I should warn that this post may ramble a bit as I am still trying personally to get my arms around what my response should be to Friday’s gay marriage judicial coup. And not just what my response should be, but the response of states, churches, religious institutions, and all citizens because the ruling undercut the constitutional rights of all of these.
And yet the responses of all these should not all be the same. For one thing, states are not churches. Yes, I love Texas, but it is not a church.
Also, there is a difference between what an entity has the right to do and what would be wise to do. My initial response was that states should defy this ruling. And states most definitely have the right to refuse to give away their rights under the Constitution. But now I am not so sure defiance is the wise way to proceed.
If states do attempt to defy or even nullify this ruling, they should beware that it will be misinterpreted as being homophobic (Yes, I hate that word but anyway.…). The Democrat News Media will be only too eager to portray it as a repeat of the Southern defiance of the 50’s and 60’s. At the least, state defiance would not unify. It would further polarize and divide the country and defiant states would likely be on the politically losing side of the divide.
I say this with some reluctance as the lack of defiance of judicial coups such as this one and Roe v Wade enable judicial tyranny. But I suspect there is a better way at this time.
As much as I hate to agree with establishment Republicans*, I think a better and wiser way for states and concerned public officials to proceed is to buttress protections of freedom of religion.
*(I do think the words of establishment Republicans such as Lindsey Graham and John Kasich advocating protections of freedom of religion are just words. When the time comes for real action, they will fold like a cheap tent. See Indiana.)
Although rolling back judicial tyranny is vital, that is a long-term project that cannot be done tomorrow. But measures to protect freedom of religion can be taken up and passed relatively quickly . . . and should be passed quickly given that attacks on religious freedom have already begun.
Yes, there will be resistance to these measures and vetoes even, but that may be good in the long run. For the fight for freedom of religion is one that can be won politically.
Although it is questionable whether a majority of Americans really support freedom of religion anymore, it is certain that, say, at least 35 to 40% do so and strongly. And if the issue is presented to them effectively, they would willing to turn against those opposing freedom of religion. Yes, I think this could pry many votes from the Democrats and even a few from those who support gay marriage and motivate the conservative base to turn out.
Perhaps that seems optimistic now. But I expect events will strengthen and motivate support for religious freedom. There will be more and more attacks on freedom of religion as Pink Shirts and other assorted Leftists attempt to punish those who do not submit to the new gay marriage regime. Lawsuits against businesses and churches will multiply. Some governments and regulatory bodies will also demand submission or else, regardless of deeply held religious convictions. As the heretofore scattered attacks on religious freedom become numerous, more people will be appalled and angered and will see the need to protect freedom of religion.
Think about where this issue would then put someone like Hillary Clinton. She would have a choice between enraging the Leftist base of the Democrat Party by supporting measures to defend freedom of religion or between enraging Middle American by opposing freedom of religion and not taking up for those under attack. (By her past record, I think she will choose the latter.)
IF Republicans are not cowards on freedom of religion, they could put Democrats in a bad place. Yes, that is a big “if”. A lot will depend on whom they nominate for President. A Scott Walker would be willing to fight for freedom of religion and lead the GOP in doing so. A Jeb Bush? Not so much.
But in short, defending freedom of religion is an issue on which we can succeed – and the need for success here is urgent.
Yes, I have rambled as I warned. But I think defending freedom of religion is both more urgent and politically wiser than direct defiance of the Supreme Court ruling. And it could turn out to be a more effective way of eventually rolling back judicial tyranny as defeating Democrats (and establishment Republicans) is necessary to bring that about.
It at least is worth a try, is it not?
Of course, I am also thinking about how churches and Christians should respond in the non-political sphere. But this post is too long already.