Support the First Amendment Defense Act

Even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to re-define marriage in all 50 states, conservative lawmakers have been actively working to build support for the First Amendment Defense Act, S1598 and HR2802, a bill that ensures protection for those who make decisions based upon their religious beliefs and convictions.

If passed, this legislation would protect those who support natural marriage, marriage between a man and a woman, from facing retaliation from the government. This legislation says that those who live according to the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman should be protected from losing grants, contracts, the ability to do business with federal government and it protects employers from potential federal discrimination.

Senator (R-Utah) Mike Lee, one of the members who introduced the legislation stated, “Regardless of where you come down on the issue of same-sex marriage, we shouldn’t allow the federal government to punish religious institutions for their beliefs about marriage.”

If passed, this Act would work to ensure that faith-based organizations such as churches, schools, businesses, non-profits, and adoption agencies are protected from discrimination and future attacks on their organization based on their sincerely held beliefs.

Though this legislation would not change the definition of marriage, this Act would protect those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. This Act recognizes that those who believe in natural marriage should be allowed to practice their conviction in the public sphere without punishment or fear of retribution.

Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) urges Washingtonians to immediately contact their Congress members, encouraging them to fully support the First Amendment Defense Act, filed under S1598 and

HR2802. For reference, you can check to see who has co-sponsored the Act in the Senate here and in the House here.

After reviewing, contact your Congress members and ask them to co-sponsor the Act or thank for co-sponsoring the Act. Congress members should be challenged to make the vote on this bill a priority. First Amendment Defense Act, also referred to as FADA, is one that will guard the land’s bedrock of freedom, religious freedom.

Three Reasons It Isn’t Over

The Supreme Court has spoken.

It wasn’t a surprise, but it was disappointing. In a 5-4 decision, the Court created an oven-fresh, new right to marry someone of the same gender.  The Court provided no limiting principle that would prevent their logic from extending to other kinds of relationships whose profession of love is not currently acknowledged with a marriage license.

The decision was a setback for the rule of law.

The Constitution says as much about marriage as it does about the Seahawks.  When the Constitution is silent on an issue, then that issue should be resolved by the legislative branch of government.  The states (or Congress) should have been allowed to continue wrestling with this issue and reaching a resolution based on the input of the people through their elected representatives.

But as it turns out, the voices of 51 million people from thirty-one states who voted for laws defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman were overruled by five, unelected lawyers in Washington, DC.

For a number of people, the response to the Court’s decision was relief.  Sentiments like, “At least it’s over!!” and “Can we please stop talking about gay marriage now?”

Unfortunately, the conflict between the sexual revolution and the nation’s faith-based people and institutions may only intensify in the coming months and years.  Here’s why.

1. The LGBT political leadership doesn’t want to coexist:  An entire industry was built to accomplish what happened on Friday.  That industry is not going to suddenly declare itself obsolete. You don’t raise money by declaring victory. Now that “full equality under the law” has been accomplished, there will be another crisis requiring their attention, and another, and another…

2. Some people are still free to disagree: The goal of the LGBT political movement has always been to eradicate the belief that homosexuality and heterosexuality are different.  That is why they promote policies that allow someone to decline to decorate a cake critical of same-sex “marriage,” but not decline to decorate a cake supportive of it.  The goal is to create a government that punishes beliefs about homosexuality they disagree with. Therefore, as long as you have the freedom to run your business, non-profit, university, school, or church according to your beliefs, their job is not done.

3. Now it’s easier to call you a racist, legally speaking:  The 14th Amendment was written to stop the government from treating people differently because of their race. Now that the Supreme Court has discovered a new right to marry someone of the same gender in the 14th amendment, it’s easier to argue that those who don’t celebrate homosexuality are the same as racists. As a result, the ability to remove tax-exempt status, cut off federal funding to religious universities, and otherwise marginalize people who believe in natural marriage became easier.

Marriage has been redefined most recently, but it may not be the last word to be redefined.

Soon, “religious freedom” may mean only the freedom to believe what you want in your head and maybe talk about it at church or at home. You may need a license though. In the same way, “civil rights” may soon be redefined so that a person can be forced to celebrate an event they disagree with but not free to say something “offensive”.  After all, that’s “hate speech.”

The world is changing quickly, but the truth about marriage remains.

And the need for courage only grows.

So you stayed out of the debate about marriage because you didn’t feel like telling someone else how to live their life.  Great.

