Christians Lose Again

by Jason Stotts

In another Supreme Court ruling, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 08-1371, SCOTUS ruled that a christian group cannot bar gays from being members if it receives public funding.  The AP report (from SFGate) notes Justice Stevens:

…was even harsher, saying while the Constitution “may protect CLS’s discriminatory practices off campus, it does not require a public university to validate or support them.”

Stevens, who plans to retire this summer, added that “other groups may exclude or mistreat Jews, blacks and women — or those who do not share their contempt for Jews, blacks and women. A free society must tolerate such groups. It need not subsidize them, give them its official imprimatur, or grant them equal access to law school facilities.”

I think that this is not a first amendment issue as the christians were claiming, but rather an issue of what ideas a state should subsidize.  While Stevens rightly argues it should not be christian ideas that involve hatred of gays, I would want to go much farther and argue that the state should subsidize no ideas.

By allowing the government to subsidize ideas, you force some people to pay for ideas abhorrent to them and deprive people of money that they might have used to support an opposite position.  The government should be in the business of guaranteeing individual rights through law and order, nothing else.

Let me end by saying that I completely agree with Thomas Jefferson when he said:

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”

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