Category: Law

Believing in the Devil: Justice Antonin Scalia & Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson

Recently two articles came out where the person being interviewed affirms the belief in spiritual warfare. In fact both men boldly declare their belief that the devil is real, and that what we battle against isn’t simply the human condition but evil.

The first, an interview of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the New York Magazine. Justice Scalia is known for being one of the more approachable members of the Court, but this interview is quite candid even for his standards. The interview is long, but a worthwhile read.1

Justice Antonin Scalia believes in the devil.
Justice Antonin Scalia believes in the devil.

Here is the section on the Devil. [BOLD is writer Jennifer Senior; regular typeface is Justice Scalia]

You believe in heaven and hell?
Oh, of course I do. Don’t you believe in heaven and hell?

No.
Oh, my.

Does that mean I’m not going?
[Laughing.] Unfortunately not!

Wait, to heaven or hell? 
It doesn’t mean you’re not going to hell, just because you don’t believe in it. That’s Catholic doctrine! Everyone is going one place or the other.

But you don’t have to be a Catholic to get into heaven? Or believe in it? 
Of course not!

Oh. So you don’t know where I’m going. Thank God.
I don’t know where you’re going. I don’t even know whether Judas Iscariot is in hell. I mean, that’s what the pope meant when he said, “Who am I to judge?” He may have recanted and had severe penance just before he died. Who knows?

Can we talk about your drafting process—
[Leans in, stage-whispers.] I even believe in the Devil.

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

Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …
If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.

Have you seen evidence of the Devil lately?
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.

No.
It’s because he’s smart.

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

That has really painful implications for atheists. Are you sure that’s the ­Devil’s work?
I didn’t say atheists are the Devil’s work.

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

Right.
What happened to him?

He just got wilier.
He got wilier.

Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. 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.

I hope you weren’t sensing contempt from me. It wasn’t your belief that surprised me so much as how boldly you expressed it.
I was offended by that. I really was.

I’m sorry to have offended you! 
Have you read The Screwtape Letters?

Yes, I have.
So, there you are. That’s a great book. It really is, just as a study of human nature.

This conversation is such a summation of truth and reality, as it relates to this issue and our culture. When Justice Scalia points out that the Devil is smart, by making people disbelieve in him and in God it reminds me of the saying, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he doesn’t exist.”

Then, when he explains that throughout most of history, even some of the smartest and most learned people believed in the existence of the devil, you can sense his dismay and disbelief that the author is, as he puts it, “so out of touch” that she is surprised by his belief. In fact, it “offends” him.

Similarly, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty shares the belief that the devil does indeed exist and that we are wrapped up in a battle of good and evil.

Phil Robertson, of Duck  Dynasty, believes in the devil and spiritual warfare.
Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty, believes in the devil and spiritual warfare.

In a recent interview, Phil says:

You gotta remember, it’s spiritual warfare. I mean, you’ve got people with no moral compass. It ain’t there. So what I tell people is be patient.

They’re the ones, they own the network and we’re filming the show.

We signed the contract with them, ok, and it’s a workhouse, but what people have to understand is, the people of God have to understand, you’ve just got to be patient. You don’t turn that ship quickly. It’s a big ship. A lot of depravity and a lot of heathen and a lot of the evil one. He is entrenched in the United States.

He speaks about it in a very matter-of-fact way. To him, the idea that this is a battle not of flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities is a reality. Just like it is for Justice Scalia.

Two very different men, in very distant parts of culture and society, but they share a common set of core beliefs about good and evil, and the reality of the devil.

  1. There is also a section where the Justice addresses the most recent comments by the pope. []

Michigan Lawyer to Receive SBA List “Young Leader Award” at Campaing for Life Gala

katie wThe Susan B. Anthony List recognizes a few young leaders each year for their work and dedication to the Pro-Life cause at their annual Campaign For Life Gala.

This year one of the four women honored is from Michigan, and I have the pleasure of knowing her personally. Here is what the SBA List press release has to say about the honor:

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) today announced the four honorees who will receive the Susan B. Anthony Young Leader Award at the group’s annual Campaign for Life Gala on April 11 in Washington, D.C. The event will also feature Rep. Paul Ryan as the keynote speaker and Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who will be honored with the Distinguished Leader Award. More information is available at www.sba-list.org/gala.ac

“These young women are leaders when it comes to protecting life at all stages. Like Lt. Governor Kleefisch and Congressman Ryan, they do not back down from a fight.” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.  “Each one of these women has a unique set of talents and is using them to strengthen and grow the pro-life movement. We are grateful for these trailblazers who embody the legacy of our namesake, Susan B. Anthony.”

