In Cleveland, for example, a federal appeals court just struck down the city's school voucher plan because parents could use their vouchers at religious schools. No secular human, by contrast, need fear that courts will rule that public schools as currently structured violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom, because they require parents to submit their children to a secular education as a condition of state aid. Yesterday I read two distinguished legal scholars have published an essay arguing that abstinence education in public schools violates religious freedom because it is based on Christian values. Only moral values unacceptable to the Judeo-Christian majority can, under this new legal theory, be taught in public schools. Liberals don't worry, as I do, that even minor political victories for common values such as teens postponing sex will one day be overturned by courts.
We pass marriage laws; the courts (in Hawaii and Vermont) impose gay marriage law. We pass laws restricting the unfettered right to kill babies in the process of being born; the courts overturn them as potential infringement on the mysterious right to kill unborn babies they said emanates from somewhere in the U.S. Constitution. We fight to defeat the ERA; the courts rule that old fuddy-duddies can't even hang out in private men's clubs together without putting the Constitution at risk. Coloradans say sexual preference should not be, like race, entitled to special legal protection; the Supreme Court says the majority can't make decisions like that for the state in which they live.
If Democrats want to threaten the moral authority of the Supreme Court -- the very authority they depend on for forcing the rest of us to accept abortion on demand, gay marriage and a rewriting of our "backward" (read: Judeo-Christian) ideas of sexual virtue -- I say let 'em.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.