US Supreme Court Justice Scalia: Christians Should Not Fear Being Perceived As “Fools for Christ”

Mon Jan 31, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, January 31, 2005 ( – US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, in a keynote address on the 100-year anniversary of the Knights of Columbus Baton Rouge Council 969 on Saturday, told the Knights not to fear the perception by “educated circles” as being “fools for Christ.”

“To believe in traditional Christianity is something else,” Scalia said, as reported by “For the son of God to be born of a virgin? I mean, really. To believe that he rose from the dead and bodily ascended into heaven? How utterly ridiculous. To believe in miracles? Or that those who obey God will rise from the dead and those who do not will burn in hell?”

“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools ... and he has not been disappointed.” 

Scalia commended Catholics who “follow religiously the teaching of the pope.”

“Intellect and reason need not be laid aside for religion,” he said. “It is not irrational to accept the testimony of eyewitnesses who had nothing to gain. There is something wrong with rejecting a priori (deductively) the existence of miracles.”

“I find it hard to understand people who revere Thomas More but who themselves selectively oppose the teachings of the pope,” Scalia said. He described More, who opposed King Henry VIII’s bid to divorce his wife and name himself head of the Church of England, as the ideal model for the Christian life. More was martyred for refusing to bend to the king’s will. 

“If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” 

Scalia, a member of the Supreme Court since 1986, is considered a potential replacement for chief justice William Rehnquist when he retires the bench. 

Scalia is a father of nine, one of whom is a priest. 


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