Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On the Egregious USCCR Report, "Peaceful Coexistence"

I have an extremely critical post on it over at Liberty Law. From the end:

[T]he crown jewel in this disaster is Commission Chairman Martin Castro’s one-paragraph statement at page 29. It has to be read to be appreciated, and so let me only discuss the chairman’s choice of epigraph. The words are attributed to John Adams, but they are actually a provision in the Treaty of Tripoli passed in large part in order to negotiate with Muslim national powers in Africa for protection against pirates.

They are: “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

There are at least two problems in beginning this way. The first is that it shows Mr. Castro to be ignorant of Adams’s actual views when it came to, for example, Christian establishments of religion in the early republic. Of all the platitudes he could have chosen, he landed on a spectacularly inapt one.

The second, and larger, difficulty is that it suggests that for all the commission’s talk of  nondiscrimination, it harbors hostility to one religion specifically: Christianity. The commission should be upfront about it, and simply state that its real object is to repudiate the country’s Christian heritage and to target Christianity for special legal disability. It would have saved all of us a lot of time and frustration.

Indeed, it is especially irritating for me to write this post because I wasted my time traveling to Washington, D.C., three years ago to testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. My testimony is at page 213 of the report and following, and I’m grateful at least to see the statements of Commissioners Peter Kirsanow and Gail Heriot. But I repent of my decision to testify. I’ll think twice and three times before ever doing it again.



DeGirolami, Marc | Permalink