But what will you do when they start telling you how to live yours?

Will you surrender all your freedom in an effort to avoid being misunderstood? Let’s hope not.

But we’re going to find out, because, despite what we all wish, this is far from over.

A Response to Today’s Marriage Ruling

This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that all fifty states must redefine marriage directly, forcing all states to provide same-sex licensure and mandating all states to recognize same-sex marriage from other states. This new order results in a definition of marriage that weakens the institution by making it about the desires of adults rather than the good of children.

Today’s decision serves as a reminder that societal change does not start with massive laws being passed, but that change begins with mass conversion. In preparation for an upcoming trip to the Holy Land, I have been reading through the Gospels. How fitting that today, the day that the Supreme Court of the United States would rule to make same sex unions legal across the nation, I would read the last chapter of the Gospel of Luke — the chapter about the risen Lord…“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is NOT here, He is RISEN.” What a reminder that our hope is not in any man, in any policy, or any institution! Our Hope is in the Person of Jesus Christ, Who alone is risen Lord and reigning King. While the earth and its desires may be passing away, Jesus is redeeming hearts and lives by the power of His Holy Spirit.

So today, may the people of God rejoice in our risen Lord and may the people of God be reminded that we will triumph over the enemy by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.

The word of our testimony is a powerful influencer on culture. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Washingtonians, now is the time to speak. It is a time to share about marriage as God designed it, a union between a man and a woman for life. While by their judicial proclamation the Court may be able to declare same-sex marriage legal, they will never be able to declare it morally right. The Court does not have the power to overturn Natural Law. Now is the time to advocate for strong marriage policies and to work to ensure that the government never penalizes one who believes that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. If the risen Lord is for us, who can be against us?

PRESS RELEASE: SCOTUS Takes Power from the People — Redefines Marriage

OLYMPIA, WA – Today, under the case filed Obergefell vs. Hodges, the Supreme Court of the United States imposed its will on the people when they mandated that all states re-define marriage directly and make their own marriage ruling.

Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) Executive Director Joseph Backholm made the following comments about the decision: 

“The freedom to democratically address the most pressing social issues of the day is the heart of liberty. Today, the Court stripped the people of that freedom. Government should not impose their beliefs on the people.

“Democracy matters and the vote of the people matters. The Court overrode the will of tens of millions of Americans in 31 states who successfully voted to preserve the millennia-old definition of marriage.”

Backholm also expressed concern about how this issue will affect religious liberty in America:

“People of faith should be able to live out their beliefs in the public square without being silenced to the four walls of their homes and churches. This decision poses a tremendous threat to religious liberties and will have future ramifications on schools, churches, non-profits, and private businesses.

“Today’s decision offers an opportunity to work together to advocate for strong marriage policy in the states and to ensure that the Government never penalizes a citizen or an institution who believes that marriage is the union between one man and one woman” concluded Backholm.

Protecting Your Christian Ministry From Lawsuits

Any day now, the Supreme Court will be issuing a ruling determining whether the American people have the right to define marriage for themselves.

The outcome of the decision will not end the discussion about marriage and family.

The campaign to empower government at every level to intrude on religious freedom has only begun.

Regardless of the outcome, the assault on religious freedom is likely to continue.

Whether you are part of a church, Christian school, or faith-based ministry, the fact is that the belief that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman is now a legal liability that must be accounted for.

It isn’t just the risk of lawsuits that that you should be concerned about.  In fact, the ability for Christian organizations to operate as non-profit organizations could soon at risk.

During oral arguments at the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Don Verrilli acknowledged that it was “going to be an issue” for non-profit organizations who believe marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman to maintain their tax exempt status.

To help you protect your church, ministry, or school, our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom have put together a resource designed to help you avoid legal liability in your sphere of influence.

You can download this resource and share it with others who you think would find it beneficial.

Just as much as the Roe v. Wade decision awakened pro-life Americans, I expect this ruling to re-energize efforts to protect and uphold God’s design for marriage in our culture and our laws.

But in the meantime, it is our hope that this tool will be a resource to equip you protect your church, school, or ministry while you also  stand up for America’s longstanding ideals of religious freedom.

A Culture Shattered: Part 1 of 5 – The Dialectic Scheme: Priming the Pump (1960s); Testing the Waters (1970s)

This post was written by Debra Rae.