The award winner from Michigan is Mary Catherine Wilcox. The SBA List said the following about the reason for her recognition:

Katie Wilcox – Katie is a lawyer at a Michigan firm and graduated from Ave Maria School of Law where she served as Vice President of the Lex Vitae (“Law of Life”) Society. Her law review note, “Why the Equal Protection Clause Cannot ‘Fix’ Abortion Law,” was published in the Human Life Review and the Ave Maria Law Review. In high school, Katie volunteered for Right to Life of Michigan and started a Students for Life club. She went on to serve as President of Michigan State University Students for Life, where she planned the first statewide pro-life rally on MSU campus, and eventually founded Students for Life of Michigan.

In knowing her personally, I find it interesting to read a paragraph about her accomplishments because it really just scratches the surface of what she does for the movement. We should congratulate her, and the other women for their dedication and love that they pour into the Pro-Life Mission. It really is the Mission of the Church.

Right to Life of Michigan also had a nice write-up:

Katie was nominated for her already extensive career with building involvement in prolife organizations. Involved in prolife work at a young age, Katie was a state finalist at the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund High School Oratory Contest. While in college she served as president of Michigan State University Students for Life. Her involvement on campus inspired her to found Students for Life of Michigan in 2005, an organization that provides support and leadership development for Students for Life chapters across the state of Michigan.

 

Michigan: Pro-Life Omnibus Bill Moves to Gov’s Desk

From Right to Life of Michigan’s Blog:

The Prolife Bus moves to Gov. Snyder

As with any journey which includes unexpected roadblocks and detours, when you have arrived at your destination there is cause for celebration.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Prolife people never gave up, never got off the Prolife Bus. They knew this legislation was needed.”

The Prolife Bus or Omnibus bill, H.B. 5711, addresses the persistent pattern of neglect in regulating abortion clinic practices in Michigan. There was a long overdue need for governmental reforms. Women’s safety was being compromised. But that will change when the Prolife Bus bill is signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder.

On December 14, in the wee hours of the morning, the concurring votes were taken in the Michigan House and Senate, both by overwhelming 2 to 1 margins. The last stop for the Prolife Bus bill is the Governor’s desk.

In the 2011-2012 session, a Partial Birth Abortion Ban was enacted; abortion coverage from ALL insurance plans in Michigan was eliminated; and the first omnibus prolife bill in the history of Michigan was passed. This is historic and unprecedented.

Dedicated prolife people and faithful prolife lawmakers made all of these accomplishments possible. It is time to celebrate and thank our prolife legislators with calls and e-mail messages!

Every victory is worthy.

Guns and the Problem of Misinformation

121218045837-us-guns-handgun-smith-and-wesson-story-topThe “Gun Rights Issue” is once again a top-3 hot-button issue in American politics. The massacre and tragedy in Newtown placed it back into the spotlight for obvious reason, and yet the discussion that has been occurring is so blurred with emotion, misinformation, and faulty reasoning that I honestly dont know if we have moved the ball forward or backwards.1

The issue has so many facets, that when we talk about guns in general, and the laws surrounding them, it hardly even happens where everyone is on the same page. In fact, two pundits can be on the same tv or radio program, and be talking so far past one another that the average listener gets nothing out of it but for the points (regardless of their factual accuracy) they choose to listen to and remember.  Continue reading

  1. Here I only mean to say in finding a solution to preventing and limiting further tragedies. []
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Win for Religious Freedom: Mandate blocked from implementation against Weingartz

Yesterday, in Michigan, a federal judge issued an order blocking the Department of Health and Human Services from implementing what has become known as the “HHS Mandate” against Weingartz, a Michigan company.

The case: Legatus v. Kathleen Sebelius (Case no. 12-12061) now will proceed to discovery, and the mandate will be enjoined (temporarily blocked via injunction) pending the outcome of the case. This means that the owners of Weingartz will not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by providing coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and other morally conflicting services in their health care plans until the conclusion of the court case at the earliest. Continue reading

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Autocam & CatholicVote file lawsuit against Sebelius and Dept. HHS

Some Catholics are truly fighting back against the HHS Mandate. The mandate, which went into effect on August 1st, 2012, requires businesses to cover certain things in their health care plans such as contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization procedures. This is the case, even if it violates the business owners religious beliefs. Yet, these business owners and Catholic organizations around the country are fighting back by filing lawsuits against the mandate, Kathleen Sebelius, and the Department of HHS. These businesses want to continue to give their employees health care coverage, but they shouldn’t have to violate their religious beliefs to do so. Today, Autocam, a business in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has filed a lawsuit doing just that – opposing the HHS Mandate on constitutional grounds.

John Kennedy, the CEO of Autocam, has filed a lawsuit today, with the help of CatholicVote.org’s Legal Defense Fund, against Kathleen Sebelius. Autocam offers their employees excellent health care coverage. But now, because of the mandate, they are in danger of being forced to drop that coverage because the owner is forced by the mandate to cover things that go against his Catholic beliefs. This is immoral and unconstitutional. So he is fighting back. Continue reading