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. George Steele bleated “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.”

    Just about anyone will acknowledge that there is indeed a presence of evil. There is good and there is evil. To deny such is ridiculous. Science is simply knowledge gained by observation. Of course we can figure out what causes some diseases but we also know the limits of our knowledge and that there are indeed diseases and things in this world that are unexplainable. We don’t know everything. One should be careful to assign a higher value of our knowledge – i.e. “science” than it is in reality. Remember, at the same point in time, while the Bible described a world that hangs upon nothing, complete with seasons, our brightest “scientists” of that time still thought the world was carried on the back of a huge turtle.

  2. Hey Juliet! I have really been enjoying your postings. Concise. I really respect ‘concise’.

  3. Gary T,

    Bingo. Or as a Rabbi I once knew translated it, “Love each other and quit being venal schmucks or Dad isn’t going to be happy with you.”

  4. It is well known that Jesus was a socialist, but a real one that didn’t want to concentrate power anywhere, cept mebe god.
    But I think his message was more of ‘you can do it my way and get into heaven, or you can do it your way and not’.
    There was a mild threat there, but it was more of admonishment and less of edict.

  5. WoW! Jesus was no capitalist from the passage Gary quotes. Jesus freed a man of demon possession but allowed the demons to enter a darned impressive number of pigs and the pigs promptly killed themselves. No capitalist would save a person at the expense of a thriving factory farm filled with porkers, obviously the pork market among the Jews collapsed and never recovered. That is downright anti-capitalist and socialist to boot, he just appropriated those pigs from their rightful owners.

    Apparently there was a pork lobbyist in the area though because after Jesus nationalized (for the Kingdom of Heaven) the pigs he was asked to leave the area.

    I’m amazed I haven’t heard this story from libertarians to justify their anti-socialist arguments. They’re missing a bet IMO. Srsly.

  6. RobinH45,

    I can’t decipher what you’re talking about, but it’s fun to read.

  7. @ bob krauten not sure if you’re being funny or not about my post. i didnt say i believed. i said apparently many do!!!!!

    as for the all seeing eye it has nothing to do with satan at all but is a symbol stolen from the moors/mu’urs which was originally the symbol used as a i.o.u. which the corporation of usa owes the moors triple digit billions that was supposed to be repaid in 2004. the masons stole it like they did everything else and turned it into the horus bullchyt…

    as for the devil no i dont believe in it. as im smart enough to know and understand that the evil work on fear. and im not scared. they use fear,tactics to shut up the people if i were scared i wouldnt have dared posted what i did knowing that many hundreds of people have been killed for doing the same thing. and that the nsa is reading what im posting while im posting it lmao…

    the only thing i do believe in on that note is that we are not alone on earth. but whether true or not still doesnt faze me. whats going to happen is going to happen.whatever the case may be….. i wont be here much longer thanks to the military and pharma industry.

  8. Mike S.,

    “Could Tee. Ber be a demon trying to open a porthole to grab our souls?”

    I think you’re confusing him with his brother, Goo.

  9. “What the *%@# were pigs doing in a land populated entirely by Jews who obey a very strong religious edict against eating pork.:

    The incident occurred the east bank of the Sea of Galilee in a area of several gentile towns and thus referred as the Decopalis; ergo, the gentiles’ displeasure of the loss of their livestock

  10. Justice Scalia, of course, is not a Mason. We are instead observing the long-term effects of membership in Opus Dei.

  11. Nick, LOL.

    Every once in a while the door doesn’t latch, and the inner Geek runs out into the wilderness. :o) As I age and walk on firmer ground (though somewhat more infirmly) he often returns smiling and proud…. and a little healthier for the exercise.

  12. Ter ber,

    Oh, here’s a gift for you. Just saw this, today.

    Finally, A Great Comeback to Use on Atheists!

    “Explain Mt. Rushmore.”

    from “Hi, It’s me”
    by Paul Rudnick
    in Shouts and Murmurs
    The New Yorker, October 7, 2013

    You’re welcome.

  13. Ter ber,

    “You believe we have no souls. No afterlife.”

    Um…close, but no cigar. It’s not a question of belief. It’s entirely passive, in my case.
    It’s non-belief in magic, and ghosts. I don’t think about such things, any more than I think about Santa Claus, or the Great Pumpkin.
    Why would I think about such a thing?

    And your point is?

  14. Gene H.

    I’m sure Ter ber is talking about the “MYTH” Dimension, no fancy shmancy science needed. Just a willingness to believe in dragons and other such mythological creations, that were created to explain occurrences beyond our ancestors understanding.
    Science has been discovering reason and logic for many of these occurrences that so befuddled our ancestors.
    I choose science. Many still choose befuddlement and myth.

    PS. I believe if you learn then speak the name of a Dragon, the Dragon then has no power and dissipates. The trick is to recognize what is a dragon and what is complete BS.
    Overtime ponder/ or a personal tilted windmill……
    I gathered dragons as a youth, mostly from my interpretations of events within my youthful mind. I created them, and they lived between my ears. I do not think I am unique in this. My consciousness contained (and possibly still) very real false dragons. Fortunately I began to recognize some. I named them and their falseness erupted thus they were destroyed. Dragons are the shadows of falseness in our minds, they block the light of true perception. When they go, amazement happens!!!!! much better than when Shat happens. ….
    I’m in a rambling mood tonight. …. Idealist liked this one.

    …..Some things we build, from images we create
    …..Block our vision, with the shadows they make
    …..Then the darkness of shadow engulfs the wo/man
    …..And that is all that is seen
    …..And that is all that is believed
    ……Beware the bars of this cage named life
    …..And the shadows they cast

  15. Ter ber,


    When I as 13. The only side effect was making out with one of the self proclaimed witches. There is no Lucifer. There are no demons. You cannot summon extra-planar beings.

    And Darwin was right. But he said nothing at all about souls. In fact, he was a devout Christian himself. Unitarian with a smattering of Anglican. He frequently quoted the Bible when discussing morality. Natural selection has nothing to do with souls or morality or even with ethics. It has to do with an observable natural phenomenon that results in speciation.

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