Tag Archives: Supreme Court

What Did Scalia Say and Why Did He Say It?


“The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Antonin Scalia, in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987

This is one of the most hated, denied, and attacked statements on our entire blog. We used it in our book Antidisestablishmentarianism in the section “What Is Secular Humanism?” Both are available on Amazon for those interested in the context we provided. For those not interested in reading our book to find out the full context, this blog is a brief explanation of why this statement by Justice Scalia is an accurate statement.

First, here is a link to the entire case Edwards v Aguillard. It is available many places. This is just one possibility. It is large and requires a lot of bandwidth.

Second, Justice Scalia wrote a dissenting opinion in this case. If you understand how the SCOTUS works, you will understand that this quote is in the background section of his decision. This is not, in and of itself, either Justice Scalia’s ruling or an opinion. He is simply stating historical background.

Third, Justice Scalia took notes on testimony of Senator Keith. These may or may not be the exact words of Senator Keith. They might be the words of another witness or they might simply be the words of Justice Scalia. They are the notes of Justice Scalia which Justice Scalia entered into the official record. This notes section begins with the following words: “Senator Keith and his witnesses testified essentially as set forth in the following numbered paragraphs:” I have no doubt that both Senator Keith and Justice Scalia believe these words.

Fourth, here is the paragraph in full so that the reader may understand the complete context.
“(5) The censorship of creation science has at least two harmful effects. First, it deprives students of knowledge of one of the two scientific explanations for the origin of life, and leads them to believe that evolution is proven fact; thus, their education suffers, and they are wrongly taught that science has proved their religious beliefs false. Second, it violates the Establishment Clause. The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Id. at E-36 (Sen. Keith) (referring to Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488, 495, n. 11 (1961));1 App. E-418 (Sen. Keith); 2 id. at E-499 (Sen. Keith). Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion. 1 id. at E-282 (Sen. Keith); id. at E-312 – E-313 (Sen. Keith); id. at E-317 (Sen. Keith); id. at E-418 (Sen. Keith); 2 id. at E-499 (Sen. Keith). Thus, by censoring creation science and instructing students that evolution is fact, public school teachers are now advancing religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. 1 id. at E-2 – E-4 [p625] (Sen. Keith); id. at E-36 – E-37, E-39 (Sen. Keith); id. at E-154 – E-155 (Boudreaux paper); id. at E-281 – E-282 (Sen. Keith); id. at E-313 (Sen. Keith); id. at E-315 – E-316 (Sen. Keith); id. at E-317 (Sen. Keith); 2 id. at E-499 – E-500 (Sen. Keith).”
Emphasis added.

Fifth, Here is the Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 US 488 – Supreme Court 1961 case which was referenced by Justice Scalia.
It reads in part:
“The appellant Torcaso was appointed to the office of Notary Public by the Governor of Maryland but was refused a commission to serve because he would not declare his belief in God. He then brought this action in a Maryland Circuit Court to compel issuance of his commission, charging that the State’s requirement that he declare this belief violated “the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States . . . .”[1] The Circuit Court rejected these federal constitutional contentions, and the highest court of the State, the Court of Appeals, affirmed…”

The important part is the last words of this next paragraph:
“Appellant also claimed that the State’s test oath requirement violates the provision of Art. VI of the Federal Constitution that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Because we are reversing the judgment on other grounds…” (Emphasis added)

You may look up the case for yourself, but the important part is that SCOTUS did not rule on the basis of “no religious test” but instead found Secular Humanism (not using those exact words) to be a religion.

Here is the exact wording of the 1961 ruling;
“This Maryland religious test for public office unconstitutionally invades the appellant’s freedom of belief and religion and therefore cannot be enforced against him.”
The exact words of SCOTUS;
a refusal to “declare his belief in God” is “the appellant’s freedom of belief and religion.”
Torcaso v. Watkins,367 US 488 – Supreme Court 1961

Sixth: “”Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others.” Torcaso v. Watkins, United States Supreme Court, 1961
This is the same case quoted in point five.

Seventh: Justice Black based his comments on the 1957 case of Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda. In this case an organization of humanists sought a tax exemption on the ground that they used their property “solely and exclusively for religious worship.” The court ruled that the activities of Fellowship of Humanity entitled it to an exemption. These activities included weekly Sunday meetings. The Fellowship of Humanity case used the word humanism, not secular humanism.

Eighth: Torcaso v. Watkins is just one of hundreds of cases, most of them on state and local court (magistrate) levels. However, the most remarkable feature is the amount of agreement with Torcaso v. Watkins.

