Monday, October 07, 2013

Justice Scalia scandalizes NY magazine interviewer by belief in the Devil

U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia scandalizes a New York magazine interviewer by telling her he believes what most Americans believe:
... When I’m dead and gone, I’ll either be sublimely happy or terribly unhappy.  
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!
Interviewer Jennifer Senior must have imagined horns growing on Scalia's head as the interview was in progress.

How could a Catholic Supreme Court justice be a ... a ... Catholic?!!! It's just too much to stomach. In the name of Tolerance and Diversity, something must be done.


Lee said...

They won't recognize it as Hell. It's the place where all their social programs will pass, but they'll wonder why nothing works. It will remind them of Detroit.

Singring said...

'It's the place where all their social programs will pass, but they'll wonder why nothing works. It will remind them of Detroit.'

Actually, there are already plenty such places. They're called Finland, Sweden, France, Germany, the UK, for example - and they're all doing about as good if not better in than the US in terms of standard of living:

Hardly 'Hell'...

Lee said...

Watch out for those "youths", though. In thirty years, you're going to be living in Europistan. Slow cultural suicide. If you're young enough, you'll be able to enjoy the whole thing.

Lee said...

We've discussed living standards before. As I recall, you were using statistics that counted government programs highly toward having a wonderful lifestyle.

Heck, let them take all of my money then. I'm sure they know how to spend it on me better than I do. Since they already know everything about me.

Singring said...

'As I recall, you were using statistics that counted government programs highly toward having a wonderful lifestyle.'

When was that?

If you want to quibble with the stats, look at the ones I linked to. Latest data from the OECD where you can even adjust and remove certain factors to your heart's content ('Government Programmes' is not among them).

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Singring, I feel much better about my imperfect country after perusing your study. Even after allowing for the complexity and size and diversity of the US compared to select European nations ( no Italy or Greece or Spain or Albania, Singring?) we don't look half bad. Throw in the fact that an imperfect America pays for European defenses and keeps the sea lanes open which is so important to export nations like Germany, and some of those calculations even add to the superiority of the American model, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dead Americans due to European wars and pettiness. How about this, Singring, perfect your own damn union and we'll do the same here.

Lee said...

One of the interesting things history doesn't show is how societies without some form of religious belief have children and, thus, show up for the next generation. The studies I've read about Europe's (and Japan's) demographic implosion gingerly step around the role of religion in providing the faith in the future that seems to be necessary to encourage people to have kids. The future, after all, belongs to the ones who show up for it.

Trying to think of a long-term empire that was self-consciously agnostic or atheist... I suppose the Mongols qualify. They had a general respect for religion and were very curious about it, often summoning religious folks from very far away to come to Karakorum and make the case for their beliefs.

However, the Mongols proved to be a wildfire, burning bright but then dying to embers. Russia suffered under them the longest, about two hundred years. Then it was over, they went back to their steppes and their yurts and their sheep, and it's like it never happened except for the cultural scars.

A friend of mine from church works for a large international shipping corporation and spent a number of years in Belgium. He enjoyed the people, but found he was the subject of curiosity, having four children of his own. As my friend relates, a puzzled Belgian shook his head and stated that each one of those children in economic terms represents a vacation house. Why would you have children and squander that kind of money?

The Europeans have found something else to worship besides God. When Belgium raises the crescent moon, it won't surprise me at all.

Interesting that Japan doesn't pull in the numbers of immigrants the European countries do. They're in a demographic death-spiral too, but rather than haul in a truckload of Turks or Moroccans to build their Toyotas, they're just quietly shutting down elementary schools and day-care centers.

Martin Cothran said...

Just to get this thread back on topic for this particular post, could we say that the Devil is in the details?

Lee said...

I thought we'd settled that the devil is in Detroit.

Lee said...

William F. Buckley, Jr. told a story (I think it was in "Up From Liberalism", published in 1959) about a running feud between a famous Catholic writer (Bishop Sheen?) and his publisher. Finally, the publisher said, look, why do you insist on capitalizing the word, "Hell"?

The writer's response: "Because Hell is a place. You know, like Scarsdale."

Lee said...

One more item, and I'll quit posting at least until it stops being a monologue...

The theologically-squishier Christian denominations don't like to talk about Hell, but only to talk about the things Jesus said and did that don't confront the audience with "Hell" or "Satan".

Problem is, Jesus apparently spent an awful lot of time talking about just these things. Taking such talk out of Jesus' words is like taking oats out of Cheerios.

You accept it or you reject it, but postmodernism has crept into the squishier denominations. Pay attention to Good Jesus (and don't listen to Bad Jesus).

Martin Cothran said...


I love the Buckley story. Could we say that secular liberals who reject the idea of Hell are like Joel Osteen, except without the complex theology?

Lee said...

"Complex theology"? I sense my leg being pulled.

I do see some similarities between Osteen and secular liberals. Both rarely talk about God. Both preach a sort of prosperity doctrine, and somehow getting there always involves sending them more money.

Does Osteen use a teleprompter?

Daniel said...


For those interested in reading the interview, it can be accessed here:

The section quoted in the Martin's post begins on page 4.