The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson, who writes about marriage and religious freedom, makes the point in a New York Times op-ed that Christians should not have to face losing their government jobs (or their bakeries, for that matter) or going to jail if they object to performing certain functions based on religious grounds. [Emphasis added]
“Some on the left say that you must do every aspect of your job, despite your beliefs, or resign,” he wrote. “But this has never been the practice in the United States. We have a rich history of accommodating conscientious objectors in a variety of settings, including government employees. Do we really want to say that an otherwise competent employee must quit or go to jail if there is another alternative?”
U.S. Supreme Court’s Fault?
Anderson said that the Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis didn’t cause this quit-or-go-to-jail problem. The U.S. Supreme Court caused it. Just as the high court ruled over four decades ago that a woman has a constitutional “right of privacy” to kill her unborn children, it found that two men had a constitutional right to call themselves married. Where? When? The founders never envisioned such an absurdity, let alone state it. Marriage is not a civil right. People may marry, and there reasonable and common-sense reasons why they can’t.
But back to Anderson.
“Had same-sex marriage come to Kentucky through the Legislature, lawmakers could have simultaneously created religious liberty protections and reasonable accommodations for civil servants. But the Supreme Court decided this issue itself — and, as predicted by the dissenting justices, primed the nation for conflict….Because each marriage license issued by the clerk’s office bore her name and title, Ms. Davis concluded that her religious beliefs meant she could not have her office issue licenses to same-sex couples. So she had the office stop issuing them entirely.”
Religious Freedom Not to Serve
What is the point of the First Amendment’s religious freedom guarantee if it provides us no protection? That clause also gives us the right not to do what violates our beliefs. Christians believe God created marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and any other kind of union denies what God has ordained. To ask Christians to approve these unions is incredible and has nothing to do with “equality.”
Here is the tell: Aaron and Melissa Klein, the married Christian owners of the bakery SweetCakes, previously served the women who sued them. They drew the line at baking “wedding” cakes. The government, in essence, is forcing them to bake a cake or pay a penalty that could lead to the loss of their business. What good is “religious freedom” if we can’t protect ourselves from exactly this?
Religious Accommodations for “Marriage”
Ryan wrote that religious freedom and accommodations are about “creating the space for citizens to fulfill their duties, as they understand them, to God — regardless of what the rest of us think.” The state of Kentucky, “accommodates conscience for other licenses. Why not marriage?”
Why this particular issue — this particular sin? The homosexual lobby, along with debauchery that’s now gone mainstream, have weakened the country’s religious character, which in turn has weakened our religious freedom. This freedom is enumerated in the Constitution. “Marriage” and killing unborn babies are not.
Anderson noted that North Carolina accommodates people of faith who object to certain job functions that would violate their conscience. Over the Republican governor’s objections, the legislature passed a law that allows magistrates and clerks to decline to perform homosexual “marriages” or issue licenses.
If Christians can’t stop the cultural slide, at least we can refuse to participate in it without losing our jobs and businesses, or facing fines and jail.
The answer to the post title’s question: Not likely.