Anthony Kennedy – Christian
John Roberts – Christian
Samuel Alito – Christian
Antonin Scalia – Christian
Clarence Thomas – Christian
These are the Supreme Court justices who declared, in a 5-4 decision released today, that there is nothing at all wrong with the Greece Town Board (in upstate New York, near the city of Rochester) forcing all citizens who have business before the legislative body to sit through a religious prayer ceremony – almost always Christian – first.
Do you notice that they all have something in common?
Three out of the nine current Supreme Court justices are non-Christian. All three of these non-Christian justices agreed with the dissenting opinion that it is unconstitutional for the Town Board of Greece to use its governmental power to endorse religious practice, giving special preference to Christian worship.
The three non-Christian justices are all Jewish. A non-theist has never been allowed to join the Supreme Court, and from the diverse religious identities present in the USA, only Christians and Jews have ever been nominated to the Court. All other religions, as well as atheist Americans, have been excluded from the Supreme Court, though there are plenty of qualified atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, and Hindu legal professionals in our country – and lawyers from other religious traditions too.
How can the Supreme Court of the United States rule fairly on cases of Christian discrimination against religious and non-religious minorities when the Supreme Court itself is an institution whose slanted tradition of legal opinions has been created and sustained through discrimination against religious and non-religious minorities?
Is it any surprise that the Supreme Court would rule that it is acceptable for government to selectively promote religion when the Supreme Court itself has been closed to non-religious Americans for its entire history?
The most recent American Religious Identification Survey found that 15 percent of Americans said that they have no religion in 2008. Furthermore, non-religious Americans were found to be growing as a percentage of the population in all 50 states, while no religious group could claim the same.
Six years after the American Religious Identification Survey of 2008, it’s reasonable to estimate that nearly one in five Americans are non-religious. This increasingly substantial portion of the American population cannot expect its constitutional rights to be supported by the Supreme Court.
What will it take to end this discrimination?
The First Amendment of the United States promises that there shall be no government establishment of religion.
What will it take for this centuries-old promise to finally be kept?