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An LA Times editor mocked Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in an article Saturday, telling the jurist not to worry about an increasingly secularized America because future generations who don’t know not Jesus will promote the “well-being” of America better than Christians.
He also slammed the judiciary for the conservative-majority court ruling on Roe v. Wade, claiming it would curtail the religious freedom of his secular children.
LA Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton addressed his latest op-ed to Alito, the associate judge who wrote the opinion in the Dobbs V. Jackson case that overthrew Roe V. Wade, and who expressed his concern about the loss of sight of God by American culture.
Recently, Alito remarked that he saw a “growing hostility to religion” in Western culture and said he was shocked to see a young boy express to his mother that he had no idea who he was. Jesus Christ.
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Thornton quoted Alito, who said: “That memory has stuck in my mind as a harbinger of what might happen to our culture. And the looming problem is not just indifference to religion – it is not just ignorance of religion – there is also growing hostility to religion.”
Thornton remarked, “For him and those who uphold Christian primacy in this country (which is rapidly diminishing), a child asking that question unsettles them.” He added that the question “must not” bother anyone, as secular parenting and secular children are prone to make a good society.
Thornton, who said he raised his own children non-religiously, insisted Alito should know “how secular parents navigate societies still dominated by religious traditions, how we talk about the beliefs held others or how we try to convey empathy and compassion to children, who seem naturally inclined to both.”
The writer claimed that parents do not have the “answers provided by their religious traditions to complicated questions such as ‘Who is that man on the cross?’ or “What happens when we die?” may be “disturbing,” but it’s “liberating” at the same time.
Thornton quoted Phil Zuckerman, professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College, who “has spent much of his career setting the mind at ease about the secular upbringing of children,” he said. he writes. Pitzer told the editor that “the data overwhelmingly shows an inverse relationship between a society’s religiosity and its measurable well-being.”
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“Places like Japan (with no Christian history) and Scandinavia (historically Christian but mostly non-religious today) take better care of their elderly and have lower murder and poverty rates than the United States,” wrote Thornton, explaining what the professor observed. The implication of being a less Christian nation is more moral.
“If people like Alito were truly concerned that America was becoming less moral as we proceeded along our trajectory of secularization, these facts should reassure them,” Thornton wrote, adding, “Without the goal of indoctrination , the goal becomes to inform children and nurture respect for people who have different beliefs.”
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Thornton asserted that the beliefs found in Christianity are not unique to it and can be found elsewhere, writing: “In other words, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is the rule of gold, which can be found in almost every religious and ethical tradition”.
He then concluded his article with a dig into justice and its role in the overthrow of Roe V. Wade, writing, “So, Judge Alito, you don’t have to worry about kids growing up without a religion assigned by their parents. But I wish I could say that my children need not worry about you and the Supreme Court curtailing our religious freedom, which includes their right to be free from your religion.”