Religion should play no role in Supreme Court nomination

Q: If Elena Kagan is confirmed to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court would for the first … Continued

Q: If Elena Kagan is confirmed to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court would for the first time in its history be without a justice belonging to America’s largest religious affiliations — the Protestant traditions. If Kagan is confirmed, six of the justices will be Roman Catholic and three will be Jewish. Should the Supreme Court be more representative of America’s religious traditions? Does religion matter in the mix of experience and expertise that a president seeks in a Supreme Court nominee?

With the confirmation of Elena Kagan as the newest Supreme Court Justice, the court will have no Protestants. It will also have no Muslims, Buddhists, or Atheists (at least no avowed ones). While diversity on the Supreme Court is clearly desirable, it would not be wise to demand representation for the largest religious groups in America — proportionally that would be three Protestant judges, two Catholics, a Jew, a Muslim, an atheist, and a diversity chair which would be rotated among the Hindus, Wiccans, Bahai’s, Scientologists, and other smaller religious factions. It would be a logistical nightmare.

More importantly, the law of our land is secular. It does not originate in religious authority. Its strictures do not derive from holy books. Rather it comes from the Constitution, federal law, and the acts of Congress. Justices are sworn to uphold the Constitution, not their personal religious beliefs. As such, their religious background should be secondary at best. And the only religious qualification that should be required is that the justices be prepared to set aside their personal convictions if the Constitution so demands.

  • peterhuff

    Pamela, you wrote,”More importantly, the law of our land is secular. It does not originate in religious authority.”Yes it does originate in religious authority. The background of these men who wrote the laws of the land were influenced by the Judeo-Christian value system.You continue,”Its strictures do not derive from holy books. Rather it comes from the Constitution, federal law, and the acts of Congress.” That statement is a broad leap of faith. To think that these people formed their constitution in a vacuum.And where do values come from outside of God? Who sets the standard?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter,it’s just that as more information has come in and science has advance the EVIDENCE discredited that god. he wasn’t “assumed away” right from the start.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,I’m not following your last posted thread on Phil’s forum page.”They assume there is no god…”WALTER: “that’s just not true! tell that to ken miller and francis collins.”We are talking generalization, since the majority of scientists today I believe are philosophical naturalists, as appears to be Miller too, except for the fact that it also appears he believes that God wound up the world and left it to its own devices. What he does is compromises the God he believes in.As Phil Johnston said about Miller in ‘The Wedge of Truth’ p. 91, about Miller’s statement on the Virgin Birth as to making no sense scientifically,”I suspect that most of Miller’s materialist colleagues will wonder how serious he can be in claiming to believe in an event while saying that it makes no scientific sense, especially since he is vigorous in judging all other claims of supernatural influence on the natural world by the standards of science. If he makes this one exception then why not others, and how does he decide where to draw the line? They may also wonder what Miller could possibly mean by his quest to “find Darwin’s God,” when it is so widely known in the scholarly world (and even to Miller himself) that Darwin in his later years was an agnostic.” The point is that the if you took a consensus I’m sure you would find the overwhelming majority of scientists are evolutionists, and most of those are philosophical naturalistic evolutionists. That is, they believe the universe came into being without the aid of a supernatural Being. They take that belief by faith.The ironic thing is that these naturalistic philosophers who want to test everything that they believe in by empirical standards of empirical evidence cannot do so on the very thing they rely upon most – logic or reason. In a materialistic world show me the immaterial, abstract, intangible we call reason.As for Pam’s ridiculous statements that science does not require faith or that science did not start from a philosophical bent, at the end of everything we know is faith. Depending on what you know will depend on where faith begins, for beyond what you know so often is where faith lies. I can’t wrap my head around infinity being a finite being. God is infinite. I believe that by faith since I can’t comprehend it. How can I grasp infinite with a finite mind? How do I grasp infinite love? I can only grasp as much as I know of love.Ron Nash said that if you took all the even infinite numbers and subtracted them from all the odd infinite numbers you would still have an infinity of numbers. I can’t make sense of that statement. I find it illogical. The only way I can comprehend is to think that because the infinite goes on and on, the minute you subtract the one from the other there is already an infinity more.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hi peter,

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,Again concerning the philosophical bent of modern scientism, have you considered how it was when these fields were being founded?They were established by people philosophizing or trying to “think God’s thoughts after Him” (a saying that I believe was made popular by Johann Kepler who coined it), the equation was the other way around from what it is today. The majority were Christian or at least deists. They believed for the most part in the supernatural God of theHenry Morris, in ‘Men of Science Men of God’ notes many of them. Men like Leonardo da Vinci, Fracis Bacon (primarily responsible for the scientific method), Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, John Ray, Nicolaus Steno, Thomas Burnet, Issac Barrow, Nehemiah Grew, Isaac Newton, John Woodward, Carolus Linnaeus, William Herschel, Gottfried Leibnitz, William Derham, Gustavus Brander, Jean Deluc, Richard Kirwan, James Parkinson, Michael Faraday, Humphrey Davy, George Cuvier, Charles Bell, Charles Babbage, David Brewster, John Herschel, Benjamin Barton, Samuel Morse, Joseph Henry, Matthew Maury, James Simpson, James Joule, Adam Sedgwick, Louis Agassiz, George Stokes, Gregory Mendel, Louis Pasteur, Henri Fabre, William Thompson, Joseph Maxwell, Bernhard Reimann, A.H. Sayce, John Ambrose Fleming, George Washington Carver, Wernher von Braun are just some on the list.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    dang, peter,:-)

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    wow…i assumed pam was on a one week vacation….maybe it’s two. nice!

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter, Do you have anything further to add? If not, and Pam has finished her say, lets agree to rendezvous January 1st or April 1, 2011. By then I hope to have composed a solid refutation on Darwinism and maybe add more on why the Flood scenario is feasible.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,From the link you provided:”Scientists have created the world’s first synthetic life form in a landmark experiment that paves the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved.”That has been one of my points all alone – built or designed rather than evolved.As Phil Johnston put it in ‘The Wedge of Truth,’ “The real duality at every level of Did you get that Walter? Here are scientists (including Craig Venter) designing and making a synthetic genome, not allowing nature to produce a natural one, as if that were possible. It is amazing what happens when you put intelligence into the equation. That is the point. Did you hear what Craig said – something to the effect that ‘life is basically a result of an information process.’ Where does that information come from Walter? Can you answer that? Can you answer any of the questions I have been firing at you lately? Did you hear what else Craig said,As Phil continues,”Information is not matter, although it is imprinted in matter. It comes from elsewhere, from an intelligence that is so far (and perhaps forever) outside the ken of a science that examines only material entities and effects. [Let me spell that out for you. G - O - D.] The task of neuroscience is not to deny the reality of information or to insist in the teeth of the evidence that all information is the creation of some combination of physical law and chance, but to learn as much as possible about how the information interacts with matter to produce mental phenomena.” p. 123Reality is limited for you, Walter, to what science can explain, as Phil mentions about all science that comes from a materialistic beginning or a Darwinian basis. It is ignorant to all else.

  • Pamsm

    I’m here. Tried to post yesterday, but it wouldn’t let me. I had to re-register. Don’t know what that was all about.I have about 3 weeks of stuff from Peter that needs answering – I’ll start working on that.After that, Peter, if you want to take a long break from evolution, that’s fine with me, but I think if it’s going to be that long, you should add a couple more books to your reading list. Something (anything, really) on the history of geology, or just straight geology (since that was what started the ball rolling – not Darwin – and something about what DNA has to say about evolution. I would recommend In the meantime, there’s plenty for us to discuss about the bible, without bringing evolution into it at all.

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