June 30, 2015

Keep your religion institutionalized!

"Certainly the first amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. I don’t think it extends far beyond that. We’ve seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception. Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America."

Said Tammy Baldwin, the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, responding to a question about the consequences of the same-sex marriage case.

48 comments:

mccullough said...

Sounds like it's time to amend the Constitution to protect religious beliefs in broader context. Make it a long specific amendment. Mention Justice Ginsburg by name.

mccullough said...

Don't forget mosques and temples

YoungHegelian said...

I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.

While we're in the process of voting religious precepts off the island, could I put in a vote for banishing "Thou shalt not commit adultery". I'm not quite to the point of wanting to send "Thou shalt not kill" swimming after it, but if Beltway traffic gets much worse I can see going there.

At the risk of stepping on my own joke, I think it's hilarious that politicians think that they can surgically excise those parts of a religious tradition they don't like, while keeping what they think helps the polity. It's almost like they don't get that the dictates that keep my pecker in line come from the Same Guy who tells me to practice charity towards my neighbor, and when I lose the fear about the former there's a good chance I'll lose my fear of the latter, too.

Static Ping said...

I'm sure she'll lead the way to shutting down the black churches.

Anonymous said...

This is just Obama-style corporatism applied to religion.

Gahrie said...

You can hold religious beliefs, you just can't act on them.

bigot.

Anonymous said...

Someone ought to introduce her to the Hobby Lobby case. Maybe she's never heard of it.

In these clashes of rights between protected classes, the court ought to use a simple test: which party is more inconvenienced if ruled against? On the one hand, we have someone who might have to find a different pharmacy and maybe give this one a bad review on Yelp. On the other hand, we have someone asking the law not to coerce him into violating his religious beliefs. Seems like an easy call.

And the same would go for stores that don't want the business of people lawfully carrying firearms. Let them do it (though of course when the people refused service are conservative rather than liberal, the media and coastal elites don't give a damn). If stores can refuse to serve people with guns (whose rights are clearly protected by the Constitution), then why can't they refuse to serve people on other grounds, too?

"We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." Sounds good to me. If you don't like it, take your business elsewhere and tell your friends.

chillblaine said...

Progressives always have a hard time countenancing free exercise. What's needed is someone to say that they will protect conscience. Not just in a religious context, in a sincerity context. Grant that, and they can take all the tax exemptions away from churches (as long as all other existing deductions are stripped away too).

sean said...

So Prof. Althouse and Sen. Baldwin are saying, for example, that you can be nonviolent in your personal life, but Quakers should be drafted and required to fight, or that priests are free to not reveal confidences at cocktail parties, but they can be subpoenaed and forced to say what they have heard just like anyone else. That is not the traditional American understanding. In fact, it betrays a stunning ignorance (or, in Prof. Althouse's case, a tendentious and disingenuous misrepresentation) of American history.

Æthelflæd said...

Your religion may exist inside your head, but nowhere else. Gnosticism vs. the Incarnation. I know who wins.

CStanley said...

Sean: I don't see any reason to infer that Prof Althouse agrees with Sen Baldwin on this, and in fact I'd be very surprised if that were the case.

CStanley said...

Shorter Sen Baldwin: gays out of the closet, Christians in!

MayBee said...

or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America."

"I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh...people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and...I believe that they should..."

Greg said...

CStanley:

More accurately, "Gays out of the closet, Christians back in the catacombs."

The Drill SGT said...

I know our SCOTUS has strayed away from a strict reading of the ACA in recent days, but how does Tammy's view synch up with:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

averagejoe said...

Shameful to see that the ideals of America, founded by individuals seeking freedom of religion, have been perverted by usurpers demanding freedom from religion.

Virgil Hilts said...

If it were not for our Judeo-Christian background, we would probably still be bad as most other cultures in the world in terms of their treatment of women, blacks, gays, etc. It's very sad to see how little people (especially Progressives) understand this and how quickly they are willing to demonize the church and believers and to regard the Christian religion as silly and unimportant and outdated. I am agnostic but give thanks to God every day that I was lucky enough to be born in a country founded on Judeo-Christian principles. If I were gay, I would get down on my knees every day and yell Thank You Jesus for being lucky enough to be born in a country founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Before people rag so much on the church, they should check out how gays are treated in countries founded on different religious traditions.

Christopher said...

I keep reading assurances that this won't be another Roe because this won't intrude on the rights of others, but we're only a few days past the ruling and the Left is already bringing out the long knives for the religious folk.

I can't help but think that the path we're about to go down will make the abortion debate look civil.

phantommut said...

So is the new reading of the Constitution that your religion is no good outside the confines of your house of worship? Sounds a whole lot like that.

averagejoe said...

phantommut said...
So is the new reading of the Constitution that your religion is no good outside the confines of your house of worship? Sounds a whole lot like that.

6/30/15, 9:02 PM

Keep in mind that just yesterday, progressive democrat party mayor of New York city DiBlasio was advocating that people should not be permitted to smoke tobacco even in the privacy of their own homes.

