The conventional wisdom (at least among many religious conservatives) is that conservative churches, with their uncompromising stances on moral issues, are growing and vibrant, while liberal mainline churches that capitulated to “the world” are shrinking. However, the truth is a bit more complicated than that.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the Catholic blogosphere, you know that the term “anti-Catholic” is bandied around like it’s going out of style. We’re constantly being told that the mainstream media is anti-Catholic, that this or that artistic work is anti-Catholic, that the Affordable Care act is anti-Catholic because of the contraception mandate, and so on and so forth. When I considered myself “orthodox,” I used to believe in the notion of rampant anti-Catholicism, but now I’m more skeptical.
(Given the controversies about feminism that have been cropping up again and again in atheist circles, I think that this unpublished essay that I wrote last year would be apropos)
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is scheduled to hear arguments on whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in April. A ruling in the affirmative would strike down the remaining same-sex marriage bans at the state level and allow LGBT people to get married in in all fifty states, even in the Deep South. Given the divided nature of the court, the outcome will be anyone’s guess, but conservatives are pre-emptively preparing for the possibility of state-sanctioned gay marriage. Culture warriors like Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal are already talking about resisting any SCOTUS ruling that would legalize same-sex marriage, and it’s safe to assume that their supporters among Tea Partiers, white evangelicals, and white conservotrad Catholics are doing the same. While I expected apocalyptic rhetoric about the advent of same-sex marriage and the intent to keep on fighting even if SCOTUS rules in favor of universal gay marriage, my assumption was that conservatives would realize that continued resistance to same-sex marriage is politically unfeasible. That was until I read about this story: