Recently, in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, something happened that I never thought would happen in America. The Supreme Court upheld a ruling by a university to refuse to recognize as a student organization a group (the Christian Legal Society) because in order to be a member in the group you have to agree to a statement of faith that the university claims is contrary to their policy that all students be allowed membership in any group, regardless of sexual orientation, religious belief, etc.
In the ruling, Justice Kennedy (the “swing vote” that decided things 5-4 in favor of the university) compared the statement of faith to “loyalty oaths” of the McCarthy era, saying that “the era of loyalty oaths is behind us.”
Here’s what’s profoundly absurd: he simply traded one loyalty oath for another. As a Justice in our land’s highest court, how can he not see the policy of “tolerance” and “openness” that the University has as a loyalty oath? Student organizations have to agree to abide by this oath: anybody can join.
The wording is unclear regarding leaders in groups, but imagine a die-hard liberal wanting to join and become president of the Young Republican club on campus. Or imagine a member of the KKK wanting to become a leader in the NAACP chapter on your local campus. That’s absurd. But that’s precisely the precedent set by this ruling.
You can’t get away from the fact that eventually, everyone is taking a loyalty oath in life. We all bet the farm on something. For Christians, we bet the farm on Jesus, as revealed in Scripture. He’s our bottom line. Secular humanists bet the farm on there not being a God. Atheistic socialists bet the farm on the ability of the government to take care of them. Bill Gates bets the farm on money being able to satisfy him.
Anybody is welcomed to join our group on campus, sure. We don’t have members sign a statement of faith. But we do have leaders sign things like that. And just like the pagan group on campus would be super uncomfortable having me (as a person who believes in Jesus as the only way to heaven, and therefore not pagan in any sense of the word) as a leader, we all have standards, statements of faith, loyalty oaths.
It is terrifying that a Justice of the Supreme Court would be blind to the ramifications of his own worldview. He’s taken a loyalty oath (to secular humanism) and he doesn’t even know it.