How many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb?
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Q) How many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A) Such number as may be deemed necessary to perform the stated task in a timely and efficient manner within the stricture of the following agreement: Whereas the party of the first part, also known as 'Lawyer,' and the party of the second part, also known as 'Lightbulb,' do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Lightbulb) shall be removed from the current position. The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not limited to, the following steps:
(1) The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation at his option, by means of a chair, step stool, ladder, or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Lightbulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Lightbulb) in a counter-clockwise direction, this point being nonnegotiable.
(2) Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part (Lightbulb) becomes separated from the party of the third part (Receptacle),the party of the first part(Lawyer) shall have the option of disposing of the party of the second part (Lightbulb) in a manner consistent with all applicable state, local and federal statutes.
Shifting Boundaries Religious Liberty and Same-Sex 'Marriage'
May 16, 2006
A few months ago, I told you about the agonizing choice facing Catholic Charities of Boston: Either serve the needy or remain faithful to Catholic teaching. Specifically, the only way it could continue to handle adoptions according to Massachusetts law was to include same-sex couples among its clientele.
While the Massachusetts law is not new, a new interpretation of the legal protection afforded sexual orientation threatens to undermine religious liberty not just in Massachusetts but also across the nation. It's important to understand the background.
In March, Catholic Charities, citing a "dilemma we cannot resolve," announced that it would no longer facilitate adoptions in Massachusetts. That "dilemma," as writer Maggie Gallagher recently wrote in the Weekly Standard, grew out of the Massachusetts case legalizing same-sex "marriage": that is, the Goodridge decision.
According to Gallagher, central to the Goodridge decision was the finding that "only animus against gay people could explain" different treatment for opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
Thus, after Goodridge, discrimination against same-sex couples in matters of adoption also became illegal. As a state-licensed agency, Catholic Charities was now obliged to serve same-sex couples in a way that it was not before Goodridge.
What's more, it did not matter if Catholic Charities "ceased receiving tax support and gave up its role as a state contractor." After Goodridge, it still could not refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
So, millennia-old religious beliefs gave way to months-old, newly found "rights." Massachusetts refused to consider even the "narrowest religious exemption." One of the oldest adoption agencies was, therefore, forced to stop helping the people it had pledged to serve.
But that raises this question: Are the events in Boston "an aberration or a sign of things to come?" Anthony Picarello of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty believes the latter. He told Gallagher that the effects of decisions like Goodridge on religious liberty will be "severe and pervasive."
Picarello believes that these cases will "affect every aspect of church-state relations"—so much so that recent years will be looked back on as a time of relative peace between church and state.
Instead of litigating over posting the Ten Commandments in public spaces, churches in the future will be trying to keep the state from encroaching on matters of faith and morals.
This will certainly become the case if sexual orientation comes to be seen as analogous to race, which is already the view among many elites, including some in the judiciary. If that happens, as looks likely, then all the force of law unleashed by racism charges will be brought to bear against the Church.
Schools, health-care providers—even Christian camps and, yes, maybe pastors in the pulpit—will be uncertain if they can do their jobs in a way that is both legal and consistent with their beliefs.
The best way to keep the Massachusetts dilemma from spreading is to keep the logic behind the Goodridge decision from spreading. The Marriage Protection Amendment, now pending before Congress, would not only protect traditional marriage, it would also protect the beliefs that underlie traditional marriage—beliefs that, as Gallagher has shown, may soon be treated as the equivalent of Jim Crowe.
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Though liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith, it bears all the attributes of a religion itself. In Godless, I throw open the doors of the Church of Liberalism and show you:
Its sacraments (abortion)
Its holy writ (Roe v. Wade)
Its martyrs (like Soviet spy Alger Hiss)
Its clergy (public school teachers)
Its churches (government schools, where prayer is prohibited but condoms are free)
Its doctrine of infallibility (as manifest in the "absolute moral authority" of spokesmen from Cindy Sheehan to Max Cleland)
And its cosmology (in which mankind is an inconsequential accident)
Then, of course, there's the liberal creation myth: Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
For liberals, evolution is the touchstone that separates the enlightened from the benighted. But I debunk the myth of the "rational" liberal guided by the ideals of free inquiry and the scientific method and expose the truth about Darwinian evolution that liberals refuse to confront: It is bogus science.
In Godless, you will see how liberals' absolute devotion to Darwinism has nothing to do with evolution's scientific validity and everything to do with their refusal to admit the possibility of God as a guiding force.
The tolerant liberal suddenly becomes very intolerant when their official religion is challenged.
So, call me intolerant! But, when have I ever cared about what a liberal thought?