Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Davey v. Locke: Well, the Supreme Court has done it again. In its latest decision, the court has demonstrated that we need at least three more Antonin Scalias on the bench. (The way the Democrats filibuster, that will likely never happen, unfortunately.)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the latest court ruling, Davey was a college student who decided to use a state scholarship to get a degree in pastoral ministries. The scholarship was awarded based on Davey's financial situation and his grades -- and was withdrawn only because he chose a religion-related major.
According to law prof Eugene Volokh, Justice Scalia's dissent "is far more persuasive" than that in the majority opinion. I'd have to say I agree. Following the majority's "logic" to it's logical conclusion would have insane results, Scalia notes:
Today's holding is limited to training the clergy, but its logic is readily extendible, and there are plenty of directions to go. What next? Will we deny priests and nuns their prescription-drug benefits on the ground that taxpayers' freedom of conscience forbids medicating the clergy at public expense? This may seem fanciful, but recall that France has proposed banning religious attire from schools, invoking interests in secularism no less benign than those the Court embraces today. When the public's freedom of conscience is invoked to justify denial of equal treatment, benevolent motives shade into indifference and ultimately into repression. Having accepted the justification in this case, the Court is less well equipped to fend it off in the future. I respectfully dissent.
There is an war on religion/religiousity in America, but it is being waged by only a small part of society; College professors, Hollywood liberals and the self-identifed secular "elite." The vast majority of America doesn't feel that religion should be shoved into the closet, but their voices aren't being heeded.