The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gather for an official group portrait to include new Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, top row, far right, at the Supreme Court Building in Washington on June 1, 2017. Seated, front row, from left, are Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. Back row, from left, are Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Gorsuch. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Why Catholics and Jews dominate at the Supreme Court

(RNS) — Two days after he was nominated by President Trump to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh ladled mac and cheese into takeout trays outside Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C.

That the nominee for the country’s highest bench should pop up in photos volunteering for a Catholic aid group is no surprise at this point. When Trump announced his selection, Kavanaugh talked about being "part of the vibrant Catholic community in the D.C. area ... united by a commitment to serve." He also gave a nod to schooling: “The motto of my Jesuit high school was 'Men for others.' I’ve tried to live that creed.”

Kavanaugh's inclusion on the court would preserve the Catholic majority, with six justices reared and formed in that tradition. (Neil Gorsuch attends an Episcopal Church but grew up Catholic and attended the same Catholic high school as Kavanaugh.)

Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The remaining three justices are Jewish. 

The Supreme Court that may yet rule on the current administration's fractious immigration policies, in other words, is dominated by two religious minorities that came into this country as immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries and strained to gain a footing equal to that of the Protestant establishment.

“For a whole lot of Catholic and Jewish immigrants, law school was, in a very pressing way, a ticket to the middle class,” said Richard W. Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

In addition, Catholics and Jews both struggled with religious prejudice and may have seen the legal profession as a way to ensure that their rights were protected.

Today, Catholics make up a declining share of Americans — just 20 percent, according to Pew Research (down from 23.9 percent a decade earlier). Jews are a far smaller number — barely 2 percent.

The United States has elected only one Catholic president (John F. Kennedy) and one Catholic vice president (Joseph Biden). It has had no Jewish presidents or vice presidents.

So, why their dominance on the court?

It may have something to do with the value the two minority faiths place on higher education and the religions’ openness to intellectual inquiry, said John Fea, professor of American history at Messiah College.

“Unlike evangelicals who base their entire worldview on the teachings of the Bible, Catholics and Jews seem much more open to engaging in larger principles that will affect not only their own community, but the common good of the republic or of a nation beyond the needs of their particular religious tradition,” Fea said.

For most of America's history, the court was composed almost entirely of Protestants.

The first Catholic to win a seat on the court was Roger Taney in 1836 — nearly 50 years after the court was created. It would take another 58 years for the second Catholic to be elevated to the Supreme Court.

Justice Louis Brandeis, the first Jew on the Supreme Court. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

It took 127 years for the first Jew to take a seat on the court. Louis Brandeis, the son of Jewish immigrants from what is now the Czech Republic, was elevated to the position in 1916. There was blatant anti-Semitism during confirmation hearings that lasted six months. Afterward, some justices refused to sit next to him for the official court photo.

"There were all sorts of smears against his character," said Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Brandeis' great-grandson and a senior vice president at Auburn Seminary. "It was an overt anti-Semitism paired with this concern for nativist ideas."

Seven other Jewish justices followed Brandeis, who was later hailed by President Franklin Roosevelt as his "Isaiah." There have been 13 Catholics — not counting Gorsuch.

During the 20th century, it was assumed there would be a “Catholic seat” and a “Jewish seat” on the court, so that when one retired, or died, another of the same faith would be appointed.

But that desire to keep a certain religious diversity on the court is no longer in play.

Ideology and politics seem to play a larger role. Consider that Democratic presidents appointed seven of the eight Jewish justices. (Benjamin Cardozo, the second Jewish justice, was nominated by Herbert Hoover, a Republican.)

“Partly that’s reflective of the American Jewish community and its relationship with more liberal or progressive political parties,” said Lauren B. Strauss, professor of Jewish history at American University.

Republican presidents have selected the recent crop of Catholic justices — with the exception of Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama appointee. Those Republican presidents have wanted to shape the judiciary in a more conservative direction.

“Part of the story may also be the rise in significance of the abortion question on the court,” said Garnett. “It’s not the whole thing, but part of it.”

Many have speculated that if Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate, Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that allowed women the right to an abortion, may be overturned.

Those political or ideological headwinds may partly explain the court’s Catholic-Jewish makeup.

Experts say that as more evangelicals gain entry to elite law schools and start clerking for top judges, they too will begin getting nominated to the top court.

But the nation’s religious makeup is also changing. Soon the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans is expected to overtake the number of evangelicals in the country.

Nearly 23 percent of Americans are now unaffiliated, almost as many as those who are evangelical (25.4 percent).

“We’d like to see a court that’s more reflective of the country and of people who do not hold religious beliefs,” said Alison Gill, legal and policy director for American Atheists. “There are a growing numbers of young people identifying as atheist or agnostic. It’s just a matter of time.”


