New Churches, New Movements –


Steve closed his post on Dobbs with a hypothetical:

Self roe deer survives, it would be despite a Catholic majority of 6-3 in court. It would make sense for a Catholic to choose a new religion, just because of what some of the six Catholic judges do in Dobbs? It would seem really strange to me; so would be the collection of new opinions on the content of the law.

I propose a different analogy. Imagine that you are a longtime member of a church. The church professes to have certain beliefs that closely approximate the written word of the scriptures. During the selection process, new members of the clergy embrace all of these Orthodox views. Yet, once in power, those members of the clergy turn away from the scriptures to accommodate the demands of modernity. And that clergy continues to carry out actions incompatible with the orthodoxy of the faith. In general, it is difficult to remove the clergy. Then, a member can decide to leave that church and find a different church that adheres to traditional doctrines of faith. Eventually, if enough people leave the church, the clergy will preach at empty pews. And, if those departures are consistent, a schism can form within the faith. These changes don’t happen overnight, but there is a slow and gradual process towards separation.

I don’t think these departing members would say they are transitioning to a new religion. Rather, they would say that the current clergy are not faithful to the traditional doctrine of the faith, even if they professed such adherence during the selection process.

Now, this analogy breaks down for a thousand reasons. I don’t think the analogy between originality and religion is a good one, although critics of originality will likely see it that way. I, too, personally, would hesitate a lot to leave a house of worship; my preference would be to reform it from the inside. But I think this analogy illustrates why some, including those who have corresponded with me, would be willing to look elsewhere for more traditional practices of originalism.


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