The State always, or at least when it does not sleep, seeks to impose its beliefs on everybody. It does this through the creation of laws, which most people (except Eternal Victims, of course) follow because of the threat of State-controlled violence.
Not just laws, but reams of rules and regulations generated in a constant and growing stream by the bureaucracy. All also backed by threatened violence (fines are violence once removed; try not paying one to see). And, for the old folks, a few remaining traditions impose beliefs, carry overs from the old days that have not yet been eliminated.
Beliefs are imposed everywhere, and it must be so. Somebody’s beliefs must predominate. There is also nothing inherently wrong with the threat of violence to back imposed beliefs. Without controlled violence there is only anarchy, which is uncontrolled violence.
Ethics and morality are inescapably embedded in every law, rule, regulation, and of course tradition. You might try and find ways around this by appealing to arguments of pragmatism and utilitarianism, but these are false philosophies. Every pragmatic, utilitarian, or libertarian “reason” for any action always has beliefs that seek to be imposed in them. There just no other way to say “Do this instead of that.”
Scientism also falls under these failed philosophies. We’ve many times described how people who cry “Believe the Science!” often mistake the “solution” to what they have identified as a problem as “the” Science. They mistake moral decisions with empirical observation.
With that out of the way, we turn to the so-called Supreme Court’s latest unanimous ruling, which allowed Catholic Social Services adoption agency of Philadelphia to continue to discriminate—we really must rescue this word and restore its former glory—against same-sex couples (and throuples and higher clans).
In the Court’s slip opinion, we find this description: “CSS seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else.”
This is what CSS and its advocates argued, and the Court agreed, but they all lied to themselves. Of course CSS wants to impose its belief that same-sex couples (and larger gatherings) are a farce and bad for children. Any who would deal with CSS must necessarily have this belief imposed on them. If they could get away with it, CSS can and should impose its belief on everybody, not just those who come to them.
They should because their belief is true, and the opposite belief (children for their benefit can be placed with any number of people who practice any kind of sexual activity, even with kids) is false. I won’t here prove this obviousity (you heard me), since the point is tangential to our larger argument.
Yet still the Court says this curious thing, because they don’t want to give the appearance of favoring the theoretical basis behind CSS’s belief. That theoretical basis is religion, and favoring any religion, they suppose, is forbidden by the Constitution.
Well, it’s long been argued, and it is true, that if the State has to forbid all formal religions, it will be left to invent its own and impose it on its people. This we see everywhere. Here’s why.
Increasingly, the argument is used that beliefs deduced from orthodox Christian religion must be banned because the State supporting (thus also imposing them) them is equivalent to officially recognizing orthodox Christianity.
Followed to its logical conclusion, the State would have to forbid all beliefs deducible from all formal religions. That’s a lot of beliefs! Yet it has to get its beliefs to impose from somewhere. So it would have to invent its own. And these would form a religion, because the meaning and purpose of life have to be somewhere in these anti-formal-religion beliefs, either directly, or deducible from what is given.
Our culture thinks it can balance practice of religion with the State also not favoring any formal religion. But to practice a religion is to discriminate and impose beliefs, as the CSS did and does. Not all religions are allowed to be practiced, either. Santaria, for instance, and whatever it is the Aztecs did. The State doesn’t admit aloud it forbids religious practice, but it forbids just the same. So the State does favor certain religions, or at least certain religious beliefs.
This was always true, but not always obvious, especially when most of the country either practiced Christianity, or at least recognized it. Christianity is fading just because its being replaced by the State with other religions.
Here is Justice Alito (he and Thomas flying closet to the light) in the official opinion:
The same fundamental principle applies to religious practices that give offense. The preservation of religious freedom depends on that principle. Many core religious beliefs are perceived as hateful by members of other religions or nonbelievers. Proclaiming that there is only one God is offensive to polytheists, and saying that there are many gods is anathema to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Declaring that Jesus was the Son of God is offensive to Judaism and Islam, and stating that Jesus was not the Son of God is insulting to Christian belief. Expressing a belief in God is nonsense to atheists, but denying the existence of God or proclaiming that religion has been a plague is infuriating to those for whom religion is all-important.
The State can choose to remain mute on number of gods—the State does not have to have a law for every belief. People can be allowed to decide for themselves the nature of God or of the gods. But if certain practices are deduced from this belief are forbidden by the State—such as proscribing human sacrifice, except by Planned Parenthood—then the State has, in effect, ruled on the nature of the gods or God after all.
The only point being there is no escaping the necessity of imposing beliefs.
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