Justice Scalia: “I believe in the Devil… he’s smart

Click. It's really hard and most of you won't be able to read it. BUT.. for those who want to whet their minds....

I’ve always liked Antonin Scalia.  I like how his mind works.  I even read (most of) his not terribly easy book.  From CNS:

(CNSNews.com) – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said he believes in the Devil as a living entity, “a real person,” and that the Devil is “smart” and “successful” in today’s world by convincing people to not believe in him or in God. [HEY! All you dopes out there who think that Pope Francis is somehow... I dunno... a bad Pope.  Pope Francis has talked more about the Devil as a real person screwing with our lives than ... name the Pope. Go ahead... find a Pope.]

“I even believe in the Devil,” and “yeah, he’s a real person,” Scalia told writer Jennifer Senior in an interview for New York magazine published on Oct. 6.

“Hey, come on, that’s standard Catholic doctrine,” said Scalia, who is Catholic.  “Every Catholic believes that.”

When asked what evidence there is of the Devil in today’s world, Scalia, who has served on the high court for 27 years, said, “You know, it’s 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 much anymore.” [Now Ol' Scratch makes them jump into the Democrat party, so they can support abortion and all manner of vile social re-engineering.]

It’s because he’s smart,” said the justice. “What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.”

Scalia explained that he did not mean people being atheists was the “Devil’s work,” but that atheism, or a non-belief in God “certainly favors the Devil’s desires.”

“I mean, come on, that’s the explanation for why there’s not demonic possession all over the place,” said Scalia. “That always puzzled me. What happened to the Devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament. … He got wiler.”  [Your Honor... the incidence of possession is ON THE RISE.]

When asked by Senior, “Isn’t it frightening to believe in the Devil?” the Supreme Court justice said, “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.”  [Well done.  I would love to hear an American bishop talk this way.]

[...]

The Devil is REAL.

We work constantly, in a battle, against three main things:

  • The World
  • The Flesh
  • The Devil

Remember that the Devil is the greatest of all created creatures.  He is at the top of the highest pinnacle of created persons, which means, the created cosmos.

Got that?

THAT’s what we are up against.

Got that?

He is a fallen angel.  AN-GEL!

Don’t be a galactically stupid moronic dupe.

The Devil hates you and wants to help you drag yourself into eternal Hell where you will forever be tormented in the separation from God which can never end. Go to Hell and you will experience for eternity the biting of the worm that does not die (cf Mark 9).  I can add more but I think the Lord’s words about the worm that dieth not outta be … what… more than enough?

Do you think this is… maybe… quaint?

If you do, you are idiots.

I have news for you.

Hell is REAL.

Right now, I want you to imagine what the first 10 seconds are like for the soul who finds herself in Hell after her death and judgement. What would pass through her mind in those first seconds.

I implore you, on my knees, please, dear readers

GO TO CONFESSION.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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45 Responses to Justice Scalia: “I believe in the Devil… he’s smart

  1. Priam1184 says:

    Yes Father it is all real, every last word of it. GO TO CONFESSION

  2. Magpie says:

    Thank you Father, this is timely. Please, anyone, say a quick prayer for me that I may make a good confession in good time.

  3. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    “Remember that the Devil is the greatest of all created creatures…”

    With all respect, Fr. Z, isn’t the Blessed Mother the greatest of all created creatures? [In honor and dignity because of what God did through her? Sure! BUT... not in the sense of being, of her very nature. Mary is a human being. Angels... even the lowliest little angel surpasses our human personhood. But God loves us so much that WE are privileged to have CHRIST as one of us! No angel can say that.]

  4. One of those TNCs says:

    Good for Justice Scalia!

    I’m not saying “Good for Justice Scalia!” because he’s right to believe in the Devil, but because he came right out and said it…in an interview…and didn’t apologize for it!!!

  5. Long-Skirts says:

    Fr. Z. said:

    “Go to Confession”

    SATURDAY
    DOORS

    Of all the happy
    Saturdays
    Of all my happy
    Life

    Confessions in the
    Afternoons
    Were best for
    Cutting strife.

