As the Supreme Court essentially struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) yesterday, I was reminded of a statement made by a man whose colleagues called the most articulate, intellectual and virtuous man to serve in the U.S. Senate.
His statue affirms his character as it stands in the Capitol.
"Hold on my friends to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands...if the Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world."
"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper, but if we neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
"Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought here by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light and labored by its hope." (Daniel Webster).
The Supreme Court---our posterity, in its ruling against marriage, has lost hold of the Constitution, neglected the instruction of the Bible and its authority and have attempted to extinguish the light by which our Founders journeyed.
The flame has flickered.
Marriage, since Creation, has been understood to be the union of a man and a woman.
Every major religion has affirmed that model. Every successful society has honored that model for marriage.
Yesterday, a majority on the Supreme Court defied God, Nature, history and our Constitution.
Last Friday Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told the North Carolina Bar Association, "There is no right to homosexual conduct granted by the United States Constitution."
He said morality should be decided by the public, not unelected judges who set themselves up as "moral arbiters."
He said, "When the Constitution was adopted, all those acts were criminal throughout the United States and remained so for several centuries...that existed in perfect conformity with the Constitution for over 200 years."
We have "lost hold of the Constitution" as Webster warned.
The conservative view is that of Webster's. The Constitution is a democratically adopted legal document that does not change. Secular progressives say the Constitution is a "living" document and changes with cultural norms.
Scalia is an "originalist". Sotomayor believes in a "living" Constitution, although she is careful to not admit it to the press.
A "living" Constitution allows progressives to apply a relativistic interpretation to the Constitution.
Scalia told the students at Iona College, "The Constitution is not an empty bottle to be filled up by each generation."
Regarding marriage, 5 justices on the Court are "filling up the bottle." The other 4 are originalists.
Justice Kennedy's majority opinion is revealing. He wrote regarding DOMA, "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity." He said, "By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment."
We have lost hold of the Constitution. And we are neglecting the authority of God and the Bible.
Are we are forgetting the "original character of our origin?"
It seems we are.
The flame has flickered, but it has not gone out.
The Court's decision struck down important parts of DOMA, gutting it, but some of the Defense of Marriage Act still stands.
The ruling was limited only to those same-sex "marriages" already recognized in the states that allow same-sex "marriage". Unfortunately, this does not help Washington State but is helpful to most other states.
Fortunately, homosexual advocates did not get what they wanted which was a "Roe v. Wade" kind of ruling.
They will continue with their demands.
The Court ruling also raises a number of questions.
For example: The Defense of Marriage Act imposes no uniform definition of marriage upon individual states. However, the states should not be able to impose varying definitions of marriage upon the federal government. The ruling that the federal government must recognize same-sex "marriages" in states that recognize them raises more questions than it answers.
Another example: What is the status of couples if they move to another state that does not recognize their "marriage?" I think a lot of litigation will come from this issue.
President Obama, as he was leaving on his $100 million trip to Africa, picked up the phone on Air Force One and called homosexual "marriage" leaders in California, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, the lesbian couple who challenged Proposition 8.
He told them, "We're proud of you guys." And added, "You guys should be so proud for today, You should have a great celebration."
I'm sure they will, Mr. President.
On his way out of town, the president also had a word for us Christians. He promised he won't make churches conduct gay "marriages." He said, "On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital,” Obama said. “How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision — which applies only to civil marriages — changes that.”
This promise sounds a lot like the promises related to Obamacare and the President's sensitivity to issues of conscience. I'm sure the Catholic Church is relieved to hear this promise. Now all of us in the Christian community can exhale, because we know our religious freedoms will be protected.
Christian leaders are now reviewing our options going forward. One option will not be to give up. Difficulties are not foreign to the Christian church. It is inevitable that Truth wins out. We will not grow wear in well doing.
In regard to morality and the culture, evangelicals must take a longer look going forward. We tend to react, rather than be proactive.
There are reasons for this. The other side is highly funded, we are not. The other side finds ways to work together in spite of differences. In both major marriage challenges---R-71 and R-74, Christian leadership has been divided, creating division in the Christian community. Some continue to sow discord. That must stop.
We must also keep in mind that it has taken several generations of indoctrination from public education, the press and the entertainment industry, to get this far in their march to undermine and redefine marriage. And their task is far from complete.
Truth is on our side. There are reasons other than bigotry that homosexual behavior has been rejected by every major religion in history and is condemned by the Bible.
Also, it is likely we would not even be at this point had too many in the Christian church not given tacit support to the assault on marriage through their silence.
I believe this latest episode may well serve as a needed wake up call to that silent congregation that stretches across this land.
As you stand with us, we will continue to stand. This event may become a blessing and an awakening.
Thank you for standing with us.
God help us.