I've already touched on this, but social conservatives still seem to cling to the notion that Antonin Scalia was a defender of religious liberty, as witness Dreher's response, "I find this encouraging," to Trump's saying: "And I will appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not legislate from the bench, like Justice Clarence Thomas and the late and beloved great Catholic thinker and jurist, Justice Antonin Scalia."
Seriously? If I were a religious SoCon, Scalia would be anathema to me, because of his decision in Employment Division v. Smith, in which the Supreme Court overruled decades of precedent, returning to 19th Century principles to declare that "It may fairly be said that leaving accommodation to the political process will place at a relative disadvantage those religious practices that are not widely engaged in; but that unavoidable consequence of democratic government must be preferred to a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself or in which judges weigh the social importance of all laws against the centrality of all religious beliefs." Despite this, Dreher has repeatedly held Scalia up as a jurist to be emulated, even naming him ""Scalia il Magnifico", blaming liberals for the politicization of religious accommodation issues, when the liberals on the Court dissented in Smith.
Is this cognitive dissonance? Refusal to acknowledge that one so obviously on Dreher's side of what Scalia himself called a Kulturkampf could so have fouled their shared nest, thinking that they would have the political upper hand forever?
Or, more sinisterly, is it because Dreher assumed that the rule of Smith would be limited to the Native American Church involved in Smith, and not to "real" religions, such as his and Scalia's own?