    Upon my head
    A beanie
    Or sometimes
    Chapel veil

    In summer’s heat
    Tar-bubbled street
    I’d run
    Like wind in gale.

    Holy water font
    Into, my fingers dip
    Made the sign of the Cross
    So careful not to drip

    Dark and cool and quiet
    One red rose candle lit
    And in the corners’ cornices
    My soul saw Angels sit.

    For they were there to help me
    Come face to face with self
    With poor man’s free psychologist
    The Priest, behind dark shelf.

    It wasn’t always easy
    But always was absolved
    And light with grace, back to the race
    To live His Word, resolved.

    And at this very moment
    Saturday doors are there, no locks –
    A place of virtual reality
    The Sacramental Confessional box!

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  6. Fr AJ says:

    I can’t remember the last time I heard a Bishop, outside of the Bishop of Rome, speak about the Devil come to think of it.

  7. inexcels says:

    “Isn’t it frightening to believe in the Devil?”

    Not really, because if you believe in the Devil then (hopefully) you believe in God, and a universe that has both is far less frightening than a universe that has neither. As frightening as the concept of Hell is (and believe me, I’m not making light of it), the idea of eternal oblivion is far more terrifying.

    It never ceases to amaze me that atheists just don’t get this. Talk about being galactically stupid moronic dupes.

  8. flyfree432 says:

    Okay. I have been putting it off. This Saturday.

  9. The Cobbler says:

    @inexcels, If by oblivion we mean nonexistence, then it can’t be eternal (in the sense of infinite time) since time is a property of existing things; or, to put it more loosely, if I stop existing I won’t be around to feel bad about it.

    Of course, the possibility of Heaven, even with the possibility of Hell, is still better than no possibility of either. Not that what would be better is why we believe in it, either.

  10. When asked what evidence there is of the Devil in today’s world…

    I thought today’s world was itself evidence of the devil.

  11. inexcels says:

    @The Cobbler: That seems quite wrong. Something can, in fact, cease to exist for all time, as opposed to ceasing to exist only temporarily. I wouldn’t be bothered so much by temporary oblivion–heck, that describes NREM sleep pretty well–it is the concept of a never-ending (i.e. eternal) oblivion that is frightening.

  12. StWinefride says:

    But Father! In answer to Massachusetts Catholic you say: [In honor and dignity because of what God did through her? Sure! BUT… not in the sense of being, of her very nature. Mary is a human being.

    Not according to Ineffabilis Deus (The Immaculate Conception):

    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm

    Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully.

    God alone excepted, Mary is more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim. To praise her all the tongues of heaven and earth do not suffice.

    “…that she approaches as near to God himself as is possible for a created being; and that she is above all men and angels in glory…

  13. Brandon says:

    Thank you Fr. We can never have too many reminders of this. Please pray for me.

  14. Anabela says:

    Fr. could you post on the situation in the Archdiocese of Freiburg and their decision to allow remarried and divorced to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. I find this very disconcerting.

  15. cajuncath says:

    Yes, Pope Francis has talked more about the devil than any other pope in recent history, and that is to his credit.

    That doesn’t mean people are dopes because they are rightly appalled by the pope’s scandalous comments.

  16. Cafea Fruor says:

    The devil’s pretty scary indeed, but what I fear much more than him per se is my own ability to say yes to the temptations he puts in my path. He would not be one bit frightening had I not the ability to give in to him. My ability to say yes to him, i.e. to sin — that is bone-shiveringly frightening. And a good reason to get to confession frequently. And to receive the Eucharist frequently. And to have frequent recourse to Mary and the angels and saints for their help and example. And to do penance. And to pray as much as possible. And to seek and do all the other things that help me say yes to Jesus and His Father’s will.

  17. Imrahil says:

    As frightening as the concept of Hell is (and believe me, I’m not making light of it), the idea of eternal oblivion is far more terrifying.

    Dear @inexcels, thanks! I have often thought that way.