With the Supreme Court’s recent decision on Marriage, this five part series examines how we got to where we are.

 

Middle American Baby Boomers can’t help but wonder, “What made our culture shift as it has?” More importantly, “Is the America of our childhood lost forever?” Some credit this phenomenon to Darwin’s theory of historic optimism, or social Darwinism, presupposing that apart from God a natural succession of gradual reforms in human thinking, philosophy, and destiny progressively improve—past the Bible and the U.S. Constitution—to some higher evolutionary rung of enlightenment. To discard that theory, one need only ponder the question, “How’s that working?” Apparently not so well.[i]

Guiding the evolutionary process, German philosopher George Hegel (1770-1831) advanced a methodology called the dialectic whereby all discussions are masterfully fashioned to ensure consensus with some predetermined outcome. Consensus is a soviet term, which means “collective opinion.” It uses the Marxist decision-making process of dialectics, featuring three stages: 1) fact-based “thesis”; 2) feelings-based “antithesis”; 3) compromise “synthesis.” Applying conflict resolution methodology, Hegelian Dialectic effectively undermines the notion of fixed rights and wrongs. First developed by the Rand Corporation in the late 1950s, the Delphi Technique is yet another term for this psychological process.[ii]

The Dialectic Scheme
To initiate the technique, a cordial facilitator “unfreezes” a group, thus establishing a sense of comradeship, before purposefully introducing a contentious issue. All must participate; none may escape the ensuing discussion, which goes like this: The fact-based thesis—e.g., marriage is between one man and one woman—is countered with a feelings-based antithesis—e.g., marriage involves any who choose to love one another. To ease groupthink, a change agent deconstructs the language of absolutes with politically correct alternatives.[iii] “Gay orientation” replaces “sodomy” or “deviation”; “partner” replaces “husband” or “wife”; “intergenerational sex” supersedes “pedophilia.” Once bits and pieces are skillfully deconstructed and rearranged, information more easily lends itself to synthesis, or compromise—in this case, “civil unions.”[iv]

Trained to do so, the change agent spots independent thinkers and “archaic” verbiage. Without the participants’ knowledge or permission, and purportedly for the higher good, the facilitator applies guilt, deceit, and/or manipulation to achieve coveted groupthink. Facilitators (also a soviet concept) freely employ velvet-hammer put-downs to quell independent thought—e.g., “Any thinking person can understand” or “Even Tom knows” (intimating “Even a child knows”).

To maintain genial relationships, independents are coached to preface their thoughts with “I think” or “I feel.”  To achieve collective thought, their fact-based absolutes (the didactic) must bow to feelings-based “opinions” (the dialectic). If the facilitator has done his job well, each participant embraces the predetermined outcome as his own and, doing so, surrenders his original position to an opinion upon which all can agree. Once the question is posed, “Can we all agree with this?” no one dares disrupt group harmony.

Broadly employed in communist and fascist regimes, this “brainwashing” process was likewise exploited by gay marriage advocates in order to undermine cultural norms that civilizations throughout the millennia had universally recognized—namely, that marriage is God’s provision for the biological imperative (to procreate) and for the cultural imperative (personal companionship and community-building). Biblical moralists accept this definition on God’s terms, not according to human preferences or orientations. Postmodernists do not.[v]

A New Mental Construct
Bottom line: This methodology applied repeatedly throughout many decades dramatically undermined marriage as God designed it, and the resulting paradigm shift arguably shattered the essential foundation of Western culture. No longer is the nuclear family the basic unit of every community. In subsequent articles, I’ll attempt to explain how this progression happened: In the 1960s, fomented discontentment and rebellion jumpstarted the process and thereby primed the pump for progressive thought. Consensus-destined dialogue in the 1970s essentially tested the waters. With the introduction of AIDS (1980s), change agents launched a disinformation campaign and courted the reluctant by championing tolerance, otherwise known as diversity. Achieved by deconstructing language and re-imaging all things traditional, a new mental construct emerged in the 1990s. By the 2000s the gay agenda was soundly legitimized and, by the 2010s, it was broadly enforced. Your mama’s America no longer existed, nor were its values anymore relevant.

