The recent Supreme Court (USA) decision against partial birth abortion has brought out the worst kind of religious bigotry. I call it the ‘worst kind’ because there simply is no real evidence to suggest that religion played any role in the decision handed down by five of the nine justices on the court.

Yet the blogosphere and the airwaves are full of ‘Monday morning quarterbacks’ claiming that the decision went the way it did because the five Justices are all Roman Catholic.

There was Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters on TV arguing over the issue on “The View,” with O’Donnell taking her usual anti-Christian stand and pointing out that the five justices were all Catholic and the screaming about the “separation of church and state.” Barbara tempered her remarks by saying: “we cannot assume that they did it because they’re Catholic.”

The worst example of bigotry was perpetrated by Geoffrey R. Stone, former dean and now provost of the University of Chicago’s law school. He posted an article on his school’s blog and on the left leaning Huffington Post: “Faith-Based Justices”. In the post he actually claims that religion did pay a part in the decision. He points out that the 5 Catholics voted one way, while the other justices who are either Protestant or Jewish voted differently. He actually rejects the legal reasons given by the majority leaving him to conclude that it was basically a ‘religious’ decision.

That set off a real firestorm. I listened to two Constitutional Law school professors debate Stone on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. His reasoning is quite lacking and totally unconvincing. All he can do is point to the circumstantial fact the five are Catholic and that a previous decision on partial birth abortion was over turned. Mean while, the five justices do give legal reasons for their decision.


It is a dangerous precedent to slander Supreme Court justices because you might disagree with a decision. make no mistake, that is what it really is. It is slander to claim that they made a decision based upon religion when they stated quite convincingly their legal reasons for the ruling.

It sets up the specter of a ‘religious test’ for choosing Supreme Court justices in the future. This is really the most dangerous form that religious bigotry can take and illegal to boot.            

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