Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Christian School Board Membership: A Tale of Two Supreme Court Candidates

A Politico article finds it newsworthy that the Christian school to which Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her husband send their older kids, and on whose board she sat for two years before becoming a judge, espouses orthodox Christian beliefs:

The school publishes a “cultural statement” laying out its views on social issues. It articulates a clear, conservative Christian set of values, including discouraging sex before marriage and cautioning students who experience same-sex attraction from “prematurely interpret[ing] any particular emotional experience as identity-defining.”

The article even makes the preposterous claim that the school “appears to have been at odds with American law while Barrett served on the board” because, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s imposition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the school continued to profess that “marriage is a legal and committed relationship between one man and one woman.”

Earth to Politico: The “American law” of religious freedom entitles religious institutions and religious persons to profess their religious beliefs. The Court in Obergefell spelled out this elementary point:

Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.

As it happens, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is on lots of lefty short lists (including that of Demand Justice) for the Supreme Court if Joe Biden is elected president, served as an advisory board member for a Christian school that proclaimed these beliefs:

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation . . . .

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. . . . In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love.…

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. 

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