Traditional Marriage weakened by SCOTUS ruling

English: Rally for Prop 8 in Fresno, Californi...

English: Rally for Prop 8 in Fresno, California Español: Manifestación por Prop 8 en Fresno, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m disappointed that the Supreme Court partially ruled against traditional marriage in their decision today. Thankfully they didn’t make a wholesale ruling in favor of so-called same-sex marriage. They still allowed for states to define marriage for themselves.

As far as California’s Prop 8 is concerned, the Court dismissed the appeal. This seems somewhat ambiguous. Prop 8 was a majority vote for an amendment to the California state constitution in favor of traditional marriage between only one man and one woman. A federal judge declared the amendment unconstitutional. The governor refused to appeal this ruling essentially thumbing their noses at the majority popular vote. Conservative groups appealed the federal lower court ruling to the Supreme Court. This appeal was dismissed.

The basis for appealing the dismissal was lack of precedent. Apparently SCOTUS hasn’t before entertained appeals of state laws that were not being defended by the state itself.

So on one hand, SCOTUS has affirmed states to determine a definition of marriage as the state sees fit. On the other hand, the Court didn’t slap down a lower federal court for dictating to California what sort of definition of marriage would be considered constitutional… Ambivalence? I would say somewhat biased toward the redefinition of marriage side.

Hopefully this decision will galvanize further action to strengthen traditional marriage. One way to do this is to sign the Manhattan Declaration.

 

Tipping Points

Logo of the Family Research Council.

Logo of the Family Research Council. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington D.C. we are reminded how important it is that we use our words carefully. For the past four years and longer, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage supporters have been labelled as “hate-mongers”. Simply taking a stand against so-called gay marriage is labelled as hate speech. Thankfully the shooter was stopped before anyone was seriously injured. The building manager who stopped the man sustained a gunshot to the arm, but is expected to make a full recovery. I agree with FRC president Tony Perkins that the extreme rhetoric serves to inflame issues beyond a civil discussion.

Here is the statement by the Southern Poverty Law Center denying their labeling of FRC as a hate group as problematic. Here is a video of the statement of Tony Perkins.

Kudos to Chik-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A (Photo credit: Link576)

Chik-Fil-A and others who stand up for traditional marriage and the family have taken some hits in the last week but are standing their ground. They are setting a great example for the rest of us. The following is from an interview with Dan Cathy, Chik-Fil-A’s president and chief operating officer:

 

[Chik-Fil-A] invests in Christian growth and ministry through its WinShape Foundation (WinShape.com). The name comes from the idea of shaping people to be winners.

It began as a college scholarship and expanded to a foster care program, an international ministry, and a conference and retreat center modeled after the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove.

“That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries,” Cathy added.

Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

“We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that,” Cathy emphasized.

“We intend to stay the course,” he said. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

For full story go to Baptist Press News

Mike Huckabee has invited people to participate in “Chik-Fil-A Day” on August 1. This support has also been met with lots of support, but some angry opposition as well. My family and I are planning to dine at Chik-Fil-A twice that week. We hope you do, too.

 

Traditional Marriage on the Ballot in Minnesota

John Piper (theologian)

John Piper (theologian) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The people of Minnesota are voting on an amendment to their state constitution defining marriage as  “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.” Sound familiar California? We had a similar vote about four years ago. It passed, but an activist judge struck it down. Our battle is somewhere in the appeals stage. I hope your vote goes the way it has for every state where the people have had a chance to vote. In other words, I hope traditional marriage wins out.

A sermon by John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis came to my attention this week. While he didn’t come outright in favor of the proposed marriage amendment, Dr. Piper preached a sermon directly on the Biblical basis for marriage and laid out a number of Biblical principles to help his flock think through this issue. I will include the main points of his sermon here because he sums up quite succinctly some of the best thinking on this battle of our culture war.

1. Marriage is created and defined by God in the Scriptures as the sexual and covenantal union of a man and a woman in life-long allegiance to each other alone, as husband and wife, with a view to displaying Christ’s covenant relationship to his blood-bought church.

2. There is no such thing as so-called same-sex marriage, and it would be wise not to call it that.

3. Same sex desires and same sex orientation are part of our broken and disordered sexuality owing to God’s subjection of the created order to futility because of man’s sin.

4. Therefore, same-sex intercourse, not same-sex desire is the focus of Paul’s condemnation when he threatens exclusion from the kingdom of God.

5. Therefore, it would contradict love and contradict the gospel of Jesus to approve homosexual practice, whether by silence, or by endorsing so-called same-sex marriage, or by affirming the Christian ordination of practicing homosexuals.

6. The good news of Jesus is that God saves heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners who trust Jesus, by counting them righteous because of Christ, and by helping them through his Spirit to live lives pleasing to him in their disordered brokenness.

7. Deciding what actions will be made legal or illegal through civil law is a moral activity aiming at the public good and informed by the worldview of each participant.

8. Don’t press the organization of the church or her pastors into political activism. Pray that the church and her ministers would feed the flock of God with the word of God centered on the gospel of Christ crucified and risen. Expect from your shepherds not that they would rally you behind political candidates or legislative initiatives, but they would point you over and over again to God and to his word, and to the cross.

Main Points of Sermon, “‘Let Marriage be Held in Honor’ Thinking Biblically about So-called Same-sex Marriage”, John Piper, June 16, 2012.

