Friday, June 26, 2015

Same-sex "marriage", the Constitution & religious freedom

By overturning millions and millions of Americans' votes to uphold marriage as the union between one woman and one man, “The Court’s decision (on same-sex marriage) fundamentally rewrites the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution to radically redefine the cornerstone institution of marriage, which is older than the Court itself,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

The decision also drew sharp criticism from the Court’s four dissenting justices. Chief Justice John Roberts, for example, rightly observed that the activist majority opinion hijacks the democratic process and is not based on the rule of law: “[D]o not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it,” wrote Roberts.

Justice Scalia similarly called the ruling a “threat to American democracy.” The “pretentious” and “egotistic” decision, he railed, “robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”

In one aspect, the majority opinion emphasized that this newfangled “right” to “gay marriage” should not be construed to trump religious liberty.

“Finally," the Court wrote, "it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.”

We’ll have to see what this actually means in coming years, but when filtered through any honest reading of the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause, what it means is that Christians cannot be forced to violate their conscience through compulsory participation in, or recognition of, counterfeit “gay weddings” or “marriages.” Ever.

Of course there’s nothing honest about the five liberals on this court, though, and Chief Justice Roberts makes that point in his dissent. He expresses skepticism as to the majority’s sincerity: “The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to ‘advocate’ and ‘teach’ their views of marriage,” he writes. “The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to ‘exercise‘ religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage,” he continues. “[W]hen, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage. There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court.” Little doubt indeed.

As many of us have long warned, all the “gay marriage” talk was never about “marriage equality.” It was, and remains, a spiritual battle camouflaged in the formal attire of judicial and public policy wrangling. It was always about forcing Christ’s faithful followers, under penalty of law, to abandon biblical truth and embrace sexual sin. The goal of “LGBT” activists and secular progressives has long been to pit the government directly against the free exercise of religion – Christianity in particular – and to silence all dissent.

One thing that stands out about this entire issue of the redefining of marriage, is that the same-sex marriage proponents refused to even debate the meaning of marriage. The entire issue was packaged solely as a want demanded to be met. It was based largely on sentiment and anyone who disagreed was - and is -- simply dismissed as a hater, a homophobe, a bigot -- words designed solely to marginalize and silence dissenters. But had we had that debate, we could have covered very logical issues, such as the fact that the Supreme Court ruling now opens the door for all sorts of things that we as a society really ought to have considered for the long term.

For example, key to the marriage argument is that 
marriage is the only institution in existence that guarantees the rights of children to to be united with their mother and father. For the thousands and thousands of years marriage has existed as a social and legal institution, marriage has been understood as the institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and any children born from their union.  No other social structure does that. Marriage has been supported by government precisely because of its fundamental role in creating a positive environment for children and the positive impact that has on society in general.

What should also be considered is how gay-marriage proponents themselves define marriage. After all, President Obama said of the Supreme Court ruling, “love is love.” If gender no longer matters for marriage, and love is all that matters, then who is to say numbers matter? On what grounds can anyone truly resist issuing marriage licenses to three men or four women, or family members? Really, who can argue against love if that is the only basis for marriage? What boundaries do same-sex marriage proponents put on marriage? Any at all? And if so, on what grounds? The Supreme Court has thrown boundaries out the window.

And not surprisingly, homosexual activists are not content with the redefining of marriage that has been around for millennia. Immediately following the Supreme Court's decision, activists announced they would now target religious institutions. In other words, overhauling the true meaning of marriage is not enough. Activists are not content to just live their lives and let religious believers live theirs. Instead, homosexual activists want to force believers to give up their deeply held beliefs rooted in God by being active participants in their actions. But to all believers, stand strong. God still rules supreme. This decision will not undo the Church (though it could very well undo the nation).

As for those who believe the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, and therefore conclude that same-sex "marriage" must be good, remember one thing: The Supreme Court also ruled that slavery was okay. Should we have believed them then as well? 

Homosexual persons do not deserve to be treated with scorn, disrespect, or bigotry.  They are persons deserving of our love and respect just like anyone else.  But extending love and respect to our homosexual brothers and sisters does not extend to redefining marriage so that it becomes socially and practically meaningless.

