Hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, who has an unerring ability to snag stories that pass underneath my radar.
One of the keenest legal minds this country has ever produced, and a convert to Catholicism, Robert Bork, predicts in this interview that the culture war is going to increase in severity in the near future:
“Bork: Oh, it’s up for debate. Everything is up for debate these days. I can’t think of anything that isn’t. But I think it’s true that that would be an infringement of the child’s best interests, which I suppose translates as his natural right. But we are going to see in the near future a terrible conflict between claimed rights of homosexuals and religious freedom. You are going to get Catholic hospitals that are going to be required as a matter of law to perform abortions. You are going to get Catholic or other groups’ relief services that are going to be required to allow adoption of a child by homosexual couples. We are going to have a real conflict that goes right to the heart of the society.”
Link to video of the interview.
The Civil War has often been called the Irrepressible Conflict. In our country for over four decades we have been having a battle over right and wrong in the moral sphere. The forces currently in the ascendancy in Washington believe that on many important social issues traditional morality is simply wrong: abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, stem cell research, chastity before marriage, the primary role of the family as moral teacher, etc. They also have an unlimited faith in government to solve problems. Is it too much of a stretch to believe that government will be used by them to achieve what they perceive as victory in the culture war?
Already we have seen Catholic Charities in Massachusetts end its work in regard to the adoption of children rather than bow to the mandate of the state that Catholic Charities allow homosexuals to adopt children. Catholic Charities in California has been required by state law to provide contraceptive coverage in its health insurance package for employees. Conscious clauses regarding the rights of physicians not to participate in abortions have come under attack in many states. These few examples are but the tip of an iceberg of such actions.
Canada, and its freedom chilling hate speech laws, may be a tempting example for elected officials in this country to embrace when deciding to deal with Churches that do not endorse morality 2.0. Our first amendment will protect us? One would hope so. However in my experience at the bar I have reached the conclusion that the text of a statute or a constitution is infinitely malleable if a court is determined to reach a desired result, as amply demonstrated in Roe.
I have always been one who has pooh poohed the idea that the Church in the US could face officially sanctioned persecution. I still think it unlikely, but the storm clouds are gathering and the signs of the time are alarming.