Pew Poll: SCOTUS & Religion

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court as it was been comprised on June 30, 2022 after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined the Court. The Justices are posed in front of red velvet drapes and arranged by seniority, with five seated and four standing. Seated from left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito and Elena Kagan. Standing from left are Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Pew have published a new poll that covers how people now view SCOTUS (Supreme Court of The United States). Before we get into the details of that poll, first let’s do a quick review regarding some recent religiously motivated decisions so that we can view the poll results with some clear facts in mind …

  • They have rather famously, or should that be more correctly infamously, overturned Roe V Wade. Gone is reproductive freedom (Dobbs)

Other recent cases that involve religion being granted a special privilege include …

  • The decision that state governments must use taxpayer money to fund religious schools (Carson v. Makin)
  • Enable public school officials to impose their specific religious views on students through coercion (Kennedy v. Bremerton School District) – Side note, what is not so well known is that almost every local cleric near the school made it very clear that this was a very very bad idea, and they explained exactly why as part of the evidence submitted to SCOTUS, but SCOTUS did it anyway.
  • Permitted churches to evade evidence-based public health measures during the pandemic

What was truly egregious has been the rather blatant disregard of well-established facts. For example in the Kennedy v. Bremerton School District case, Gorsuch lied in his decision by claiming that Kennedy simply wanted to have a quiet personal prayer. The dissenting justices published photographic evidence that exposed that lie. It revealed that Kennedy was conducting performative religious theatre in front of the press and was also pressuring students to join in.

What does the New Pew Poll Reveal?

They collected data on this in March/April 2019, and then ran it again in Sept 2022. Well yes, the results were not published until Nov 30. I’d speculate Pew wanted the midterms in their rear view mirror before putting these numbers out.

So here is how the then and now numbers compare …

What is fascinating there is that the demographic that appears to see more clearly what is going on are the non-religious, the democrats, and the educated.

Is the frog in the pan syndrome in play?

Perhaps.

If the frog is placed into a cool pan of water, that is then heated up, the frog will supposedly not notice and so end up getting boiled alive instead of hopping away to safety.

Side Note: That Frog apologue is a myth and not actually true. People have been curious enough to test it and discovered that the frog will eventually think “Nope, I’m out of here” and jump. That demonstrates that frogs are in realty a lot smarter and far more perceptive than many Republicans who appear to be oblivious to the corrupt transformation that the GOP has been through.

What is clear is that there has indeed been a shift in opinion. It was once 18% overall. Now 35% view SCOTUS as being “Friendly to Religion”.

Read on and it gets worse.

They should do what?

The insights from this next bit are quite frankly shocking …

WTAF Item – 15% of the US population sincerely think that Justices should lean upon their own religious views when deciding cases.

Thankfully 83% don’t hold that utterly insane view. Rightly so, because that’s not how law works.

Item 2 perhaps falls into the “Well Duh” category

There we find that 44% hold the view that the justices have leaned way too much into pandering to religious beliefs. To be clear, that’s “some” justices. Those that now hold a majority of seats, and so that’s the problem.

It is a Poll

The Pew results give us an insight into the prevailing opinions.

We don’t get to vote on what is and is not a fact.

Facts are facts, and that is why I opened with my little list of what has actually happened, and what they have done so far. Rather obviously the wall of separation between church and state is being breached because religious fanatics and political partisans have been placed into SCOTUS for life.

Consider the very concept of pandering to religious beliefs for a moment.

If you believe specific things then please do feel free to go for it and practice those beliefs. Honestly, nobody, and I really do mean absolutely nobody will be in any way bothered about that.

If however, you start banging on doors demanding that your neighbours must also adhere to your beliefs, even though they hold different beliefs or no beliefs, then you will inevitably start pissing off rather a lot of people who will push back against that. You might consider that pushback to be “persecution”, but it is not. Trust me on this, it is simply a consequence of you being a totally obnoxious dick.

Permit me to replay that in very simple terms …

  • Religious Person 1: “I’m sorry, that is against my religion, I can’t do that
  • Religious Person 2: “I”m sorry, that is against my religion, so you can’t do that“.

Person 1 is what religious freedom is all about. The standard accommodation is that if they are being asked to do something for you, then they should follow up with, “My colleague will be over shortly to assist you“.

Person 2 is literally religiously inspired fascism. That is where the GOP and also SCOTUS have been yearning to tread.

The deeply religious right might be cheerleaders for Fascist Person 2, hence the 15% support for SCOTUS leaning upon religion when deciding cases within the Pew poll. If indeed we went much further down that road, then these same people would potentially wake up one day and discover that there are many many variations of Person 2. Different religious beliefs that they don’t agree with would oppress them and their rights.

Really?

Well yes.

Fanatical Catholics consider all evangelicals to be heretics. Evangelicals consider Catholics to be fake Idol worshipers. If either faction gained sufficient power then they would not hesitate to oppress and suppress the other. Yet for the moment they have a common cause, so they find it best to park that for now.

Secularism is not about persecuting any and every religious belief. Instead it is where we have neutrality in the public square so that we can all live and breath and move freely there. The moment you start pandering to religion and permit it to dominate and gain a special status is the moment you will be endorsing oppression.

This is why what is now going on in SCOTUS is so very deeply disturbing.

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