    The prospect of Hell is, even in itself, and horrible as it is, better than the prospect of nothingness. Those who either favor Annihilationism for being more lenient, or think that sorry-folks God was not so lenient as to annihilate the souls offending beyond cure, have got it wrong (in my humble opinion). Objectively that is. I can well imagine that a soul in Hell would feel that she prefers to be annihilated. But objectively, everything by nature loves itselfs and thus tends to keep itself into being (as St. Thomas teaches). And this the soul has more so in Hell than in nothingness.

    I sometimes also think it is kind-of a last mercy of God to really let Himself be offended by the sinners – and goes on to punish them. That does them no harm, for His mercy is wide-open to forgive, but those who refuse to be forgiven – even here, God will have nothing to do with the snobism sometimes taught to children maybe a bit to ready to scuffle perviously (something much more natural and much more harmless). He is not “above” the offenses of His inferiors; or He of course would be, but chooses not to act as if.

  18. Imrahil says:

    previously (last paragraph).

  19. Andrew says:

    To those who say that there’s no evidence of any diabolic influence in the world today I would like to say: “have you read the news lately? Anything about some young people at a high school randomly hunting down their schoolmates with weapons of war? Have you heard anything about babies strangled, children thrown into rivers to drown, automobiles plunged into lakes with children locked inside by their own mothers? Women imprisoned, repeatedly raped and beaten? People maimed, poisoned, tortured, nations going to war … my good Lord: is there any way to put it all into perspective and to make some sense of it on a purely human level? Is this anything that some soft psychology can explain and handle? It irks me to no end when after every crime-spree the talking heads show up on TV to “explain” what caused someone to go off on the road of murderous self destruction and inevitably, there will be no mention of morality, of a need for spiritual formation, a need to invoke the divine protection in our lives, of a danger lurking in spiritual neglect and the diabolic contamination that can grow and posses, of a need to believe in the light and to become children of the Light. We’re looking evil in the face and we say: “there’s nothing out there: I don’t see anything”.

  20. LarryW2LJ says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z – love your line:

    “Don’t be a galactically stupid moronic dupe.”

    Myself, I’ve been going to confession once a month. Going to try to increase that to every other week. These times demand, now more than ever, that we maintain our purity and fidelity to Christ.

    One of our parish priests told me that as you get closer and closer to God, Satan is going to all that more put you in his sights. Frequent confession is one of the best ways to battle that.

  21. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: Ineffabilis Deus — It says Mary is the greatest “in excellence” and “in glory.” Those are not the innate qualities of her being as a human, but rather of how she has responded to God’s extraordinary gifts to her, and how God exalts her now. As a sinless, immaculate-from-conception human being, she is equal to what Adam and Eve originally were, and like them, she is less than the angels. As the psalm says, “What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little less than the angels….”

    However, “in glory,” Mary has been made Queen of the angels and of all Heaven. Her office and glory exceeds her natural status in Creation.

    Similarly, the old story is that St. Michael was created just an ordinary schlub redneck angel, but he was given the vast office and powers of an archangel because he dared to stand up to Lucifer and his renegades.

  22. oldCatholigirl says:

    Andrew: Right on. Justice Scalia was admirable for his outspoken truthfulness, but, IMHO, he missed something. We’d sense the reality of the Devil even if none of us were Catholic/Christian Bible readers and the majority of Americans did not believe in him. (Maybe he did say more. I haven’t read the entire interview yet.)

  23. JuliB says:

    “When asked what evidence there is of the Devil in today’s world,”

    Seriously? When I was starting my slow walk Home, I knew it’s much easier to see the proof of the Devil in the world as opposed to the proof of God – at least when it comes to people’s behavior. If the civil war in Rwanda (and weekends shootings in Chicago) doesn’t prove the existence of the devil, what else would be needed?

  24. trad catholic mom says:

    I’ll have to read his book, thanks for the heads up it sounds great. And I too, would love to hear our Bishops talk this way also.

  25. robtbrown says:

    1. The text from Ineffabilis Deus notes the heavenly gifts which endowed the Mother of God. By definition, those are supernatural rather than natural, which proves Fr Z’s assertion. Mary is made higher than angels by virtue of Grace.

