Advocates of gay marriage have been asking those opposed for a decade “Why do you care? If you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t get one. Why stop me?”
The answer is best explained by RedState’s Erick Erickson in one line: “You will be made to care.” In a prophetic blog post he stated,
With more and more frequency, Americans who thought they could sit out the shift in culture and who decided that it would not affect them are finding that they will be made to care. The American left is not willing to give people a pass. Silence will only get one so far.
Where it was just sufficient to be silent on an issue, it is now becoming required to actively participate in an event which many Christians and Jews hold is against their religious beliefs. Erickson cited a few cases just two years ago in the same blog post:
In Colorado, the state fined a baker who declined to bake a cake for a gay wedding. The baker, a Christian, offered cookies, said he would bake for a birthday, but his faith compelled him not to provide the cake. The gay couple went to the ACLU, which in turned filed a complaint with the state. The state demanded the baker either provide his services against the convictions of his faith or go out of business via punitive fines.
In New Mexico, a Christian photographer declined to perform photography work for a gay wedding. The gay couple filed a complaint, and the Christian again lost in court.
In New Jersey, the state’s supreme court declared gay marriage constitutional. The legislature intended to codify it, but the legislation included exceptions for the religious. Gay rights activists asked the legislature to kill the legislation. The activists did not want to give religious dissidents legal protection.
The Atlantic explained the opposition from conservative Justices like Samuel Alito to last week’s 5-4 decision, which made gay marriage a Constitutional right,
“Today’s decision … will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy,” he writes. In particular, he objects to the comparison between bans on same-sex marriage and the bans on interracial marriage that were widespread before the Court overturned them in 1967 in Loving v. Virginia. “The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent,” he argues.
As Catholics already know, that fear is anything but groundless, as evidenced by a situation in Washington D.C. after a gay-marriage law was passed in the city in 2010. The Catholic News Agency reported at the time,
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington announced today [February 17, 2010] that it is shutting down its foster care and public adoption program. The District of Columbia said the charity would be ineligible for service because of the new law recognizing same-sex “marriage.”
Already, prominent liberals in the media are calling for punishments for those who stray from the party line. Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times “Belief” blog is, just 48 hours after the decision, for the revocation of tax exempt status of those religious institutions that don’t fall in line. He wrote for Time,
In the 1983 Bob Jones University case, the court ruled that a school could lose tax-exempt status if its policies violated “fundamental national public policy.” So far, the Bob Jones reasoning hasn’t been extended to other kinds of discrimination, but someday it could be.
Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.
Comment below: Do you think there will be a conflict between religious institutions and the Left?