  1. Catholics and Jews…so Martin Luther would not like many of the SCOTUS justices. And the feeling would be mutual.

  2. Maybe it is because to be a Supreme Court justice you have to be exemplary not only in knowledge and wisdom, but in character as well. I would argue that having a belief in a greater power/creator and the principles of Judaism/Christianity forms that character that allows one to be fair and impartial.

  3. Martin Luther would not like many of the SCOTUS justices

    But Martin Luther King, Jr., would.

  4. Yonat Shimron isn’t getting any smarter or insightful.

  5. Why. Please explain. What exactly guides an atheist anyway?

  6. Here, Shimron: “Unlike evangelicals who base their entire worldview on the teachings of the Bible” as they interpret it to support their ideology. Fixed it for you.

  7. It’s true that Catholic and Jewish communities don’t have a strong anti-intellectual bias in them the way U.S. evangelicals do. They don’t hate and fear education as much as evangelicals do.

  8. Well, the first Catholic was Jewish, so there’s that.

  9. Philosophy for one. John Locke was one of my favorite subjects at St. Leo’s.

  10. Epicurus…
    John Stuart Mill…
    Jeremy Bentham…

  11. After Kennedy demonstrated his support for civil rights (by using his influence to get MLK Jr. out of prison), it seems that Daddy King changed his mind about supporting Kennedy for president. Without that African-American support, it’s doubtful Kennedy would have won in 1960.
    Having said that, are you also saying MLK Sr was anti-Semitic?

  12. Still kvetching, eh?

    So, how are your moving plans going?

  13. The question was “what”, not “who”.

  14. No, if he knew these justices views…he would not like them.

  15. I was recently at a lecture by Seth Waxman, Bill Clinton’s last Solicitor General (the lawyer in charge of the Government’s arguments before the US Supreme Court). He expressed the view that there is a common bond between the Jesuitical and Talmudic approaches to legal argument — one that is precise, sometimes hairsplitting, but argumentative in a good way.
    [Waxman was succeeded by Ted Olson in the George W. Bush administration. Olson by that time was well known to the public as Bush’s main lawyer in Bush v. Gore. But a few months later, Olson’s wife, Barbara Olson, herself well known as a conservative TV legal commentator, was killed on 9/11 as a passenger on the flight that hit the Pentagon. Waxman and Kenneth Starr, the Clinton prosecutor who himself was George H.W. Bush’s last SG, made the gesture of accompanying Olson to the first day of the Court’s term that October. Nearly a decade later, Olson joined his Bush v. Gore opponent, David Boies, in the lawsuit against California’s Proposition 8, which had banned gay marriage in the state. Something to hopefully think about in this time of partisan rancor…]

  16. Sure, but his dislike would not be based on their religion.

  17. As public education has declined because of the natural decay present in a secular culture, Catholic education — which is much worse than it used to be — is still quite a bit better than public education, at least in arts and letters. I went to a Catholic grammar school and high school and when I got to college it was a breeze, which made it easy to get into law school and do well there. I can’t claim intellectual rigor really since everything pretty much sucks now, but Catholic education sucks less than the alternatives.

  18. He liked Catholicism enough to plagiarize it.

  19. The fix is to fund public education so that it can excel.

  20. Yes, but what is the proportion of Evangelicals that complete higher education excluding those who attend Evangelical colleges?

  21. That shows your lack of being fair and impartial to non-Christians.

  22. “‘We’d like to see a court that’s more reflective of the country and of people who do not hold religious beliefs,” said Alison Gill, legal and policy director for American Atheists.”

    Oh yeah, that would be just great. More justices who feel there is NO higher power than themselves. Nothing to hold them back except their own “feelings” and biases.

  23. Catholic school enrollment has declined from 5.5 million in 1965 to less than 2 million today. When corrected for socioeconomic status Catholic schools are no better than public schools. — Edd Doerr (honors grad of Indiana’s leading Catholic high school)

  24. Thanks for the bigoted statement about evangelicals. What do you hate most about them— their opposition to abortion, their opposition to pornography, their opposition to homosexual marriage, their insistence on religious freedom?

  25. Isn’t Bentham the man who had his body stuffed and displayed at a British university?

  26. That’s why I asked the question about what establishes the moral compass of an atheist.

  27. Since the first three are in direct opposition to the last, you must be confused about what ‘religious freedom’ means.

  28. Except impeachment, there is no power to hold back the Supreme Court justices except their own “feelings” and biases. This is just as true for Evangelicals as it for Atheists.

  29. There are millions of Christians in the U.S. who are neither Catholic nor Evangelical. We’re not addressing huge swaths of people in this analysis. I also take issue with the assertion that Evangelicals are the group that take the bible the most seriously.