    2. The existence of angels (spiritual substances) is not merely known by Faith. Because God is infinite being and spiritual and Man is both spiritual (soul) and material (body), it is appropriate (ex convenientia) that there be limited beings who are purely spiritual and mediate between God and Man.

    3. Because angelic nature is purely spiritual, angels are said to be higher than Man. St Thomas, however, also offers the argument that in one sense Man is higher because he is capable of generating other men, and angels cannot generate other angels.

    4. Eternity is not infinite time. Infinite Time is one moment after another without limit. Eternity is the simultaneous now.

  26. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Andrew (and others),

    the existence of evil is indeed, as Chesterton put it, a fact as practical as potatoes.

    And I mean “evil” plain and simply, here. I do not mean the fact that actions happen to not go along some rules someone put up or claims God put up without them having feelable connection to natural law or general moral sense, or erring conscience, or anything of the sort. These do damage and are objectively wrong, and may be subjectively wrong; but as far as perception is concerned, we must remember that someone sinning in good conscience is systematically, and for all our condition I still guess also statistically, an exception. What we perceive is, simply put, evil

    Yet “evil” and “the Devil” are not the same thing. As a historical fact, all evil does have ultimately the Devil as its source, but systematically the thing looks different: Adam could have sinned even without the temptation. And anyway as the thing is now, it may be guessed that the Devil (being smart) laughingly lets evil inclinations of men run their course without taking positive action.

    The presence of evil is, I say, undoubtable; the existence of the Devil may thus indeed perhaps be strongly suggested, but the presence of evil does not straightforwardly and 100%ly prove it. (I am not speaking about possession here.) And nothing but a straightforward 100% proof will lead to convincing (if even that will).

    As an aside, it is not vain to ask what caused a man to do such and such things. Man is a complex being including what is treated by the science of psychology. And while a man is certainly inclined to the seven deadly sins, even in the fallen state he is now in he is not immediately prone to commit heinous deeds. (Which sins are felt to be such is, in part, cultural, but we are after all assuming that we talk of a man of the same culture.)
    Of course there still is the fact that willpower could have resisted the bad inclination. Virtue is (in part) about resisting bad inclinations. But it is generally agreed that a public order that depends on virtue alone would be weak; public order, to a large part, is about not having (certain) bad inclinations. And people generally do indeed not have them; they do not have the inclination to take a machine-gun and run through a school killing all people in their path. It is worth asking what caused them to even want such a thing.

  27. Imrahil says:

    that the Devil lets evil inclinations of men run their course

    I mean in a great many of cases; not, though, in all of them.

  28. The Cobbler says:

    @inexcels… “Something can, in fact, cease to exist for all time, as opposed to ceasing to exist only temporarily. I wouldn’t be bothered so much by temporary oblivion–heck, that describes NREM sleep pretty well…”
    Call me a philosophical troll, but when we say “a thing ceases to exist” are we talking about… what’s the term… primary substances?

    @robtbrown: I thought that was sempiternity?

    @Andrew: (…to say something actually on topic for once…) Whenever somebody decides to start shooting people at a school and the nation at large reacts with the obsession that there *must* be something society as a whole could have do to prevent it, all I can think of is the Operative in Serenity: “We’re creating a world without sin.” Now that attitude’s frightening.

  29. Lin says:

    Loved this post but I thought the dope reference a little harsh. We often end up explaining his comments and how they differ from the MSM spin. Prayers for you and all who read this blog!

  30. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    I spent more time than usual on this post/thread, in part because I went to law school with Mr. Justice Scalia, sat next to him for a whole year in Commercial Law, and served on law review with (under) him. I went through all the comments to the interview in “New York” (its website), and also read the article by Judge Richard A. Posner criticizing Mr. Justice Scalia’s “original intent” canon of interpretation (reached by a link).

