University of Dallas Hosts Panel on Religious Freedom

  1. September 13, 2017 - Irving, TX - Andrew Doran, vice president of In Defense of Christians, speaks at the University of Dallas Challenges to Religious Freedom Panel. (Anthony Mazur/AM News Net)
    September 13, 2017 - Irving, TX - Andrew Doran, vice president of In Defense of Christians, speaks at the University of Dallas Challenges to Religious Freedom Panel. (Anthony Mazur/AM News Net)
  2. September 13, 2017 - Irving, TX - Matthew Kacsmaryk, Deputy General Counsel at the First Liberty Institute speaks at the University of Dallas Challenges to Religious Freedom panel. (Anthony Mazur/AM News Net)
    September 13, 2017 - Irving, TX - Matthew Kacsmaryk, Deputy General Counsel at the First Liberty Institute speaks at the University of Dallas Challenges to Religious Freedom panel. (Anthony Mazur/AM News Net)
  3. September 13, 2017 - Irving, TX - Peter Wolfgang, head of the Family Institute of Connecticut, speaks at the University of Dallas Challenges to Religious Freedom panel. (Anthony Mazur/AM News Net)
    September 13, 2017 - Irving, TX - Peter Wolfgang, head of the Family Institute of Connecticut, speaks at the University of Dallas Challenges to Religious Freedom panel. (Anthony Mazur/AM News Net)
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Posted 09/13/17, 8:14 PM CST
 
IRVING, TX (AM News Net) — The University of Dallas, a private Catholic institution, hosted a panel on challenges to religious liberty Wednesday night.

The event, moderated by politics professor Dr. Burns, fostered discussion between Andrew Doran, vice president of In Defense of Christians, an advocacy group for minorities in the Middle East, Matthew Kacsmaryk, who is Deputy General Counsel at the First Liberty Institute and served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 2008 through 2013 and is now being nominated by President Trump to a district court position, and Catholic writer and head of the Family Institute of Connecticut Peter Wolfgang, on current challenges to religious liberty in the United States and abroad.

The organizers requested the event be off the record, but Peter Wolfgang accepted to do an interview afterwards.
Summing up some of his points laid out on the panel, Wolfgang explained his theory of how modern political culture resembles the Brezhnevism of the Cold War.

“There is something unappeasable about the Left,” Wolfgang said. “That’s what I mean by Brezhnevism. When [the Left has] an advance for their causes, their advance can’t be reversed.”

The term stems from the Soviet doctrine popularized by then General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev that stated a socialist country must always remain socialist, and any deviation becomes the concern of all socialist countries.
“Whereas when we have the slightest victory for our side of the fence, that is considered an outrage and must be overturned right away,” Wolfgang said. “Think for instance of the reaction to Proposition Eight in California; Think of the reaction to the Hobby Lobby ruling in 2014. When they win it is supposed to be the end. When we win it is an outrage, it cannot stand, and it must be overturned.”

Proposition Eight, a California constitutional amendment that was passed in 2008 saying only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California, was later overturned in 2010 in Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Judge Walker, who made the decision, explained there was no rational basis or vested interest in his opinion to make such an amendment.

“As such, Proposition Eight is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives,” Walker said in his ruling.

Appeals to the decision went to the Supreme Court in 2013, but the justices stated proponents of the amendment lacked standing to sue.

The relatively short amount of time it took to reverse the ban on same-sex marriage, along with other historical cases on hot-button sexual ethics issues, has also been noted by Wolfgang. For example, a rule declaring there was no constitutional right to sodomy was overturned 17 years later in 2003.

“Within 17 years, which is a head-turning short amount of time, in 2003 that ruling was over turned in Lawrence v Texas,” Wolfgang said. “Meanwhile, pro-lifers have been trying, not for 17 years, but for 45 years, without success yet, to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

In Wolfgang’s opinion, the courts are overstepping their authority when he believes the people should decide, rather than a court seeming to legislate from the bench.

“What they are doing is short-circuiting democracy and they’re creating the culture war,” he said. “They are the ones taking important issues that we might have resolved peacefully and they are making it do-or-die. They’re raising the heat on those issues.”

Opponents may argue that the Supreme Court was forced to take up the case after the circuits in the country had differing opinions and that they finally had to step in. The highest court in the country refused to hear seven same-sex marriage cases in 2014, causing some circuits to have the bans be illegal, but others not.

Nevertheless, Wolfgang and the Family Institute of Connecticut will continue their fight in their state.

“I do think we have to push back at the left, he said. “We cannot be cowed. We cannot be intimidated by this unappeasability [sic] of the left. We need to show them, that no, it’s not the case that their victories can be overturned but all our victories can be overturned. We are going to fight back We are going to win, and we are going to take back lost ground.”

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