Hagar said...

Churches and religious people may be the first in line. but these decisions will open up whole new avenues for legal attacks on just about anything that moves.

I read somewhere that college accreditation boards (peopled by AAUP professors) already are taking second looks at colleges and universities and what they claim to believe and teach.

Terry said...

Blogger Æthelflæd said...
Your religion may exist inside your head, but nowhere else.

You mean like science?

Chuck said...

Clear limits like the Boy Scouts of America, being able to exclude a gay scout leader.

" Petitioners are the Boy Scouts of America and the Monmouth Council, a division of the Boy Scouts of America (collectively, Boy Scouts). The Boy Scouts is a private, not-for-profit organization engaged in instilling its system of values in young people. The Boy Scouts asserts that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill. Respondent is James Dale, a former Eagle Scout whose adult membership in the Boy Scouts was revoked when the Boy Scouts learned that he is an avowed homosexual and gay rights activist. The New Jersey Supreme Court held that New Jersey’s public accommodations law requires that the Boy Scouts admit Dale. This case presents the question whether applying New Jersey’s public accommodations law in this way violates the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment right of expressive association. We hold that it does."

Boy Scouts of America Monmouth Council v. Dale, 540 US 630 (2000).

Greg Hlatky said...

Ann Althouse is the Franz von Papen of the movement to remove religion from public life.

Æthelflæd said...

Terry said...


"You mean like science?"

Climate science denier - the new heresy. Confess!

Unknown said...

Elections have consequences

rhhardin said...

Richard Epstein podcast today on the SSM decision, and the chief damage probably being to practicing religion if the gay mafia runs true to form. Years of strife coming up.

Nice summary of the opinions and tradeoffs too.

Richard Dolan said...

There's not much interest in finding a live-and-let-live solution, and the preposterous idea of inventing a new constitutional right makes that almost impossible anyway. So now we'll end up with the culture wars ratcheted up several orders of magnitude. Lefties are convinced this will come out their way, history being on their side and all that. But it's dangerous to write history before the fact. They need to recognize that this case, like Lawrence and so many others, turned on one vote in the SCOTUS. Just as lefties look forward to the day when Citizens United (and with it the First Amendment ) is on the losing end of 5to4, this too can be undone the same way. If a Rep is elected president in 2016, one of the seats now held by an older justice is likely to come open. Any doubts about how this would come out on a replay if Ted Cruz were to replace RBG or Breyer on the SCOTUS?

Greg Hlatky said...

"Great speech, Reverend King! But cut out the God stuff next time."

William said...

There s an easy, common sense solution to this conundrum. The law shall make no attempt to interfere with the free exercise of the Islamic or black Baptist faith. Some guidance will be given to the Hassidic faith but only by court appointed Reform Jewish judges. Catholics and evangelical Christians will be restricted to following their faith only within the confines of their church and, even then, only on Sunday. Catholics will be granted a special dispensation to preach against climate change deniers in the public square. If we make these common sense adjustments there's no reason why we can't all live together in peace and harmony.

Terry said...

The standard to which religious practice under the 1st Amendment is held is evolving. Ironically it was weakened by Scalia in Employment Division v. Smith. It doesn't matter what the text of the 1st amendment says, it matters under which standard the particular case is examined. The constitution really provides no protection from prosecution by the Feds for anything anymore, since they can always hope for a 5-4 decision in their favor, and the JD has lots of lawyers with nothing to do but monitor and correct the behavior of citizens. I imagine there over a hundred of them now scouring the land for people to prosecute for discrimination against people who say that they are gay.
If you think that the constitution means anything in 2015, recall that women were given the vote by the 19th amendment. Do you think the court would need any such amendment today? It would just find the right for women to vote in the 14th.
I hate to say it, but some adjustment in the constitution itself is necessary if this country is to remain a republic. We aren't a self-ruling people if one man -- Justice Kennedy -- can legalize SSM nationwide.
A constitutional convention can be trouble. Everything gets thrown up in the air. A constitutional amendment, though, that would lower the requirement for future amendments from 2/3 of congress to 3/5 would scare the bejeezus out of the right people.

n.n said...

Religion or moral philosophy and law are fungible. Actually, the former is voluntary, and the latter is compulsory. Whether it is sacrificial rites under selective-child, individual discrimination under class diversity, or selective exclusion under "equal", keep your cult institutionalized, Tammy.

Terry said...

Blogger Richard Dolan said...
history being on their side and all that
Functionally the amount of self righteous in the phrases "history is on our side" and "God is on our side" is identical. Blame Hegel and Marx, though probably no SJW could tell you why.

Chuck said...

I am a practicing United Methodist, same as Hillary Clinton, and our church doctrine does not permit clergy to solemnize same sex marriages. That might change someday, but not without lots of resistance. I am comfortable with the church's stance; it must be a bit of a problem for Mrs. Clinton. She's got lots of problems.

But I have almost never considered same sex marriage as a personal religious issue. I just don't think about it in connection with my church life.

