Ryan T. Anderson
A Zoned-Out Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, professional Defender of the Faith on behalf of Heritage Foundation has become obsessed with all things RFRA. Today we have two more polemics on the Heritage blog (Daily Signal) plus some Op-Ed submissions. Mr. Anderson is a presumed Opus Deist (I suspect that he is becoming a numerary). His devotion to the Catholic Church is unequivocal and all consuming.

Mr. Anderson’s major- problem with anti-discrimination laws probably goes back to the teachings of then Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus). In 2003, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (FKA The Inquisition), Ratzinger wrote his now infamous treatise on homosexuality which concluded that the Church would not, and could not, recognize any form of legal same-sex union. Included therein is this passage:

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

In other words, according to the tenets of the Catholic Church, it is now the duty  of every good Catholic to oppose, in any way possible, same-sex unions. Same-sex marriage (according to the treatise) is evil and laws furthering these unions are “gravely unjust.” It follows that disobeying these laws is “conscientious objection.” It’s arrogance, really. It’s also offensive. I had friends who fled to Canada as conscientious objectors to the Vietnam war. As conscientious objection goes, refusing to arrange flowers or bake a cake to oppose the marriage of two strangers doesn’t seem to compare to protesting against what some felt was a “gravely unjust” war. Gays marry — no one dies.

Brian Brown, a Catholic fanatic and head of National Organization for Marriage, is in the same boat. Last night he wrote, in all caps, DON’T LET THEM DO TO ARKANSAS WHAT THEY DID TO INDIANA!

Ratzinger managed to  place the doctrine of the Church above the laws and responsibilities that are in place for all citizens. Anderson and Brown want those laws to conform to the needs of the Church (as expressed by one or more of its bishops) without creating legal peril. According to them only then are the scales balanced. What is required of both these zealots is some perspective and some humility.

Up next, time permitting, I have started to go through Ryan Anderson’s amicus brief for the upcoming marriage cases before the Supreme Court. It is, shall we say, interesting.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.