    I was appalled at the overwhelmingly “majority” attitude of the comments on the website. Many questioned his competence and (even ordinary human) intelligence, some even suggesting that he might well be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease (!). Particularly disturbing was the view more than once expressed that someone who believed in the existence of Satan was not qualified to sit on the Court and (said some) should be impeached. It seems to me that to hold this view (that one believing in the existence of Satan should not be on the Court) is to require a religious test for holding federal office, something expressly prohibited, I believe, by the Constitution (the original, prior to any amendment). In short, the generality of commenters on “New York”‘s website showed an attitude that I could hardly believe. The irrationality and self-centeredness of what I suppose are just everyday “liberal” people in our country today is frightful.

  31. Stephen Matthew says:

    Eternity is not the same as infinite time.

    While we describe eternity in more or less the same way as infinite time, that is because it is a more or less indescribable thing unto itself. When we talk about God being eternal (or eternally being) we don’t mean he is infinitely old and will get infinitely older. Rather eternity is something more like a place or time that always has been and always will be but is always NOW. Eternity rightly conceived has no past or future it is all present tense. Clearly that defies our human experience of temporal reality, and is something we can only ever get close to describing, never really fully defining it. It is a much bigger, grander, more mysterious concept than mere infinite time (which is itself mind boggling).

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  33. cajuncath says:

    Minnesotan From Florida,

    Is it acceptable to call into question a Supreme Court justice like Scalia who believes that there is nothing wrong with state governments having the right to legalize abortion and recognize same-sex marriages?

  34. JuliB says:

    CajunCath,

    Scalia is a constructionalist, meaning he reads the Const. as plain language and thinks it should be followed. The Const. doesn’t say that the feds have the power to regulate/control such things. Anything powers not specifically delegated to the feds rests with the states and the people.

    So, yes, legally, he is correct. I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t think that those positions should be legal, but he has respect for our founding documents.

  35. robtbrown says:

    Stephen Matthew,

    1. It’s necessary to distinguish nunc stans from nunc fluens. We have experience of the latter, which is the point between the past and the future.

    2. It’s also necessary to distinguish Time from Succession. With the Resurrection of the Body all men, the saved and the damned, will experience Succession. None will experience Time, which is distinguished from Succession by corruptibility, both accidental and substantial. (I am of the opinion that First Man before OS lived in Time but was not subject to substantial corruption (death) but was subject to accidental corruption.)

    3. Only God is eternal–He is without beginning and end. Those who have the Beatific vision participate in Eternity but are not eternal. The oft used distinction for angels and man is aeviternal–having a beginning but without end.

    4. One of the reasons for the importance of the distinction between Infinite Time and Eternity is that St Thomas’ arguments for the existence of God do not depend on Time having a beginning.

    5. The pagans did not distinguish Infinite Time from Eternity.

  36. robtbrown says:

    Scalia is an Originalist, which means that Constitutional texts should be interpreted according to the thought in the era in which they were written.

    On the other hand, he seems to object to natural law being a component of interpretation, which seems to me to contradict Originalism. The Declaration of Independence, the Federalist papers, and John Locke all consider natural law as being the source of individual rights.

  37. cajuncath says:

    JuliB, I’m pretty sure that respect for our founding documents should place a very distant second to stopping the slaughter of the unborn and defending the sanctity of marriage.

    Who needs Obama? No less than Judie Brown of American Life League has stated that Scalia is one of the preborn’s worst enemies.

  38. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    cajuncath,
    I do not see how, despite your addressing it to me, your posting related to anything in my earlier post. I expressed shock at the large numbers of comments on the interview in “New York” that called into question Mr. Justice Scalia’s intelligence, professional competence, neurological health, etc., or implied that a belief in the existence of Satan disqualified a person from service on the Supreme Court. I suggested that to make disbelief in the existence of Satan a requirement for a federal office would be unconstitutional.

    On the substance of your question, I agree with the 8:06 a.m. post of JuliB. Mr. Justice Scalia may believe that nothing in the federal Constitution requires a state to criminalize abortion or prohibits a state from recognizing same-sex marriages. If you disagree with that position, make your argument. I suspect that Mr. Justice Scalia believes that abortion and homosexual acts are sinful and that recognizing same-sex marriages is wrong. If you have reason to suspect the contrary, please state it.