Personally, I don't fear much of anything about the Obergefell ruling from a religious perspective. What I fear is the violence that the ruling has done to the Constitution. It is as a lawyer that I am offended by the case. Not as a Christian.

Terry said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
Richard Epstein podcast today on the SSM decision . . .

Epstein is one of the few people who will call Ginsberg out on her poor legal reasoning. Epstein thinks that Ginsberg doesn't use precedent properly, doesn't understand that all religions aren't like Judaism, and is obsessed with women's rights.

Michael K said...

To recapitulate a comment I made elsewhere, one day soon the metrosexual social justice types will be looking for the rough men Orwell referred to to protect them from the consequences of their destruction of the culture.

You are alone when trouble comes.

They won't be there. They left with the Confederate flags.

The young girls who hunger for structure will have only the barbarians.

Good luck.

Terry said...

Michael K., Putin and China's communist party are the historical norms. The US is the exceptional outlier. Until recently, anyhow.

Laura said...

So Jefferson's wall of separation has become at least four, and the gatehouse is still under discussion.

Moats, chasms, and arrowslits are optional.

YoungHegelian said...

@Terry,

Don't blame Hegel for this "right side of history" business. We only know about history's direction long after the fact. That philosophy could only "comprehend" the world, but not politically shape it was one of the many reasons for Marx & Feuerbach to be pissed off at Hegel.

One more word about teaching what the world ought to be: Philosophy always arrives too late to do any such teaching. As the thought of the world, philosophy appears only in the period after actuality has been achieved and has completed its formative process. The lesson of the concept, which necessarily is also taught by history, is that only in the ripeness of actuality does the ideal appear over against the real, and that only then does this ideal comprehend this same real world in its substance and build it up for itself into the configuration of an intellectual realm. When philosophy paints its gray in gray, then a configuration of life has grown old, and cannot be rejuvenated by this gray in gray, but only understood; the Owl of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall.

Hegel, Preface to the Philosophy of Right, 1821

Anonymous said...

Well, that's consistent with how progressives in Wisconsin believe conservative political beliefs are protected. Believe whatever you want, but expect a John Doe investigation if you exercise those beliefs too much.

It's a bizarre thing when the First Amendment's free exercise clause is interpreted to mean that religious people's speech is less protected than that of non-religious people (who presumably have no restriction on their anti-religious speech). Where people's beliefs come from isn't supposed to make them any less protected, unless we've decided some speech is more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect opportunity for some of the RepuicN candidates for President to go into the black churches, the synagogue, the Muslim Temple, etc, and say, "We are on the same side. Do you want to marry homos? Do you want to lose your tax exempt status? Do you want to be put in jail? Now is the time for us to out aside our differences and bind together to reverse this nonsense."

Show some polls showing homo sex "marriage" getting over 50% approval. Then ask, is this where you want to go? Then show the rainbow meme and how it mocks God, is this what you want?

The Democrats would lose big time.

James Pawlak said...

The "free exercise of religion was INTENDED to only prohibit the Federal government from setting up an "Established Church". Some of the original states kept official religions into the 1830s--
And that without judicial interference.

Atheism is a religion per the 7th US Court of Appeals.

Islam is NOT a religion but a criminal-terrorist ideology.

Henry said...

Interesting to note that this institutionalist construct also applies to the way many on the left view guns and speech.

Let's try it out: "Certainly the second amendment says that in institutions of militia that there is absolute power to, you know, to bear arms. I don’t think it extends far beyond that."

"Certainly the first amendment says that in institutions of journalism that there is absolute power to, you know, to freedom of speech. I don’t think it extends far beyond that."

It's like a medieval guild system for freedom.

Wilbur said...

@ YoungHegelian:

I read that excerpt three times and have no idea what Hegel might have been trying to say. Can you translate it for me?

Bryan C said...

"Congress shall make [no] law respecting an establishment of religion, [or] AND prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

There. Fixed a couple old drafting errors.

Larry J said...

Should Catholic doctors and hospitals be forced to perform abortions? At what point does a person have the right to say no?

I predicted last week that we'll likely seem lawsuits against churches who refuse to conduct gay weddings. My guess is that it'll happen quickly and in several locations. Odds are these lawsuits will lose but they will be appealed. It'll take years before the supreme court would rule on such a matter (probably 5 years) but the likely outcome is that churches who refuse to conduct gay weddings will be denied their tax exempt status. This would likely be an outgrowth of the Bob Jones University v. Schultz, 461 U.S. 574 (1983) decision that ruled that the religion clauses of the First Amendment did not prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from revoking the tax exempt status of a religious university whose practices are contrary to a compelling government public policy, such as eradicating racial discrimination.

CWJ said...

I suspect reasoning similar to Baldwin's was used to justify allowing Jews to live beside midieval cities as long as they and the practice of their religion took place only within the "institutional" confines of a geographically demarcated ghetto. Every church, temple and mosque: each a new micro-ghetto.

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)"

A Democrat senator who displays gross, willful ignorance about what the Constitution actually says.

Is anyone surprised?