So… now what happens to religious freedom?

Church Country
Church Country

It’s been a banner week for the opponents of reason and the rule of law.

It will also turn out to have been a banner week for the opponents of tolerance, which includes most of today’s political left.

The left has never been about tolerance.  It has always been about opposing what other people believe, as the left defines it – which may or may not even be what those other people actually believe.  The left is about opposing things: about setting up definitions that require either affirmation or enmity.

And it’s the tide of the left’s “affirmation or enmity” proposition that will quickly rise around us, now that the Supreme Court has declared that people have a “right” to have their specialized definition of marriage recognized by the state.

What will it mean to administer such a “right”?  We haven’t imagined all the permutations of what it implies, but we will assuredly be seeing them.

One of the first ways I expect this ruling to affect religious institutions is in the military chaplaincy.  It will not be very long now until Barack Obama’s Department of Defense makes it impossible for chaplains whose sponsoring institutions have a traditional, Biblical view of marriage to serve with the U.S. military.

(Interestingly, those institutions include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the denomination of Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, where Obama is commemorating the slain pastor, Clementa Pinckney, as I write this.  The A.M.E. leadership affirmed its belief in traditional, Biblical marriage in 2004, and one of its leaders did so again in 2012.)

The argument of the forces of intolerance will be that the government should not employ any chaplain who doesn’t acknowledge same sex marriage as a “right,” now that the Supreme Court has recognized it as one.  The price of serving as a chaplain with an agency of the government will have to be giving up your religious beliefs.

The same forces of intolerance already argue that people in private business should have to give up their religious beliefs as a price of engaging in commercial enterprise.  It will be no stretch for them to advocate an immediate clamp-down on government employees.  It won’t matter at all that service members will have to be denied the solace of chaplains from their faith traditions.  That’s the consequence of establishing a “right”: other people have to accept limitations on what they get to do.

The same principle will presumably apply to chaplains in other capacities with government, such as the chaplains who serve Congress, the state legislatures, city councils, and police and fire forces.

The Bible itself will presumably become a “symbol of oppression” for many, with vendors like Amazon and Wal-Mart urged to stop selling it – or, more insidiously, publishers urged to put out only redacted versions of it.  Governments are likely to ban “unapproved” versions of it on government property, certainly, if only under pressure from lawsuits.

[Ed. note: As if all that weren’t enough… J.E. Dyer goes into even greater detail of the impending dominoes to fall as a result of this ruling. You can read the rest here at LibertyUnyielding.]


Author J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, The Weekly Standard, and Liberty Unyielding.

Reprinted with permission from Liberty Unyielding via Liberty Alliance.

Photo credit Christy Hidalgo Photography

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