There’s no question that the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County was devastating – for individuals, families and business owners. For Christians and religious freedom. For freedom of thought and speech. For privacy and safety for women. For the rule of law in America.
Legislating from the bench, the court declared that “sex” in federal nondiscrimination employment law – referring to the biological reality of being male or female – somehow also included “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Despite this egregious ruling, John Bursch, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney who argued the Harris Funeral Homes case that was one of three included in the ruling, is not overly dismayed.
In an ADF interview, “Unpacking Harris: How the Supreme Court Decision Will Impact Law and Life,” he explains why:
“Some have asked, ‘Well don’t you get down or aren’t you discouraged by all this? You know, here we’ve got this ‘conservative’ Supreme Court, and now they did this terrible thing which is going to cause long-term harm to families and to society.’ And my answer to that is always an unequivocal no.”
“I have joy in the situation because God calls us to do His will, to be His foot soldiers, to be his hands and feet here on Earth, but that does not mean that the road is always going to be smooth.
“He doesn’t guarantee us courtroom victories, He doesn’t guarantee us victories in the culture, He doesn’t guarantee us any victories at all. All He guarantees us is salvation, but that’s enough for me. And it’s enough for all of us who love Him, who praise Him, who worship Him – who understand that we’re only here on the Earth for a short time.
“When you take the long view, the important thing is that we get to heaven, we take our spouses to heaven, we take our children to heaven, and that we take as many other souls to heaven with us as we possibly can.”
It’s great encouragement from an attorney who understands the gravity of the recent decision. Bursch has argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court and more than 30 cases in front of state high courts, mostly involving religious liberty or freedom of speech.
In the ADF webinar, Bursch pointed out “one silver lining from this otherwise awful U.S. Supreme Court opinion.” He noted that “at the end of the majority decision, it specifically hands out an olive branch to those who have religious beliefs regarding marriage, regarding human sexuality and gender ideology and sex, and it says that there are protections for those.”
The decision also said that redefining “sex” in Title VII doesn’t affect other federal laws, but only federal employment non-discrimination law – for now anyway. The court also said that under this ruling, “we do not purport to address bathrooms, locker rooms, or anything else of the kind.”
But activists already cry that the ruling doesn’t go far enough, and they’re already discussing how to expand this decision into every area of life. Bursch said that ADF will continue to fight “tooth and nail” the expansion of this ruling into other areas of life.
At the same time, he called on Christians to explain to the broader culture what we believe about marriage, relationships and sexuality. He said:
“It’s not enough to simply to win the court battle, we also have to win the battle of hearts and minds and culture. And that’s something that is very difficult right now, because the other side of these issues has been given a very large megaphone by the media, oftentimes by government and by large corporations. And so we just need to do a lot more grassroots speaking and organizing and education.”
Bursch pointed to the biblical underpinnings of our beliefs, that God made us male and female in His image, so our bodily maleness and femaleness aren’t somehow separate from “who we are” on the inside, but “they are connected.” “Our bodies express a portion of who we are,” he said, and rejecting that is harmful – to individuals and to others.
“So this is truly coming from a place of love,” he said, adding:
“And this isn’t to demean or to diminish in any way the very intense feelings that someone who’s suffering from gender dysphoria might have, or those feelings of sexual attraction, that someone who is same sex attracted might have. But we’re always called to teach in love what God has asked us to do with our bodies, the way God has asked us to live our lives, to align our will with God’s and not to follow something that we just want to do or feel on our own.”
Bursch urged Christians to reject our culture’s views of human sexuality and gender ideology “and really understand better this whole moral relativism that undergirds both of these issues and has infected society.”
He clearly expounded the biblical view of marriage – a beautiful picture that Christians can present to the world:
“We understand that marriage is the coming together of a man and a wife and the ultimate commitment of self-sacrificial love, always wanting what’s best for the other person that is so intense, so deep, that when it comes together in a physical conjugal union, that love actually creates a third person that needs its own name – a son or a daughter.
“This is a beautiful model for our culture, that the family is the building block of society, it is the domestic church, and that love between husband and wife and the child is a model of God’s love for us, the Trinity – that the Father and the Son have so much love for each other, that proceeding is the Holy Spirit.”
Bursch’ message, in the midst of this defeat, is one of encouragement and hope. “God’s got this,” he said, “And this is just a setback; it’s nothing to feel bad about as long as we continue to go out there, spread’s God’s will, His message and build the kingdom – that all will be well. Because Christ has already won the victory for us, we’re already redeemed, and we know the ending of this story.”
Related articles and resources:
Read the first article in this series: ADF Attorney Discusses Harmful Effects of Supreme Court Decision Redefining ‘Sex’
Read John Bursch’s article at ADF: The Source of Our Joy After the Harris Funeral Homes Supreme Court Decision
Watch the ADF Webinar: Unpacking Harris: How the Supreme Court Decision will Impact Law and Life
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