Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Just Who Do We Think We Are?": More Responses to Justice Roberts' Question in Obergefell Dissent

After Obergefell, people are having a field day throwing Justice John Roberts' huffy "Just who do we think we are?" back in his face. Here are two more articles in that vein that have caught my attention in the past several days:

At Huffington Post, Rev. Nicholas Katz, an Episcopal priest, replies to Roberts

The question that begs asking is, just who do you think you are, Mr. Chief Justice? Who are you to act as spokesperson for all people of faith in this country?  . . . 
People of faith across our country took great comfort in celebrating the victory of God's love expressed through the majority opinion. Those people recognized it as a moment in which our country was freed to live into the good news we had been taught by prophets like the Rev. Prof. Peter J. Gomes and countless others who taught from countless traditions that call the United States of America home.
The good news for our country is that our story is not over yet. We can continue to right the historic injustices that persist towards African Americans, people of color, women, immigrants and the poor.

And here's Gary Clinton in the New York Times

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.'s dissent asks of his colleagues, "Just who do we think we are?"
As someone directly affected by the marriage ruling, I would like to tell the chief justice who I am. I am a 64-year-old American. I am a seminary graduate and law school dean of students. I am a taxpayer and a voter. I am the husband of the man I met and fell in love with 42 years ago. 
I am a believer in America’s promise and ideals. I am one of the countless gay and lesbian Americans who have waited in hope that one day our country would recognize the simple fact that we are deserving of equality under the law. 
That’s who I am, Chief Justice Roberts. Who are you?

As Rev. Katz points out, Justice Roberts equates his opposition to marriage equality with the stance of "people of faith." But as Jack Jenkins reminds us at Think Progress

In fact, despite conservative claims to the contrary, people of faith are deeply supportive of LGBT rights in the United States, as recent polls show majorities of nearly every major American Christian group now back marriage equality.

And as Tobin Grant notes for Religion News Service, Catholics stand out among religious groups in that lay Catholics (except for self-defined traditionalists) welcome marriage equality, while their church leaders deplore it. As he states, there is more of a disconnect between Catholics and their church leaders on this issue than in other religious groups.

The dissenting opinions of Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito do not by a long shot represent the views of all people of faith in the U.S. — though they pretend to do just that — and certainly not the views of a majority of their fellow U.S. Catholics.

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