A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 25, 2015
“There is no Catholic way to cook a hamburger”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told Villanova University on October 16, 2007:

“There is no such thing as a ‘Catholic judge.’ The bottom line is that the Catholic faith seems to me to have little effect on my work as a judge ... Just as there is no ‘Catholic’ way to cook a hamburger, I am hard pressed to tell you of a single opinion of mine that would have come out differently if I were not Catholic.”

The “hamburger” expression means that there is no philosophical debate in how to perform simple tasks. “There is no Democratic or Republican way to clean the streets” is a similar saying.


Wikipedia: Antonin Scalia
Antonin Gregory Scalia (/skəˈliːə/; March 11, 1936 – February 12/13, 2016) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death in 2016. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court’s conservative wing.

Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer
Of high court and higher power At Villanova, Justice Antonin Scalia spoke of his Catholic faith and his work as a judge.
By David O’Reilly INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: October 17, 2007
Devout U.S. Catholics like himself may stand apart from much of the nation on abortion, homosexuality, and embryonic stem-cell research, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a packed audience at Villanova University yesterday, but he insisted “there is no such thing as a ‘Catholic judge.’ “
(...)
“Just as there is no ‘Catholic’ way to cook a hamburger,” he said to a murmur of laughter, “I am hard-pressed to tell you of a single opinion of mine that would have come out differently if I were not Catholic.”

First Things
ANTONIN SCALIA: NOT A CATHOLIC (JUDGE)
by Robert T. Miller
10 . 23 . 07
On October 16, Antonin Scalia gave the keynote address at Villanova Law School’s second annual Scarpa Conference on Catholic Legal Studies. Speaking on “The Role of Catholic Faith in the Work of a Judge,” Justice Scalia reached a conclusion many readers of First Things may find surprising: “There is no such thing as a ‘Catholic judge,’ he declared. “The bottom line is that the Catholic faith seems to me to have little effect on my work as a judge . . . . Just as there is no ‘Catholic’ way to cook a hamburger, I am hard pressed to tell you of a single opinion of mine that would have come out differently if I were not Catholic.”
(...)
I think this is correct except for the conclusion that Scalia is thus still a Catholic judge. We can take any profession and point out that Catholics who engage in that profession have special reasons, based in Catholic teaching, to do their jobs well in accordance with the standards applicable to all who do such jobs. Nevertheless, we do not speak of “Catholic physicists” and much less of “Catholic third-basemen” or “Catholic real-estate agents” or “Catholic short-order cooks.”

PrawfsBlawg
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2007
The Catholic Recipe for Hamburgers
Posted by Paul Horwitz on November 8, 2007 at 05:31 PM
(...)
Which leads me to my other comment, and the title for this post.  Justice Scalia said in his remarks that the Catholic faith seems to him to have little effect on his work as a judge, “just as there is no Catholic way to cook a hamburger.” At the risk of straying into an almost self-parodying respect for religion, I take issue with that, and I was disappointed that no one during the first round of discussion of Scalia’s comments focused on the mundane act of cooking a hamburger rather than the supposedly exalted act of judging.  Surely the point of a religious life, or of any effort to live a serious and thoughtful life, is that any and every action can be imbued with purpose, meaning, or at least a sense of the fullness of the moment.  If anything, I think the question whether there is a “Catholic [or other] way to cook a hamburger”—whether, in less risible terms, it’s possible to invest mundane acts with meaning—is of more importance than the comparatively episodic and ephemeral work of judging.

Althouse
October 2, 2008
“The power of God is such that even in the legislative process miracles can happen.”
(...)
COMMENTS
blake said…
as Scalia has said, there’s no catholic way to make a hamburger

Which is entirely different from saying “there’s no Jewish way to make a ham sandwich”.
10/2/08, 6:46 PM

CNN.com—Transcripts
THE SITUATION ROOM
North Korea Escalates Nuclear Moves; Challenging Specter
Aired May 27, 2009 - 18:00 ET
(...)
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And Sonia Sotomayor would be the sixth Catholic on the United States Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia said, there’s no such thing as a Catholic judge or a Catholic way to make a hamburger. Is he right?

Commonweal magazine
Historian’s verdict: Catholic justices can’t be trusted
David Gibson June 9, 2009 - 9:08pm
(...)
COMMENTS
George D June 9, 2009 - 10:24pm
Scalia argued that there is no more a Catholic approach to arriving at judgments with respect to constitutional issues before the court than there is a Catholic way to make a hamburger.The difference lies in the manner in which one approaches interpretation of constitutional texts and their applicability to current issues as well as views regarding the distinct nature of the judiciary and the legislative branch

National Catholic Reporter
Notre Dame’s Curriculum Review, Part III
Michael Sean Winters | Feb. 26, 2015
(...)
There is an old saying that there is no Catholic way to make a hamburger. That may be true. My friend Charles Camosy, who teaches theology at Fordham, may be agnostic on the making of a hamburger but he thinks there is no Catholic way to eat a hamburger, and has urged vegetarianism on ethical grounds in well reasoned essays that, happily, have not persuaded this carnivore who is looking forward to a piece of kielbasa for dinner tonight. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 • Permalink