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Times sums up arguments in Illinois adoption controversy

December 28, 2011

The New York Times offers a balanced summary of the debate on same-sex adoptions in Illinois, which has led to the closing of Catholic adoption agencies and complaints that the state’s new policy violated the religious freedom of Catholics.

“In the name of tolerance, we’re not being tolerated,” said Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield. The Times notes that similar complaints have been issued—regarding this and other controversies—by other Catholic prelates, Evangelical leaders, and conservative politicians.

The Times notes, however, that the Illinois dispute concerned whether the Church could continue to receive state funding for adoption services after the state’s policy changed. (The same point applies to a more recent debate in Washington over the withdrawal of a federal grant to a program administered by the US bishops’ conference to aid victims of human trafficking.) “Critics the church argue that no group has a constitutional right to a government contract, especially if it refuses to provide required services,” the Times observed.

Anthony Picarello, Jr, a lawyer for the US bishops’ conference, responds to that argument by saying that while a Catholic institution has no “right” to government contract funding, “it does have a First Amendment right not to be excluded from a contract based on its religious beliefs.”


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  • Posted by: normnuke - Dec. 29, 2011 12:24 AM ET USA

    Contrary to usual opinion, pythons and other constrictor snakes don't simply throw their coils around the victim and crush them. They wrap them gently; but every time the victim exhales they ever-so-quickly take up the slack so that the victim cannot again inhale fully. The result is ultimately a complete victory for Obama. Excuse me!!! For the snake, I meant.

  • Posted by: jflare293129 - Dec. 28, 2011 6:43 PM ET USA

    I wonder if this might be our comeuppance for decades of allowing ourselves to feed from the government trough. You can't call it "charity" if the funds come from taxpayer sources. "Charity" can't be a compulsory exercise. Perhaps we need a nation growing ever more intolerant of virtue to remind us of how crucial genuine love and Truth really are.