Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could do for same-sex marriage what Roe v. Wade did for abortion-on-demand.
What concerns me, besides the obvious prospect of having marriage permanently redefined in American law, is the impact of such a ruling on religious freedom. As you know from listening to BreakPoint, there is ample reason for concern on that score. Recent events have demonstrated that the clash between gay rights and religious freedom is a zero-sum game.
That’s why a recent column by Frank Bruni of the New York Times concerned me so profoundly.
From the start, Bruni, who is himself gay, demonstrates that he does not, or perhaps cannot, understand this issue. He begins by telling readers that he “chafes” at being called “a threat to your religious liberty.”
He then goes on to dispute the idea that allowing “men who have romantic relationships with other men and maybe want to marry them” will somehow run roughshod over someone’s creed. In fact, he calls such a belief “absurd.”
Bruni calls “the deference that many politicians show” to religious liberty concerns that are raised by same-sex marriage and gay rights “an illustration of religion’s favored status in a country that’s still working out this separation-of-church-and-state business and hasn’t yet gotten it quite right.”
Not surprisingly, he compares those raising the issue of religious freedom to segregationists whom, he is quick to remind his readers, also claimed religious warrant. He ends by saying that “I support the right of people to believe what they do and say what they wish — in their pews, homes and hearts. But outside of those places? You must put up with me, just as I put up with you.”
Of course, he supports no such thing. Bruni’s definition of “putting up” with religious believers can be summed up in a phrase he is no doubt familiar with: the closet.
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