The Catholic bishops have released another Declaration of Theocracy.
As expected, it’s basically a rehash of the same arguments the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty has been making for almost a year. This document, though, is even more pointed and hostile than previous statements, expressing disdain for (and even a refusal to acknowledge) court rulings against the Bishops, vowing not to obey “unjust laws,” and pledging to deploy “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” to resist “totalitarian incursions against religious liberty” this summer.
In other words, theocracy. Disobey laws, disobey judges, do what the bishops say “God” says instead. That. is. theocracy.
The Bishops’ statement complains about the treatment of Christian students on college campuses, alleging that “the University of California Hastings College of Law has denied student organization status to only one group, the Christian Legal Society, because it required its leaders to be Christian and to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage.” The CLS requires members and those wishing to hold leadership positions in the club to be professing Christians and to disavow “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle.” To gain official club status, the group requested an exemption from the school’s anti-discrimination policy, which the school denied, thus denying CLS official student organization status. In 2010, though, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the law school’s denial of official status to the group did not violate its free exercise rights. Yet the Bishops persist in claiming that this denial infringes on Christian student rights.
As the ACLU’s Paul Cates noted when the case was pending before the Court in early 2010:
If the court were to accept CLS’s claim that religious beliefs trump the need to abide by non-discrimination rules, all non-discrimination laws—the laws we have put in place to guarantee everyone an equal opportunity to earn a living, find housing and to obtain access to critical services including health care—would be in jeopardy.
And we would be living under a theocracy. That would be bad. Resist the bishops.