Friday, July 17, 2015
Fr. Thomas Reese has this piece, at NCR, about the views and work of Prof. Doug Laycock regarding the current religious-liberty landscape. I'm not sure the title of the piece captures the range of what Laycock is saying -- he is quite clear-eyed about the fact that religious liberty's vulnerable status has to do with a lot of things besides "bishops' strategy" and most of the piece focuses on what sure looks to me like the intransigence and aggressiveness of religious-freedom's opponents -- but put that aside. The piece is worth reading to get a good sense of Laycock's position. (I've been working with him on a few legislative proposals, and believe that he is one of the most important, and admirably fair and liberal, persons in the public square.)
One thing that comes out in the piece is Laycock's view that "conservatives'" opposition to the "sexual revolution" is contributing to the waning support for religious liberty among "liberals." This raises a tricky challenge, though, because -- I would think, and I would assume Fr. Reese would agree -- Christians ("conservative" or "liberal") don't have much of an alternative to opposing -- at least in terms of our teaching, formation, and witness -- a whole lot of what comes under the heading of the "sexual revolution." The extent to which this opposition should or can be expressed in positive law is another matter but, increasingly, it seems as though the opposition itself is something that it has now become the mission of a certain understanding of political liberalism to push aside.