This Ain’t Crystal Night

Bill Neinast

Two head scratchers about Christianity crossed my desk simultaneously last week. They were generated thousands of miles apart.  One was from New York.  The other was from right here in central Texas.

The first was an opinion piece in The New York Times for June 21. It reported that about half of the Americansinterviewed agreed that, “discrimination against Christians has become as big a problem as discrimination against other groups.”

That is when the head scratching began.  What had I missed?

Had there been some trashing of Christian stores like that of the Jews in Germany on Crystal Night that did not make the news?  Are Christians now required to wear crosses on their shirts like the Star of David emblazoned on Jews by the Nazis?  Or has there been some mass beheadings of Christians by Muslims in the U.S. like those in Africa and the Mid East?

As the scratching was beginning to get a bit painful, the light of understanding clicked on.  Some Christian businesses had been required to provide their services or products for homosexual weddings.

What discrimination!  That is much worse than requiring white businesses to provide their services on an equal basis to Black customers back in the 60s. It penalizes Christians for their refusal to accept historical and scientific facts.

Then the second shoe fell.  This was the letter to the editor of this paper complaining about the absence of Christians on the Supreme Court.   The current composition of six Roman Catholics and three Jews was somehow unfair or discriminatory.  The absence of atheists, Muslims, Russian Orthodox, Buddhists, and other religions did  not seem of concern.

So back to scratching the head.  There is no list of qualifications for Supreme Court justices, and the history of the court reveals an eclectic mix of jurists after 1831.

Prior to 1831, however, there is a different story.  The first court convened on Feb 2, 1790, consisted of six white male Protestants.  That religious purity was not broken for 41 years.  

Roger Taney, the first Catholic justice, did not join the court until 1831.  Then it was another 85 years before a Jew was allowed on board.  Luis Brandeis, a Jew who is recognized as one of the leading justices of history, took his seat in 1916.

Then in mid century, things really went to pot.  Blacks and females started becoming justices.

So look at what we have today.  Here is a court composed of Black and White, male and female, Catholic and Jew.  But not a single Protestant, Muslim, or atheist among them.  

How can a court so unbalanced without a single Protestant possibly reach rational decisions?  Such a court might even go back and overturn some of the sound decisions made by those Protestant only benches in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Scratching my head so hard over this has given me a headache.  So I give up.  Go on and keep discriminating against Christians and keep those Protestants away from the Supreme Court.

So here’s the perspective.  

Believing that requiring all businesses open to the public must serve everyone without regard to race, religious beliefs, gender or any other factor is discrimination is scary.

Insisting that there must be Protestant or Protestants on a court or jury to give balance is even worse.

What is happening to the old Home of the Free?   


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