Archive for March, 2015

The polarized reaction to the State of Indiana’s passing of its version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been as surprising as it has been depressing. Opponents of the bill, ranging from social liberalism’s usual suspects to several super-rich business executives see in the RFRA some misplaced equivalent to the racial discrimination of the 1960’s. (One hotel executive’s description of the bill as “idiocy” was particularly over the top.) It is no such thing.

The recent state RFRAs were a response to some surprising court cases in which a wedding photographer and a baker were forced to pay damages for not wanting to be a part of a gay wedding ceremony. Could Indiana’s law have been drawn more artfully to make this point? Perhaps. But the RFRAs are not a license to discriminate but merely an attempt to protect individual conscience in an environment where traditional mores appear to be crumbling in the face of rapid social change.

There appears to be great triumphalism and little grace on the part of the ascendant order. It feels to this Christian that a certain anti-evangelical zeal bordering on hysteria has gripped the ranks of the left. It’s a bit like the French Revolution, where the new order kept moving its policy goalposts further and further left, and then seeking the destruction of anyone not fully on board with the new plans. This was how Lafayette, hero of Yorktown and then a supporter of republicanism at the outset of the French Revolution, nearly wound up guillotined by the Jacobins. And then the Jacobins themselves got caught up in the whirlwind they had unleashed and were swept away. I would respectfully caution my fellow Americans, particularly those on the triumphalist left, to tread lightly on this explosive issue. Individual conscience is no small thing.



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