Anthony Kennedy has gone and done it. Having a romanticized, fictionalized view of the role and power of the Supreme Court, the newest icon of gay rights has put the final nail in the coffin of traditional beliefs and institutions. The storm clouds of war against religion, traditional Christian religion, that have been gathering over the past several years are finally upon us and will shortly release their vicious, slashing torrents.
Chief Justice Roberts, in a lucid moment (rare for him of late), gave a preview in his dissent – (Page 67 for those following along) “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise’ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”
The Chief Justice rightly recognizes that the free exercise of religion and free speech are foundational rights. Progressives have lately made a point of marginalizing religious points of view and removing them from the public square. This task will be made infinitely easier with the Courts blessing, and the branding of those who will still oppose same-sex marriage as hateful bigots.
The protests over Prop 8 in California were just a preview. The Mormon Church donated heavily and was singled out for derision, which prompted leaders to issue the following statement: “People of faith have been intimidated for simply exercising their democratic rights. These are not actions that are worthy of the democratic ideals of our nation. The end of a free and fair election should not be the beginning of a hostile response in America.”
Hostility from the Left
Yet, hostility is exactly what the Left has in mind for dissenters.
Roberts continues, “Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of today’s decision is the extent to which the majority feels compelled to sully those on the other side of the debate. The majority offers a cursory assurance that it does not intend to disparage people who, as a matter of conscience, cannot accept same-sex marriage. That disclaimer is hard to square with the very next sentence, in which the majority explains that “the necessary consequence” of laws codifying the traditional definition of marriage is to “demea[n]or stigmatiz[e]” same-sex couples. … It is one thing for the majority to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same-sex marriage; it is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s “better informed understanding” as bigoted.”
A simple review of some of the events since Prop 8 was passed in 2008 will let you feel it beginning to sprinkle.
- Brandon Eich was forced out of his position as CEO of Mozilla for contributing to the pro-Prop 8 campaign. A number of other contributors were also targeted and lost their jobs when the donor list was illegally leaked and became essentially a hit list.
- Elane Photography in New Mexico charged with discrimination for declining to photograph a gay wedding based on moral objections (Kennedy, Breyer and the 3 witches declined to hear the case on appeal).
- Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon was fined $150,000 for declining to prde the wedding cake for a gay wedding citing religious objections (Kennedy, Breyer and the 3 witches declined to hear the case on appeal – see a pattern?).
- The backlash in Indiana over their Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which mirrored the federal law and those of about 20 other states) and subsequent caving by Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
- Adoption and other social service organization run by churches coming under attack and/or being denied funds for invoking religious principles in their operations and in screening potential beneficiaries of their services.
- The Chick-Fil-A kerfuffle
- Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera ad nauseum
If the threat religion is now facing were not a matter of life and death, dealing with such setbacks might be easier. There could be hope that the tide would turn and rational thinking would again settle on the debate. Instead, we have only more of the same to look forward to.
Chief Justice Roberts gives a preview of the conflicts, legal and personal, that are now upon us: “Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage—when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.” (emphasis mine)
Stripping religious institutions of their tax exempt status would effectively silence them and deal many a crippling blow as donations would likely diminish. Of course, that would not happen without a fight – a long, expensive, legal fight that would eventually lead to the same Supreme Court that just said stripping the status was okey dokey.
Roberts concludes with this depressing observation: “There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court. Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”
Justice Alito, in his separate dissent, gives a similarly ominous warning: “Today’s decision … will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”
Given the jack-booted tendencies of the Left, what we have seen has been just the warm-up. Things are going to get very mean, very ugly, and very public. Very fast.
War is coming. War against religion, at first. Then war against any thinking, speech or values that do not align with what is officially approved. God is now dead and our rights come from the whims of 5 lawyers who are more than willing to use their power to crush dissent and make the masses behave as they see fit.
To read Kennedy’s feat of creative writing and inventive logic, largely absent of legal reasoning, Click here.
I recommend starting with Scalia’s artful dissent ib page 69. (how apropos).