Recently, in a comment, Andrew raised the choices before Roman Catholic adoption agencies when states have mandated that all adoption agencies must be willing to adopt children to homosexual couples. Specifically, he said:
“1) Continue receiving state funding and discontinue discriminating against potential parents based on certain criteria.
2) Give up state funding and continue discriminating. This would, of course, require the charity to put forth more money (of which the Roman Catholic church is in no short supply) to make up for the lost state money – which, rightfully so – should go towards causes which do NOT discriminate against the state’s residents.
3) Refuse to end discriminatory practices, refuse to compensate the lost state subsidies with their own money, and close the doors.”
As he noted, option three was the choice made. There is more that should be added, however, to expand the perspective, here. We should also look at the state, for it was the actions of the state that forced the Roman Catholic adoption agencies to consider those three options.
The state had four options:
1) Not make it illegal discrimination to choose not to place children in homes of homosexual couples. Keep in mind that under adoption law, no one has the “right” to adopt and the “client” is actually the child.
2) Allowing a plurality of foster care and adoption providers, whatever their religious persuasions or secular positions, respecting the religious diversity we now have. [And please keep in mind compelling interests again, here, and avoid the red herring knee jerk reactions, please.]
3) Refusing to allow adoption agencies to follow the moral dictates of their guiding religions.
4) Make foster care and adoption state-run only, removing the private sector entirely.
My understanding is the Illinois chose number 3.
In the end, I just have trouble seeing why we cannot press for option 2. We should be respecting the diversity we have within our states. To me, this has been one of the more disappointing aspects to the Measure 3 reaction. It seems that some of the opponents were just as content to continue the “culture wars” in the same old cloth as the “religious right” so often is. Rather than seeing Measure 3 and religious freedom from a more libertarian perspective, wherein each religiously affiliated entity may act accordingly, within the confines of “compelling interest” limits, some opponents want to force religious entities to have to accept things that are against their religious dictates. Real religious freedom allows for everything from a freedom from religion to a freedom of religion. What is needed is dialogue toward the end of holding these two together.
Nor is this something that is outside the bounds and experience of Orthodox Christianity. Ours is a faith of free will. The Sixth Ecumenical Council clearly grounded the discussion of free will in a proper understanding of Jesus as the Christ. Yet, so often in America, we find ourselves between a rock (the political and secular left) and a hard place (the political and religious right). It’s not easy, but perhaps with time, we can find the right dialogues with the right people and promote real freedoms and liberties.