The true religion
It is not my intent here to dwell on the absurdity of an educated adult man in a position of considerable authority holding a view essentially equivalent to believing in Santa Claus. Other bloggers have already addressed that. And as Scalia points out in the same interview, his conviction is widely shared -- a majority of Americans at least claim to believe that Satan is "a real person". Rather, here, I'm interested in what follows from this. Assuming for the sake of argument that the Devil really exists, what are the implications?
As Scalia himself affirms, the Devil is "smart" and, in our own era as compared with Biblical times, has become "wilier". No longer wasting his energies on spectacular but unproductive stunts like "making pigs run off cliffs.....possessing people and whatnot", the Dark Lord "now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way."
He certainly is. As survey after survey has revealed, Americans, especially the young, are rejecting religion in droves -- the proportion claiming no religion has doubled in the last decade. Aggressive champions of atheism like Dawkins, Hitchens, Hirsi Ali, Condell, and many others have swept away the timid diffidence of the twentieth century. And in most other developed countries -- recently even Ireland -- religious belief is even more in open retreat. Score a big success for Lucifer.
He's winning on other fronts too. No less of an authority than the Catholic Archbishop of Minneapolis-St. Paul recently declared that "sodomy, abortion, contraception, pornography," and gay marriage are "machinations" whose source is "none other than the Father of Lies.....Satan". So one of Satan's creations (gay marriage) is sweeping the Western world, in both legislation and public opinion, while two of his other contributions (birth control and porn) are already among the most popular things globally. And Christians are so spooked by Satan that they'll shred $20,000 worth of printing over a symbol carrying the barest suggestion of his presence.
Perhaps they're wise to be nervous. How has the Devil's adversary been doing lately? God, so we're told by his fan club, created the entire universe about 6,000 years ago, taking less than a week to fully accomplish this gargantuan project. Some time later, he flooded the whole Earth -- an impressive act, but far smaller in scale than creating the universe. Two thousand years ago, he sent his son to Earth to be tortured and human-sacrificed in order to give himself permission to forgive us for behavior he disapproves of*, though an omnipotent being (or even an ordinary person) surely ought to be able to forgive transgressors without such an elaborate, bloody, and illogical ritual. Today, as best we can tell, God's manifestations of power are limited to appearing on the occasional piece of toast. As Satan has become more "smart" and "wilier", coming out with one smash-hit popular-culture phenomenon after another, God seems to be in steep decline.
God's partisans, of course, claim that these Satanic triumphs merely herald the End Times, in which the side of the angels will rise from the ashes of apparent oblivion and emerge victorious at last (latest exponent of this view: Michele Bachmann). But surely such protestations have more than a whiff of Baghdad Bob about them. We can all see which way the wind is blowing. I'm putting my money on The Big Man Downstairs (who was probably the good guy all along, anyway). Hail Satan!
[*Yes, I'm aware of all the convoluted gobbledygook they use to make this sound less ridiculous, so please don't bother.]