We were pleased to find the following in our hometime rag, the Chicago Tribune:
>But Douglas Kmiec, a constitutional law professor at Pepperdine University in California, isn’t so sure the threat to religious liberty isn’t real.
>Kmiec pointed out that courts have allowed local governments to “retaliate” against the Boy Scouts, such as by denying them access to public parks and boat slips, after the organization refused to include homosexuals as scoutmasters.
>”If enough city councils and other public bodies penalize the Scouts for their decision,” Kmiec said, “the next step should be to revoke their tax exemptions because tax exemptions are dependent on being perceived as serving the public good.
>”The argument is that the Boy Scouts are no longer accomplishing the public good, since they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. It would not be inconceivable to hear arguments that have been successful against the Scouts transferred against the churches.”
>But one of Kmiec’s colleagues was having none of that argument.
>Asked whether the hypothetical religious college at the top of this article could lose its tax-exempt status for refusing to recognize John and James as married students, constitutional law scholar Cass Sunstein said: “Sure–and if pigs had wings they could fly.”
>”The answer is no,” said Sunstein, a professor of law and political science at the University of Chicago. “That’s an argument that would be generated by advocacy groups trying to scare people. The likelihood religious organizations would lose their tax exemption is as close to zero as anything in law is.”
No matter how ridiculous such arguments are, they still get repeated. We heard other versions on NPR on Monday (nothing for now until we find the link). But take a look at this video featuring a slippery and sloping Bill Bennett, and an incredulous Jon Stewart. It’s worth watching.