How the Supreme Court’s Expansion of Freedom of Religion Makes Its Decision on the Rights of Gays and Transsexuals Possible

July 28 2020

While many social conservatives were pleased by several recent Supreme Court rulings protecting religious liberty, they were dismayed by the court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County to restrict discrimination against homosexuals and transsexuals. Many liberals, by contrast, saw the decisions upholding the freedom of religious institutions from government imposition as undermining Bostock. But to Adam White, they are complementary:

[T]he Supreme Court’s decisions on sexual orientation, “gender identity,” and other issues might have been facilitated by the fact that religious liberty moderates their impact.

Stated another way, perhaps at least some of the justices in the Bostock majority—including its author, Justice Gorsuch, as well as Chief Justice Roberts and perhaps even others—might well have been made more comfortable announcing broadly that the Civil Rights Act protects gender identity and sexual orientation because they knew that some of the most significant ramifications of such a decision would be moderated by the protections of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Simply put, the Court’s appreciation of religious liberty isn’t rolling back progressive legal victories. It may well be helping to make those victories, rightly understood, possible in the first place.

Read more at Medium

More about: Freedom of Religion, Homosexuality, Supreme Court, Transsexuals


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy