Religious freedom? Tolerance? I don’t think those words mean what they think they mean.
Earlier this month, in a first-of-its-kind case, a federal judge ruled that a Christian adoption provider’s religious freedom claims must submit to the government’s sexual and moral standards. Catholic Social Services simply wanted to continue serving Philadelphia’s needy children in accordance with its beliefs, as it had for decades, but the city severed ties with the group when it refused to violate its faith and agree to place children in homes without both a mother and a father. Aside from the preliminary problem of considering a religious organization to be a public accommodation (usually reserved for commercial establishments), the trouble truly started when the court analyzed the organization’s free exercise claim.
As the court recognized, the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission requires cases such as this to “be resolved with tolerance.” But the court then proceeded to settle this one with significant intolerance toward Catholic Social Services.
Make no mistake they are coming. They will not stop. They’ll say that the government has the right to determine who it gives contracts to but what they’re doing is discriminating against Catholics. And as the government gets larger and larger that will leave a smaller place in the public sphere for religious organizations to exist.
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