Although the Supreme Court declined today to hear a case about religious freedom, it reminded Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented, about his feelings regarding music and joy and community. Religion, some people believe, “is a personal matter,” he wrote. “[I]f it must be given external manifestation, that should not occur in public places where others may be offended.” Just like that dreadful rock and roll:
I can understand that attitude: It parallels my own toward the playing in public of rock music or Stravinsky. And I too am especially annoyed when the intrusion upon my inner peace occurs while I am part of a captive audience, as on a municipal bus or in the waiting room of a public agency.
My own aversion cannot be imposed by law because of the First Amendment.
His inner peace would be absolutely shattered if he ever had to ride the subway during “Showtime!”
But it’s not just young people’s music — Scalia hates public displays of Stravinsky, too. Anything beautiful or fun, really.