This is not a day to celebrate. What the five Supreme Court justices did is institutionalize and validate discrimination against people of faith while severely undermining, if not outright tossing out, our Constitution. It also seriously undermined an institution that existed primarily for the benefit of children and turned it into something that is only about adults. 

This issue is much, much more complicated than the simple treatment it's getting in the media. It's not a day to celebrate, but one to pray very deeply about. Pray for those in bondage to homosexuality who are being deceived, pray for our religious freedom, and pray that God will restore our country to genuine law, truth and common sense.

More below from other sources.......

from American Family Association:

Without question, the Supreme Court’s decision to impose homosexual marriage as a constitutional right is disappointing. There was a time when the Court rightly bestowed a great respect for America’s Christian heritage and to the Creator on which the Declaration of Independence was based. Sadly, those times are passed.

As Christians, we know God, in His great wisdom, established the institution of marriage as only between one man and one woman. Not even the Supreme Court can change that.

Because of judicial activism, Christian ministries can and should take steps to protect their religious freedoms. No longer can even churches believe they are immune to the compulsive and aggressive nature of the homosexual agenda.

American Family Association strongly urges churches and other Christian ministries to consider three recommendations immediately:
·         Adopt a clear statement of faith regarding human sexuality and marriage.
·         Clarify that weddings in your church are Christian worship services.
·         Adopt a policy that clearly restricts the use of ministry facilities to the ministry’s religious purposes.
AFA makes several resources available to aid church pastors, leadership and ministry in protecting itself against the coming storm of homosexual activism.
1.       American Family Studios has produced a short documentary that provides legal analysis of the dangers posed to religious liberty by the ruling. Watch it here.
2.       Read and print this article written by AFA General Counsel Pat Vaughn. It will help your church understand the dangers of doing nothing. Gay marriage ... your church
3.       Alliance Defending Freedom has produced a handbook that will walk your church through every step of adopting strong marriage policies, including sample resolutions and statements. A Legal Guide for Churches, Christian Schools, and Christian Ministries
As Christians, we can and must guard our religious freedoms while showing Christ’s mercy to people in bondage to homosexuality. Avoiding problems in the future depends on what we do today.
Please use the resources provided to insure your church or ministry is ready for the certain dangers ahead. May God bless our efforts, as we stand on His word.

Conscientious dissenters weigh in on Supreme Court ruling:

Tim Wildmon, president of American Family Association:
"We're not surprised but extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision. I fear for our country, quite frankly, because this is a spiritual 9/11, I believe. We have said to God Almighty, We don't care what you say about marriage and your definition of what's natural and normal.

"If you look in the scripture, often times when God's people rebelled against Him, He turned them over to destruction. Christians need to pray for mercy and we need to pray for a revival in the land.

"I think the next line of defense is religious freedom. We must take a stand for religious freedom in this country and fight back in the courts and in the state legislatures, if not the federal legislature, to uphold religious freedom."

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin:
"I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges 'has been with us for millennia.'

"In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas.

"As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage."

Brian Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage:
Well, obviously it's a profound disappointment. This is an illegitimate decision – a decision that the Supreme Court never should have made, never had the right to make. And now we have to move forward and fight on. "This does not end. People of faith need to stand up for the truth and absolutely reject this decision and work to elect individuals who will overturn it through a constitutional amendment and will not except this as a legitimate decision."

Ken Blackwell, senior fellow with Family Research Council:
"Just as we did not accept the court's decision [in Roe v. Wade] in 1973 where they in fact [decided] it was now a woman's right to take the life of an innocent child, we in fact stayed together, we fought the fight every place that we could fight it – and we now have won the day culturally and we have won the day legislatively, and we will do that on marriage. This is an illegitimate decision by the Supreme Court."

Russell Moore, president of SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
"I am a conscientious dissenter from this ruling handed down by the Court today, believing, along with millions of others, that marriage is the sacred union of one man and one woman and that it is improper for the Court to redefine an institution it did not invent in the first place.