  30. The evidence seems to be that religious- affiliated schools do better given identical students then public schools.

    The decline in attendance at religious- affiliated schools seems to correlate with the general decline in other religious practices such as going to church on Sunday and the immense cost of paying for two schools systems, which makes it difficult for those of lesser means to afford private education.

    Of course this comes from the perspective of someone who was not card-carrying member of teachers’ union for years, so it doesn’t reflect that good old union man perspective.

  31. I second Seth Waxman’s impression.

    It is not exactly “Jesuitical”. The natural law and Scholastic philosophy traditions in Catholicism, and also traditionally in “high” Protestantism, share several characteristics with Talmudic argument.

    When you read Aquinas and Maimonides (Mošeh ben Maimun) you see them both interpreting Aristotelian thought to a new purpose, both reaching similar conclusions on key issues such as equating the God of Abraham to the philosophical Necessary Being, and both logically codifying in a structured way.

    If you grow up in a family with both traditions side-by-side you more or less take it for granted. Oh, and you take arguments for granted as well.

  32. Then there is that education at the Harvard and Yale law schools. Do they have a quota system based on religious beliefs?

  33. But the Great Kibosh is slowly winning the religious wars and hopefully soon the minds of the SCOTUS:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  34. Their insistence that their purely theological concerns should govern the lives of people who don’t share their religious beliefs, on issues like abortion, pornography, marriage equality, and their insistence that religious freedom is for them and the freedom to follow their religion is for everyone else…

    which is precisely…

    Their insistence that their purely theological concerns should govern the lives of people who don’t share their religious beliefs, on issues like abortion, pornography, and marriage equality.

    It’s interesting that all of these are sexual issues, issues about the self-governance of people’s private lives, without the religious interference of moralizing religious busybodies who have decided that their religious beliefs should hold dominion…

    which is precisely…

    Their insistence that their purely theological concerns should govern the lives of people who don’t share their religious beliefs, on issues like abortion, pornography, and marriage equality.

    Theocracy, for short.

  35. I was Catholic school-educated till 8th grade, too. Those nuns did a great job, no doubt about it. For high school I went to a preparatory school which was not religiously-affiliated and operated on a very tight shoestring in a very old and crumbling historic building, but we excelled (National Merit scholars out the wazoo) because we all had parents who valued education, accepted no excuses for poor performance, and did not make a hobby out of being “offended” by everything.

    College WAS a breeze.

  36. All the funds in the world will not make up for apathetic and excuse-making parents.

  37. No worse than the feelings and biases of some “higher power”. In the case of the Biblical God…that would be a sexualy jealous middle-aged male animal herder.

    Yep, that sounds perfect for the 21st century courts!

  38. I went to Catholic school until 8th grade too…it sucked. The math was in no way acceptable for the modern world. Nuns really don’t know algebra and geometry. Barely paid lay teachers were not much better. Poor computer resources too. Glad I went to a public High School and caught up.

    Hey, one good thing about Catholic parochial school…lost my virginity with a Catholic school girl !!

  39. Because they in general are theocrats…religious freedom is for them alone!

  40. I agree, parents like that would hurt the effectiveness of any educational system.

  41. There are 70,412,021 registered Catholics in the United States (22% of the US population) as of 2017, according to the American bishops’ count in their Official Catholic Directory 2016.

    If you define Jews only by those who practice the religion, Pew counted 4.2 million adult Jewish Americans or 1.8 percent of the total U.S. adult population. The estimated population would grow by 1.2 million if you include people of no religion who consider themselves Jewish in a cultural or secular way and have at least one Jewish parent. There are another 1.3 million children being raised at least partially Jewish and living in households with at least one Jewish adult. Totaling those groups, you reach 6.7 million Jews of all ages in the U.S. in 2013.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has 5 Catholic Judges, 3 Jewish Judges, and 1 member of the Episcopal church. i.e. Catholics who make up 22% of the U.S. population control, 55% of the seats on SCOTUS, Jews who make up 1.8% of the U.S. population, (2.9% at best if you count all 6.7 million secular plus religious practicing Jews) control 33% of the seats on SCOTUS. Talk about Jewish privilege!

  42. The denomination, or religious label on a person today means little when hardly anyone follows the teachings of the faith they claim. Exceptions and personal additions or subtractions to what is to be believed by said faith makes the label just that……..nothing but a label.

  43. The better one’s moral compass, the less one needs to engage in deity worship. Jesus and Mohammed do espouse being respectful to one another, but also are both very petty, very passive aggressive, thankfully imaginary characters. A shame our highest judges worship imaginary deities.

