I’m just about as overwhelmed with gratitude as I’ve ever been about the Supreme Court’s announcing today that it will take up the Philadelphia foster-care religious-liberty case. (See Becket lawyer Lori Windam’s tweet thread as a primer; the Becket page on the case is here.) As you may recall, the city stopped working with Catholic Social Services there because of a perceived conflict over LGBT issues, despite the fact there was no one actually making a complaint against the Church ministry.
Foster care is an issue area where more of us need to be working together, not shutting people out based on their traditional religious beliefs. Sometimes I want to scream from the rooftops, Barack Obama said he believed this not so long ago. Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act. The idea that it is so unthinkable to work with a person who believes marriage was meant for a man and a woman is clearly out of control. These children who are languishing because of the tyranny that is developing around it had better be a wake-up call for us to be serious people protecting children and giving them a chance at life.
The plaintiff in this case is Sharonell Fulton, a woman who has given her life for children in foster care in Philadelphia. She’s been sitting and waiting for new children who need a home. But the city will have none of her kind of help anymore. I’ve wondered if another woman named Cecilia Paul died of a broken heart in 2018, when the city put an end to her welcoming children into her home.
May justice be done, religious freedom be protected, and lives be saved with this case. Let it rally more of us to consider our role in making sure no child languishes in foster care. It really is unconscionable. What more can we do?
And thank you, Becket Fund, for looking out for these children by defending the rights of the people who have stepped up to the plate to give love and hope to children in foster care. Pray for the lawyers. Pray for the justices and clerks. Pray for the children. And pray that more will consider their role on account of this case’s being increasingly in the news.