Priming the Pump (1960s)
Employing circular reasoning, Sigmund Freud had birthed a quasi-religious cult of personality that attracted a “coterie of fawning sycophants” whose affinity with socialism and Marxism was consistent with the political component of the burgeoning world order. While boosting the drug-infused sexual revolution, change agents of the 1960s jumpstarted the dialectic by fomenting discontentment and rebellion. Although Freud’s psychobabble revealed more of an ecclesiastical than a rationalistic bent, and his so-called “science” drew from literature and philosophy, none other has exceeded Freud’s impact on psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. To this day, Freud’s influence is felt in education reform, False Memory Syndrome, and the homosexual agenda it unleashed.[vi]

Freud was not alone. Zoologist Dr. Alfred Kinsey played a key role in affecting what, at the time, seemed an inconceivable shift away from traditionalism. Kinsey’s reports provided “scientific” foundation for “free” sex and homoeroticism. Indeed, Dr. Kinsey endorsed a broad range of acceptable human practices akin to animal sexuality. His infamous Table 34 documents egregious child abuse in gathering research data, and SIECUS (Sex Instruction/ Information Education Committee in the United States) became the educational arm of the Kinsey Institute. Receiving funding from Rockefeller and Playboy Foundations, SIECUS is likewise its propaganda arm.[vii]

Over time, “evil” became a meaningless word.[viii] Amidst the 1960’s elation of guiltless “free love”—embracing need for, and right to, nonproductive sexual gratification of one’s choosing at any age—the Supreme Court established a legal category of “soft” porn.[ix] Pandora’s Box was opened. That Kinsey identified ten percent of the population as homosexual inspired the counter community to demand civil rights; and before long, the National Drug and Sex Forum had trained over fifty thousand sex professionals, called sexologists; and Illinois had legalized sodomy. Angry protests, sit-in’s, drug- and sexual- experimentation, love-in’s, rebellion from authority, and general dissatisfaction with the status quo—i.e., all things traditional—primed the pump for what was to follow.[x] The movement’s voice was first heard in 1969 when a routine raid on a gay bar in Greenwich Village set off the infamous Stonewall Riot.[xi]

Testing the Waters (1970s)
The 1960s provided the perfect platform for engaging discontented masses in dialogue, similar to how the serpent enticed Eve. The evocative question, “Hath God said?” introduced needed uncertainty, seducing Eve to toy with possibilities that perhaps she’d misunderstood God’s mandate, or maybe God was wrong.[xii] So it was in the 1970s when the National Institute for Mental Health and the American Psychological Association normalized behavior that, historically, had been criminalized,[xiii] behavior that God had expressly forbidden.[xiv]

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, most gays huddled “in the closet,” understandably so; but by the 1970s the “coming out” process was well underway. The modern movement took root in the political arena of San Francisco. Considered by many to be the founder of the modern American Gay Rights Movement, the late Henry “Harry” Hay started the country’s first gay rights organization, the largely underground Mattachine Society.[xv] In the 1970s, Hay formed the gay men’s spiritual group, the Radical Faeries.[xvi] America’s first out-of-the-closet gay man elected to public office (San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk) openly celebrated his gayness at the seventh annual Gay Pride Parade, and Unitarians freely welcomed GLBT members into their congregations.[xvii]

When news leaked that Hugh Hefner had performed in a homosexual porn film, the Playboy industry generously funded the ACLU to educate the public on presumed-to-be “victimless crimes.” In fact, the ACLU dedicated an entire branch to gay rights.[xviii] Instead of sodomy, gay enthusiasts advocated criminalizing “bias” when an alleged victim felt threatened, or if the purported perpetrator were perceived as more powerful, had a hostile tone of voice, or stood too closely. Thus, the advent of “thought police.”

The 1972 Gay Rights Platform demanded federal support for homosexual educators to present sodomy as a valid, even healthy lifestyle. It also called for abolishing age-of-consent laws.[xix] Limits were pressed even further with release of the SEICUS Guide to Adult/ Child (Intergenerational) Sex. Public school classrooms opened the discussion,[xx] and the UN- endorsed North American Man/ Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) posted the news. In the Weekly Standard, Mary Eberstadt reported, “The social consensus against the sexual exploitation of children … is apparently eroding.” Pedophiles had civil rights, too, did they not?[xxi]

By the 1980s the gay movement had gained astonishing political power, wealth, and legal protections worldwide. Signed by President Carter, but never ratified by the Senate, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) to this day gets dusted off and resurrected repeatedly as part of the international movement to lower age-of-consent laws. A Dutch law reduced the statutory age of consent to twelve (under certain circumstances) as being a “good model of reasonable legislation.” Why not? Mohammed married a six-year-old named Aisha.