  44. Poorly crafted word salad of the…month there, John. Truly.

  45. It is going to be fun to watch these justices when they have to rule on the legality of the Gregorian Calendar when my case finally arrives in DC. The GC was never legally adopted by the US (as the appellate judge admitted in my previous case), nor can it be. Why? Because the Establishment Clause prevents Congress from passing a law that respects a specific doctrine or decree of the Catholic Church (“an establishMENT of religion”) over other Christian sects or any other religions. Every justice is bound by their oath and law to rule in my favor. Those who don’t are committing a treasonous act and should be publicly executed.

  46. Great Parker, lets argue then. Christianity offers a great many principles which YOU and every other deity worshipper disregard because you don’t happen to like them. You disregard these 30 tenets while a judge disregards those 30. Tomorrow that will change. No 2 Christian deity worshippers agree on, believe and/or follow the same principles. And every one of you changes your outlook as you age. The churches change too (remember Vatican II?) I can’t think of a worse way to form impartiality and unfairness than to rely upon the Bible and/or deity worship.

  47. Whoa, back up. Key words are “registered” and “according to the church.” 70 million is reportedly is heavily distorted as any child born to Catholic parents automatically gets added to the list and hardly anyone is removed. I’m for instance evidently on that list and I am decidedly not a deity worshipper.

  48. One thing that guides me is the Golden rule. Why? Part upbringing and part instinct I believe. Don’t you agree that’s what guides you, too. You DO have to reject a great many Biblical teachngs using your internal moral compass, don’t you?

  49. Why “sorry?” Jim? Are you expressing guilt or sorrow?

  50. That is the best rule. I also (try) to follow the commandments the best I can. I also believe in judgement at the moment of death which is my prime motivation for adhering to the above.
    I’m not sure what biblical teachings need to be rejected.

  51. You keep losing me when you talk about principles which are ignored. Please explain.
    Also, while Vatican II was extremely descriptive to the RCC; it did not change The core principles of the church. Jesus was Jesus. The Eucharist was the Eucharist. ; etc.
    It did change however; the focus on God or the focus on man during the mass; but that is a discussion for another day.
    My point regarding judges is that to be a judge you have to be fair and impartial; and a number of other positive traits. I stand by my statement that the principles found in Christianity are perfect for the foundations of ones morals. What the atheists on this page cannot comprehend or choose not to; is that for Christians, the belief in a creator and the afterlife is what encourages one to adhere to them.

  52. Yeah, those public schools are something to brag about….

  53. You keep losing me
    Wrong. YOU keep losing you, Parker. Typical deity worshipper, it’s someone else’s or the deity’s fault, but not yours.

    when you talk
    I didn’t “talk,” Parker, I “wrote.”

    about principles which are ignored. Please explain.
    This deity worshipper’s interpretation allows/supports gay marriage, doesn’t allow use of contraception, doesn’t call for insolent daughters to be killed, etc. That deity worshipper disagrees about gay marriage, but agrees on other issues. Another believes verse x is to be followed literally, Yet another believes it is figuritive. That’s the beauty Christian deity worshippers love about their Bible, Parker. They can always find passages to justify their behavior.

    Also, while Vatican II was extremely descriptive to the RCC; it did not change The core principles of the church. Jesus was Jesus. The Eucharist was the Eucharist. ; etc.
    It did change however; the focus on God or the focus on man during the mass; but that is a discussion for another day.
    Another day, indeed.

    My point regarding judges is that to be a judge you
    “You?” I’m not a judge. Try “they.”

    have to be fair and impartial;
    Wrong. To be a “good” judge [they] have to be fair, etc.

    I stand by my statement that the principles found in Christianity are perfect for the foundations of ones morals.
    Good for you. I find Christianity espouses some admirable principles and some reprehensible ones, which makes it reprehensible. A firefighter who saves countless lives yet molests children ain’t really a hero, rather a reprehensible person.

    What the
    Not “the,” “some.”

    atheists on this page cannot comprehend or choose not to; is that for Christians, the belief in a creator and the afterlife is what encourages one to adhere to them.
    I find such “encourage[ment]” detestable, that fear of punishment drives your morality. I don’t fancy myself such a moral weakling. I know right from wrong without having to be told so by any book.

  54. Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to you husbands as to the Lord”; and similar advice for slaves in 1 Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.”

  55. I was a stud in Catholic high school. 6 hot, young nuns sought me out to deflowered them.

  56. That’s great! Especially since the U.S. population has what…doubled since 1965?

  57. I most hate their hypocritical failure to take responsibility for their actions. “Well, this Bible passage states it’s okay to do this today.” Then next day it’s, “Well we can’t do this because this other passage states so.” Plus, since according to you, your deity has infinite wisdom and does what’s best for us, why beg it to do as YOU want, ie. pray for things?

