Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ireland Falls. Is It About More Than Same-Sex Marriage?

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Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told the world Saturday, "The answer is yes to the future, yes to their love, yes to equal marriage. That 'Yes' is heard loudly across the world as a sound of pioneering leadership from our people---Ireland, thank you."

Ireland voted Saturday, as you have likely heard, to redefine marriage. 62% said yes. Unthinkable only a few years ago.

US Vice President Joe Biden Tweeted, "We welcome Ireland's support for equality. #Lovewins."

Hillary Tweeted "Well done, Ireland."

Reuters International News Service called it a "social revolution" suggesting it was about more than homosexual marriage.

The New York Times reported the Catholic Church was "swept aside" in a "resounding victory" placing the country "at the vanguard of social change."

The Catholic Church in Ireland told national news Saturday, "The Church needs to do a reality check."

Columnist Benjamin Harris-Quinney wrote an article titled, "Ireland's Road To Serfdom," drawing parallels from Friedrich Hayek's famous book, "The Road To Serfdom".

But it was Major David French, graduate of Harvard Law School, former Cornell Law School professor and former senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, whom I believe spoke to the heart of the matter in a speech to the students at conservative Hillsdale College.

Ireland was abuzz Saturday, celebrating as PM Kenny told Ireland "Thank you" for dismissing the teaching of the Catholic Church and every other major religion over the past 5000 years which have held that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

PM Kenny also told the New York Times, "This decision makes every citizen equal and I believe it will strengthen the institution of marriage."

Does anyone actually believe that?

Columnist Benjamin Harris-Quinney wrote eloquently this weekend that what happened on Saturday in Ireland is what's happening to "western social values" as they become "grounded in the tenets of socialism and Marxism" and the "results will be reflective of that."

I agree.

Quoting Friedrich Hayeck, he wrote, "Socialism destroys language---and thought. Ultimately, even language is perverted. All the most treasured virtues such as freedom, justice, law, right, equality, etc., are redefined for collectivist purposes, so that thought can be controlled."

I agree. Harris-Quinney's article is very good and I recommend it.

However, in a speech delivered on April 21, 2015 at Hillsdale College's Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington DC---30 days before Ireland fell--- Major David French directed his comments to Americans, not necessarily to other countries---focusing of the recent battle in Indiana over the Religious Freedom Act. He told the students, "Four truths are emerging" in what many call the culture war:

First, the battle is not between gay rights and religious liberty---although religious liberty is certainly at stake--but between the sexual revolution and Christianity itself. This means that Christians are faced not with allegedly "minor" or "insignificant" theological changes to gain leftist acceptance, but with wholesale changes to the historical doctrines of the church."
Second, not a single orthodox denomination is making or even contemplating such changes. This means tens of millions of Americans will remain---indefinitely---opposed to the continued expansion of the sexual revolution. [ He means while some main line denominations are allowing gays to now serve or "marry", they are not trying to redefine their fundamental doctrines. And this is resulting in large numbers of people leaving these churches, establishing new churches that are faithful to the biblical doctrines, thus producing more active churches.]
Third, rather than going quietly, cultural conservatism is showing increasing strength at the grassroots---opposing leftist campaigns at the ground level, by passing politics to support those most embattled by radical hate campaigns.
And Fourth, the conservative grassroots and conservative public intellectuals are united---from Russ Douthat at his lonely perch at the New York Times to the pages of National Review and the Weekly Standard, from First Things to the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, there is no wavering among America's most influential conservative writers and thinkers.

"In short," French told the students, "if the cultural Left is hoping to dominate the culture---and feels strong in its coastal bastions---it is overreaching, extending beyond the limits of its power. It is exposing itself to embarrassing cultural defeats and succeeding mainly in hardening conservative resolve. In the fight over religious freedom, the Left will not prevail."

French says the combination of high stakes---with the sexual revolution confronting Christianity itself---and the continued resolve of biblical Christians, churches and conservative public intellectuals, means the battle for religious liberty, such as the one recently in Indiana over the Religious Freedom Act, will soon be forgotten because new are more intense battles loom.

He says the only way to stop these battles for now, is to abandon our biblical Christian faith on a national scale. And we will not do that.

There will be more attacks on our faith and our freedom, and some will fall by the wayside---some Christians, some politicians and some Christian leaders will turn from the way.

They will choose to become silent and adopt a "live and let live" posture, hoping to stay out of the line of fire.

Most will not.

We must not become discouraged. Cultural rejection, persecution, isolation, marginalization, censorship is not new to Christianity. In fact, it is a Scriptural promise and a long time historical fact.

Our challenges here in America are considerably different from those regularly being beheaded and beaten because of their Christian faith.

When it comes to our core biblical faith, millions of Christians will echo, I believe, by word and deed the words of the reformer Martin Luther: "Here we stand. We can do no other."

And we will pray. We will humble ourselves, we will pray, we will ask God to forgive our sins and to heal our land. Then we will hear from heaven.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Strong.