In this week's print edition of The New Republic, Leon Wieseltier writes about the Supreme Court's pending case concerning challenges to government displays of the Ten Commandments. Wieseltier's comments will anger some conservative Anglicans, those who believe that scriptural views on homosexuality are entitled to deference, not just because of the innate authority of Scripture, but because the scriptural views happen to be held (for now) by the majority of Anglicans worldwide:
... A number of justices declared [during the oral argument] ... that "we are a religious nation." The implication was that there is a quantitative answer to a philosophical question.
But what does the prevalence of a belief have to do with its veracity or its legitimacy? . . . There is strength in numbers, but there is not truth. * * *
[Justice Antonin] Scalia simply asserts [certain views] and moves on to incredulity and indignation. But how does he know these things? Does he hold these opinions, all venerable ones, by the authority of his reason or by the authority of his tradition?
If by the former, then he should do my reason the honor of giving an account of his reason, so that I might be able in good conscience to assent; and if by the latter, well, his tradition is not my tradition, and so his assurances do not compel me.
(Leon Wieseltier, God Again, THE NEW REPUBLIC, Mar. 21, 2005, at 34; paragraphing edited.)