As it does every June, the Supreme Court has been issuing rulings, many of which directly concern the Christian community. As usual, Christians have won some and lost some, and consequently we are subject to two political sins: hubris and despair.Take the case Dale v. Boy Scouts of America, in which BSA fought a lower court's order to admit homosexual Scout leaders. By early June, there was some cause for hope, at least according to attorney Michael McConnell, who helped argue the case before the court. At a recent colloquium at the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., he said BSA should win by a 6– 3 margin, and "I wouldn't be surprised by a unanimous decision." (It actually wasn't so close, winning by a 5-4 margin.)The partial-birth abortion case Carhart v. Stenberg was not expected to fare so well—at least according to professor Hadley Arkes, who also spoke at the Ethics & Public Policy Center Colloquium. He believed the court was likely to strike down, in one fell swoop, the laws of the 30 states that have outlawed partial-birth abortion. They did, but only by another one vote difference.The court split the other two cases on religious activity yesterday as well. In the win column, it narrowly allowed public school systems to lend library books, computers and other instructional items to religious schools. In the loss column, it restricted free speech outside abortion clinics, allowing an eight-foot "buffer zone" free of literature or "oral arguments" around anyone entering a medical facility.But now for the temptation: We are naïve to assume that a for the Boy Scouts will throw gay and lesbian activists into a tailspin. And we would be foolish to conclude that the political battle against abortion is ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more