With the pending retirement of Justice Stevens and nomination of Elena Kagan, there has been quite a bit of discussion in the news about the religious makeup of the Supreme Court, which (if Kagan is confirmed) will have 6 Roman Catholic members and 3 Jewish members. James Vicini reports on the issue and comments that the religious beliefs of court members no longer matters as it once did. The Catholic court members do not and will not vote as a bloc, which indicates that — as I noted in the post below on Fractured Faiths — religious traditions are never coherent, hegemonic, or uncontested. As for the “Jewish” court members, this deserves a post of its own. What it means to be “Jewish” is a complicated issue with a long history.
Meanwhile, the historian Kenneth Davis has posted a nice story about whether America is (or ever was) a “Christian nation.” He was prompted to write because Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly were discussing the issue on the Fox “News” Channel. I am not sure what they were discussing because neither Palin nor O’Reilly know much about American or Christian history. As I noted in this post on “Historical Amnesia and Religious Faith,” their ignorance is unsurprising. At Fox, the motto is: Never let the facts get in the way of a good story (or myth).