Like many things in life, it isn’t always either/or. Jesus challenges us to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar‘s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Notice this isn’t phrased in a way that is mutually exclusive.
There is a path to accommodation. May God grant us the wisdom to follow that path.
That the clerk in Rowan County couldn’t be accommodated does not mean that no clerk should ever be accommodated. Unfortunately, some activists on the left think all wedding professionals and civil servants should be forced to violate their beliefs about marriage or find a new line of work.
There’s a better way.
As I explain in my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” there are ways in which public policy can create a win-win situation: where all eligible couples can receive a license and where as many employees as possible can be accommodated.
North Carolina provides a great example. The state legislature earlier this year passed a law that protects magistrates who object to performing solemnizing ceremonies for same-sex marriages and clerks who object to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. It also makes clear that no one can be denied a marriage license, but magistrates or clerks could recuse themselves from the process behind the scenes should they have sincere objections to same-sex marriage.
Again, it’s a win-win for everyone. No one loses anything.It’s not just the North Carolina law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires the government to accommodate conscientious objectors as best it can. Title VII applies to all employers, including the government, and requires that employers grant reasonable religious accommodations to employees, provided those accommodations don’t create an undue hardship for the employer.