  58. Let’s not forget biological programming. Part of what guides us is arguably the same thing that guides a troupe of apes or a herd of elephants to care for each other. Both have dominance heirarchy squabbles, but generally care about each other. Ever watch elephants. Something DOES drive them to care. Unless you think that that something comes from a deity which would be untenable using Christian doctrine, then it’s biologically based. Spiders, et al seemingly do not have such a drive to live in harmony.

  59. Just for your own education – When citing any Bible verse to make a point; it is a good rule to read 20 to 25 lines prior, and 20 to 25 lines after in order to gain some context of what is being said.
    First – I have no problem with wives submitting to their husbands, and husbands submitting to their wives; it’s called sacrifice which is the foundation for marriage.
    Second – Timothy is talking to the Gentiles and instructing them on how they should be good citizens (regardless of class status) and good Christians even though they are being persecuted. He’s telling them how to be good examples and to live a Christ-like life. Here is the rest of the chapter that you selectively (or lazily) did not include:
    Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse. For whenever anyone bears the pain of unjust suffering because of consciousness of God, that is a grace.
    But what credit is there if you are patient when beaten for doing wrong? But if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered* for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
    Now that you have been “caught” in your sloppy use of the Bible, shall we get back to the original discussion?

  60. What drives your morality if not the judgement of the creator? Some alien wisdom that only you can derive?
    It interesting that the atheists never ever write down what they actually believe when it comes to how their morals are formed… they’ll give me a lot of websites to look at; but no one has the balls to get into the details because they KNOW that it all works it’s way back to God… yet they are cowards without humility and intellectual honesty; so they continue to attack and misdirect so that they don’t have to provide for the answer.

  61. What is the root that drives you to fear deities but not fear heights and what drives me not to fear enclosed spaces and to follow the Golden rule as I do? It’s the same thing that drives a male German Shepherd to instinctually nurture and protect a human infant, yet fear men in uniforms. Biological instinct plus life experience/learning. It doesn’t work it’s way back to a deity (yours of course that your parents taught you to worship, but none of the 4354+ other documented ones). Again, elephants are mostly very kind to one another. Surely they aren’t due to fear of a deity. YOU tell me. YOU answer your own question, inserting nonhumans instead of humans. What drives their behavior? Surely SOMETHING does. Reason? I think not. Minus reason or fear of deities, that leaves instinct.

  62. Indeed, I fairly mindlessly hastily cut and pasted my biblical quotes after a quick Google search. This issue would have to be for another time as well since I’m now running late for being somewhere. Cheers.

  63. Actually, try this on for size. Some Christians claim the Bible teaches them that non Christian deity worshippers, perhaps unbaptized ones will excruciatingly painfully be tortured for all eternity. Others perhaps including you claim to reject that. If you truly believe that children in remote African villages which have never been visited by a missionary holding a Bible, deserve to be tortured forever, because your favorite deity believes they should be tortured forever because they were unbaptized or non-believers at the time of their deaths, I can think of no worse morality than that. And the reason I can think of no worse morality than that Parker is because there is no worse morality than that.

  64. Describe your own homophobia some more.

  65. Yep. Exactly…. you got nothin…
    I ask you plain and simple: what drives YOUR morality?
    And you come back with two pages of nonsense about Christians and some drivel that a freshman psychology major would write.

  66. The ones about killing gay people, duh.

  67. I see you have me confused with everyone who disagrees with you.

  68. An apt observation in your usual punny manner, however I would characterize your thought as not precisely accurate. Even as much as catholics claim 1st place historically among Christian believers, reliable evidence demonstrates that “Catholicism” had its advent approximately in the 3rd Century.

  69. No. Just the creepy ones. As I said to you before, we can disagree but we don’t have to be mean to one another. The only people that I have dealt with here that are outright mean are you, bob corizone and Lisa strom. So, I figured they must be the same person.

  70. As well as poorly trained and politically fixated “teachers”.

  71. All LGBT+ people object to your homophobia.

  72. Hardly to the point of the discussion.

  73. Epicurus, who is noted primarily in intellectual thought as one who valued sensory human pleasures and a sedate untroubled life, apart from his thoughts on materialism and the atom.

  74. You don’t either, junior. Go ahead, tell us. You hide behind the notion that fear of deities drives you to be moral. Well, why are you afraid of deities in the first place? Hmm? Where’d you go. Readers, misguided Parker here is afraid of deities AND believes innocent, non-christian children who die will be tortured for all eternity, because HIS mommy and daddy told him so. Over and over again til he was terrified. Junior, you are dismissed. Run along now.