Ninth: Many Secular Humanist organizations have organized as religions and been granted 501c3 (charitable organization), as a religion.
Examples of such organizations are the First Church of Atheism, http://firstchurchofatheism.com/
The American Humanist Association http://americanhumanist.org/
The Church of Reality http://www.churchofreality.org/wisdom/humanism/

There are many other secular organizations with legal religious status with the IRS. Here are a few of the more well known “statements of belief” or creeds or manifestos. These are not recommended reading, but they are easy to find if you so choose.
Humanist Manifesto I, II and III;
A Secular Humanist Declaration by CODESH (Council for Democratic Secular Humanism);
A Secular Humanist Manifesto

To repeat:

“The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Antonin Scalia, in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987

As President John Adams said,
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”


Filed under Current Issues, Politics, Education, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, History

The Religion of Secular Humanism

ch 6 title
“The United States Supreme court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” (Edwards v Aguillard U.S. Supreme Court 1987. Justice Antonin Scalia.)
This quote is used in the blog series Secular Humanism Is A Religion, our book Antidisestablishmentarianism and frequent comments. Since I have covered the basic facts over and over again, Secularists have resorted to attacking the quote.
Most of these attacks demonstrate that the attackers do not understand how the courts work. So I will explain this quote for those who are uninformed.
First Justice Scalia really did write this. This is simply a cut and paste from the opinion Edwards v Aguillard, June 19, 1987. I did not include the references to other court cases Justice Scalia inserted into these two sentences.
Second, this is a dissenting opinion. As soon as Secularists notice this, they jump to the erroneous conclusion that this means the entire statement is meaningless.
The third point is the critical point, the point Secular Humanist either miss or simply do not understand. ” The United States Supreme court has held that secular humanism is a religion.” (emphasis mine) This means that SCOTUS in the past “held that secular humanism is a religion.” Scalia did not make the ruling “secular humanism is a religion” in Edwards v Aguillard, 1987. Justice Scalia is simply pointing out that the ruling “secular humanism is a religion” was already made by SCOTUS.
The first man attempting to have Secular Humanism recognized as religion in the USA was Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine was not a founding father and died a French citizen, not a US citizen. He supported the French Revolution.
For over one hundred fifty years, Secular Humanist filed lawsuit after lawsuit to force recognition as a religion. They won that position in a series of cases in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.


Filed under Current Issues, Politics, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, History

Secular Humanism: America’s Establishment of Religion Part Six: Secular Humanism Is A Religion

liberal friends reagan meme

“The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Edward v. Aguillard, 1987 SCOTUS Antonin Scalia

It seems impossible to deny that Secular Humanism is a religion, yet millions do just that. Their shallow thinking is “we do not worship a deity, therefore we cannot be a religion.” They have a system of beliefs stronger than most who worship a deity and dedicate their lives to forcing others to follow their belief system. And they strongly believe in self-indulgence. Most, though not all, secularists put self-indulgence on a plane no different from any worship service. For these Secularists, they elevate themselves to the position of a deity.

They use the power of government to both take from unbelievers and to force unbelievers to follow their beliefs. At this point in time, one of the most obvious ways they practice this is mandatory financing of contraceptives. Secularists not only want to practice unrestricted sex outside of marriage, they force unbelievers to pay for the consequences.

Under secularist control, public education becomes public indoctrination. One common example that happens over and over is teachers who dare to read the Bible in private on their own time. Though these teachers often continue these private readings for years, whenever a dedicated Secularist finds out, the teacher is fired. Yet condoms are handed out free as bogus “public health.” Truancy officers, “family” courts and welfare caseworkers constantly assail parents who object and make the tremendous sacrifice of pulling their students out of the public indoctrinations. These same “officers of the court” who file charges against parents who use corporal punishment because it is taught in the Scriptures and it works never seem to have enough time to prosecute parent who kill their children because the parents are drunk or high on drugs.

A flood of regulations make driving to work increasingly expensive while wages are depressed through public spending and business regulations. Amish and other religious businesses are singled out for “resisting the state.” That is the same state controlled by the religion of secularism.

Modern government officials act more and more like the guardians of Plato’s Republic. Secularists cry that Plato was not a Secularist because he worshipped “the goddess,” a vague unnamed (in the Republic) deity that is never worshipped directly. We classify Plato as a secularist because Secular Humanism is a belief system and the Republic describes those beliefs in great detail.

Plato’s guardians were thugs whose sole job was to keep the elite in power and the lower classes in their places. How is that different from secularists today? Every day I hear or read comments like “It’s a good thing you’re not allowed to (spew, corrupt, some expletive) your beliefs anywhere except on facebook.” Yet these same censors turn right around and demand to know “What censorship?”

I am far from perfect. I have many sins which I have yet to overcome. Yet, in my personal opinion, the overriding characteristic of the religion of Secular Humanism is hypocrisy. And these are the same people who call others hypocrites.

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Filed under Bible Teaching, Current Issues, Politics, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, History, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging