Seems Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan (proving that even my state has its fair share of religious nuts) is upset that the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision that decided “it was constitutionally permissible to exclude the Scouts from a state charitable program because the Scouts excluded avowed homosexuals from leadership positions.” Combined with another recent ruling by the SC two weeks ago (Davey v. Locke) that held it was Constitutional for the State of Washington to withdraw a scholarship from a student who decided to major in Theology, Thompson has decided that the Supreme Court is now firmly in the Anti-Christian camp.
“The Court’s refusal to hear the Boy Scouts appeal, coming on the heels of its recent decision approving state discrimination against a Christian theology student, is evidence of a disturbing anti-Christian trend in the federal courts. It suggests that the Supreme Court has taken sides in the Culture War facing our nation.”
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan had filed amicus briefs in both cases. In the Boy Scouts case, the Law Center pointed out, “The Second Circuit’s opinion threatens not only the First Amendment right to expressive association, but also the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. This opinion adversely affects the First Amendment rights of the Boy Scouts, and it has far reaching implications that could threaten the constitutional rights of religious-based organizations that seek to promote and preserve their organizational values, particularly with regard to the issue of homosexuality.”
In other words, because they didn’t decide in favor of the Christians in these cases then they must be anti-Christian!
It would seem that Mr. Thompson thinks that it should be OK for the Boy Scouts to discriminate against others, but shouldn’t be discriminated against themselves. I fail to see how the Second Circuit’s opinion in any way threatens the BSA’s First Amendment rights of expressive association and free exercise of religion as the decision doesn’t say the BSA is restricted from those rights, all it says is the State isn’t Constitutionally obligated to include the BSA in a state charitable program if the State disagrees with the BSA’s policies. In other words, the State is free to exclude the BSA in the same way that the BSA is free to exclude homosexuals and atheists.
Fair is fair after all, but then I suspect Mr. Thompson and the BSA don’t want things to be fair, they just want things to be in their favor. Thompson resorts to pointing out that the BSA was allowed to participate in the program for 30 years before this became an issue in a classic example of the fallacy of argumentum ad antiquitatem.
Thompson had earlier criticized Connecticut for pandering to the homosexual agenda by punishing the Scouts for exercising their constitutional rights, “Permitting this decision [Second Circuit Court of Appeals] to stand would in effect allow governments to legally extort organizations and individuals to give up basic beliefs.”
No, all it means is that the Government isn’t compelled to support organizations with basic beliefs the government doesn’t agree with. If they want to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to discriminate then they need to understand that they don’t have a Constitutionally protected right to government funding. Natch.