July 24, 2015

After Obergefell: The Church and the "New Normal"

George Weigel discusses the way forward for the Catholic Church in light of the Supreme Court's perilous Obergefell v. Hodges decision. In "The Church and the 'New Normal'" (The Catholic Difference,  June 26, 2015) he outlines seven thoughts:
(1) The Supreme Court of the United States [SCOTUS] has rendered a decision that puts the Court at odds with the Constitution, with reason, and with biblical religion.
(2) SCOTUS has gotten it wrong before. It got it wrong on race in Dred Scott and it repeated the mistake in  Plessy vs. Ferguson (which upheld segregated public facilities). It got it wrong by concocting a constitutional “right” to abortion-on-demand in Roe vs. Wade and doubled-down on that mistake by getting it wrong on abortion again in Casey vs. Planned Parenthood. Now SCOTUS has gotten it wrong on marriage. ...
(3) The marriage battle was lost in the culture long before it was lost in the courts. The foundations of our culture have eroded; now, the New Normal insists that literally everything is plastic, malleable, and subject to acts of human will. The result is a moment of profound moral incoherence in which understandings of human nature and human happiness that have stood the test of experience for millennia are being discarded as mere rubbish – and those who resist trashing the moral patrimony of humanity are dismissed as irrational bigots, religious fanatics, or both. ... 
(4) The Catholic Church in the United States bears its share of responsibility for this incoherence. It was clear sixty years ago that the old mainline Protestant cultural hegemony was fading, that an alternative cultural foundation for American democracy was necessary, and that a new cadre of citizen-leaders, capable of articulating the moral truths on which the American democratic experiment rests, had to be raised up... 
Read the rest here.

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