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How The Left Overreached In Court

#LoveWins? If that's what you believe, fine -- but so did Trump

Sean Trende, on what the left has done over the last four years to attack and provoke religious conservatives:

Democrats and liberals have: booed the inclusion of God in their platform at the 2012 convention (this is disputed, but it is the perception); endorsed a regulation that would allow transgendered students to use the bathroom and locker room corresponding to their identity; attempted to force small businesses to cover drugs they believe induce abortions; attempted to force nuns to provide contraceptive coverage; forced Brendan Eich to step down as chief executive officer of Mozilla due to his opposition to marriage equality; fined a small Christian bakery over $140,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding; vigorously opposed a law in Indiana that would provide protections against similar regulations – despite having overwhelmingly supported similar laws when they protected Native American religious rights – and then scoured the Indiana countryside trying to find a business that would be affected by the law before settling upon a small pizza place in the middle of nowhere and harassing the owners. In 2015, the United States solicitor general suggested that churches might lose their tax exempt status if they refused to perform same-sex marriages. In 2016, the Democratic nominee endorsed repealing the Hyde Amendment, thereby endorsing federal funding for elective abortions.

On Eugene Volokh’s legal blog, David Bernstein cites this as reason why religious conservatives, even those who may have been averse to Donald Trump, voted for Trump anyway. What’s more, there was this exchange in SCOTUS oral arguments in the Obergefell case, between Justice Alito and the government lawyer arguing for same-sex marriage:

Justice Samuel Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax­exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating.  So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same­ sex marriage?

Solicitor General Verrilli: You know, I ­, I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that.  I don’t deny that, Justice Alito.  It is ­­it is going to be an issue.

When liberals say the only reason conservative Christians oppose gay marriage is prejudice, they have to overlook facts like, oh, that a very senior Justice Department lawyer concedes in Supreme Court oral argument that their churches, schools, and charities may be severely penalized for following their religious beliefs. It’s not paranoia when people really are out to get you. Bernstein writes:

In short, many religious Christians of a traditionalist bent believed that liberals not only reduce their deeply held beliefs to bigotry, but want to run them out of their jobs, close down their stores and undermine their institutions. When I first posted about this on Facebook, I wrote that I hope liberals really enjoyed running Brendan Eich out of his job and closing down the Sweet Cakes bakery, because it cost them the Supreme Court. I’ll add now that I hope Verrilli enjoyed putting the fear of government into the God-fearing because it cost his party the election.

Amen. Asking orthodox Christians to vote for a candidate whose party has been so explicitly and proudly hostile to their most important values and deepest interests was ridiculous. The left brought all this on itself.

But here’s the thing: Obergefell is the law of the land now. Eventually there will be a Democratic administration that will seek to Bob-Jones an orthodox Christian institution (that is, take away its federal tax exemption). Christians had better hope that there’s a SCOTUS majority that will side with religious liberty, and reverse the Court’s holding in Bob Jones vs. United States (1983). If not, we’re done for. We had better use these next four years of what we hope will be a reprieve to prepare for the long resistance.



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