By: Matthew Brown, Deseret News
Do you believe in the devil? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia does - and he was offended when a New York
magazine interviewer expressed surprise and questioned him about it.
"You're looking at me as though I'm weird," the justice told Jennifer Senior. "My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It's in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so
removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil."
Polling data prove Scalia partly right. A Washington Examiner
story last month cited a YouGov survey
finding that "57 percent (of Americans) believe the devil lurks; 72 percent for African Americans and 61 percent for women. Republicans said the devil exists more than Democrats, 65 percent to 55 percent."
But a Barna survey
in 2009 found most American Christians do not believe that Satan exists. And LifeWay Research found
in 2010 that 4 in 10 millennials believe Satan is just a symbol and not real.
Could this prank
in a New York coffee shop offer proof that deep down people sense an evil force? The video reportedly went viral
- but most likely not because it confirmed the devil is real.
Scalia says he and every other Catholic believes Satan is real. He cited the Bible and author C.S. Lewis as sources for that belief, but he also noted that the devil is "wilier" and more subtle in his influence today than in the past.
"What he's doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He's much more successful that way," Scalia said.
The Huffington Post
said Senior should have asked how that belief influences Scalia as a judge.
reported that Scalia once asked a lawyer what he thought of Satan during a hearing before the high court in 2011.
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