I keep seeing panicky, conservative Christians describe the recent Supreme Court ruling, Bostock v Clayton, as redefining sex to include sexual orientation by legislating from the bench (e.g., Colin Hanson, Joe Carter, Rod Dreher, Russell Moore, Kevin DeYoung, Jake Meador, and Sen. Josh Hawley). This is incorrect, and Christians need to calm down.
The Civil Rights Act prohibits discriminating against employees because of their sex, and the majority opinion of the court ruled that it is impossible to fire someone for being LGBT without also discriminating against them on the basis of their sex:
Today,we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.
The Court is not redefining the meaning of sex or adding the category of sexual orientation to the law, but ruling that any vocational discrimination against someone for being LGBT necessarily includes discrimination on the basis of sex…
The protest outside the White House was apparently cleared by police using tear gas and grenades so that President Trump could go and have photos taken outside St. John’s Church. Leaving aside the question of the propriety of a President using police to disperse a lawful protest for a photo-op, there was no communication between the President and the church prior to his visit, and the church was relegated to a set piece in the midst of turmoil. But worse than that, the police used tear gas and concussion grenades to clear away the church’s clergy from the church property. A President used agents of the state to remove pastors from a church (who were tending to injured people) so that he could pose with a Bible in front of a place of worship. This is despicable.
From him most of all I took my own idea of what conservatism is, the attempt to preserve or recover a home in this world — a place of consolation, a sanctified somewhere that connects us to the dead, the unborn, and our neighbors through love, memory, and sacrifice. A place that belongs to us and implants in us a longing for the true home that can never be destroyed by storms, war, neglect, or the encroachment of speculative exurban developers who want to replace our homes with parking lots and Panera Bread. We put in our labors to preserve freedom, decency, and culture, so that our children receive this somewhere as a place prepared for me by my father.
From Michael Brendan Dougherty’s memorial to Richard Scrunton.
Michael Brendan Dougherty of National Review makes a strong case that liberalism, in its classical, Lockian sense, is antithetical to a Christian and conservative vision of society. A government and society dedicated to protecting an individual’s right to do whatever, as long as that practice does not infringe on anyone else’s rights to do what they want, inevitably tends towards elevating a set of “neutral” values as good and treating any divergence from those values as social deviancy. Liberalism does not create a world where a multi-value society flourishes, but inevitably demands that all members of that society become liberal. I have written about this in the past as it relates to abortion and Satanism.
Dougherty argues for a vision of classical conservatism in the tradition of Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk as an alternative to liberalism. While Dougherty does not mention National Conservatism, he is responding on the movement’s behalf to George F. Will’s conservative defense of classical liberalism…
I grew up in an evangelical world that constantly said that character™ mattered, especially for public officials. The character qualities in mind were always Christian and almost always about sexual activity. The world I inhabited also wrote off most Democratic politicians as lacking character™, either due to their stance on abortion, openness on sexual and cultural revolutions, or being theologically liberal or sterile. You needed to vote GOP, either because the Democrats were godless, or because the Republicans were faithful to God.
Then came 2012. Something odd happened in that election…