Constitutional Erosion: Freedom of Religion UPDATES

Over at First Things, I’m wondering about the apparent tag-teaming of the church by legislators and courts intent on reshaping the notion of rights and entitlements until they become difficult to tell apart:

“But here is the question: if a church-based organization has—for decades—served the community through placement assistance for adoption or foster care, and if that service is now to be defined as an “entitlement,” is it one that should be lost or preserved under the constitution? The argument being made is that, since there is no such thing as a “right” to place children for adoption, then there is nothing to protect. But what about the right of a religious organization to be what it is, in its chosen service to a community?

There is no “right” to adopt, of course. For that matter, there is no such thing as a “right” to be married, whether one is hetero-or-homosexual. Yet gay marriage activists will tell you that legalizing same-sex marriage is intrinsically tied into a homosexual couple being “who they are” in society.

Well, all right. I can understand any person, or couple, wanting to be allowed to “be who they are” without government intrusion into their lives. Why, then, should a church have to surrender an activity simply because it is bound to perform it in obedience to its own strictures? Why must a constitutionally protected entity be put in a position by which it must either cease to be what it is, or recede into the background, and outside of the public realm?”

You can read the rest here

UPDATE: In case you’re unfamiliar with the difference between Freedom of “Religion” and Freedom of “Worship” — here is a handy sort of primer via Mark Canney.

UPDATE II: Note: West Point Chaplains won’t be performing same sex weddings. Like I said, this issue is raring to come to the surface.

Related:
Archbishop Dolan
announces that the USCCB is creating an ad hoc Committee for Religious Liberty
Thoughts on Sentimentalism

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About Elizabeth Scalia