Podcast #88: The Court and The Office

In celebration of July 4th, we take a look at some recent decisions by those who are responsible for making sure we heed the Constitution: the Supreme Court.

Also, we discuss whether The Office makes light of adultery.

Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture. We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to christandpopculture@gmail.com, or go to our contact page. We would love to respond to feedback on the show, so do it now! Subscribe to us in iTunes by clicking here. While you’re at it, review us in iTunes! We’ll love you forever!

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  • Adam Carrington

    A couple notes on Christian Legal Society v. Martinez which I nerdily read.

    1) The reason CLS was denied access wasn’t merely because it wanted its members to reject homosexual marriage. It was rejected because a) it required members to be, as far as the group could tell, Christians. They needed to accept atheists or other non-Christians for membership and leadership positions to be recognized. b) Members were not to be engaged in unrepentant sexual lifestyles, not limited to but including homosexuality. The problem, therefore, was much deeper than opposition to gay marriage but included the very fact that the group wanted to be consciously Christian in its membership/leadership.

    2) The Court has recognized in the past that public schools are held to a stricter standard than private in being MORE open to recognizing and funding different points of view. As public educational institutions, they must accept varying viewpoints as part of enhancing the learning environment and not discriminate on the basis of religion. Viewpoint discrimination, including religion, is considered unconstitutional.

    3) The Court’s ruling said that Hastings (the school who rejected CLS) had a legitimate exclusion of CLS because they had an “all-comers” policy, meaning NO group could exclude people for ANY reason. Every group must accept everyone no matter how much the new-comers hated and tried to subvert the groups beliefs. The problem is that possibly no school (including Hastings itself) follows such a policy. The real problem with this decision wasn’t as much what it concluded as far as future policy (though it was kind of silly) but that it is likely true that the Court ruled on misleading and incomplete facts.

    Therefore, this decision doesn’t really seem to have much effect in practical school policies. Schools still can’t make rules that apply to Christians and not to non-Christians, to religious groups and not to secular. Young Democrats have to have to be treated the same as Muslim groups. The real question was whether the “all-comers” policy ever actually existed at Hastings, and there is a good amount of evidence to say that CLS, the only group EVER denied by the school, was targeted for unfair discrimination.