on climate change, but urged Catholics to concentrate on “what they are really good at, which is theology and morality.”

Justice Scalia, until you’ve cured yourself of your FDS, please spare us your gaga musings about the history of humankind, desist from imposing your obscurantist dogma on impressionable young minds, and interpret the law in accordance with how the secularist Founding Fathers conceived it. You profess to be, after all, an originalist.  Better yet, Justice Scalia, resign.

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