  75. nb: Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:12

  76. In Junior’s world, simpleton bumper sticker answers suffice to incredibly abstract questions which noted philosophers and theologians have written books about, trying to answer. A “two page” answer is too much for him, thus he hides behind simplistic “My mommy and daddy worshipped deities and by golly that’s what I do” sentiment to explain his reprehensible morality. Smh…

  77. He brought up Timothy in another response! He admitted he googled, cut, and pasted but didn’t have time for a response and that he had to run.
    Thanks for the support. You are a better biblical scholar than me.

  78. You STILL haven’t answered the question. What do you base YOUR morals on?

  79. You haven’t answered what you base your fear of deities on. At least I was honest in my 2 page explaination. You’re not even that. Again,. WHY are you frightened of the Christian deity?

  80. Yep…..
    We’re not discussing me. The question lies with you. Again, diversion and delay.

  81. Hey, I told you to run along two comments ago yet here you still are. If you to have a conversation, it’s a two way street. But you’re not my Inquisitor. If want to continue be a little twerp, please find someone else to annoy. You misguided deity worshippers are nothing if not annoying and unable to reason.

  82. Says the raging homophobe. Your morals include killing gay people, apparently.

  83. Still waiting tough guy. Your mock dismissal comes only because you got caught cutting and pasting something you don’t understand and can’t defend; not to mention the fact that you can’t even explain why you believe the way you do.
    I’ll answer it for you – it’s because the deity you blaspheme truly exists; and you know it.

  84. While the narrow world view of the evangelicals and their familiar loathing towards secular education have prevented most of them reaching the higher levels of the judiciary in American society, it is, therefore, not surprising that Catholics and Jews dominate the seats in the Supreme Court. The problem here is that that most these judges are Roman Catholics and their Catholic indoctrination will now be reflected in their judgement particularly where women;s rights, abortions and planned parenthood is concerned. It is time the President, vastly influenced by evangelical leaders seriously make space for non-affiliated and agnostic/atheist Supreme court judges who will be more unbiased and fair in their perceptions while making legal decisions.

  85. May I correct you here, Mr Ashwin? There wasn’t a first Catholic Jew as you point out . The first Christian church founded by James in Jerusalem was Christian -Jewish. The Hellenistic influences pervaded the Christian churches around Rome at that time and so began the various Catholic systems, (borrowed largely from Hellenistic or pagan cultures of religious worship of the time) after the Roman emperor Constantine became Christian three hundred years after Christ died.

  86. My morality comes from viewing Junior’s and realizing how horrible it is. Its essentially impossible for illiterate children in remote African villages to be exposed to, let alone convert to Christianity but like many pathetic, misguided deity worshippers, Junior DOES in fact believe his favorite little deity prefers torturing their souls for eternity simply because they didn’t convert. There is no worse morality than that. Junior subscribes to the most vile, reprehensible morality possible BECAUSE junior is vile and reprehensible. NOW that I answered Junior’s question, it’s time for junior to run along and find the next person to be super annoying to.

  87. Now we see who you actually are. A liberal who has become angry and resorts to name calling because they got caught up making an argument they can’t defend.

  88. One final point for you for your own benefit – God will reveal himself to each of us that will be known only to him and us.
    For the European, it my be formal training and a great cathedral; for the African child it may be the stars in the sky or the next sunrise. I don’t know what it will be; but each will have an opportunity to know the living God; even you.

  89. Not if you homophobes kill us all for being gay.

  90. No, it doesn’t. Gay people exist, however, and we would like it very much if Christians stop trying to exterminate us.

  91. Christians want you to repent from your sinfulness.

  92. It’s not privilege. It’s valuing education. It is also a tradition of allowing and encouraging questioning and debate.

  93. They used to have quotas limiting Jews. Neither Harvard or Yale hired Jewish professors who escaped the Nazis and managed to get into America. Now there are quotas keeping Asians out.

  94. My rabbi says that if you are reading the Hebrew Bible by yourself you should be arguing with your self. Jews don’t do much devotional Bible reading by themselves. Truth is found in debate and discussion.

  95. Reliable references supporting your

  96. Wrong…it was in 107, by St. Ignatius of Antioch in his farewell letter, he made the first written reference of “the Catholic Church.”:
    He said: “Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church” (To the Smyrnaeans 8:2).

    That’s surviving written reference….realizing spoken references always occurred first.

  97. I’m afraid we could never throw enough money at it to fix it. The Catholic schools at least had a methodology and discipline and cheap labor. Also, maybe, they had the highest truth available to mankind.

  98. i have to admit that the Catholic schools are effective educators, The problem is that their “highest truth” is false.

  99. I would say their distorted concept of religious freedom. It doesn’t mean the freedom to use the government to support your values and means of indoctrinating children.

