Alito Laments "Disrespect" for Faith – But His Dobbs Ruling Will Push More Americans Away

tags: secularism, First Amendment, Samuel Alito, Religious Freedom

Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

CNN’s Ariane de Vogue, reports that Justice Samuel Alito, a right wing Catholic, gave a speech in Rome for Notre Dame last week, which has finally become public.

Alito posed as a defender of religious freedom, but what he seemed to mean by that was the religious people who are bigoted against gays shouldn’t have to serve gay people. This is, by the way, the same argument that bigoted white evangelicals deployed against desegregation — they didn’t think they should be made to serve people with the mark of Cain and that their bigotry was inherent in their religion. If Alito’s notion of religious freedom prevails and is reinforced, you have to wonder whether we don’t go back to Jim Crow Apartheid.

de Vogue explains,

  • “In 2021, the court said that Philadelphia violated the First Amendment when it froze the contract of a Catholic foster agency that refused to work with same-sex couples as potential foster parents because the agency believes that marriage should be between a man and woman. Alito wrote separately to complain that the court hadn’t gone far enough in its opinion and should have made it much more difficult for the government to enforce laws that burden some individuals’ religious beliefs.”

Alito went on to say, that he saw a challenge in convincing “people that religious liberty is worth defending if they don’t think that religion is a good thing that deserves protection.”

Alito’s pose as a mere beleagured defender of “religious liberty” attempts to conceal his role as a reactionary attempting to carve out civil rights exceptions for the religious that allow them to injure the rights of other Americans on the basis of their faith. That isn’t religious liberty, it is religious license, and the Founding Fathers tried to get rid of religious license with the Establishment Clause.


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