The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Foster Care Is a Victory for Religious Freedom—and Not a Defeat for Gay Rights

June 18 2021

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday in favor of Catholic Social Services, a religious agency that the Philadelphia government had shut down because it would not place foster children in the care of same-sex couples. The court concluded that the city had violated the institution’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Alexandra Desanctis notes what liberal critics of the decision fail to understand:

[This] case isn’t, as left-wing activists insist, about “gay rights” at all; it is about children in need. [Moreover], it’s entirely inaccurate to suggest, as Politico did in its breaking-news update, that the court has sided with a group “that turns away same-sex couples as foster parents.” . . . As shown by the Becket Fund, which defended Catholic Social Services in court, the city of Philadelphia has been unable to find a single instance of a same-sex couple so much as approaching the Catholic agency about fostering a child. To suggest that the agency “turns away” such couples, then, is simply untrue.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Politico’s account claims that the court’s ruling now permits Catholic Social Services to “reject would-be parents based on their sexual orientation.” But the institution’s policy has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Rather, the policy—informed by the teaching of the Catholic Church—is to work to place foster children in homes with a married mother and father.

The reason for hypothetically refusing to place a child with a same-sex couple, marital status aside, is because the Catholic Church teaches, and the agency believes, that it is best for children to live in a home headed up by a married mother and father. The sexual orientation of the individuals is beside the point.

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Read more at National Review

More about: Freedom of Religion, Homosexuality, Supreme Court

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Risk Their Lives, but Still May Do More Harm Than Good

Jan. 27 2023

Last month an Irish member of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed by Hizballah guerrillas who opened fire on his vehicle. To David Schenker, it is likely the peacekeeper was “assassinated” to send “a clear message of Hizballah’s growing hostility toward UNIFIL.” The peacekeeping force has had a presence in south Lebanon since 1978, serving first to maintain calm between Israel and the PLO, and later between Israel and Hizballah. But, Schenker explains, it seems to be accomplishing little in that regard:

In its biannual reports to the Security Council, UNIFIL openly concedes its failure to interdict weapons destined for Hizballah. While the contingent acknowledges allegations of “arms transfers to non-state actors” in Lebanon, i.e., Hizballah, UNIFIL says it’s “not in a position to substantiate” them. Given how ubiquitous UN peacekeepers are in the Hizballah heartland, this perennial failure to observe—let alone appropriate—even a single weapons delivery is a fair measure of the utter failure of UNIFIL’s mission. Regardless, Washington continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into this failed enterprise, and its local partner, the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Since 2006, UNIFIL patrols have periodically been subjected to Hizballah roadside bombs in what quickly proved to be a successful effort to discourage the organization proactively from executing its charge. In recent years, though, UN peacekeepers have increasingly been targeted by the terror organization that runs Lebanon, and which tightly controls the region that UNIFIL was set up to secure. The latest UN reports tell a harrowing story of a spike in the pattern of harassment and assaults on the force. . . .

Four decades on, UNIFIL’s mission has clearly become untenable. Not only is the organization ineffective, its deployment serves as a key driver of the economy in south Lebanon, employing and sustaining Hizballah’s supporters and constituents. At $500 million a year—$125 million of which is paid by Washington—the deployment is also expensive. Already, the force is in harm’s way, and during the inevitable next war between Israel and Hizballah, this 10,000-strong contingent will provide the militia with an impressive human shield.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy