Scalia’s Inner and Outer Demons

scalia200px-Codex_Gigas_devilIn a recent interview, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia holds forth on the usual subjects such as originalism and repeats his view that “if a state enacted a law permitting flogging, it is immensely stupid, but it is not unconstitutional.” However, the most interesting part of the New York Magazine piece came with Scalia’s discussion of the supernatural. Scalia warns that the Devil has become much more “wilier” and harder to spot in society. It appears in both constitutional text and spiritual life the devil is in the details.

Scalia states that he believes that there is a Devil that continues to roam around doing mischief:

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. … It’s because he’s smart. … What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way. … He got wilier.”

Interviewer: “Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the devil?”

Scalia: “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.”

It is not clear when the Devil shifted from “making pigs run off cliffs, . . . possessing people and whatnot” to more “wilier” devices, but he appears much more menacing. One could even wonder why he killed all those pigs to begin with. However, Scalia’s biblical reference may be slightly misplaced. Matthew 8:28-34 describes “demons” possessing pigs, which drown themselves rather than run off a cliff. Moreover, it was Jesus who sent the demons into the pigs at the request of the demons and as a result the town asked Jesus to leave:

“When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’ Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’ He said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.”

For the herders, the decision not to simply drive out the demons as opposed to agreeing to allow them to possess the local food supply might have seemed a curious bargain. However, Satan appears to have moved on himself from pig possessions and “whatnot.”

It is simply unclear what the modern version of a pig stampede is. Miley Cyrus comes to mind, but I again end up with the Green Bay Packers. As a Bears fan, I have warned for years how Aaron Rodgers and his spawn of Satan reveal themselves in their many game “possessions.” (It also explains why the Bears seem to run off a cliff whenever we play in Lambeau Field). After all, the dark anagrams for Lambeau Field include “Baleful Made I.” (I am ignoring the anagram for Antonin Scalia of “Satanical In No” as any reference to the jurist’s work on rejecting such things as cruel and unusual punishment claims).

Wilier indeed, Mr. Justice, wilier indeed.

95 thoughts on “Scalia’s Inner and Outer Demons”

  1. Sounds like Scalia has a little ‘Devil’ scampering around in his buttt… in place of a Gerbil…..

  2. I see when it comes to Scalia, you can mock both his religion and Italian heritage w/ impunity. Classy!

  3. I read the interview and thought almost certainly it would be discussed here. However, I would never have predicted that such a gratuitous slap would be taken against the truly fan owned, not for profit, Green Bay Packers. I type this looking @ my one share of Packer stock, framed on my office wall, a gift from a fellow fan. And, the GIFTED and WINNING leader of the Packers, Aaron Rodgers, appeared @ a rally on the UW campus last night. Rodgers has a teammate form the Congo and it seems Berkley, Madison’ sister city and soulmate, rubbed off on him. He was there to support Congolese miners being exploited by corporate goons. Conversely, Jay Cutler was seen on Rush Street last night, swilling beer and groping cocktail waitresses. He tried throwing his swizzle sticks @ a couple but kept missing.

  4. HumpinDog is referring to the breach of the Sixth Commandment by Scalia. By approving public executions Scalia is a killer. Thou Shalt Not Kill. No exception for the larger body of you humans like: Y’all Can.

  5. When Scalia passes on, as we all do after time, he will have his interview at the Pearly Gates to determine his next abode. Saint Peter, or if its Wednesday his stand-in which is a Labrador named Mike, will ask him some tough questions about all those people whom Scalia allowed to be killed by other people in the name of all the people in what they call Executions. Scalia will be ready with a quick and witty answer which is grounded in originalism: The Devil Made Me Do It.

  6. I am presently in Den Haag lobbying in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel with my half blind guy political con law guy for the formation of Cardinal Nation on the West Bank. The Cardinals are in the news and we are using that to help promote our cause which is for a free state on the West Bank of the Mississippi River for all those who hold true to Cardinal Baseball. We are not getting any support from the Palestinians and are disappointed. Meanwhile, the mood in Europe is becoming anti American due to the spying by the United States on citizens of the world and upon the government employees of Gemany in particular. German diplomats and foreign affairs folks will not use email and talk in code on the phone.

  7. In case some of you do not know the meaning of itchinBayDog’s word “Conflagatarian”. It refers to a person who is against things in general and always holds a flag up, a red flag, when he speaks. Not a communist red flag. A warning flag. He wants you to know that he holds contrarian views. So if you say the morning is nice, he will say it stinks outside. The hat he wears is from the Simple Order of the Simpletonians and is a European version of the red flag and is not limited to Italy or Sicily. The Simpletonians are from France– originally.

  8. What about the goofy hat that he wears to Court now? Is that off the boat from Sicily? Was grandpa a Conflagatarian?

  9. Scalia is an Originalist up to a point. The point ends either with the body of the first Constitution prior to the first ten amendments or just after the Tenth Amendment. He is concerned with what was in those Framers and Founders’ minds. After that period of time the intentions of the Framers of the subsequent Amendments are of no consequence and thus those Amendments are of little consequence and need to be avoided. Scalia does not care that 600,000 plus people died in combat in the Civil War and that the Framers of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments had that War and those deaths in mind when they Framed those Amendments. No, Scalia liked the Slave mentality of the Original Framers. That is why he is called an Originalist. Oh, he is real alright. But he ain’t necessarily right or all there.

  10. When Scalia’s grandfather arrived at Ellis Island, he was advised to leave the demons behind. Apparently two demons had been found in his luggage. Grandfather said he had no original intent to bring the demons to America.

  11. If Scalia really believes that then by inference it can be said that Scalia is working for the devil and that the devil is one who has bigger fish to fry than the lowly demons who like to play with pigs:

    Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” – Matt 4:8-9

    Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. – II Cor 4:4

    If the devil gives out the big jobs Scalia should know.

  12. And he has met Dick Cheney and appointed by Bush….. Maybe he’s onto something…..

  13. George Steele: “…missed the enlightenment principles embraced by the authors of the Constitution.”
    Right on. So much for “originalism”.

  14. It appears pigs are still running off cliffs, if the Repubs are any indication. Or maybe it was the cause of that massive pig die-off in China.

    Either way, can we just commence with this guys “forced retirement”?

  15. He is correct about being in accord with many Americans. My Midwestern branch of family is quite serious and terrified about Satan’s possession of Washington, D.C.

    This has become an existential struggle. It is time to consider the gravity of that.

  16. To believe in the existence of a real, not metaphorical, devil is absurd in 2013. Most, if not all, diseases and disabilities, which we now understand due to Medical Science, were blamed on demonic possession. Sorry, Your Honor, but you seem to have missed the enlightenment principles embraced by the authors of the Constitution.

  17. The eyes of NSA should have a pretty good read on the multitude of devils amongst us. I think that’s how they break down their categories for surveilling: 1. Devil, 2. Saint, 3. Common Sinner, 4. Follower, etc…

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