In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court, relying on little more than the majority’s “reasoned judgement” that “liberty” as mentioned in the Fourteenth Amendment somehow encompasses the dignity of same-sex couples, created a right to same-sex marriage. As the case was being deliberated, traditional marriage supporters, including me, were concerned that creating such a right would immediately create tension (to say the least) between this newly-created right and the right to Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech. In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts correctly pointed out that “Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution.” In a separate dissent, Justice Thomas elaborated on what Religious Liberty actually means, pointing out that it “is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.” In an apparent attempt to mollify the dissenters, Justice Kennedy explicitly stated in his majority opinion that “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.” Unfortunately, the LGBT community has done nothing but disparage us and our beliefs since.

Fast-forward two years and we’re back at the Supreme Court for Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case where a same-sex couple sued a Christian baker to force him to create a custom cake to celebrate their “wedding.” The baker, Jack Philips, declined to create a custom cake, but offered to sell them anything else in the store. Naturally, the couple cried “discrimination” to the Commission who claimed that Philips not only had to use his creativity and talent to create a cake to celebrate an event to which he was morally opposed, but also had to teach his staff, including members of his family, that his religious beliefs about marriage were discriminatory. The Commission’s ruling blatantly violated both Philips’ right to freely exercise his religion and his freedom of speech, and eventually led to oral arguments at the Supreme Court last week.

I’ve read the transcript of the oral arguments, and while I’m optimistic that Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch, along with the Chief Justice, will rule in favor of Philips, I’m a bit concerned that the ruling may be too narrow to fully protect religious liberty against the same-sex “marriage” onslaught. Much of the argument focused specifically on what aspects of a wedding ceremony counted as “speech” for the purposes of the First Amendment. Trying to draw a line and putting some wedding-related activities, such as cake baking and photography on the protected side and makeup and hairstyling, for example, on the other side, is a complete red herring.

Rather, I believe and hope that the court will take a broader approach to the question of religious liberty that was touched upon by Chief Justice Roberts when he asked whether a Catholic legal aid service could be forced to represent a same-sex couple in a marriage-related case simply because they offered pro bono legal services to the community at large. The question really goes beyond just a wedding. If “decent and honorable” people believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, their “freedom of action in matters of religion generally” demand that they be able to live out their faith.

Christianity teaches that we should treat everyone with love, but it does not demand that we approve of every choice that others make. Why should there be a difference between forcing a baker to create a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding and forcing a Catholic adoption service to place children with same-sex couples? Why does the same-sex couple’s supposed right to adopt a child supersede a child’s right to have a mother and a father or the Catholic social worker’s right to live out his or her vocation to care for orphans by placing them in healthy family environments?

In either case, the state would be forcing the subject to endorse or facilitate an event or behavior which his sincerely held religious beliefs teach is wrong. It’s really that simple. In either case, the objection is not to the fact that the person is gay. It would be discriminatory if Philips refused to sell the couple a pre-made cake or anything else in the store because they were gay, but that’s not what happened.

The Constitution says there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion or abridging the freedom of speech. I believe the Court can and should develop a doctrine that allows Christians and other decent and honorable people to avoid endorsing or participating in events or behaviors that their religious beliefs proscribe while still protecting the rights of LGBT persons against discrimination. As Justice Kennedy said in the oral argument, “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual.”

I’m not in Alabama, I don’t read tea leaves, and I can’t tell apart the My Pillow guy from Larry Sabato.

However, I’ve been reading enough social media and news editorializing that I can observe the following, Roy Moore or no Roy Moore:

One: American politics is clearly a bare-fisted blood sport. Mitt Romney-like gentlemen are not going to win against full-Alinsky “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

The only difference between Fight Club and present-day politics is the first rule of Fight Club; we must talk of politics because it affects us.

Two: I have to agree with Andrew Klavan, all the news is one big scam:

From the sex scandals to Russian collusion to climate change, we are being distracted from the great moral question of the age

And what is the great moral question of the age? FREEDOM.

Klavan explains it in his podcast, and asks, among other things, which candidate would restrain the growth of all-intrusive government?

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Three: Like Klavan, I’m done with the sex scandals

prosecute, eject or slap. Otherwise, I’ll take each case in context as it comes.

The more you focus on this, the less attention you pay to the issues.

Four: Moore’s looss may end up becoming a net-positive for the GOP, but, as a Facebook friend put it, “If you’re a Republican who isn’t worried about the 2018 midterms yet, you’re a Republican who isn’t paying attention.”

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

It’s 10:30 PM and as I write this the AP is calling Alabama for Jones (although some networks have not yet done so) and the spin has already begun.

This is Scott Brown x 10! (It’s not the MSM didn’t spend a month hitting Coakely 24 x 7 nor accusing her of sexual sins will take it back in a walk )

This means the Democrats have a shot at the senate in 2018 (They don’t it means that after 2018 the GOP majority will likely be 5 instead of 6)

This hurts the Trump agenda and tax cuts (that’s fair true but if the GOP wasn’t willing to repeal Obamacare with 52 votes 51 isn’t going to make a huge difference)

That hurts Bannon (A fair point but it’s going to be a lot of fun when the establishment that tried to bury him comes to strong conservatives and asks us to hold our nose for a RINO again)

It hurts Trump (A little but let’s not forget he was for Strange and his entire argument was “I need this vote”, not “I love Roy Moore”)

But what really matters , the really big story is the opportunity that has been lost by the GOP / right that they completely fail to see.

This was the best chance to absolutely bury the MSM and the left and the GOP Establishment has thrown it away. If Roy Moore had managed to pull it off even with the left pushing unsubstantiated accusations 24 x 7 for months and still couldn’t beat him then they would have been completely finished. It would have been the final demoralizing blow that they unlikely never would have recovered from. And if in the very unlikely case actual evidence of wrongdoing had been produced after the election Moore could have been removed and replaced by an appointed republican.

That we had the MSM on the floor and let them up is inexcusable and will cost republicans and conservatives for decades to come. That people did not see this is incredible and that is the real sad thing about Alabama to me.

What a waste.

Closing thought. Now that the Democrats have won the watch every single member of the media who insisted that the allegations against Roy Moore were serious, credible and demanded action suddenly decide they’re old news and the accusers who made them suddenly decide they’re not worth perusing them in the courts at any level. Particularly as such courts would require the rules of evidence be followed and statements made under oath under pains of perjury.

I wonder why?