Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday the idea of religious neutrality is not grounded in the country's constitutional traditions and that God has been good to the US exactly because Americans honor him. Scalia was speaking at a Catholic high school in a New Orleans suburb. Scalia is the court's longest serving justice and has consistently been one of the court's more conservative members. He told the audience that there is "no place" in the country's constitutional traditions for the idea that the state must be neutral between religion and its absence. "Where did that come from?" he said. "To be sure, you can't favor one denomination over another but can't favor religion over non-religion?"
Scalia also said there is "nothing wrong" with the idea of presidents and others invoking God in speeches. He said God has been good to America because Americans have honored him. "God has been very good to us. That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name we do him honor. In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations, and in many other ways," Scalia said. "There is nothing wrong with that and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that." (Read more religion stories.)