What do the Tom Brady and Kim Davis cases have to do with our recent liturgical readings, and do we have a clue what we are debating in these cases?
An important precedent was set in the Tom Brady decision. “The suspension was “premised upon several significant legal deficiencies” including the failure to notify Brady of potential penalties…” The federal judge decided Tom Brady’s case using the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Private enterprise must use the same rules of jurisprudence in their decisions as the courts use in theirs. Employers must not only tell employers what they are charging them with. They must also present with the evidence to back up these charges. Tom Brady did labor a big favor.
The Tom Brady decision speaks of rights. Kim Davis speaks of responsibility Does an employee working in a store selling cigarettes have the right to refuse to sell them? They do kill people. Employees represent the store. They promised to sell store products. Where do religious freedoms end and those of the customer begin?
Kim Davis refused to give licenses to marriages she disagreed with. What of the parish priest who refuses to perform the ceremony? A licensed representative of the state, certifying state contracts, he is obliged to perform the ceremony. The marriage certificate is a legal document and as a representative of the state, he endorses said document. We discuss something more complex than we were originally presented. Who really thinks the founding fathers had religious marrying gay people, or anyone else not a member of their church?
In our Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time readings, “In your keeping of the Mitzvah of the NAME, your God, I enjoin you, not to add to what I command you nor subtract.” Did our founding fathers wish for our leaders in private enterprise to be subject to the same jurisprudence rules as government judges? Most were business owners. In the Gospel reading we read how the Pharisees applied the temple rules to the family home. Jesus opposed this as adding to Torah. Tom Brady decision and the Pharisaical decisions both add to the charters of their nations, however well intentioned.
Where do one man’s rights end and another man’s begin. Should gay people marry? When a plumber joins to pieces of pipe, he says he marries them. Is he talking about sacramental marriage? When Romans and Soviets married people, were they talking about sacramental marriage? When the priest performs a marriage, he does something different from the plumber or the state officials of Roman, Moscow, and the local courthouse. Should priests be obligated to perform non-sacramental marriages in his church?
We have opened Pandora’s Box to discuss what what the nation is about. If government is about promoting life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, forming a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, insure domestic Tranquility… what are the limits of that government? The point is not to answer these questions; it is to ask them.