assisted suicide, Baptists, centralization, Christian denominations, decentralization, Episcopal Church, euthanasia, Judaism, largest Christian denomination, local government, majorities, minorities, Pope Francis, protestantism, religious hierarchy, religious majority, religious minority, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholicism, State Government, theology, Tyranny of the Majority, US Supreme Court, vaccine mandates
Everyone seems to talk a lot about ethnic “minorities” vs “majorities” on the US Supreme Court. But, no one talks about religious minorities and majorities on the US Supreme Court. Will more ethnic diversity translate into a little bit of religious diversity?
The US Supreme Court is currently 66.6% Roman Catholic, in contrast to the US population, which is approximately 23% Roman Catholic. It is 22% Jewish, in contrast to the US population, which is approximately 2.4% Jewish. The only non-Jewish and non-Roman Catholic Supreme Court Justice was raised Roman Catholic and is now Episcopalian (Anglican), which is only around 1% of the population and very close to Roman Catholicism. It seems to be frequently chosen as a compromise religion when a Roman Catholic and non-Roman Catholic marry.
A major distinction between Roman Catholic and non-Roman Catholic denominations has to do with centralization (hierarchy) vs decentralization (local church government). Hypothetically, this could wield influence upon their interpretation of centralization (Federal government) vs decentralization (state and local government) within the United States.
Should the US Supreme Court Justices only be selected from religious minorities, to better protect them from tyranny of the majority? Or, should at least some come from the majority religious traditions? Do we risk tyranny of the religious minority instead of tyranny of the majority? And, no, averaging over the history of the United States Supreme Court makes no sense, apart from the concept of precedent, which appears subject to interpretation, anyway.
And, while a minority of the US population is Roman Catholic, the Roman Catholic Church is the largest single denomination, with non-Roman Catholic denominations being highly diverse and fragmented. Some non-Catholics prefer the theology of Catholics to the theology of other non-Catholics. Nonetheless, being the largest single denomination makes Roman Catholics and/or the Roman Catholic Church a potentially formidable lobbying block.
It’s very strange that there is not one single US Supreme Court judge selected from the non-Roman Catholic, non-Jewish majority of Americans. Is the US Congress supposed to represent the majority and the US Supreme Court the minority? Doesn’t the US Supreme Court have the power to rule that a law, passed by the US Congress, is unconstitutional? It’s all the more stunning given the history of anti-semitism within the US and Europe, and the history of conflicts and hostility between non-Roman Catholics and Roman Catholics. Some have claimed it’s because Jesuit educations are superior, but that’s not a very convincing answer.
The biggest thing that most non-Roman Catholic Christians have in common is decentralization-lack of powerful centralized authority. Are Roman Catholic judges more prone to look favorably upon centralized authority than non-Roman Catholics?
How much power does, or does not, Pope Francis’ views on the vaccine, or anything else, hold over the US Supreme Court Justices?
While some Roman Catholic Archbishops have bravely and vocally opposed the mandates, Pope Francis has acted like he’s been employed to do advertisements for the vaccines.
Will the Roman Catholic Supreme Court Justices at least save us from forced assisted suicide-euthanasia?
In our minds, Biden choosing a Black woman as US Supreme Court Justice raises the question of if she will be Baptist or otherwise non-Catholic and non-Jewish? Or will he find a tiny minority within a minority and add another Roman Catholic or Jewish judge to the Court? Or will he overlook the majority, again, and appoint a Hindu, Kamala Harris, to the US Supreme Court? What about a Buddhist? An Atheist? A Mormon? A Muslim? Of course, Kamala Harris will pretend to be anything anyone wants, but is clearly too lazy or stupid to be anything other than an aging party girl. Judge Sotomayor apparently doesn’t know the difference between a few people per 100,000 and 100,000 people. It’s hard to get more ditsy than that, but Kamala is probably up to the challenge. At least 2 ditsy judges out of 9 is 22%, which would be an underrepresentation of ditziness in comparison to the general population.
If Biden appoints a Black lady will he choose a minority within a minority – a Black Roman Catholic, perhaps a Haitian Roman Catholic?
Or will he find someone who is more representative of the Black Americans who built the United States for hundreds of years, and of the white non-Jewish, non-Catholic Americans, who built the United States, as well?
Or will Biden come up with a fake Black American, like Kamala Harris, who has little to no African ancestry, and who certainly has no African American ancestry.
Justice Clarence Thomas descends from African Americans who were enslaved within the United States, but is Roman Catholic, as well, despite the fact that “The vast majority of Black Americans are Protestants, with descendants of American chattel slavery being largely Baptists or adhering to other forms of Evangelical Protestantism” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_of_black_Americans
There is, of course, a great diversity in the so-called protestant denominations, most of which aren’t really protestants. Technically protestants would be Lutherans and Reform-Calvinists. Methodists are a spin off of the Church of England-Anglicans (Episcopalians), and Baptists do not consider themselves protestants. Baptists appear to descend, at least in part, from Anabaptists. Protestant churches were/are local or national government controlled, as opposed to Vatican controlled. Anabaptists wanted to have local control by local churches, independent of government. The English Civil War was partly fought over style-order of worship-liturgy, but this could be a local control issue. Many didn’t want the English Book of Common Prayer imposed, for instance. Increasing numbers of American Christians simply identify themselves as non-denominational.
“The vast majority of Black Americans are Protestants, with descendants of American chattel slavery being largely Baptists or adhering to other forms of Evangelical Protestantism. In a survey in 2007 by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, the African-American population was found to be more religious than the U.S. population as a whole, with 87% of its members being affiliated with a religion, and 79% of them saying that “religion is very important in their life”, in contrast to 83% and 56% of the whole US. population, most of which is Christian, with 83% of black Americans identifying as Christian, including 45% who identify as baptist.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_of_black_Americans
There are increasing numbers of Black Americans whose ancestors were not enslaved or not enslaved within the United States. This may account for an apparent increase in Black Roman Catholics from 5 to 6%: “Protestantism has long dominated the Black American religious landscape, and still does. The survey shows that two-thirds of Black Americans (66%) are Protestant, 6% are Catholic and 3% identify with other Christian faiths – mostly Jehovah’s Witnesses. Another 3% belong to non-Christian faiths, the most common of which is Islam”. https://www.pewforum.org/2021/02/16/faith-among-black-americans/
An article from India, which at least addresses the issue, is found below. They are probably hoping for Kamala. However, they don’t understand that Protestant isn’t a denomination and that Episcopalian isn’t Protestant, as historically understood: “Black woman instead of white man: That’s why Biden is pushing for a premiere on the US Supreme Court – politics“: “The Supreme Court has nine members. Currently, six are Catholic and two are Jewish. One judge, Neil Gorsuch, was raised Catholic but has long attended a Protestant church; he is now the only representative of this denomination.” https://news.in-24.com/world/533840.html
About one judge who is considered a leading choice: https://southernillinoisnow.com/2022/01/28/who-is-judge-ketanji-brown-jackson/