Today the United States Supreme Court announced it would “consider — but not necessarily to decide — some of the most important constitutional issues at the heart of that national controversy“—redefining marriage. They will hear arguments regarding California’s Proposition 8, and the Defense of Marriage Act.
I plan on writing more about marriage in January, but I’ll lay out some of the issues here.
First, watch for the propaganda machine that has been and is in full swing. Don’t let people redefine words: the issue is not traditional marriage v. same-sex marriage, the issue is marriage v. the redefinition of marriage. You will see all seven tricks of the propaganda trade and their corollaries.
Do some reading. Understand the issues and be able to explain what marriage is and its necessity to individual well-being, to families, to the economy and to society. In the side bar under Resources you’ll see a link to What Is Marriage? It’s a lengthy paper, but an important one and answers many questions. There’s also a link to Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good. There are many articles on marriage at the site. Some of them may be slow to get through, and I’m not endorsing every statement or author, but there is some excellent thinking at Public Discourse. If ever there were a time “to dare to read, think, speak, and write,” it is now.
Prior to the last few decades, marriage has always been defined and recognized across time and across cultures as a relationship between a man and a woman. What we are looking at today is not an inclusion into this institution of those who have been “denied” marriage because of their homosexual ac- tivity, but a redefinition of a relationship that is the cornerstone of society, and which societies and countries have protected through legal means because of the under- standing and recognition of the importance to society of the mutual and complementary love, enjoyment and support uniquely pro- vided by each sex to the other, and because of the understanding and recognition of the importance of the future of a society through the protection and rearing of children in a family setting in which they learn love, trust, discipline and identity through the unique and different abilities and perspectives of the two sexes.
Among other things, the continual drive to redefine marriage is about gaining approval for a lifestyle that has been considered immoral and perverse throughout most of history—and making it illegal for those who believe that it is immoral and perverse not only to voice their beliefs, but also to live according to their beliefs.
The conflict over religious liberty is here: on abortion via Obamacare and on marriage via ongoing attempts to redefine it. In May of 2006 Maggie Gallagher wrote:
Banned in Boston: The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty.1
Notice the headline uses the phrase same-sex marriage rather than redefining marriage.
…last December , the Becket Fund brought together ten religious liberty scholars of right and left to look at the question of the impact of gay marriage on the freedom of religion. Picarello summarizes: “All the scholars we got together see a problem; they all see a conflict coming. They differ on how it should be resolved and who should win, but they all see a conflict coming.”
…Reading through these and the other scholars’ papers, I noticed an odd feature. Generally speaking the scholars most opposed to gay marriage were somewhat less likely than others to foresee large conflicts ahead–perhaps because they tended to find it “inconceivable,” as Doug Kmiec of Pepperdine law school put it, that “a successful analogy will be drawn in the public mind between irrational, and morally repugnant, racial discrimination and the rational, and at least morally debatable, differentiation of traditional and same-sex marriage.”
…By contrast, the scholars who favor gay marriage found it relatively easy to foresee looming legal pressures on faith-based organizations opposed to gay marriage, perhaps because many of these scholars live in social and intellectual circles where the shift Kmiec regards as inconceivable has already happened. They have less trouble imagining that people and groups who oppose gay marriage will soon be treated by society and the law the way we treat racists because that’s pretty close to the world in which they live now.
Gallagher quoted Chai Feldblum saying (yes, that Chai Feldblum2 who was first an Obama recess appointment to the EEOC and has now been confirmed by the Senate. She is also pro-abortion, and even before her tenure the EEOC was limiting religious freedom of a Catholic college.3):
“And yet when push comes to shove, when religious liberty and sexual liberty conflict, she admits, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”
Tattered as many families and marriages are across this country, our goal as individuals and as a nation should be to support them and assist the strengthening and perpetuity of this institution rather than its destruction. Christians work as individuals and as groups to help marriages and children. The attempt by those antagonistic to marriage to redefine the institution must, by the very logic of their purpose, also include in the cross hairs, not only the destruction of the definition of the legally recognized marriage relationship, but the destruction of those who defend the marriage relationship.
Pray for God’s mercy and help.
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;He turns it wherever He wishes.Proverbs 21:1
Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”–When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.Jonah 3:5–10
Wedding Rings, Jeff Belmonte: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.
1Maggie Gallagher, “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, Vol. 11, No. 33, May 15, 2006.
2American Principles Project, “Chai Feldblum.”
3LifeNews, “Pro-Abortion Obama EEOC Nominee Chai Feldblum Approved,” December 29, 2010.
Laura Curtin in her GreenRoom post, Chai Feldblum On Sexual Liberty vs. Religious Liberty, from October 2009, linked to Chai Feldblum’s paper written for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Curtin quotes from the paper, but her link is dead. I was able to find the paper via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:
Chai R. Feldblum, Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion, (55 page pdf).