  39. cajuncath says:

    Minnesotan From Florida,

    You were referring to what you saw as unjust criticisms of Justice Scalia, and I was, in turn, raising what I consider to be a very just criticism of Justice Scalia. I don’t think that makes my post exactly extraneous.

    The question doesn’t revolve around what the Constitution says or doesn’t say. Ultimately, the question is what does the Catholic faith teach. And it teaches that abortion is a grave moral evil that must be outlawed and can never be legalized. And, therefore, anything that says or implies otherwise, including the U.S. Constitution, would be wrong if it calls for, or allows for, legalization.

    Addressing everyone in general and not just you from this point on: We have a ‘conservative’ Catholic Supreme Court justice who publicly upholds a state government’s ‘right’ to legalize the slaughter of the unborn. So where are all the Canon 915 catcalls? Why such silence? Since when does the U.S. Constitution trump the divine law and natural law?

    Justice Scalia adheres to a more moderate form of ‘I’m personally opposed, but…..’ Judie Brown clearly sees this. So should all of us.

  40. robtbrown says:

    Scalia thinks there is such a thing as natural law (found in various documents, incl the DoI and the Federalist papers), which means he doesn’t think abortion and homosexual unions are just a matter of personal moral opinion. SCOTUS decisions, however, need to be rooted in law, and he thinks that any reference to NL in a SCOTUS decision would be read as subjective personal opinion. Consequently, he has adopted a fall back strategy, which says that matters which are not explicitly covered in the Constitution should be decided legislatively, incl by state legistlatures.

    Regardless of whether controversial matters touch morality or not, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that they be decided by a panel of 9 judges.

  41. cajuncath says:

    robtbrown, all appearances are that Scalia’s conception of natural law is markedly at variance with the true Catholic one.

    As I pointed out, he proclaims the inalienable right of state governments to legalize the destruction of the unborn, and the deformity of marriage. Presumably he has no qualms with states legalizing contraceptives. And I don’t see anything in the U.S. Constitution that requires states to outlaw murder, rape, or robbery. Might he also favor a state doing as it wishes on those topics as well?

    There is a host of other conflicts as well between Catholic natural law and the US Constitution, aside from these points already mentioned.

  42. robtbrown says:

    Cajuncath,

    Inalienable rights are rights that are grounded in natural law. The right of the state to decide is a legal right by the Constitution, not an inalienable right.

  43. cajuncath says:

    robtbrown, that’s a fair point, I stand corrected. It should not be termed an ‘inalienable’ right.

    As non-inalienable as it may be, it is certainly touted and championed by Justice Scalia, putting him at variance with the faith.

  44. robtbrown says:

    cajuncath says:

    robtbrown, that’s a fair point, I stand corrected. It should not be termed an ‘inalienable’ right.

    As non-inalienable as it may be, it is certainly touted and championed by Justice Scalia, putting him at variance with the faith.

    It is not news that legal rights might be opposed to natural law. The Constitution gives the govt the right to wage war–it doesn’t say it has to be a just war.

    And how is it different from Vat II and the right to freedom of religion for non Christian religions?

  45. JuliB says:

    CajunCath,

    If I may make an analogy (I always feel the need to warn people about analogies ahead of time), Holy Mother Church says she has no authority to allow woman into the priesthood. Scalia says the Federal Government has no authority to legalize abortion.

    True, it is an imperfect analogy, but I feel it is accurate at its base. Scripture/Tradition is the basis for the prevention of womenpriests, and the Constitution is the basis of Scalia’s actions. I don’t see it as ‘personally opposed, but’ since it’s not a political opinion, it’s a procedural one.

    If there is to be a change, it would need to come from a Constitutional amendment. While I believe that all forms of abortion are murder (and like Judie Brown I see no “exceptions”), we must operate within the laws of the nation.

    I worked with someone who lamented the fact that kidnapping was a federal crime, but murder wasn’t. I was shocked that someone in a high ranking position would understand the difference of church vs state but had never contemplated the difference of state vs federal.