I am wondering if I should feel sorry for the Christians.
While other major religions have a symbol that uniquely identifies those who use the symbol as members of that religion, Christians, apparently, do not have such a symbol. There is no mark that one can make that identifies the person as being “Christian” in the sense of being “Not a Jew” or “Not a Muslim.”
What’s that? You say that Christianity is represented by a cross? That this is a distinctly Christian symbol?
Well, not according to Supreme Court Justice Scalia. He holds that the Cross is a generic symbol that applies to all people regardless of religious beliefs. It applies not only to Christians, but to Jews, Muslim, and even atheists. In fact, he thinks it is absolutely ridiculous to say otherwise – that no sane individual could ever come to believe that the Cross is identifies somebody as Christian.
(See: Associated Press, Sharp debate at high court over cross on US land
He made these remarks in a Supreme Court case that concerned the placement of a cross on government land as a war memorial. The objection was raised that the Cross uniquely symbolizes the Christian faith and, as such, this was a memorial only to Christian soldiers. Scalia called the claim that the Cross was a Christian symbol absurd.
I am dumbfounded at how a person can be so committed to a particular conclusion that he will follow it to the most absurd ends without the last bit of self-awareness over how absurd his statements have become. This represents a totally backwards way of thinking and a way of thinking that, frankly, a dangerous way of thinking. This type of person is not living in the real world. His mind functions in a mythical world and when mythical beliefs are attached to real-world issues, it is reasonable to expect trouble to result.
It is useful to contrast this way of thinking to the scientific way of thinking.
Scientists seek to test their hypothesis. A scientist takes his conclusion and chases it to some proposition that she can then test. She designs an experiment and, on the basis of that experiment, decides whether to accept or reject the original hypothesis.
A scientific-minded person can come up with an easy experiment to test the Scalia hypothesis on the meaning of the cross.
If Scalia is correct, then this predicts that if I go out on the street and show people various symbols, that they will have a particular set of reactions. When I show them a grave marked with a Star of David they well answer that the person buried there was Jewish. If I show them a grave marked with a star and crescent, they may answer "Muslim." In both cases, some percentage will say that they do not know or they are not sure. However, this is still different from what the Scalia Hypothesis tells us we should expect when people are shown a Cross.
According to Scalia, when we show our test subjects a Cross and ask them what religion this represents they would not answer by saying, "Christian". Instead, they would scratch their head in confusion and ask us in return, "What do you mean? That doesn't represent any religion."
Of course, we don't have to conduct the experiment to realize the absurdity to be found in the Scalia Hypothesis. The claim is absurdly false. The only reason Scalia asserted it – and, I would dare say, actually believes it – is because he must embrace this absurdity in order to get the conclusion that he has decided he must have regardless of the evidence put before him.
He is, at least in these types of issues, utterly incapable of interpreting and applying the law. He is only capable of twisting and distorting the law, writing into it the most absurd premises, in order to twist and distort it into the conclusions that he wants to reach.
This makes him a very poor . . . even an incompetent . . . judge when it comes to these types of cases. In short, he utterly lacks the capacity to judge them. He is like the judge who begins a trial with a conviction that the accused is guilty, and will accept no argument in his court that does not support that conclusion. In fact, his insistence that the accused is guilty is so firm and unshakable that if he personally saw the accused at a different place and time at the moment the crime took place, he would still dismiss that evidence and declare the accused to be guilty.
It is one thing for a judge to be biased and we may debate how much freedom from bias we can reasonably expect from a judge. It is quite another for a judge to insist on a conclusion in the face of such absurdities.
If any judge should agree with the Scalia Hypothesis (the Scalia Absurdity), they would prove in doing so that they suffer the same incompetence when it comes to judging matters of this type.