SCOTUS and the Ongoing Struggle for Religious Freedom
In a seemingly random act of justice, the US Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, June 17th that Catholic Social Services in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia cannot be forced to conduct adoption procedures for same-sex couples.
All the more amazing was that the decision was unanimous (9-0). Justices on both sides of the Court’s ideological divide recognized that the First Amendment religious freedom protections of the US Constitution still apply to people of conscience.
Although it’s not clear whether this decision has wider implications than just a victory over a local ordinance, it’s still a big win for which all Catholics must give thanks.
More importantly, the Supreme Court’s decision counters an aggressive bullying trend currently being pushed by the cultural Marxists in charge of our nation’s institutions. In fact, the trend amounts to a new type of anti-Christian persecution in the public forum.
The tactic is as simple and as insidious as this: pass an “anti-discrimination” law which declares “Thou Shalt Not” place any barriers to immoral behaviors and movements that run 180-degrees contrary to the laws of God. Then force people to violate their consciences or accuse them of “discrimination” if they won’t.
More often than not, the prohibitions are tied to public funding and contracts that the activists threaten to revoke if the institutions don’t comply to the diktat with slavish obedience. That in fact, is the reason why Catholic Social Services sued Philadelphia in the first place: the city revoked their adoption license and took away their funding because the Catholic Church’s teaching would not obey the radical decrees of cultural Marxism.
The LGBTQ onslaught of recent years is a perfect example of leftist intolerance of any opposition to their radical agenda because any opposition to the homosexual movement can so easily be labeled as discriminatory.
To be clear, the Catholic Church has always held that the human person is sacred but that sinful behaviors are not. Furthermore, the Church believes that propagation of immoral and coercive systems through law and policy is in itself immoral. We cannot stand by and accept the wholesale destruction of human and moral values in society by aggressive forces that seek to wipe out every opposition to their immoral agendas.
With regard to this issue, we see history repeating itself. The Catholic Church once again stands virtually alone as the voice of freedom of conscience in a hostile ideological environment. In March of this year Bethany Christian Services, an evangelical adoption agency, caved into pressure from the coercive homosexual lobby and changed their previously Christian adoption policy to allow for same-sex adoption. Their government funding was restored as a result.
Funny how that is.
Yet, despite being alone in this fight, the Catholic Church must always remain true to its core principles and must be ever faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ – regardless of the campaigns of coercion to force compliance with the godless trends of any day and age.
As much as we revel in a victory of this welcome decision from the Supreme Court, we must nevertheless hunker down and expect more attempts to coerce our compliance with anti-values of the left.
The battle is not over.