"I believe this action of finding some illusory Fourteenth Amendment right to same-sex marriage will have wide-ranging and perilous consequences for the stability of families and for freedom of religion."

Randy Thomasson, president of
"The Supreme Court got this wrong because a narrow majority of justices do not fear God and have rebelled against their promises to 'support and defend' the clearly written words of the U.S. Constitution, which does not contain the word 'marriage' but explicitly honors states' rights.

"The Fourteenth Amendment is not about marriage but about race; not about couples but individuals -- essential distinctions one must recognize in order to be loyal to the Constitution."

Chief John Roberts:
 “Today's decision ... creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is – unlike the right imagined by the majority – actually spelled out in the Constitution. From dissent written by Chief Justice John Roberts

And even a SC Justice who voted yes on the ruling dissents in his own way:
"Finally it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned."

The First Amendment ensures protection for religious organizations and individuals as they seek to teach the principles "that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths" and to "their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered." From majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy


  1. How is one to react to the death of my country? And when I say death of my country I do not believe I am exaggerating the least bit. Cherished Judea Christian values have been replaced with all forms of depravity including this latest perversity called gay “marriage.” Christians are scorned and persecuted while perversion is not only a right but something to be celebrated. And yes Julie I have no doubt that the persecution will get worse. Jesus Christ said “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” It seems that we are truly living in prophetic times. I mourn the loss of this nation’s soul and for the self destructive course that it appears to be intent on following. The Supreme Court now mocks God and America will pay the price for their arrogance. The self destructive behavior of homosexual unions is no longer limited to consenting adults, but rather children are brought into these twisted unions and are exposed to this evil. I really don’t know how much longer God will permit this to continue, but I am praying that he will embolden all Christians including myself to have the strength to fight these attacks on our faith. Standing meekly by while this evil continues is no longer an option. And as you pointed out the homosexual activists have no intention of stopping outside the doors of religious institutions. As always, thank you Julie for your words of strength and encouragement. Take care and God bless you!

    1. Thank you, Ed. You put it so eloquently and truthfully. It is definitely going to be a bumpy ride, but we will be ok because Christ has already conquered the world. We just need to keep our eyes on HIm. This gave me comfort - I hope it will to you, too:

    2. Hi Julie,

      I just finished reading The Washington Post article by Russell Moore that you referenced and agree with most of the points he made within the article. However, I do not think the Christian community as a whole should be naïve in thinking this is strictly a one dimensional issue involving homosexual adults and the institution of marriage. Mr. Russell stated: “Let’s also recognize that if we’re right about marriage, and I believe we are, many people will be disappointed in getting what they want.” Personally, I can live with any “disappointment” that may be experienced by those who have chosen a path of personal destruction although I would certainly pray for their spiritual recovery. But the children brought into these “marriages” are the innocent victims made to suffer because of evil choices imposed by adults. These children are being scandalized and recognizing this is far more important than any “disappointment” experienced by these selfish adults. Abortion, child pornography, child abuse, homosexual marriages, and now gender reassignment (your July 9, 2015 posting) are all evils directed at the children. I think for this reason God cannot be expected to bless this nation. That said I hope my tone does not sound entirely hopeless or disheartened for I do not intend it to be (maybe I need to quit listening to the news for a few days or months? -:) ). I know with God’s guiding hand along with good and decent people like you in this country America can recover. I do appreciate your encouraging words and as always will continue to enjoy your thoughtful insights regarding the important issues of our times. Take care and God Bless you Julie.

    3. Hi Ed - very good points! I think what comforted me about that article was something very simple: that God puts us in the time and place that we are for a reason. And keeping that in mind, as much as I hate how these times are progressing, I take comfort in knowing God chose me to be alive at this time. I completely agree with your other points about the article. This is evil at work and kids are the main targets. It's enough to make me cry and I catch myself feeling disheartened and then must regroup and refocus my faith in God. And I too, am comforted knowing people like you are in this country. We all need to encourage each other and stick together. God will see us through this, as difficult as He may allow it to be. God bless you.

  2. How are the rest of the countries that embraced marriage equality coping with God's wrath and why will he only punish America?