  100. You are either uneducated or ignorant,

  101. Before you claim something about intellectual thought, you should know what you’re talking about. If you read about Epicurus, Cicero is a good source, you would know how wrong you are.

  102. That golden rule is followed by most mammals. Bonobos are especially cooperative and compassionate. They feed and groom bonobo strangers. They have been around long before humans could write the rule and give the Judaeo Christians credit for it. My dogs also practice that rule. It appears in most religions and ethical systems.

  103. My German Shepherd treats both humans and dogs with respect. If you went to a dog park you would see how quickly they meet each other and communicate their trust, or lack of it, to each other. They don’t need to be intimidated by a god in order to understand and practice the golden rule.

  104. I am offended by your use of the word ”liberal”. What does that word mean to you?

  105. I agree that the Jewish value for religion is why they have a very large number of intellectuals who make a very large contribution to human knowledge. I doubt that the presidents and senators care much about that or even take it into consideration when selecting judges.

  106. You’re the one that’s offended. You go first.

  107. This is its most common meaning:
    open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.

    You seem to use it in a derogatory way which is why I asked what you mean by it.

  108. You’re the one who’s offended. You tell me.

  109. Actually Catholicism as the official Christian Church can be traced back as early as 106 AD in the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

  110. That is incorrect. The earliest KNOWN date is 106 AD

  111. Theocracy = Rule of God. Rule of God = Rule of the Law of God. Rule of the Law of God = Theocracy. The critical confrontation is between the laws of men and the Law of God. Jewish thinking emphasizes the laws of men as exemplified in their most authoritative scriptures, the Talmud. Jesus opposed these “commandments of men” stating that they were in opposition to the Law of God. Roman Catholic tradition emphasizes the doctrines and dogmas of the Roman church as the basis of law. This has led over time to the thinking of Roman Catholics converging with that of Jewish thought in emphasizing the laws of men over the Law of God.

    The laws of men include the Constitution of the United States which has been interpreted over time in such a way as to depart from the meaning of the original. The authors wrote it for the most part in an effort to express their understanding of the Law of God, the Law of Liberty, within the context of Christian, as opposed to traditional Roman Catholic or Jewish, thinking. Christian thinking itself is imperfect in understanding the Law of God although lip service is paid to it in all denominations. Since many of the men who wrote the Constitution, although educated in an imperfect Christian context, were not completely Christian in their thinking, the Constitution is therefore a fundamentally flawed document and has been open to the changes in interpretation that have taken place in the past two hundred and thirty years since its promulgation.

    This is why we are faced with a state of confusion and fragmentation in our societies and our institutions. We are living in a modern Tower of Babel. This condition is accelerating.

  112. How about we just shorten this:

    I believe in the law of god, and the law of god is what I say it is. Do what I tell you, or god will be angry. Believe what I believe, or I will hurt you.

    You can dress of theocracy and theofascism in whatever clerical collars and vestments you wish.

  113. Would that we were all theocrats, (ruled by God: Isra-el)). But only a tiny few are, or ever have been. (The Light in the Darkness). As Jesus said “Many are called, few are chosen”. Eventually this will change.

  114. Isn’t that just the way of the world? I have yet to witness true liberty anywhere in the history of the world, past or present. We are all slaves in one way or another.

  115. It is a mystery, that is why so few have solved it and why so few seem to want to solve it. The teachings of Jesus are deceptively simple. Most are content to rest on the surface of them and to believe they understand them. The life of the world has a much greater attraction for them.

  116. The Roman Church itself claims descent from the apostles of Jesus. They claim Peter as the first Bishop of Rome, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession. In that sense the first Pope was Jewish. I believe the same may be said for the Orthodox Church in the East who claim the same descent for their bishops and patriarchs. These ancient churches split in the Great Schism of 1054.

    In any event the truth is that only those who are slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ are Jews, citizens of the Kingdom of the Son of God, the King of the Jews. Therefore only authentic Christians are Jews and only authentic Jews are Christians.

  117. If you had read my comment with understanding then you would have been able to respond with understanding. You didn’t therefore you haven’t.

  118. I understood you exactly. God botherers are especially easy to understand whenever they assert that their particular, peculiar version of god agrees with them— That everyone should do what they say.

  119. What you have described as a “theocracy” or “theofascism” is in fact the rule of men and the laws of men to which we have been subjected for millennia. This rule has at times been manifested through religious organizations making the claims that you have pointed out. At other times men have ruled by other means of social organization such as an aristocratic hierarchy centred on a king. Even then during the times of Christendom this rule was given the blessing of the Church through the principle of the Divine Right of Kings to rule. At other times in history the person at the head of the hierarchy was considered to be divine, as was the case in ancient Egypt. Today the same hierarchical structure remains but is usually authorized by other means related to wealth or quasi-religious ideology. Such ideologies are usually atheistic and anti-theist. It would seem that you may have embraced an ideology of this sort since each of us is designed to believe something to give meaning to our lives.

