And God Laughed   (2018Jun04)


Monday, June 04, 2018                                            12:13 PM

And God Laughed   (2018Jun04)

The SCOTUS ruled in favor of the pious baker who cringed at making a same-sex couple their wedding cake. SCOTUS opined that all lower courts, and the civil rights group that brought the suit, were too derisive and dismissive of the man’s faith. By reaffirming simultaneously, paradoxically, the rights of gay people to be respected and treated equally, they avoided making any lasting legal statement—other than urging people to ‘get along’ without bothering the courts. Only people with iron-clad tenure would castigate the people for requesting SCOTUS do their jobs—nice work if you can get it.

We must ask if deciding a ruling, based on disrespect of a man’s faith, is somehow different from deciding a ruling based on respect for a faith? Serious practitioners of American law insist on the separation of Church and State.

In the eyes of one who shares his beliefs, the baker’s faith is dignified and profound. In the eyes of one who does not share that faith, it is an unfounded, albeit popular, delusion—a hallucination that only the baker can see. To ask Americans to show more respect for a man’s faith than for the rule of law—even when they don’t share it—seems to gnaw at the roots of ‘separation of Church and State’.

I support good manners as much as the next guy. When my late Grandma Dunn used to use the epithet ‘darkies’, I eventually chose to stop correcting her—because it simply confused her—and there were no African-Americans in our dining room to be offended in the first place. My commitment to the family of man did not require me to badger Grandma about the way the past had shaped her thinking.

I not only avoid being rude to the faithful, whenever possible—I even feel it is cruel to purposely remove someone’s belief, if it makes them feel happy and safe. But that is just good manners.

I don’t even want see religion go away entirely—for some people it is a great comfort. Ah, but the sharks are always circling—religion, as rationale for anti-social or hateful action, ranges from ISIS—to a bi-curious middle-schooler being bullied in the hallway.

As with the Trump-era claims of ‘reverse racism’ (Ha!), SCOTUS’s claim that the religious zealot was subjected to undue derision—ignoring the fact that it’s the same faith that once brought you the auto-da-fé—appears to take issue with ‘separation of Church and State’, under the guise of ‘rudeness’. Rust never sleeps.

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