Some conservative religious pundits think the Supreme Court, with the death of one member, will now disallow all kinds of “religious liberties.” Others say protections of religious liberties will remain except when issues of equality are present.
If a Democratic Party President is successful in appointing her members to the Court I think that is the pattern we will see continue. That is, individual religious practices will be protected except when they take opportunities away from others. We saw that happen recently with gay marriage. It happened earlier in our history with segregation.
There are plenty of folks who do not see a similarity between racial segregation and homosexual segregation. To me, and to the legal world, they are nearly identical. Both were grounded in religion. Both took away opportunities from a class of people and treated them as an underclass. There was no important economic penalty paid by those who have been forced against their religious beliefs to treat blacks or gays as equals.
The coming storm, or the storm that has already arrived, is about abortion and birth control. Abortion and birth control allow more equal opportunities for women. Making them difficult or impossible to obtain takes away opportunity that rightfully belongs to women. Making them available do not take away economic opportunities for those opposed.
Opposition to gays, abortion, birth control and racial integration have been held to with tenacity. Yet, the appeal and force of equal treatment under the law has pushed aside this opposition.
Interesting times await us.