Even though Dr. Piper says not press the church or her pastors into political activism, if more pastors would simply lay out the Biblical framework as he did, Christians would be much better informed in their values and voting. This is much closer to the Black Robed Regiment that David Barton talks about than what I hear on Sunday. If you have a chance to read or listen to the sermon, I recommend looking over point number 7 carefully. Dr. Piper puts the issue of codifying traditional marriage into very clear terms.

What do you think of John Piper’s stance? Are there other points he should cover?

Obama Comes Out

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

On Thursday, 5/10/2012, ABC’s Good Morning America, Barack Obama has made history has the first US president to come out in favor of so-called same-sex marriage. President Obama made remarks that are probably an effort to sway uninformed Christians who aren’t grounded in their faith. President Obama affirmed his Christian beliefs while at the same time affirming so-called same-sex marriage. He said it’s only fair that people be allowed to marry someone of the same sex if that is what they truly want. Although he did specify that the issue should be worked out at the state level. It was funny to hear Robin Roberts insist that it was not being worked out at the state level. She listed the recent defeat of same sex legislation in North Carolina. What Roberts meant was: people are voting it down, working it out means that we get our way…

On the negative side here is the head of state of our country basically taking a stand for sin… calling evil good. At the same time, this stand that Obama has finally been willing to make publicly might give us an additional edge in the November election. The fact is that every time this issue has been put to a vote it has lost. The only time that same-sex marriage has been made law has been by the actions of a legislature, executive, or a judicial overruling of the people. That was the case here in our state of California.

With overwhelming bias in favor of homosexual mores in the media, our incumbent president has some advantages. But the leftist opposition media AKA the mainstream media has never really been critical or biased against Barack Obama because they  read from the same playbook.

Although Obama says he has evolved on this issue, I don’t really believe that. This is where his base has been from the beginning. I think he has kept it unspoken for political reasons. What do you think? Why would the president choose to reveal this belief at this time?

Academia Conflicted on Penn State Scandal

Penn State Warms Up

Penn State Warms Up (Photo credit: acaben)

It has been months since the news broke of Penn State’s football organization turning a blind eye to the homosexual abuse of boys by Jerry Sandusky. As the story unfolds these allegations appear have some truth behind them. The pain and suffering of these young men must be recognized and the perpetrator(s) punished.

Unfortunately the academic community has a hard time setting itself up as a prosecutor for these kind of crimes against children. While it is not as yet a popular view, there are some in the academic community who advocate that pedophilia has a proper place in adult sexuality. Thankfully, this position is still abhorrent to most people in our nation including those in the university. I’m afraid the seed belief, that there should be no restrictions on sexual expression between consenting individuals, is being aggressively popularized on the university and high school campus by left leaning academic and student leadership.

Another example of the intentional blurring of these moral lines is in the federal administration. Our president appoints to governmental agencies people who advocate for adult/child sex. Kevin Jennings was appointed as assistant deputy secretary in the Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools in the U.S. Department of Education. He was a founder of GLSEN an organization which recommends literature to teens that encourage them to experiment with sex with adults. Why is our president bringing people like this into the Department of Education and other executive level positions with hardly a blink from the press, while Joe Paterno was vilified for not taking harsh enough measures against his former colleague?

For a good discussion of this topic, WallBuilders Live! this week featured Warren Cole Smith who explained how difficult it is to be a whistleblower when the community at large is actively rubbing out the lines of moral clarity. The crime of silence in these situations is inexcusable but easy to explain with the competing values involved. We Christians must not be silent.

Stop SB 48 – Teaching children about homosexual lifestyles is not right

On July 14, 2011, California governor Jerry Brown signed SB 48 into law. Mr. Brown along with the liberal state legislature want to force their views of morality on the good people of this state. This bill amends several educational codes to require teachers to include the sexual orientation of historical figures in lessons. Additionally the contributions and sexuality of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) oriented people must be discussed in a positive manner.

The following day, July 15, Capitol Resource Institute supported by Pacific Justice Institute sought a referendum on the bill. The web front of their effort, StopSB48.com has links to donate, volunteer, follow on Facebook and Twitter, and download the petition to stop SB 48.  This referendum effort allows for 90 days to collect over half a million signatures.  If this signature goal is reached, the voters of California will have another opportunity to let their voice be heard in this cultural debate. The good news is that when we the people have had a chance to vote on similar issues, we the people have voted in favor of traditional family values. In 31 out of 31 states we have voted in favor of traditional marriage. The only states enforcing same sex unions have been pushed there by liberal law-makers, as was the case recently in New York.

One of the possible consequences of SB 48 and the affirmation of homosexual LGBT lifestyles in California education is to push Christians out of education. I know I am unwilling to introduce these sexual concepts to children. Why would liberal thinkers and LGBT activists want to push Christians out of education? Because Christians have a standard outside of culture by which to judge ideas, policies, and movements. This standard is based on the Bible and it stands outside culture, government, politics, law, and media. With it we can determine whether something is right or wrong. The very notion of right or wrong is disputed by liberals and many intellectual academic elite today. Unfortunately, even though they are not in vogue, ignoring rightness or wrongness has negative consequences. Repeatedly harnessing the public school system as an indoctrination mechanism for misguided social policies has weakened it severely. It is no wonder we no longer rank well in education.

Currently enactment of the law is on hold until the referendum either passes or fails. Now is the time for all of us to speak up. Before September 30, 2011, please click on this link to go to the Stop SB 48 website. Download the petition, print it, sign it, and send it in.