ABOVE: James Gottry, vice president of Public Policy for the James Dobson Family Institute, appeared on the Wednesday afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to discuss the Supreme Court's decision and the ramifications it could have on religious freedom. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel. For a programming schedule, click here.
The US Supreme Court stunned court watchers on Monday with its ruling that has redefined the very meaning of the word "sex" to protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination in the workplace. However, when the law was written in 1964, there were only two options: male or female. Now "sex" also means both one's sexual orientation and one's gender identity.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act already protected people from employer sexual discrimination as well as discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin.
Dr. James Dobson, president of the James Dobson Family Institute, believes the justices' decision is an attempt to redefine nature, making it an offense against God.
"In an outrageous ruling that should shake America's collective conscience to its core, the U.S. Supreme Court has redefined the meaning of 'sex' under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to include 'gender identity' and 'sexual orientation.' Not only was this decision an affront against God, but it was also a historical attack against the founding framework that governs our nation," Dobson said in a statement.
"Our judiciary is constitutionally charged with interpreting the law, not making law. In its 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court acted as a super-legislature and failed to carry out its primary duty to the American people. And we will all pay the price," he explained.
"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of 'race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.' 'Sex,' as used in Title VII means 'male and female,' a simple fact supported by the overwhelming weight of legal authority. Any change to its statutory meaning must come from Congress, and Congress has refused to make such a change for the last 45 years. What gives six justices the right to decide otherwise? Not the Constitution!" Dobson continued.
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"In his dissent, Justice Alito writes that the majority decision 'is like a pirate ship. It sails under a textualist flag, but what it actually represents is a theory of statutory interpretation... that courts should 'update' old statutes so that they better reflect the current values of society.' In plain words, it's not the job of the high court to infuse new meaning into the laws of our land. Americans should be able to rely on what the law says. Instead of upholding this commonsense principle, the court issued a decision that hurts women, ignores biological reality, and calls into question the future of First Amendment freedoms of expression and belief," the host of Family Talk said.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, says there's a spiritual war going on in our nation.
"Justice Alito laid out the potential consequences of today's ruling — the end of sex-specific bathrooms and locker rooms; allowing biological men to compete in women's sports and earning scholarships set aside for women; lawsuits against colleges that refuse to assign opposite-sex students as roommates; punishment for churches who require employees to adhere to biblical models of human sexuality; mandatory coverage for 'sex reassignment' surgeries (better described as gender mutilation); and that's just the beginning," he said.
"If there was any question that our country is in the midst of a spiritual war over its very heart and soul, this abhorrent decision removes any shred of doubt. In one of the most difficult seasons for our nation, this is an incredibly dark day and must be countered with great prayer," Dobson concluded.
A 'Radical Rewrite' by 'Judicial Fiat'
Others like the Family Research Council's (FRC) Peter Sprigg also spoke out about the high court's ruling.
"When Congress prohibited employment discrimination based on 'sex' in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, both their intention and the plain meaning of the word indicated that they were prohibiting discrimination against an individual because the person is biologically male or biologically female," Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the FRC noted.
"We are disappointed the Supreme Court chose to radically re-write the statute by expanding its meaning to cover 'gender identity' and 'sexual orientation.' The failure of LGBT activists to achieve their goals through the democratic process is no excuse to simply bypass that process and obtain their goal by judicial fiat instead," he said.
Seismic Implications for Religious Liberty
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention, believes the Supreme Court set a precedent with its ruling that will have "have major implications going forward on how the public meaning of words at the time laws are passed should mean for how they are interpreted in the future."
Moore says the ruling could have seismic implications for religious liberty, "setting off potentially years of lawsuits and court struggles, about what this means, for example, for religious organizations with religious convictions about the meaning of sex and sexuality. This will mean not only that this is just the beginning of the legal discussion at this point, but also that Congress must clarify precisely what they intended, or intend now, in laws that protect women from unjust discrimination—laws that now are to be applied much more broadly."
The ERLC president said with the high court's ruling, the church must see that the biblical teaching of family—of male and female—is threatened.
"What is most important is for the church to see where a biblical vision of sexuality and family is out of step with the direction of American culture," Moore noted. "For 2,000 years, the Christian tradition, rooted in the Bible, has taught that human beings are limited by our createdness. We are not self-created, nor are we self-determining beings. God has created us, from the beginning, male and female—a concept articulated at the very onset of the biblical canon (Gen. 1:27) and reaffirmed by our Lord Jesus (Mk. 10:6). That's because this creation order is not arbitrary but is intended to point beyond itself to the mystery of the gospel (Eph. 5:32). Here the church has stood, and will stand."