Lawrence Krauss: Let’s Put an Atheist on the Supreme Court

Lawrence Krauss says on the New Yorker‘s website that President Obama should nominate an atheist for the Supreme Court. It would at least be a counter to the Catholic/Jewish Court we have right now.

shutterstock_159118949

His point is that we need a justice who will be logical and rational and make decisions based entirely on secular law without any religious influence:

In controversial cases about same-sex marriage, say, or access to abortion or birth control, he or she would be less likely to get mired in religion-based moral quandaries

In addition, the appointment of an atheist Justice would send a meaningful message: it would affirm that legal arguments are secular, and that they are based on a secular document, the Constitution, which was written during the founding of a secular democracy. Such an appointment would also help counter the perceived connection between atheism and lawlessness and immorality

He’s being a bit facetious here. I don’t think Krauss believes we should impose some sort of non-religious litmus test on Court appointments, nor do I think he really believes an atheist justice would suddenly change whatever people think about the godless. I’d be thrilled to see Justice Scalia replaced with another justice in the mold of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — religious label be damned.

I would say the same thing about our next President or members of Congress. Would I like to see open atheists in a position of power? Absolutely. But that label matters far less than the policies that person would put forward — and if a truly progressive candidate emerged who happened to be religious, I would get over it in an instant.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Max for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.