Christianity Today offers a significant article today on the rising dilemma over how governments that approve gay marriage will treat those Christian agencies that decline on the grounds of conscience to place children for adoption with unmarried or homosexual couples. (See Should the Marriage Battleground Shift to Religious Freedom?)
As the article describes, “Just a few years ago, a key question in the public square was: Would gay and unmarried couples be allowed to adopt children or serve as foster parents? Now, the question seems to be: Can faith-based agencies with conscientious objections refuse to place children with gay and unmarried couples?”
Of course, there are countless layers to this discussion. The primary public policy question at stake here, however, is not one of sexual morality, but religious liberty and freedom of conscience. As I expressed to the articles’ author, “It is a question of: Can religious organizations continue to operate for the public good in a way that’s consistent with their convictions?”
No doubt, this matter will grow as a politically loaded debate over years to come. Even so, my hope is that this particular question can be one that unifies people that would otherwise disagree, from progressive civil libertarians to traditional conservatives. At least for now, most Americans—even many with little interest in traditional morality—still want to protect freedom of conscience for religious organizations, especially those that are effectively addressing society’s deepest needs.