Justice Scalia spoke briefly at a ceremony commemorating the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. His speech was nothing short of excellent, and his insistence that the Establishment Clause of the Constitution is erroneously understood and applied is well taken. Justice Scalia, along with Justice Thomas and Father Richard John Neuhaus, are at the forefront of the new conseravtive movement that espouses natural law theory as the foundation of American governance. Simply put, I was honored to march in the parade and listen to Scalia’s remarks.
“The establishment clause was once well understood not to exclude God from the public forum and political life,” Scalia told a crowd of nearly 150 gathered to commemorate the 226th anniversary of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
Scalia, whose son Paul is a priest at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Spotsylvania County, said the nation’s founding fathers acknowledged a sovereign God in establishing the government–as did the men who framed Virginia’s statute in Fredericksburg in 1777. That statute served as the model for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Scalia concluded his remarks at the Religious Freedom Day observance with a request.
“On this day, when we’re celebrating our constitutional heritage, I urge you to be faithful to that heritage–to impose on our fellow citizens only the restrictions that are there in the Constitution, not invent new ones, not to invent the right because it’s a good idea.”
My brother Jason seems not to like political weblogs that don’t allow comments at the bottom.