“I quite frankly don’t know how you do these hard jobs without some faith. I don’t know. Other people can come to you and explain it to you. I have no idea. I don’t know how an oath becomes meaningful unless you have faith. Because at the end you say, ‘So help me God.’ And a promise to God is different from a promise to anyone else.”

As one of six Catholics on the court, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas addressed the role faith plays in his work as a justice. He spoke at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday.

4 Comments

  1. samuel Johnston

    Judge Thomas is speaking of things completely outside his field of expertise. and he is giving the most conventional answer possible, presumably from his Catholic training. This is newsworthy how? Insightful how?
    Even in my backward state of Alabama we are allowed to “confirm” rather than swear. This tradition comes from the Biblical injunction against swearing. May one supposes that Judge Thomas has some trouble with letting his yes be yes, and his no, be no.

  2. Paul Andreassen

    So, how many times in this quote did he say “I don’t know” or its equivalent? He poses these questions as if they were somehow definitive statements. For s Supreme Court Justice to fall into an “argument from ignorance” fallacy is simply unacceptable. To only reason for this to be a “quote of the day” should be to illustrate its stupidity.

  3. A promise you make to god is a promise you make to yourself, unless Justice Thomas can demonstrate he is talking to some other entity when he makes such statements it is indistinguishable from a person talking to an imaginary friend.

    The back story he has for his imaginary friend may be more involved and detailed than others, but that doesn’t make it any more real.

  4. Faith? Faith is belief without evidence or even despite the evidence. I don’t want a Supreme Court justice making decisions based on faith!

    Justice Thomas is supposed to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not the Bible. His religious beliefs are his own business, provided he doesn’t make decisions based on those beliefs,… but does he? (Note that a whopping SIX of the nine justices are Catholic.)

    Now, maybe a promise to ‘God’ is different from a promise made to someone who actually exists, but is it different in a good way? I’m wondering, when he pledged to uphold the Constitution, was that just a promise to us, a promise he apparently cares nothing about?

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