No Protestants on the Supreme Court. So what?
“America is a Christian nation!” That’s the familiar mantra of a vocal sect of the Republican party. You know, the one that would have no problem being led by Sarah Palin. The founding fathers were Protestants, they like to remind you. A little more than 50% of America still identifies as Protestant, they point out. But with the nomination, and (let’s not kid ourselves) almost certain confirmation of Elena Kagan, the highest court in the land will soon be devoid of a single Protestant member. The new tally will be 6 Catholics, 3 Jews, 0 Protestants, in case you are keeping score.
So what happened to the heirs of Martin Luther? Why have they been shut out? The Boston Globe has a theory.
“Evangelical Christianity has tended to be a populist religion that’s strongly democratic, in urging people to read the Bible themselves,” said Mark A. Noll, a history professor at the University of Notre Dame. “All these traits that have positive sides, but not for intellectual preparation and education.”
Protestants have a case of the stupids? Well, seems a little too simple, and the Globe does go on to note that Republican presidents have turned to Catholic men for their near lock-step opposition to abortion. Democratic presidents, meanwhile love them lefty Jews, whatever their sex.
As the Supreme Court slowly emptied of Protestants over the years, Americans themselves have grown less and less religious. A full 16 percent of citizens in our country say they don’t practice any religion, a whole lot more than the 1.7 percent who say they are Jewish. So, it’s not only the Protestants who are getting the shaft in terms of proportional representation on the court. Atheists and non-believers should start demanding a justice of their own, too.