 

More to follow in Part 2 of 5.


[i] Debra Rae. ABCs of Cultural –Isms: Bible Truth or Grave Consequences (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publishing, 2003). 56-59.

[ii] Debra Rae. TRUTHTalk Beyond the Sound Bite featuring Dr. Marlene McMillan (BLOGTalk Radio, 2 June 2015). Link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/debra-rae/2015/06/02/language-of-the-culture-war-hegelian-dialectic (Accessed 16 June 2015).

[iii] Values-free, culturally inclusive, and gender-neutral language is memorialized in the Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook (1993).

[iv] Thibodaux, David, Ph.D. Beyond Political Correctness: Are There Limits to This Lunacy? (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House Publishers, 1994).

[v] Dr. Marlene McMillan. Mountains of Deceit: How the Dialectic Process has Infected the Culture (USA: Liberty View Media, 2011). 7-23.

[vi] Jack Wright, Jr., Attorney at Law. Freud’s War with God: Psychoanalysis vs. Religion.

[vii] Rosaline Bush. The Kinsey Legacy (CWA: Family Voice, October 1997).6-14.

[viii] 2 Timothy 3:1-7.

[ix]Vanessa Warner. Kids and Sex: The Kinsey Connection (CWA: Family Voice, June 1997). 4-18.

[x] Saul Alinsky. Rules for Radicals. (New York: Vintage Books, 1971).

[xi] Debra Rae. ABCs of Globalism: A Vigilant Christian’s Glossary (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House Publishers, 1999). 128-132.

[xii]  Genesis 3:1ff.

[xiii] Mental Health Issues Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) People, NAMI Multicultural Action Center, June 2007.

[xiv] Leviticus 18:1-30.

[xv] Hays’ once-partner Will Geer later went on to portray grandpa on The Waltons.

[xvi] Curtis Bowers. Agenda: Grinding America Down. (Black Hat Films: MMX Copybook Heading Productions LLC, 2010): Curtis Bowers.

[xvii] Maureen Dowd, New York Times News Services. “Turning ‘I Dos’ Into ‘You Can’ts’” (Seattle, WA: Seattle Times, 29 November 2008). Local B5.

[xviii] Alan E. Sears, President, CEO and General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund. The ACLU vs. America (Scottsdale, AZ: Alliance Defense Fund, 2007).

[xix] Erique T. Rueda, “1972 Gay Rights Platform” (Old Greenwich, Connecticut: The Homosexual Network, 1982).

[xx] Dr. Stephen Rubin, Associate Professor of Psychology. (Walla Walla, WA: Whitman College, 1987) in concert with the 1978 McCall’s magazine study.

[xxi] Ian Bailey. “Judge Rules It Shouldn’t Be a Crime to Possess Child Pornography” (Canadian Press Newswire, 15 January 1999).

3 Things We Learned from the Supreme Court Yesterday

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for two-and-a-half hours on two questions.

1. Is it constitutional for  states to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman?

2. Is one state required to recognize legal marriages in another state?

While it is impossible to know what is going on inside the head of each justice, that won’t stop observers from trying to figure it out.  Without trying to get too far inside anyone’s head, here are a few important things we learned from yesterday’s arguments.

1. Justice Kennedy may be hesitant to tell all of human history they were wrong about marriage.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is generally considered to be the swing vote in this case.  But his question early in the argument indicated that he may be hesitant to throw out the definition of marriage that has been used at all times and in all places.

“One of the problems is when you think about these cases you think about words or cases, and-and the word that keeps coming back to me in this case is-is millennia, plus time. First of all, there has not been really time, so the Respondents say, for the federal system to engage in this debate…But still, 10 years is — I don’t even know how to count the decimals when we talk about millennia. This definition has been with us for millennia.  And it-it’s very difficult for the Court to say, oh, well, we-we know better.”

This sounds like a very good argument to allow the question about the definition of marriage to be decided by the people through the legislative process rather than by these nine justices.

Chief Justice Roberts got Mary L. Bonauto, lead attorney for the effort to redefine marriage, to acknowledge that prior to 2001, no jurisdiction in human history had ever defined marriage as a relationship between people of the same gender.  He questioned whether there weren’t actually rational reasons to define marriage in that way that had nothing to do with homosexuality.

