Evincing a deep appreciation and understanding of the First Amendment and the protections it has afforded to Americans for a few hundred years, columnist Sally Kohn recently struck a blow for truth when she boldly declared:
Refusing to Marry Same-Sex Couples Isn’t Religious Freedom, It’s Just Discrimination
Of course it’s not “religious freedom,” just as every other sincere expression of religious belief does not qualify as “religious freedom:” if progressivism is good at anything, it’s good at shriveling the bounds of permissible religious conduct with each passing year. At some point Sally Kohn will be back to tell us that the Catholic Church is actually required to ordain lesbian atheist priestesses, and that orthodox Jewish temples must perform fundamentalist Islamic marriage ceremonies; after all, anything else is “just discrimination.”
End of story, folks.
If you’re surprised by Kohn’s sneering intolerance of America’s hard-won religious liberties, well, you haven’t been paying attention to modern liberalism.
We knew this would happen; from the minute gay marriage became a viable political issue, it was clear to many people that the Left would not be satisfied with simply legalizing the practice. If there is one thing that drives progressives absolutely bonkers, it’s people living in accordance with non-progressive values: the point here is not simply to legalize gay marriage but to punish anyone on the Right who might not fully approve of it.
This is basically where liberalism is headed these days, and has been for a while. If the “contraception mandate” battle has taught us anything, it’s that the Left is genuinely disgusted at the thought of a pluralistic, tolerant society that accommodates differing viewpoints and values.
Had progressives genuinely cared about the “accessibility” of birth control, they would have waged a campaign to make hormonal contraception available over-the-counter. Why? It would be cheaper, it would be more widely available, and it would be removed from any danger of politicization. Birth control, in other words, could have been treated the same as aspirin. But the authoritarian impulse of leftism could not tolerate such a sensible and uncontroversial proposition; if women were allowed to purchase the pill on their own, then how would social conservatives be punished for their heterodox opinions on contraception? Thus we were given the HHS mandate, which kept the same expensive, inconvenient prescription-based system in place, but the Right would still suffer the consequences of disagreeing with the Left—as they’ll now suffer the consequences of disagreeing with “marriage equality.”
Truth be told, as far as it applies to the government-based institution of marriage and its attendant benefits, I believe gay marriage should be on equal footing with traditional marriage; I have not yet been confronted with any compelling argument as to why the government should treat one civil contract any differently than other.
Religious marriage is a different matter altogether—which is why we have the First Amendment and its guarantee of religious liberty.
We still do have that guarantee, and we should be diligent in guarding and protecting it; the worst thing that could happen to American religious freedom would be for liberals like Sally Kohn to define its parameters.