The Least Tolerant City In America
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jan 22 10:35:26 PST 2002
If it is ok for a legislature to denounce certain
religious groups for their beliefs that certain kinds
of sexual behavior are sinful, is it equally ok for
the legislature to *praise* certain religious groups
for their beliefs about sin and sex. For example,
would it be permissible under the EC for the Nebraska
Legislature to pass a resolution praising certain
religions for taking the position that same-sex
"marriage" is sinful and contrary to natural law?
If you take the O'Connor/Blackmun endorsement test
seriously, the evil caused by endorsement is
expression attributable to government that sends a
message of "disapproval of particular religious
I think the endorsement test is failed both when
government praises religious choices and when it
castigates religious choices. But to the extent that
one is worse than the other, it would seem that the
latter goes more to the central concern of the
Government has no business condemning any religion for
its doctrine of what is and what is not sinful. The
government lacks power under the EC to evaluate the
theology of sin.
By the way, in a law review essay, I once called San
Francisco "the least tolerant city in America" and it
continues to live up to that reputation. The SF Board
of Supervisors continues to use it support of
"tolerance" as a mask to conceal its invidious
religious bigotry. See Duncan, Homosexual Marriage and
the Myth of Tolerance: Is Cardinal O'Connor a
'Homophobe,' 10 Notre dame J. Law, Ethics & Pub.Policy
587, 605 (1996).
Cheers, Rick Duncan
"Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm."
--President George W. Bush (quoting John Page)
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle things are gone." -C.S. Lewis
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