2. The Court is thinking about the impact on religious freedom as well. 

Unlike the political activists who insist that same-sex marriage has no impact on religious freedom, the Supreme Court seems to be fully aware of the conflict between religious freedom and the redefinition of marriage.

The first exchange on the subject came when Justice Scalia asked Ms. Bonauto if clergy would be required to perform same-sex marriages.  Bonauto insisted they would not, noting that Jewish Rabbi’s are not currently obligated to perform non-Jewish weddings.

The second exchange came when Chief Justice Roberts asked the United States Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, about the impact on religious schools.

“Would a religious school that has married housing be required to afford such housing to same-sex couples?”

Solicitor General Verrilli did not say no.  He just said that the issue would be handled on a state-by-state basis and depend on whatever “accommodations” the state was interested in giving to religious schools.

Later, Justice Samuel Alito asked Verrilli whether religious schools would maintain tax-exempt status, noting that Bob Jones University lost their tax-exempt status for refusing to allow interracial dating or marriage.  His response was telling:

“You know, I-I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue.  I-I don’t deny that.  I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is-it is going to be an issue.”

Consider yourself warned.

3. Dignity is a major issue in this case 

In their opening remarks, both Ms. Bonauto and Solicitor General Verrilli talked about dignity.

Their primary argument seems to be that the current definition of marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment because it denies dignity to people in a same-sex relationship.
That is how proponents of redefining marriage want to convince the justices — and the public — to think about marriage.  Don’t think about future generations, don’t think about children, don’t think about the implications of the reality that we are a gendered species, just think about what it does to someone when they feel “excluded.”

Giving proponents of real marriage reason to be concerned about the ultimate outcome of this case, Justice Kennedy seemed to sympathize with the dignity argument. Attorney John J. Bursch, arguing against the redefinition of marriage, made the statement that the purpose of marriage is not to infer dignity. But Kennedy responded with,

“Just in – just in fairness to you, I don’t understand this not dignity bestowing.  I thought that was the whole purpose of marriage. It bestows dignity on both man and woman in a traditional marriage.”

So what’s going to happen?

Ultimately, Justice Kennedy seems conflicted.  He seems to recognize that there are reason to preserve the current definition of marriage that have nothing to do with prejudice toward gay people (a position I agree with) which suggests he will preserve the right of people to define marriage for themselves.  At the same time, he seems to believe the purpose of marriage is to infer dignity upon private citizens (a position I don’t share) which seems to suggest he would be willing to take the issue away from the people and settle it as a constitutional matter.

It might also be true that none of these questions are the issues that will ultimately decide this case.

What is the impact of this decision?

If the Supreme Court finds that marriage is unconstitutional, every state will be required to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

If the Supreme Court determines it is constitutional  to define marriage between a man and a woman, then the states would remain free to define marriage for themselves.

The Constitutional amendments in 26 states that have been overturned by the courts would remain in effect. Only the 11 states that have redefined marriage by popular vote or through the legislative process would have same-sex marriage.

What can you do?

Pray for the court as they deliberate. Every day.  The implications of this decision are tremendous, but

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wills.” Prov. 21:1

You can listen to the entire, fascinating conversation, or read a transcript by clicking here.

Click here to read what was happening outside the Supreme Court while the arguments were being made.

The Supreme Court & Marriage: What You Need to Know

Tomorrow the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The decision that results will have tremendous implications.

There are two legal questions the court is taking up.

  1. Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between people of the same gender?
  2. Does the 14th Amendment require one state to acknowledge a valid marriage from another state?

Fundamentally, the question for the court is not whether same-sex “marriage” is good policy, but whether the public is allowed to debate the issue through the democratic process.

The text of the Constitution is silent on the issue of marriage.

As you are well aware, one side argues that marriage is a relationship designed to confer a series of legal rights and benefits and give societal approval to the life-long commitment adults make to each other. As such, it is inappropriate to distinguish between commitments.

The other side argues that while people should be free to form whatever relationships they desire, marriage exists not primarily for the benefit of the adults but to connect one generation to the next. The fact that all children have a mother and father justifies encouraging the one kind of relationship that makes that possible.

Either the court will conclude that this is a political issue to be decided through the legislative process, or it will decide that the Constitution forbids such a debate because there is a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender.

If it finds a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender, it would become illegal for a state to specifically promote the arrangement that makes it possible for a child to know both their mother and father.