    In general the historical outcome has been the rule of a relatively few men over the many or an “oligarchy”. The men and women who are attracted to this kind of power do not manifest the qualities or the nature of our Creator. The only Man who has shown us fully what these qualities and nature are is the Lord Jesus Christ in whom dwelt the fullness of God bodily when He was here on Earth.

    Therefore to assert as you do that we have been ruled by God, to refer to such rule as “theofascism”, when in fact we have always been ruled by men and the laws of men, who have often claimed deceptively to be inspired by God or to be ruling in His place, is prima facie evidence that the rule of such men is oppressive and unjust. This is therefore an appropriate observation but, as I have said, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the truth.

    Thus far we have never experienced the rule of God at any time in our history. Rather we have been given thousands of years to experience the rule of men and the laws of men. There are also lesser spiritual powers and principalities that have inspired such rulers and laws and they must also bear responsibility for their actions.

    The time of the next stage in the Plan of God is now at hand. What we are witnessing in the world today is the end of the rule of these spiritual principalities and powers, the imperial rule of their human agents and the final destruction of all such empires. As to what path this will take remains to be seen. That it will be less cataclysmic than it is often pictured to be is certain since our Creator Redeemer God is merciful. However all change is painful and we must therefore expect some degree of existential angst. My own view is that in the West at least this will include a collapse of the monetary and banking system that has been used to advance and sustain the Anglo-American Empire, the final iteration of the empires of men, for the past three hundred years. The impact of this however will be lessened somewhat by the creation of a new monetary and banking system that is even now being put in place by China and Russia. This is also evidence of the mercy of our Father. At the same time however there will be an even greater manifestation of the power of God that will affect the entire world. Every living human being will experience some degree of this revelation. This however will be just the prelude to the greatest event in human history so far, the manifestation of the sons of God and their King, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, in every corner of the Earth

  120. It may also be argued that our Creator designed the animal kingdom in certain ways as a source of teaching for His highest creation, Man. What many refer to as Nature, usually with great respect, is in fact just one of the ways in which our Creator reveals truth to us. In combination with His written Word and other more direct personal revelations we can come to an understanding of our own identity, the conditions of the world we live in and our destiny. Why you would imagine that this thinking would be alien to “Christian doctrine” is puzzling.

    I believe we are just at the beginning of this great adventure. Far from it being two minutes to midnight or something similar, as many claim, it is more likely just two minutes after midnight.

  121. It is probably because two of the professions that are valued by Jewish families are the law and medicine. I recall reading that 70% of psychiatrists are Jews. Certainly a relatively high percentage of lawyers are Jews, a high percentage of politicians are lawyers and the Jewish community is very politically active, more so than any other identifiable community. Taken together these facts would suggest that is likely inevitable that Jews would be overrepresented on the USSC. Even Antonin Scalia, a Roman Catholic, was influenced by Talmudic scholarship and gave credit to it accordingly.

  122. I believe that Catholics are leaving the Roman church in droves today given the pedophile scandals that are besetting it. I believe that we are witnessing the end of that church and its influence and that Francis may well be the last Pope.

  123. Unless and until your god, or Jesus, makes an appearance on the Washington Mall to declare his kingdom and his rules, we will just have to assume that any person who claims to speak for god or Jesus or whatever is just doing what you have already admitted they have been doing.

    What is presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  124. He did indeed make an appearance two thousand years ago, in a backwater province of the most powerful Empire on Earth at that time. There is more evidence for His life and works than for any other ancient historical person. That evidence has been preserved most faithfully in the pages of the Bible but there are other contemporary manuscripts that attest to Him. There are also the millions of changed lives that have lived since that appearance and there have been many attested miracles performed in His Name during that time. The evidence is there for you to examine but I doubt that you will until He brings you to a place where you have to. It is innate in human nature to rebel against God, against the Truth that He has patiently given to us and so it will remain until He changes each of us one man or woman or child at a time. It is a supernatural work and He has promised that He will do it for everyone, including you. There are no exceptions.

  125. As I said the Bible, the written Word of God, is only one way the truth is revealed to those who believe. It is not the only way. However the Bible is a closed book to those who are yet spiritually dead. For such it is a labyrinth of incomprehensible arcaneness. Even many Bible scholars are spiritually dead and read the Word of God with only intellectual understanding. They lead many astray. The Light shines in the Darkness (of the human natural mind) and the Darkness cannot take hold of it, cannot grasp it.

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