The Trojan Horse of Religious Exemption Amendments
As a conservative resident of Wyoming, I was severely disappointed to see that one of our senators, Cynthia Lummis, who previously had quite a good record defending the traditional family, voted last year to support the high profile, so-called Respect for Marriage Act. The act was designed to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act passed in the 1990s (which, if it had remained law, could have been used to support a challenge to the wrongfully decided Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges) and enshrine same-sex marriage as a right in federal law. Senator Lummis said she had voted for it because marriage “equality” for people in same-sex relationships is something that a great many people seem to care about and the new law which provides it also adequately protects the rights of those whose religious beliefs prohibit them from recognizing or supporting in any way such a concept of marriage.
I think Senator Lummis is gravely mistaken about this and ought to know better. If Republicans like her continue to think that way and vote for the imagined compromises the Left keeps “building up” to get us to let down our guard, then Christians will increasingly be targeted for a largescale persecution (hitherto unknown in this nation) which the Republicans enabled.
Suppose a religion claimed that its married adherents, at some point in their lives, must sacrifice at least one of their infant children to their god; to them, it is a sacrament of the utmost importance. Would the United States government view this as permissible? If subsidized sophists succeed in deceiving the public into believing the act to be part of healthcare, maybe, but if it were openly for the sake of religion, I doubt that any government would permit this, as the sane ones would rightly understand this to be against natural law and the common good of society which it fosters; they would say at the very least it is fundamentally unreasonable, and therefore could not be legally permitted. Even centrist governments might say it doesn’t “follow the science,” which proves by any metric that this creature is a human being and therefore the religious practice is an affront to the “bodily autonomy” that, if it’s not at conception, at some unknown point pops into being as the one untouchable right.
Enraged, confused, and disapproving as we citizens on the Christian Right and the Decent Center would be about a cultish group adhering to such a view, realize this: these reactions are the same ones that more and more Americans, unknowingly shaped by the law of the land, will have towards our necessarily refusing to accept that which is imagined to be against the common good of society, is thought fundamentally unreasonable, and is decried as something that cannot be legally permitted. Just as ancient peoples once believed child sacrifice to be necessary for their faith, the world changed, and now we cannot (openly) tolerate such an cruel practice in today’s world, so too with the orthodox Christian view of the human person and marriage: once upon a time, marriage was understood to be only between a real man and a real woman, the world changed, and now we cannot tolerate such an antiquated outlook in today’s world. You must give a pinch of incense to the Great Equalizer of Secularism to go about your business. You must step on the fumi-e of Christ the Bridegroom and His Bride the Church to live in the world of “Love.”
What about the American Left inspires such confidence that they will let bygones be bygones now that they have gotten what they allegedly want: to coexist? With issues of race, for example, we have already witnessed time and time again that the Left has made it one of their top priorities to rectify previous injustices by giving special privileges to those of color even if what they are promoting is manifestly another form of discrimination, which furthers the problem. Now, in many places across the US, Critical Race Theory is being forced upon our children. Marital concerns are no different, as two very famous Supreme Court Cases with Colorado businesses show. One of the lawyers fighting against Christian objections to serving gay couples in their private businesses in the most recent case (i.e. 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis) even admitted that gay people should receive more privileges than Christians!
A reader might believe I am overreacting and that I misunderstand the strength of Christianity in comparison with imagined or ancient religious minorities. My hypothetical religion, he might claim, would be such a small group of people that it would be easy to dismiss its adherents’ First Amendment Appeals to practice their faith without governmental interference whereas Christianity is the dominant and historic religion in America; in his view, the majority faith’s tenets will always be respected and need not fear occasional legal catering to minorities. Yet, current trends suggest that Christianity in a few short decades will account for less than 50% of the population. It may already be less than 50% if you don’t measure sincere adherence by just what people culturally identify as; much like biological sex, piety is not a matter of what one fancies, and the rapidly dropping attendance at church is something that indicates people don’t really believe like they say they do. As for the claim of our nation being historically Christian, the Left specializes in revisionist history. I personally put little stock in the naïve belief that it will be easy to preserve our traditional ties to Judeo-Christian values in the minds of those indoctrinated in our public school systems dominated by woke culture warriors. On top of that, who’s to say most Christian denominations will remain strong on the issue of gay-“marriage” when leadership will try to reach a new generation of young people, 1 out of 5 of which allegedly believe themselves to be on the LGBTQ spectrum?
History repeats itself, as the saying goes. The Republican Senators who voted for that monstrosity of a bill call to mind Thymoetes, who, advocating to bring in the infamous wooden horse, helped bring about the doom of the mighty city of Troy. Like that man, we cannot know for certain whether some of these politicians are in league with the enemy (who has long sought a way past our traditional defense of DOMA) or if they had misguided intentions, but it matters little when the effect of their vote is the same. Within the structure of the RFMA are stored all the cleverness and malice of those who are hoping to bring about a decisive victory in a culture war that has dragged on far longer than it should have. Soon, lawsuits like spears will spring forth from this beast and torches will follow, metaphorically or even literally (as in France’s case) burning churches to the ground for their opposition. But, unlike Aeneas carrying his family and household gods with him away from the destruction of the city, there is no place better a Christian can flee to. We must fight and fight hard to preserve our traditional moral norms and our constitutional right to religious liberty but not in yielding crucial ground to the Left the way Senator Lummis foolishly does.