Brother Jeffrey Tayler has once again undermined Salon’s reputation for osculating faith: his latest piece of anti-theism is about Antonin Scalia’s irrational and extreme Catholicism, which has always surprised me (I still get astounded when someone with a lot of brains is deeply religious): “Justice Scalia is unfit to serve: A justice who rejects science for religion is of unsound mind.”
Last week I posted about Scalia’s statement, at his granddaughter’s high school graduation, that humanity is very young: “Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so.” As I noted at the time, it’s not clear that this means Scalia accepts the Bishop Ussher-ian age of the Earth from Genesis, whether he was just referring to civilization itself (still about twice as old as Scalia’s estimate), or whether he was just making a lighthearted remark. But one can’t so easily discount Scalia’s statement in 2013 that Satan and Hell are for real (see my post on that interview here). Dr. Tayler diagnoses Scalia with a chronic case of Faith Derangement Syndrome and, at the end, calls for Scalia to resign (that has a snowball’s chance in Scalia’s Hell!):
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 FDS 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.
It’s astounding that a man Scalia’s undoubted intelligence is so soaked in irrationality. Remember, too, that in the case of Edwards v. Aguillard, a 1987 case adjudicating the constitutionality of a Louisiana law (the “Balanced Treatment Act”) requiring “creation science” taught alongside evolution in the public schools, Scalia was one of two (along with Rehnquist) who dissented in the Act’s dismissal. His dissent said, among other things, this:
Because I believe that the Balanced Treatment Act had a secular purpose, which is all the first component of the Lemon test requires, I would reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand for further consideration.
Scalia decided that all views should be presented, and the children should be able to decide for themselves. But why not, then, teach faith healing, like Christian “Science”, in the health classroom?
At any rate, Tayler adds this, among much else:
Arguably one of the most visible members of the nine-member body charged with the decisive resolution of our republic’s most contentious legal matters, 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.
I was sent the Tayler link by a flight attendant who had a personal encounter with Le Scalia, and not a pleasant one, either, adding in the accompanying email (which I pass along without comment):
I had that asshat on a flight once from Florida to Washington. It took all I had not to spit in his drink. He’s huge, too. He was SOOOO rude, like a spoiled and demanding child, and he had these little minions bringing his bag on and making sure he was ok and comfortable. I was so glad when he fell asleep. He was sitting in business class, of course. Maybe gawd will take him to his bosom when Hillary gets elected and she can throw another liberal in there.