Same-sex “marriage” would then be compulsory in all 50 states.

Either way, the debate won’t be over soon. But it could be intensified if the Supreme Court tells one side of the debate their ideas have been banned from consideration.

If someone asks you, “What’s wrong with gay marriage?” ask them, “What’s wrong with square circles.”

They may be offended simply because, for a certain segment of the population, being offended is an involuntary reaction to encountering ideas they disagree with.

Still, the question makes a point all of us defending real marriage need to remember.

The fact that marriage is not a relationship between two men is not a judgment, it’s an observation like saying, “An orange is not an apple.” The debate over which one is better or worse (or neither) is distinct from the acknowledgement that they are in fact different kinds of fruit.

If the Supreme Court makes it illegal for the law to recognize the fact that some relationships are different from others, people will still figure it out.

“What kind of marriage?” we’ll ask.

Of course, that question might soon lead to protests and pickets. So the world will adapt signals or handshakes that allow the kind of information that was once communicated through a wedding ring to be shared without incurring the wrath of those who think belief in gender difference should be verboten.

Sweet, sweet tolerance.

But the idea that the world will soon be blind to gender is fanciful.

Pray that the Supreme Court doesn’t repeat the mistake of Roe v. Wade, which inflamed a cultural debate, by silencing the people’s voice on the matter.

However, even if the Supreme Court takes the position that the Emperor’s new clothes are stunning, know that you won’t be the only one watching the parade who knows better.

March for Marriage: Where are the white people?

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to determine whether it is constitutional to define a relationship between a man a woman.   Today, around 10,000 supporters of marriage rallied in front of the U.S. Capitol then Marched up the hill to the Supreme Court.

The message from the crowd and a lineup of speakers was clear. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.  Not only should it not be changed, it cannot be changed.

It seems appropriate that the Capitol is under construction as we deliberate whether to attempt a reconstruction of the family.

IMG_3097

But maybe the most striking thing about the crowd was it’s diversity.  In a way, it wasn’t very diverse at all. It was hard to find white people.  Churches and communities bused people in from New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington State… others flew in from the Puerto Rico.

While there is a lot of debate about immigration, it is apparent that on the issue of marriage, immigration is not the problem.  It may, in fact, be the solution.  The predominantly white churches in America have a lot to learn about the courage it takes to publicly stand for what is true from their minority brothers and sisters.

The good news is that this was the largest March for Marriage in the short history of the event. It is apparent that a strong foundation is being built.

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People were excited!

 

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Of course it’s no fun to have a rally if you don’t have a counter protest.

So there were these folks.  I guess the white people took a little longer to get ready so they came late.

 

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And this guy…

 

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But really, what we tried to focus on was this guy.  And the world his grand kids are going to grow up in.

 

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That is why we marched.

 

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For oral arguments on Tuesday, only 50 seats will be open to the public and people are already camping outside to get one of the coveted seats.  These two drove up from Georgia to sleep on the sidewalk for five days to be inside the courtroom.

Or it could be that they’re being paid by someone who wants to be inside the courtroom but doesn’t want to sleep on the sidewalk.  We don’t know for sure.  But we don’t judge. We like an entrepreneurial spirit.

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Please keep praying.  The arguments made on Tuesday at the U.S. Supreme Court and the decision that follows will be remembered hundreds of years from now.  The lives that will be impacted for good or for harm are innumerable. God is never not in control, but every day people suffer harm that wasn’t necessary…if only we’d obey.

Pray that wisdom prevails and truth wins.

 

 

FPIW Files Marriage-Affirming Brief at Supreme Court

The Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) has filed a legal brief at the United States Supreme Court in support of marriage. The brief was filed along with 34 allied organizations around the country and describes the benefits of marriage.

On Tuesday, April 28th, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will determine the constitutionality of laws defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. More than 140 friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed with the court.

Joseph Backholm, Executive Director of FPIW, said the brief provides a powerful testimony.

“Friend-of-the-court briefs give the justices an in-depth look at one aspect of the case,” he explaind. “This brief gives a compelling overview of the social-science showing that children thrive from the unique contributions from their mother and father.”

He said these briefs could have an important impact on this case.

“The Supreme Court is being asked to say it is illegal to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman because there is no rational reason to do so. This brief underscores that time and experience support what our instincts already tell us; not every combination of people is the same. There are really good reasons to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.”

You can read the entire brief here.