SCOTUS Justices & The Red Mass

Jun 2014
60,490
34,742
Cleveland, Ohio
#1
Every year, at the opening of another SCOTUS season, the Justices and various D.C. luminaries attend a special Catholic worship service known as the Red Mass, where they are blessed by the priest and prayers are offered for God's help to guide them to make wise decisions.

It's just a custom, and doubtless, some ceremonial customs have value.

Except....why are men and women who have the ultimate power to uphold the constitution indulging in this behavior?

It's not plainly offensive to the first amendment, as there are decisions on the constitutionality of prayer in legislative aessions, etc. And arguably, they aren't "at work", so they can freely exercise their religions, if they have one.

Nonetheless, it seem like shitty behavior to me, especially considering all the ways the Catholic church has been a bad American religious "citizen".

Your thoughts?
 
Jan 2014
17,086
4,704
California
#2
Every year, at the opening of another SCOTUS season, the Justices and various D.C. luminaries attend a special Catholic worship service known as the Red Mass, where they are blessed by the priest and prayers are offered for God's help to guide them to make wise decisions.

It's just a custom, and doubtless, some ceremonial customs have value.

Except....why are men and women who have the ultimate power to uphold the constitution indulging in this behavior?

It's not plainly offensive to the first amendment, as there are decisions on the constitutionality of prayer in legislative aessions, etc. And arguably, they aren't "at work", so they can freely exercise their religions, if they have one.

Nonetheless, it seem like shitty behavior to me, especially considering all the ways the Catholic church has been a bad American religious "citizen".

Your thoughts?
Ms. Madeline,

You are whining too much about nothing.
 
Likes: 1 person
Mar 2012
55,301
36,842
New Hampshire
#3
Its things like this and the prayer before Congress each day and just knowing we have a Chaplain for Congress does make one think that we are a Christian country. I know people dont think so or dont like to admit it, but these ceremonial acts do lend to its credibility. If the founding fathers had intended a truly secular state they wouldnt have allowed for these things.

https://chaplain.house.gov/archive/
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2014
60,490
34,742
Cleveland, Ohio
#4
Its things like this and the prayer before Congress each day and just knowing we have a Chaplain for Congress does make one think that we are a Christian country. I know people dont think so or dont like to admit it, but these ceremonial acts do lend to its credibility. If the founding fathers had intended a truly secular state they wouldnt have allowed for these things.

https://chaplain.house.gov/archive/
I wish they'd stop. At the very least, it's a source of prestige for the Catholic church that they absolutely, positively do not deserve, on any metric.
 
Likes: 1 person
Mar 2012
55,301
36,842
New Hampshire
#5
I wish they'd stop. At the very least, it's a source of prestige for the Catholic church that they absolutely, positively do not deserve, on any metric.
Problem is that certain states, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin etc are heavily Catholic and its so steeped in tradition there. When I first moved to New England, Ray Flynn was mayor of Boston and the local news stations broadcast the morning blessing from the bishop every day from City Hall.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2014
60,490
34,742
Cleveland, Ohio
#6
The Catholic church coveted and acquired more political power than any other religion, and used it corruptly.
 
May 2012
66,705
12,956
By the wall
#7
Its harmless.

Nothing wrong with getting blessed for anything in my opinion.

It certainly hasn't ever impacted the Courts decision making so why worry about it now?
 
Jun 2014
60,490
34,742
Cleveland, Ohio
#8
Its harmless.

Nothing wrong with getting blessed for anything in my opinion.

It certainly hasn't ever impacted the Courts decision making so why worry about it now?
The "harm" lies in appearing to ally with a religious organization, in contravention of the spirit of the 1st amendment.
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
74,439
43,164
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#10
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Mass

"A Red Mass is a Mass celebrated annually in the Catholic Church for judges, lawyers, law school professors, law students, and government officials. The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Spirit for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on what Catholics believe is the G*d-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession."

Note, however, that the Mass is held by the Catholic Church, not the government, and no one's attendance is compelled. There is no constitutional violation here. It is entirely different from using sectarian prayers in governmental functions, since this is not a governmental function.
 
Likes: 2 people