The ADF Does It Again

The ADF blog is rapidly joining STACLU and the Worldnutdaily as a goldmine for source material. Like most religious right groups, they seem to have a very difficult time applying logic in a consistent manner, especially when the results would make the story they're selling seem less plausible. The other day, they were telling us that it's paranoid and absurd to think that anti-gay marriage amendments would be used to deny partnership benefits (while they and their allies are actually using the laws for that purpose, for crying out loud), yet today they're trying to sell the notion that gay marriage will lead to making it illegal to speak out against homosexuality. And here's the evidence they manage to marshall in support of that prediction:

Aikam correctly notes that the philosophic thrust underpinning same-sex "marriage" is dissimilar from the racial civil rights battles of the 1960s. He realizes that if the rationale for same-sex "marriage" prevails, then the "issue is now the freedom of religious people and organizations to criticize that lifestyle." Exactly right.

For evidence, Aikman cites the Ake Green case from Sweden--an ADF case; the Massachusetts same-sex "marriage" decision; the UC Hastings CLS student chapter case--an ADF case; a University of Wisconsin IVCF case--an ADF case; and a Massachusetts Catholic Charities case. Note that ADF is battling on the cutting edge of these legal matters, matters which will shape religious liberty for generations to come.

Let's take a look at those cases. The first is from Sweden, for crying out loud, not the US. And even in Sweden, Ake Green won his case. The Swedish Supreme Court overturned his conviction unanimously. Now, I agree with the ADF that the case should never have been brought and that all such laws on so-called "hate speech" should be abolished, but to use a Swedish case as evidence of what is coming in the US, where the first amendment clearly prohibits such laws, is bad enough; to use a Swedish case that came out in favor of such speech is downright absurd.

None of the rest of the cases have anything at all to do with free speech or the right to criticize homosexuality. The Massachusetts gay marriage decision says absolutely nothing on the subject, nor has it suddenly become illegal to criticize homosexuality in Massachusetts. Indeed, ADF members just participated in a major event in that state where the entire weekend was spent bashing gays; no one was arrested as a result.

The Hastings case and the IVCF case both involved the question of whether universities had to recognize student groups that engaged in discrimination on the basis of religion and sexual orientation, not whether they could speak out against homosexuality. And no matter what the outcome of either case, every single person involved is allowed to speak their mind. The cases had nothing to do with free speech at all. And the Catholic Charities case, likewise, had to do with whether the group could discriminate in facilitating adoptions, not whether they could take speak out against homosexuality. The Catholic Church is absolutely free to condemn homosexuality as immoral and contrary to God's will. So is every other American, and the first amendment guarantees it.

I happen to agree with the ADF's position on all three of those last cases. I believe the universities should recognize religious groups and still allow them to retain their religious identity by controlling their membership, just like non-religious groups do. And I argued at the time that Catholic Charities should have been given an exemption from the law and be allowed to continue to facilitate adoptions while having other agencies facilitate them for gay parents (more accurately, I argued that Catholic Charities should have gone to court and asked for such an exemption under two different precedents from the state court there; bear in mind that Catholic Charities decided themselves to stop doing adoptions without putting up any legal fight at all).

But the fact remains that none of those cases have anything to do with free speech. Whether the CLS or IVCF gets official university recognition or not, their right to speak out against homosexuality is still intact and constitutionally protected (as it should be). Whether the Catholic Church is allowed to discriminate in adoptions or not, their right to speak out against homosexuality is still intact and constitutionally protected (as it should be). And whether gays are allowed to get married or not, that right it still intact and protected, as it should be.

But the standard of reasoning in use, and its inconsistent application by the ADF, is what fascinates me. According to them, it's paranoid and ridiculous to think that anti-gay marriage amendments could or would be used to eliminate partnership benefits - even though it's already been used for that purpose all over the country. Yet it's perfectly reasonable to think that the first amendment is going to be done away with based on a case in another country - a case they won, for crying out loud. This is not just paranoid, it's just plain dishonest.

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There are protestant churches in the US that still view miscegenation as wrong, that still teach that God is opposed to race mixing. The Supreme Court overturned state miscegenation laws forty years ago, in Loving v. Virginia. That has not imposed any legal restriction on religious teaching otherwise, nor required those churches to marry mixed race couples.

Similarly, the fact that divorce is legal in all states, and without fault in most, does not require the Catholic Church to recognize divorce. There long has been a separation between canon law and civil law.

Am I the only one to find it ironic that a group stuck in the 19th century (charitably- maybe more 15th) is claiming to be on the "cutting edge" of anything?

By MJ Memphis (not verified) on 19 Oct 2006 #permalink

Ed, I am so glad that you are consistently exposing the lies and falsehoods of this bullying hate group. The ADF will not let the truth get in the way of their dominionist agenda. Can you imagine the damage to the civil rights movement if a white supremacist group had taken the route that Dobson, et al. have taken with the ADF? There might still be segregated water fountains.

I daily pray for the bankruptcy or destruction of this organization. They willingly destroy families in pursuit of their supremacist ideals.

None of the rest of the cases have anything at all to do with free speech or the right to criticize homosexuality. The Massachusetts gay marriage decision says absolutely nothing on the subject, nor has it suddenly become illegal to criticize homosexuality in Massachusetts.

No, no! You don't understand! When they say "criticize," they mean being able to make it illegal! What good is criticizing anything unless you can bring the full power of the state to harass, punish and otherwise make the miscreant miserable? It would be next to useless without that, since those ungodly sinners didn't listen to them in the first place!

None of the rest of the cases have anything at all to do with free speech or the right to criticize homosexuality. The Massachusetts gay marriage decision says absolutely nothing on the subject, nor has it suddenly become illegal to criticize homosexuality in Massachusetts.

No, no! You don't understand! When they say "criticize," they mean being able to make it illegal! What good is criticizing anything unless you can bring the full power of the state to harass, punish and otherwise make the miscreant miserable? It would be next to useless without that, since those ungodly sinners didn't listen to them in the first place!

None of the rest of the cases have anything at all to do with free speech or the right to criticize homosexuality. The Massachusetts gay marriage decision says absolutely nothing on the subject, nor has it suddenly become illegal to criticize homosexuality in Massachusetts.

No, no! You don't understand! When they say "criticize," they mean being able to make it illegal! What good is criticizing anything unless you can bring the full power of the state to harass, punish and otherwise make the miscreant miserable? It would be next to useless without that, since those ungodly sinners didn't listen to them in the first place!

How come they never made a sequel to Groundhog Day?

does not require the Catholic Church to recognize divorce. There long has been a separation between canon law and civil law.

Oh they recognize it alright, as they did before the 15th century, now they currently use other forms of recognizing the end of a marriage. The result is the same.

"How come they never made a sequel to Groundhog Day?"

Actually there is a new series being broadcast (NBC?)that looks like a suspiciously similar plot, although the new series is a thriller series.

...and contrary to God's will.

They shouldn't say that unless they can produce the relevant document.

According to the latest reports I've heard, God died intestate.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 20 Oct 2006 #permalink