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Scalia Concerned About U.S. Culture

October 7, 2013

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Justice Antonin Scalia (file photo)

Antonin Scalia says he is concerned about the future of American culture but not his legacy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Modern U.S. culture has "coarsened" in ways that make him pessimistic about the type of society his grandchildren will live in, Scalia said in an interview with New York magazine published Sunday.

"One of the things that upsets me about modern society is the coarseness of manners," he said. "You can't go to a movie -- or watch a television show for that matter -- without hearing the constant use of the F-word -- including, you know, ladies using it. People that I know don't talk like that! But if you portray it a lot, the society's going to become that way. It's very sad."

Scalia, a Catholic known as one of the court's staunchest conservatives, said he agreed with recent statements by Pope Francis the denomination should concentrate less on issues such as homosexuality and abortion and emphasize helping the poor.

The pope "hasn't backed off the view of the church on those issues," Scalia said. "He's just saying, 'Don't spend all our time talking about that stuff.'"

Scalia said while he agreed with church doctrine that homosexuality was wrong, "I'm not a hater of homosexuals at all."

Americans have the democratic right to determine if homosexuality is moral, he said, "and if it is to change, it should change democratically."

"I don't care" if American society changes its views about gay rights, Scalia said, adding, "maybe the world is spinning toward a wider acceptance of homosexual rights."

"But I have never been custodian of my legacy," he said. "When I'm dead and gone, I'll either be sublimely happy or terribly unhappy."

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Original headline: Scalia bemoans 'coarser' nature of American culture


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