(CNSNews.com) – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said he believes in the Devil as a living entity, “a real person,” and that the Devil is “smart” and “successful” in today’s world by convincing people to not believe in him or in God.
“I even believe in the Devil,” and “yeah, he’s a real person,” Scalia told writer Jennifer Senior in an interview for New York magazine published on Oct. 6.
“Hey, come on, that’s standard Catholic doctrine,” said Scalia, who is Catholic. “Every Catholic believes that.”
When asked what evidence there is of the Devil in today’s world, Scalia, who has served on the high court for 27 years, said, “You know, it’s curious. In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen much anymore.”
“It’s because he’s smart,” said the justice. “What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.”
Scalia explained that he did not mean people being atheists was the “Devil’s work,” but that atheism, or a non-belief in God “certainly favors the Devil’s desires.”
“I mean, come on, that’s the explanation for why there’s not demonic possession all over the place,” said Scalia. “That always puzzled me. What happened to the Devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament. … He got wiler.”
When asked by Senior, “Isn’t it frightening to believe in the Devil?” the Supreme Court justice said, “You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. 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.”
Scalia was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan and was confirmed by the Senate as an associate justice in September 1986. He is considered one of solid conservatives on the court.
Scalia holds degrees from Georgetown University, the University of Fribourg, and Harvard Law School. He is married and has nine children.