Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Religion & Public Life With Mark Silk

Dreher v. SCOTUS

“Religion freedom rolled back by SCOTUS” proclaims yesterday’s post
by Rod Dreher on the Supreme Court’s decision
in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Taking off from a post
by Wendy Kaminer over at the Atlantic, Dreher claims the court
“believes that it’s licit to protect other groups, while singling
traditional Christians out for special discrimination.”


That’s nonsense. What the court has done is decide that the Hastings Law
School’s “all comers” rule for providing support to student groups
applies to the “traditional Christians” who run the Christian Legal
Society. But what Dreher really needs to recognize is that the decision
has nothing whatsoever to do with religious freedom–because two decades
ago the court seriously truncated the ability of religious individuals
and groups to make Free Exercise claims.

I won’t repeat myself explaining this, except to say that the irony here is that it was
Justice Scalia and his conservative allies (plus John Paul Stevens) who
put in place the current standard that such claims cannot prevail
against “neutral laws of general applicability.” As the majority in Christian
Legal Society
makes clear, an “all comers” policy is neutral and
generally applicable. Dreher’s beef should be with Scalia & Co., who
denied traditional Christians and everybody else the ability to make
special claims on behalf of their religious views, in line with the way
the First Amendment singles out Free Exercise for special protection.

Comments read comments(2)
post a comment

posted July 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm

What’s really afoot here is that Christians have enjoyed centuries of unquestioned deference in all aspects of public life. Now that society and courts are treating them as “merely” equal citizens, they’re crying persecution.

report abuse

Grumpy Old Person

posted July 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

Mr. Dreher, like yourself, ignores the issue of taxpayer money going to fund discriminatory groups like this so-called “Christian” “Legal” club.
If they take public moneys, they obey public rules. Take away public moneys and they’re free to discriminate all they want.
Why do conservatives miss (ignore) the actual meat of the issue so much?

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Religion and Public Life. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Latest News Story on Beliefnet Happy Reading!   ...

posted 3:10:11pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

The Ayn Rand Republicans
I confess to feeling a little bit queasy about the American Values Network's new video hoisting Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, and other GOP luminaries on the petard of Ayn Rand and her atheistic philosophy of objectivism. Take a ...

posted 7:13:30pm May. 24, 2011 | read full post »

Whither evangelicals?
I'm fully prepared to believe that Mitch Daniels' family proved to be the unleapable hurdle in his abortive run-up to the GOP presidential race. Imagine yourself as wife Cheri, having split for the coast to marry on old flame, your husband and ...

posted 9:19:56am May. 23, 2011 | read full post »

No more "social conservatives"
With the presidential election cycle getting up to speed, it's time for reporters and yakkers like me to stop writing about "social conservatives" as if they were an identifiable segment of the voting population. I say this as someone who has ...

posted 8:25:11am May. 20, 2011 | read full post »

So clerical celibacy was not the problem?
Those on the Catholic left are not very happy that the Jay Report declines in no uncertain terms to blame clerical celibacy for the sexual abuse crisis. As the report puts it: Factors that remained consistent over this time period, such as ...

posted 9:50:34am May. 19, 2011 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.