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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Is A Young Earth Creationist

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Antonin Scalia, one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court, tipped his hand during a speech on Thursday.

On Thursday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the commencement address at a private all-girls 700-student Catholic school in Bethesda, Maryland. How was the small school lucky enough to get a sitting Supreme Court justice? Scalia’s granddaughter was graduating from the school that day.

Justice Scalia, one of the Court’s most conservative justices, is often giving speeches and interviews, not to mention writing legal opinions for the Supreme Court on cases that shape the nation and our future.

His commentary is often amusing – even his closest friend on the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the most progressive of all the justices – enjoys his wit and sense of humor.

But often Scalia’s comments reveal the mind of someone who seems stuck in a different century – not the 21st century, not even the 20th.

For example, in a 2013 interview with New York Magazine, Scalia casually acknowledged he not only believes the devil exists, but that the devil is a real person.

Here’s the transcript, which is too riveting to summarize:

SCALIA: I even believe in the Devil.

NY MAGAZINE: You do?

SCALIA: Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.

NY MAGAZINE: Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …

SCALIA: If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.

NY MAGAZINE: Have you seen evidence of the Devil lately?

SCALIA: You know, it is curious. In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore.

NY MAGAZINE: No.

SCALIA: It’s because he’s smart.

NY MAGAZINE: So what’s he doing now?

SCALIA: What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.

NY MAGAZINE: That has really painful implications for atheists. Are you sure that’s the ­Devil’s work?

SCALIA: I didn’t say atheists are the Devil’s work.

NY MAGAZINE: Well, you’re saying the Devil is ­persuading people to not believe in God. Couldn’t there be other reasons to not believe?

SCALIA: Well, there certainly can be other reasons. But it certainly favors the Devil’s desires. I mean, c’mon, that’s the explanation for why there’s not demonic possession all over the place. That always puzzled me. What happened to the Devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament.

NY MAGAZINE: Right.

SCALIA: What happened to him?

NY MAGAZINE: He just got wilier.

SCALIA: He got wilier.

That exchange concluded with an apparently unhinged Scalia going off on the reporter.

“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird,” the now 79-year old Roman Catholic conservative jurist cried. “My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”

A 2009 survey by The Barna Group, a Christian polling organization, titled “Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist,” disputes Scalia’s claim.

But let’s fast forward to Thursday.

Delivering his speech at his granddaughter’s graduation, Scalia tipped his hand a bit more subtly.

“Class of 2015, you should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented,” Scalia, a bit condescendingly, told the graduating class. “Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were.”

ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser offers an intelligent rebuttal of Scalia’s comments.

“Humanity began to develop much more than 5,000 years ago. Early human ancestors began to diverge from the chimpanzee lineage about six million years ago. The first members of the species Homo sapiens are believed to have lived in Africa about 100,000 years ago, and cave paintings and other evidence of human culture exist that are believed to have been created 50,000 years ago.”

Young earth creationists generally believe that God created the earth within the last 10,000 years. This is a fringe view, however, within Scalia’s Catholic faith.

Should it trouble Americans that several of our Supreme Court justices, like Scalia – who are determining the long-term direction of our nation – are of a mind that is so far removed from today’s America, from science, from the Internet, from the day-to-day lives of average Americans who neither believe in the devil nor believe dinosaurs roamed the earth with man?

Here’s Scalia’s speech:

 

Image: Screenshot via myMCMedia/YouTube

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MN Police Officer Sentenced 3.5 Years for Death of George Floyd

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Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Keung has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for aiding and abetting manslaughter in the death of Black city resident George Floyd.

Keung, age 29, had accepted a plea deal in order to avoid an additional charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. His guilty plea acknowledged that the restraining holds used by police on Floyd were excessive and likely to cause serious harm.

Video of Floyd’s May 25, 2020 murder at the hands of city police captured footage of Keung kneeling on Floyd’s back while another officer knelt of the man’s neck. for over nine minutes, officers applied pressure to Floyd while he laid face down in the street, crying and telling officers that he couldn’t breathe while also calling out for his mother.

Video of Floyd’s murder sparked international outrage and inspired protests against institutional racism and police brutality.

Keung is the fourth and final police officer to receive prison time for his role in Floyd’s death. He will serve his new sentence and a federal sentence for Floyd’s death concurrently, serving a total of about 2 1/2 years for the killing.

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Virginia Republican Files Bill Defining a Fertilized Egg as a Human

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Virginia State Delegate Marie March (R) has pre-filed House Bill 1395, a law that would define life as beginning at fertilization.

“Life begins at conception and each person is accorded the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States,” the proposed bill states.

The proposed bill would effectively outlaw all abortions in the state and even endanger the use of Plan B (aka. “The morning-after pill”), a medication that prevents fertilized egg cells from attaching to a woman’s uterine wall.

The bill could also effectively criminalize in vitro fertilization, a method of inducing pregnancy that uses fertilized eggs and discards any unused ones.

Even though Republicans control the state’s House of Delegates, it’s unclear if the bill would have any chance of passing the state’s Democratic-led Senate. The legislature won’t reconvene until January 11, 2023.

Virginia currently allows a woman to get an abortion within roughly 26 weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has proposed passing a law that would reduce that window to 15 weeks, a period of time in which most women may not even realize they’re pregnant.

In response to March’s bill the Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance said in a statement, “In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and despite the vast majority of Virginians who oppose it, Virginia’s anti-abortion elected officials keep proving there are no limits to their extremism and true intentions to ban abortion for all Virginians.”

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Georgia GOP Says Its Voting Restrictions “Backfired” & Helped Dems Win Senate Seat

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When two Republicans lost Georgia’s special runoff senate elections in January 2021, state Republicans in the General Assembly re-wrote voting laws to restrict absentee ballots and give voters fewer days to vote in future runoff elections.

However, after Republicans lost yet another runoff election for Georgia’s Senate seat — with Herschel Walker losing to his Democratic competitor, Rev. Raphael Warnock, earlier this month — state Republicans want to re-re-write the rules, hopeful of a more favorable outcome.

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), the official who oversees the state’s voting procedures, said he plans on giving three proposals to lawmakers when they return to the General Assembly in January.

“[The proposals] include forcing large counties to open more early-voting locations (in an attempt to reduce the hours-long lines some voters waited in) … lowering the threshold candidates must achieve to avoid a runoff from 50 percent to 45 percent; and instituting a ranked-choice instant-runoff system that would not require voters to come back to the polls again after the general election,” The New York Times reported.

To be clear, it’s unclear whether these changes would’ve helped Walker win. But they stand in contrast to the changes state Republicans made to voting laws following their failed January 2021 Senate runoff ambitions.

The changes after that time severely restricted the types of people eligible to receive an absentee ballot. While 24 percent of the January 2021 vote came via mail-in absentee ballots, the rule changes resulted in 5 percent of mail-in votes coming in for the January 2022 runoff.

Republicans also lowered the number of in-person early voting days to five (though the rule change allowed counties to add extra days.) The Times found that 28 of Georgia’s 159 counties opted to add extra in-person early voting days — 17 of the counties that did largely backed Warnock while 11 backed his challenger.

Before the recent run-off election, Raffensperger also tried to enforce a state law forbidding in-person early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. However, Warnock successfully sued to prevent the law from going into effect.

Overall, the changes may have “backfired,” Republicans told The Times, actually encouraging Democratic voters to come out in greater numbers.

While Republicans point to the large turnout of runoff voters as “proof” that their changes didn’t discourage voting, Warnock’s campaign criticized the changes, saying that such restrictions shouldn’t make it harder for people to vote in the first place.

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