Last Friday, June 26, 2015, was a historic day. The Supreme Court decision concerning same-sex marriage will go down as one of the most dramatically pivotal events in the legal and cultural history of our nation.
A host of questions now face us. What does the Supreme Court decision mean to the church and to people of biblical conviction that oppose same-sex marriage? What is going to happen now? What has changed, if anything? I want, in this short blog, to address these and other concerns.
But first, one thing should be said clearly. God is not surprised or even alarmed at this decision. Jesus Christ is still Lord! America may be in moral danger, but the Kingdom of God is still in good shape. While His Spirit may be grieved as in days of old (Genesis 6:6), yet He remains sovereign and powerful, always working His redemption in bad situations.
Here are just a few thoughts, each of which will need further explanation:
1. The Supreme Court decision was an example of judicial over-reach.
By a 5-4 vote, the Court threw open the dismantling of the most basic unit of social order: marriage. Chief Justice John Roberts, in his dissent, calls the decision “judicially policymaking” that strikes at the core of what it means to be a democracy. The institution of marriage can nowhere be actually found in the Constitution, but, according to Justice Kennedy, who voted with the majority, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment grant that denial of same-sex marriage violates the rights of gay people. In so doing, the Court has seen itself as the instrument, not of legal judgment, but of delivering moral and social change. In so doing, the Supreme Court now claims what Justice Scalia calls “super-legislative power.” In the name of RIGHTS, all hallowed and sacred foundations of our society may be dismantled by judicial fiat. The question facing us now is, “How far will this go?” The activist court has over-stepped itself by tearing down a foundation to our society, but have not replaced it with ANYTHING. The doors are swung wide for the dismantling of so many important and stabilizing factors in our world.
2. It’s not really about marriage in the first place.
In a day when marriage is an increasing rarity among heterosexual couples, now the gay crowd is fighting for it. The people who SHOULD be getting married won’t do it, while the people who SHOULDN’T be getting marriage are up in arms about gaining the ability to do so. Why such a turn of events? The answer is simply that the main fight for same-sex has never really been about marriage at all. It is about RESPECT and LEGITIMIZATION. Yes, I know there are financial considerations as with the Windsor case in 2013. But such obstacles can easily be fixed by civil unions or partnerships. The end of this fight will not be about the frequency of gay couples at the court house. After the hoopla is over, they will NOT be getting married. They will be cohabiting as they always have (and as heterosexual couples do with increasing frequency). But, in their wake, we will have a shattered definition of marriage. The door is thrown open for poligamy, even beastiality, and, as many activists have prophesied, marriage will be on the scrapheap of history. That is tragic news.
3. The thrust of the ruling will produce a new prejudice.
One aspect of Friday’s ruling that bears our concern is the attitude exhibited against all who disagree. Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, describes all who oppose same-sex marriages as being rooted in “moral animus against homosexuals.” That means anyone who disagrees is just homophobic, and needs to get over it. As a result, Justice Alito, who voted against the ruling, states the it “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.” Immense pressure is being exerted on all levels of our society to comply with the “brave, new world.”
4. It will hit in the pocketbook.
Many will lose their jobs because they are not free to uphold traditional marriage. Many institutions will be hit with lawsuits if they in any way discriminate against gay couples. Most particularly, Bible colleges, seminaries, and churches that in any way hold up a traditional view of marriage and refuse to allow gay couples to live in their married quarters will be shut down. If any church refuses to support same-sex marriage, its tax exempt status will be in jeopardy. Will ministers be forced to perform same-sex marriages when they do not believe they are right? Of course, such things are coming down the road. Few may ultimately be thrown behind bars, but many will be hit financially and forced out. This has already happened in the business world in terms of florists, bakers, or photographers who refuse to get on board.
I will close with a few comments that undergird this entire subject. Numerous questions must be addressed. The foundations are truly shaking. A whole host of folks are throwing up their arms and saying, “What’s the big deal in the first place?” They may not personally be gay advocates, but they adopt the philosophy “LIVE AND LET LIVE.” They take the position, “Who am I to judge?”
In future blogs, I must address some very fundamental issues. Huge questions are being bounced around like 4th of July beach balls. Common culture is falling prey to a one-sided view about the whole gay agenda and gay identity. I will address these in coming days.
God bless you, and please pray for the United States of America…and for the church of Jesus Christ that we will rise again to be a shining city on a hill. It may be a cloudy day today, but the sun still shines.