Obama’s Court Marks Churches for Death
(Originally published in July 2013)
The American Catholic Church, along with any other religious institution that resists granting “equal status” to homosexuality, is about to be killed. If you doubt this, just wait and see. The death sentence has been issued and the U.S. Supreme Court, cheered on by Barack Obama, has just denied the final appeal.
The SCOTUS decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in effect promises the prestige of explicitly upheld constitutionality to homosexual marriage. (I love my language; “gay” still means “joyful” for me, even if I’m no longer permitted to use it for fear of being misunderstood.) Barack Obama has already reassured his enemies, i.e., people of traditional Judeo-Christian religious views, that this decision will not affect their church practices. Anyone who has seen a mafia film knows what the boss’s reassurance means in this context: the reassured man is about to be driven to the docks, where someone is waiting with an ice pick.
Here is Obama’s kiss of death in his own words:
On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision—which applies only to civil marriages—changes that.
“Nothing about this decision changes that.” Technically true—until the first time some nominally Catholic progressive activists decide to sue the Church for discrimination, on the grounds that they want to live as Catholics, but also as homosexual couples in good standing. Or until the first time a government office sends in an army of lawyers to establish that a religion’s refusal to consent to marriage as defined by the Supreme Court nullifies that church’s tax-exempt status, analogous to the strong-arm tactics used with regard to birth control and Obamacare. The time will likely come when the progressive moral reversal will be complete, and weddings performed by churches that do not condone homosexual marriage will not be recognized by the federal government for the purposes of government benefits.
But even before this anti-discrimination mantra is used as a legal tool to attack churches which refuse to perform homosexual weddings, those churches have already been condemned to death by the Supreme Courtesans and their Chief Executive Madam in the White House.
By taking a confident step towards declaring homosexual marriage, in effect, a “positive right,” the Court has formally condemned to the ash heap of history any person or organization that refuses to accept its legitimacy. Every American who rejects homosexual marriage on principle has now officially been grouped among Obama’s famous underclass of “bitter clingers”—those uneducated hicks who, feeling that society has unfairly run up ahead of them, cling angrily to their Bibles, their guns, and their heterosexual unions. Furthermore, the opinion of these clingers—which also happens to have been the consensus among all civilized communities in the history of the human race until fifteen years ago—has now been stigmatized as a mere “attitude problem,” and more specifically as an unjust attitude.
Obama’s promise not to force organized religions to recognize homosexual marriage came at the conclusion of his formal statement of congratulations to homosexuals, a statement that began this way:
I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it.
Opposition to homosexual marriage is “discrimination,” it entails treating homosexuals “as a separate and lesser class of people,” it is a “wrong” that needed to be “righted,” and America “is better off” for correcting this great moral injustice—but don’t worry, freedom of religion will be protected. In other words, when Obama concludes his celebratory message by noting that marriage is a “sensitive” issue on which people hold “a wide range of views,” what he means is that those people who continue to lag behind the moral evolutionary curve must be allowed to persevere in their Neanderthalism, in the name of “religious freedom.” He nominally asserts their religious liberty for the sake of branding them a social evil which must, unfortunately, be tolerated for the time being.
The late Justice Antonin Scalia assessed the SCOTUS majority’s equally backhanded reassurances in the same way at the time:
It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here—when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will “confine” the Court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.
In other words, let’s drop the diplomatic façade for two seconds and say what every rational adult knows, and what the homosexual activists celebrating their heads off throughout America in the wake of this decision obviously know, which is that progressivism is nothing if not “progressive”: each step is consistent with an intended general direction, and clearly foreshadows a subsequent step in the same direction. The advocates of a federally protected “right” to homosexual marriage know full well that they have reached the penultimate rung of their ladder.
Obama followed his judgment that America “is better off” for the SCOTUS decision with this sophistical zinger:
We are a people who declared that we are all created equal—and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
This is what progressive education breeds: a society whose leaders abuse their founding principles with impunity, because neither they nor any of their listeners have the intellectual resources or historical sense to understand the absurdity of their own words.
Obama, echoing the SCOTUS majority opinion, declares that the fact that “we are all created equal” entails that “the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” Pardon my French-Canadianism (mother’s side), but what the h*** does that mean? People are, as a matter of political and moral principle, created equal. From this, according to the president of the United States, it follows that their “love” must therefore be judged as equal. Really? Has Obama not just laid the pseudo-theoretical groundwork for the next stage that we have all known was coming for years now, namely “marriage rights” for human-animal couples, for adult-child couples, for groups, for men with their teddy bears, and so on through the halls of deviant imagination? After all, the feeling of “love” now apparently confers rights under the U.S. Constitution; and equal “love” rights, according to the President and SCOTUS, necessarily entail equal marriage rights.
Does it follow from Obama’s declaration of equal rights for “love” that couples who do not truly “love” one another are not worthy of equal protection? Or does the mere claim of love suffice? And what about the other passions? On what grounds has love been selected as the only emotion officially granted constitutional recognition, and even designated as a source of rights?
How did natural equality come to mean equality of feelings, and hence, by the Indian rope trick, equality of legal recognition of such feelings? Political equality, as it was understood by the man Obama is citing (though probably without realizing it), Thomas Jefferson, is the product of modern philosophy’s great and humbling leap of practical reason: the observation that the natural differences among us, when viewed from a speculative God’s-eye perspective, are not significant enough to warrant some men having a higher status under the law than others. That is, our natures are similar enough to force us to concede equal natural rights to all men, from which concession prudence demands a political community structured to protect all men equally. But all of this presumes that we have a nature, i.e., a knowable standard of species definition and moral virtue determined not by subjective inclination or societal trend but by the facts of our common physical and metaphysical being in combination with the long-standing traits and practices which follow logically from that being.
In short, the modern concepts of natural rights and natural equality mean nothing apart from the understanding of man as a rational animal with certain natural preservational needs that can only be met through his own voluntary action.
It was our nature—as this nature was understood by the great men who conceived of the modern project of political liberty—that grounded the notion of universal natural rights, and its corollary, political equality. Obama and SCOTUS reject all of this when they declare, in effect, that the mere experiencing of a subjective emotion confers a “right” to a specific legal status. And yet they hide behind the Jeffersonian language of natural equality precisely in order to carry out their ambush on the Jeffersonian understanding of natural rights.
This is what comes of the evil mixture of moral relativism and a societal presumption in favor of central government micromanagement of individuals and communities. The federal government need not have been in the marriage-defining business in the first place. DOMA was an attempt to fix a government overreach problem with “better” government overreach. Now comes the inevitable synthesis in this dialectic of social derailment: not only will homosexual marriage be granted constitutional protection (as Scalia warns), but every individual and organization that publically disapproves of it will henceforth be isolated by the state and, increasingly, the popular culture, as morally equivalent to white supremacists—or even Tea Party members.
America’s Catholic bishops, like too many of their religious kin throughout the modern world, have played willing stooges to the leaders of the progressive mafia for so long that most remain shell-shocked at the Obama administration’s active hostility toward them. Everything they teach, and every noble thing their tradition has stood for through the centuries, has now been condemned as antithetical to “progress,” and reduced to antiquated bigotry. Even when they noticed the driver turning toward the docks, they still had trouble admitting to themselves that this journey was meant to be their last.
The final destination has now been reached. The guy with the ice pick is waiting.