Cancel Culture Run Amok: What Would the Founders Think?

Written by Clint Elliott

Cancel Culture Run Amok

Recently, two Christians seeking to fulfill their civic responsibility through jury duty on a case in Missouri were robbed of that privilege by cancel culture run amuck. The court in that case summarily struck these two potential jurors from the jury “for cause” solely because they adhere to a biblical view of sexuality. The court deemed the Christian worldview a disqualifying offense because one of the parties in the case is a lesbian. This begs the question – what would our nation’s founders think of the notion that a court could deem Christians unqualified to sit for jury duty simply because they hold to a Christian worldview? 

In 2015, I was honored to serve with a team of lawyers and researchers who prepared and filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the same-sex marriage case before the United States Supreme Court. That brief represented the voices of one hundred and six members of the Kentucky General Assembly who sought to protect Kentucky’s sovereign rights under the Tenth Amendment. In essence, those General Assembly members were representing the citizens of Kentucky, who in 2004 overwhelmingly ratified a constitutional amendment by 74.6% of the voters to recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman. While disregarding Kentucky’s right to self-governance, a majority of the Supreme Court instead concluded that states across the nation must recognize same-sex marriages.[1] And so, the cancel culture began in earnest because, in retrospect, that case was never simply about marriage. In fact, immediately after the decision, the rally cry of “beyond marriage” rang across the nation.

Then and now, Supreme Court Justice Alito provided a prophetic warning to our nation as a foretaste of things to come. In response to the Missouri court’s rejection of Christians on the jury, Justice Alito reminds us that then, in 2015, he cautioned that the Supreme Court’s mandate in the same-sex marriage case means “that Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be ‘labeled as bigots and treated as such’ by the government.” [2] Yet such treatment by the government, as Justice Alito points out, radically conflicts with our founding bedrock guarantee that the government must respect every person’s right to the free exercise of religion. A person’s sincerely held religious belief should not disqualify that person from the privilege of participating in our republic.  And yet, here we are, beyond marriage with the cancel culture now run amuck.

In response, the church must not shirk back but must increasingly speak into culture and into the lives of those we live and work with as a moral compass back to truth. Now, more than ever, the church must show up, stand up, and speak up. To assist in that effort, the Justice Defense Foundation is launching the Biblical Citizenship Academy to equip families to empower the next generation to boldly lead our nation into the future with a Christian worldview for all areas of life.  Will you join us in this great adventure?

[1]Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015). 

[2]Missouri Dept. of Corrections v. Finney, 601 U.S. ___ (2024). 

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