October 7, 2014

"Well, religious beliefs aren't reasonable. I mean, religious beliefs are categorical. You know, it's God tells you. It's not a matter of being reasonable. God be reasonable? He's supposed to have a full beard."

Justice Scalia riffed about religion, God, and beards at today's oral argument in Holt v. HobbsPDF — the case about whether the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act entitles a Muslim inmate to wear a half-inch-long beard despite the prisons rule against all beards. The inmate's lawyer noted that Holt was only asking for a half-inch beard, even though he really needed, for religious reasons, to wear a full, long beard. He was compromising, to be reasonable.

The oral argument quickly devolved into hand-wringing about whether the Court was going to have to decide a half-inch today, an inch in the next case, then another case about 2 inches.

Anyway, Scalia was right. God is supposed to have a full beard:

34 comments:

Terry said...

Just as the human concept of "fatherhood" is a pale imitation of the reality of the fatherhood of God, so human beards are pale imitations of the Heavenly Full Beard of God.
That thing is magnificent. It can't be mocked.

Anonymous said...

Re: "The oral argument quickly devolved into hand-wringing about whether the Court was going to have to decide a half-inch today, an inch in the next case, then another case about 2 inches."

This coincides with the posts a few days back about consenting to sex in colleges:

"I will only put it in a quarter inch: do you consent?

"I will only put it in a quarter inch more: do you consent?

"I will now put it in three-quarters of an inch: do you consent?

Etc Etc.

Possible punchlines from the female:

"Let me know when you get to nine inches."

"I was told there would be no math."

"I only consented to depth, not lateral hip movement."

Or:

In the morning the foreign female student said: "How could I have given consent -- I only know metric!"

God made Amber Beard.

EMD said...

God made Amber Beard.

Thanks be to the Lord.

Michael K said...

Thank God there is no mention of the actual Quran. Nothing about 9 year old wives. Nothing about cutting throats.

rhhardin said...

There's a father with a beard but also a mother who believes in your innocence and is ready to forgive, says Derrida.

Sharc said...

Ah, the old slippery chin argument.

Sharc said...

Scalia and the Angry Half-Inch

sojerofgod said...

The walls are crumbling, the gate is cracked, and our black robed priests argue over the number of Angels that dance on the head of a pin.
When the man in the mask pulls your head back and starts to saw at your neck, will this be your last thought?

Personally, I don't plan to be taken alive.

Hagar said...

To ascribe sex to God also implies a Mrs. God, and perhaps also a lot of little gods and godettes running around in Heaven, wherever that might be.

But, at the same time, there are not supposed to be any such.

surfed said...

Gaia? A beard? On the midway at the State fair maybe. Carny barking.

broomhandle said...

I always found the use of beard as a verb curious. "We will beard him in his den". Althouse should work over the etymology of that sometime.

gravityhurts said...

If you want to abide by the rules of your God, than you should stay out of prison and the rules of prisons, That requires not breaking the law to begin with.

gravityhurts said...

If you want to abide by the rules of your God, than you should stay out of prison and the rules of prisons, That requires not breaking the law to begin with.

The Godfather said...

Suppose that the real reason that prison authorities don't want to allow ANY prisoner to wear a beard is that, if they do, then ALL prisoners will want to wear a beard, just to stick it to the man. And if to stick it to the man they have to announce that they've converted to Islam, they will.

Is that a sufficient reason to support an anti-beard rule? Because I bet that's the real reason and not the BS that's being proffered in support of the rule.

traditionalguy said...

The right hand pic makes a good Santa Clause God. Just add some red.

The left hand pic looks like the Apostle Paul. That "bald headed teacher with his teaching hand going" look is what great Generals and administrators were supposed to look like 2,000 years ago. So some artist made up a Paul picture like that about 200 AD.

traditionalguy said...

I hate to think how long God's beard must be after an age of ages. I bet He shaves it with his combat sword that he uses to slay his enemies.

Terry said...

Hagar wrote:
"To ascribe sex to God also implies a Mrs. God, and perhaps also a lot of little gods and godettes running around in Heaven, wherever that might be."
That theology sounds a bit doubtful.

Jim S. said...

That's an unusual thing for a Catholic to say. In Christianity and Judaism, God is the ground of rationality. Part of what it means to say we are created in God's image is that we share rationality with him. Rationality is a point of contact between God and man.

In Islam, however, God is traditionally conceived as completely transcendent. He transcends even our rational categories. There is no direct point of contact between God and man -- the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel who got it from God. Islam has historically portrayed God as capricious, as making arbitrary demands, such as the length of one's beard. With Judaism and Christianity the claim has always been that things may sometimes look arbitrary, but there is always an underlying rationality behind it which is theoretically discoverable.

Smilin' Jack said...

Justice Scalia riffed about religion, God, and beards at today's oral argument in Holt v. Hobbs...

Once again Scalia makes me proud to be a taxpaying American. What's his salary again? I want to know how proud I should be.

Achilles said...

This is the discussion you have after you have destroyed the evil presence in our midst.

The fact it is an unrepentent islamist making this request just highlights this fact.

rcommal said...

Has anyone mentioned Lynyrd Skynrd yet?

Just askin'.

;

rcommal said...

And, no, I'm not referring--God Forbid!!!!!!!--to "Free Bird," to be clear and all.

It's "Gimme Three Steps" that interests me.

tukang jokul said...

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God is traditionally conceived as completely transcendent. He transcends even our rational categories. There is no direct point of contact between God and man -- the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel who got it from God. Islam has historically portrayed God as capricious, as making arbitrary demands, such as the length of one's beard. With Judaism and Christianity the claim has always been that things may sometimes look arbitrary, but there is always an underlying rationality behind it which is theoretically discoverable.

tukang jokul said...

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rcommal said...

Sometimes I just want to flip out an actual lighter and make it flame, despite these virtual days.

---

Regarding tukang jokul: God knows we all deserve that sort of spam at the end of the day;--c'mon now, do we not all so know?

rcommal said...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FBmMa_6r7kY

rcommal said...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu2dRF63tak

Robert Cook said...

Well, now you have it: The Supreme Court has ruled that religious belief is not reasonable.

Where is the outrage?

Fernandinande said...

The one on the right is Jerry Garcia.

Fernandinande said...

Robert Cook said...
Well, now you have it: The Supreme Court has ruled that religious belief is not reasonable.


Is it then possible to make a reasonable accommodation?

Hagar said...

Depicting God as an elderly human male of European aspect with a long, white beard is an attempt to remake God in our image.

Now consider our present knowledge of just the size of the universe we live in, which according to our major religions was created by God, and consider how reasonable that image might be.

BarrySanders20 said...

Scalia is right. Religious beliefs require faith as a foundation, not reason.

But is Scalia saying it is not reasonable to have a full beard, that only unreasonable people would grow such things?

William Chadwick said...

I hope Scalia was including "liberalism" (and by "liberal" I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping State-fellator")--modern America's variation on the ol' Cult of the State--among those irrational beliefs. It's not just a pile of superstition--it's a secular theocracy.

EMD said...

God made Amber Beard.

Thanks be to the Lord.


Wait a minute. It's Amber Heard, not Amber Beard. Whatever.