Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Does Justice Kennedy Consider the Creed At Mass A Loyalty Oath (Christian Legal Society V Martinez)

I will post about this disturbing case in much more detail later on today. However I wanted to pointed out one of the most annoying features of the Court Opinion. That is Kennedy's concurrence. Kennedy at times has been at times criticized by both the left and right in letting his wild verbiage get out of control. I have to admit this is the case here. This is not the only strange thing he said but it is the most striking.

The case above dealt with a group that mandated that members and leadership belief and attempt to live up to a statement of official belief to a part of the association. That is to more specific they require members and officers to sign a "Statement of Faith" and to conduct their lives in accord with prescribed principles . This statement reads:

The Statement of Faith provides on must agree too:

"Trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior, I believe in:

One God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
The Deity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, God’s only Son conceived of theHoly Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
His vicarious death for our sins through which we receive eternal life;
His bodily resurrection and personal return.

The presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the work of regeneration.
The Bible as the inspired Word of God."

Sounds pretty creed like to me!!!

In the Society's brief they stated:

The chapter’s constitution also sets forth guiding principles for the chapter and those who publicly associate with it. “Officers must exemplify the highest standards of morality as set forth in Scripture” in order “that their profession of Christian faith is credible.” Id. at 102a-103a. Officers also must “abstain from ‘acts of the sinful nature,’ including those in Galatians 5:19-21; Exodus 20; Matthew 15:19; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.” Ibid.1

To confirm its position amid contemporary religious controversies regarding sexuality, national CLS adopted a resolution in March 2004, which explains: “In view of the clear dictates of Scripture, unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle is inconsistent with an affirmation of the Statement of Faith, and consequently may be regarded by CLS as disqualifying such an individual from CLS membership.” J.A. 146. The resolution applies to “all acts of sexual conduct outside of God’s design for marriage between one man and one woman, which acts include fornication, adultery, and homosexual conduct.” Ibid.
This policy applies to heterosexual as well as homosexual conduct. Nationwide, CLS has only once had to expel a member for beliefs inconsistent with the Statement of Faith, and it is unaware of any homosexual person being expelled from any chapter. J.A. 232.

So what does the CATHOLIC Justice Kennedy that no doubt (well we hope) says the Creed, recites his Baptism promises one a year, etc etc say? On page 48 of the Opinion:

The school’s objectives thus might not be well served if, as a condition to membership or participation in a group, students were required to avow particular personal beliefs or to disclose private, off-campus behavior. Students whose views are in the minority at the school would likely fare worse in that regime. Indeed, were those sorts of requirements to become prevalent, it might undermine the principle that in a university community—and in a law school community specifically—speech is deemed persuasive based on its substance, not the identity of the speaker. The era of loyalty oaths is behind us. A school quite properly may conclude that allowing an oath or belief-affirming requirement, or an outside conduct requirement, could be divisive for student relations and inconsistent with the basic concept that a view’s validity should be tested through free and open discussion. The school’s policy therefore represents a permissible effort to preserve the value of its forum.

So creeds matters are now akin to Loyalty Oaths that can be well discriminated against. I find this breathtaking especially coming from a Catholic Justice. Needless to say Knights of Columbus Chapters on College campuses could be booted as well. Disturbing.

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