Last Friday, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court of the United States changed our civilization forever.
By ruling that homosexual marriage is legal and not to be denied by any state, they changed the ancient definition of marriage, removed the right of states to self-determination regarding the issue, and made a ruling outside of their purview, apart from any Constitutional basis.
Throughout the weekend, people tweeted the hashtag, #LoveWins, and then posted the angriest, darkest, nastiest comments toward the other side one might imagine. Both gays and straights have fallen into name-calling, ad-hominem arguments and ugly threats. Love hasn’t won (unless by “love,” we simply mean “sexual expression").
In short, the Court simply ruled that no gay couple can be denied a license to marry by any state.
Those supporting gay marriage pooh-pooh the doomsayers by stating what the ruling actually means:
•Gays who want to get married can.
•Gays who don’t want to, don’t have to.
•Straights who want to get married can.
•Straights who don’t want to, don’t have to.
•Religious leaders and organizations who don’t want to perform a wedding (any wedding) won’t be forced to.
•Religious leaders who wish to perform any marriage may.
•If you are in a gay or straight marriage presently, the ruling has no affect on you.
•If you are wanting to express disagreement or displeasure at the ruling, or agreement and relief at the ruling, you may. But otherwise, it doesn’t affect you.
Or so the argument goes. Time will tell whether the ruling makes us a more “open” society, or whether activists will press toward forcing on dissenters not just toleration, but endorsement.
One person took me to task for my posting an article that took the position that though the Supreme Court redefined marriage, marriage (as I believe is defined and established by God) did not change. Her remarks were pointed and sharp:
Personally I'm not offended one bit by the ruling. Maybe that's because I'm "liberal" in the eyes of crusty, old, narrow-minded, pretentious jerks. I find this article repulsive and easily arguable on 90% of the "logic." Maybe God only recognizes heterosexual marriage, but why does the govt have to do the same? Separation of church and govt? No you don't have to preside over a single gay marriage, you don't have to preside over any marriage you don't see fit. That is at your discretion, but don't say that the government is wrong for allowing others to do it. America is a good place to live, if you don't believe it then move to north korea. PS: sorry for the rant. I'm just sick and tired of seeing everyone complain about gay marriage when there were 3 terrorist related executions in one day. If you want to pray for someone, pray for those who are subject to an unimaginable terror every day they wake up. Not for those who are morally wrong in a religious definition.
I hope to live in a world where a gay couple can get married, and I can affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman; that I can't prevent that union and the government won't force me to perform it. I agree with you that government and religion are two different entities––but I suspect that as government grows larger and seeks to enforce its will on dissenters, the legal will trump the religious. America has always been a place where human conscience is recognized and respected; I hope it continues to be, but I'm not optimistic. Do I believe that this ruling will be limited to requiring states to issue marriage licenses for gays? Not at all. Using the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling, I'm pretty sure a legal challenge to polygamy (or polyandry) is coming. And an insistence that organizations that refuse to recognize gay marrieds will lose tax-exempt status. (I absolutely hope I'm wrong, but time will tell.) I don't think I'm a "crusty, old, narrow-minded, pretentious jerk"––or at least that's not why the Supreme Court decision troubles me. So, do I wish to live in North Korea that has a very restrictive, very imposing government? Not at all. I want to live in a place where we can disagree openly, live and let live, and still treat each other with respect and love. How about you?
People are clamoring to talk about and ponder what this means and where it will lead. As you get into conversations about this topic, be sure not to inflame the discussion by name-calling or arguing. Instead, realize that these are matters of conscience, and reaffirm that in matters of disagreement, we should be able to speak freely and respectfully with everyone.
On Facebook, my friend John Snyder, a pastor in Arizona, posted some sanity and wisdom:
"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..." (2Timothy 2:24-3:1, 5)