Secularists who are trying to argue for the banishment of religious references in public life are “wrong”, a United States Supreme Court Justice has said.
Justice Antonin Scalia said that a “battle is underway” over whether to allow religion in the public square.
Addressing Colorado Christian University, he described what he believes is the key issue: to stop Americans from being persuaded by popular secularist thinking.
Justice Scalia said: “I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion”.
He pointed out that Americans honour God in their pledge of allegiance in all their public ceremonies.
“There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise”, the justice continued.
Justice Scalia’s comments come alongside the case of a college student who was not permitted to perform his drama production because of its Christian message.
Religious liberty organisation Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has sent a letter to Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) on behalf of the student.
The letter explains that: “Since at least 1981, the Supreme Court has clearly indicated that public universities cannot single out religious speech for special, detrimental treatment.”
David Hacker, Senior Legal Counsel for ADF, said: “Public colleges are perhaps the ultimate example of places that should recognize the constitutionally protected freedom of expression”.
He added: “We are asking CFCC to lift its censorship of religious speech and allow this production to proceed.”