In late February, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) dropped an electrifying remark during a debate on the pro-transgender Equality Act: “What any religious tradition describes as God’s will is no concern of this Congress.” Nadler’s words were an outrageous dismissal of God—and of Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), who had just cited Scripture while arguing that attempting to change genders is a rebellion against God (as indeed it is).
But Nadler’s shocking assertion presented the fundamental problem of religious pluralism clearly for all to see. In the name of religious liberty and equality before the law, how can the government privilege one religious tradition over another? It can cautiously reference “one nation under God,” but can it legitimately consider whether the God in question is the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—or only the distant Supreme Being of the Deists who never came to earth to save anyone? Is “what any religious tradition describes as God’s will” something governing bodies ought to take into account?
According to Catholic tradition, the answer is yes: what the Catholic religion describes as God’s will must be taken into account by governing bodies, including the U.S. Congress. This is because the truth about God and what He wants for the world has been entrusted to the Catholic Church, along with the mission of dispensing the grace capable of restoring fallen individuals and corrupted societies.