More Responses to Obergefell vs. Hodges
June 28, 2015
The Anglican Church in North America responds at some length.
Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.’ . . .
I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience. We will continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans.
Bobby Jindal’s statement was similarly strong.
The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states’ rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.
This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision.
Marco Rubio’s statement was also solid.
People who disagree with the traditional definition of marriage have the right to change their state laws. That is the right of our people, not the right of the unelected judges or justices of the Supreme Court. This decision short-circuits the political process that has been underway on the state level for years.
. . . As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.
. . . Our nation was founded on the human right of religious freedom, and our elected leaders have a duty to protect that right by ensuring that no one is compelled by law to violate their conscience.
I firmly believe the question of same sex marriage is a question of the definition of an institution, not the dignity of a human being.
The National Review editors stand “Against Redefining Marriage — and the Republic”.
“Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens — through the democratic process — to adopt their view,” Chief Justice John Roberts writes in his dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision today. “That ends today.”
. . .
The majority opinion, by Justice Anthony Kennedy, has almost nothing in the way of constitutional argument for why . . . .
Religious institutions will still have protection under the First Amendment, they say, to “teach” their opposition to same-sex marriage, but the extent of that liberty is not defined. History suggests it could be rapidly curtailed . . . .
Those battles will now have to be fought on a legal landscape where invented constitutional imperatives regularly sweep aside democratically written law. The decision is a breathtaking arrogation of political power by the judiciary, a serious loss for the autonomy of the states and the people.
David French argues, “The Supreme Court Ratifies a New Civic Religion That Is Incompatible with Christianity”.
Consider the already much-quoted closing . . . .
Or this: “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.”
This isn’t constitutional law, it’s theology — a secular theology of self-actualization — crafted in such a way that its adherents will no doubt ask, “What decent person can disagree?” . . . Justice Kennedy’s opinion was nine parts romantic poetry and one part legal analysis (if that).
Judging by my Facebook news feed, he’s right. A lot of people are quoting that closing and basking in the warm glow. French continues:
And that’s what makes it so dangerous for religious liberty and free speech. Practitioners of constitutional law know that there is no such thing as an “absolute” right to free speech or religious freedom in any context — virtually all cases involve balancing the asserted right against the asserted state interest, with “compelling” state interests typically trumping even the strongest assertions of First Amendment rights. And what is more compelling than this ode to love?
. . .
Christians who’ve not suffered for their faith often romanticize persecution. They imagine themselves willing to lose their jobs, their liberty, or even their lives for standing up for the Gospel. Yet when the moment comes, at least here in the United States, they often find that they simply can’t abide being called “hateful.” It creates a desperate, panicked response. “No, you don’t understand. I’m not like those people — the religious right.” Thus, at the end of the day, a church that descends from apostles who withstood beatings finds itself unable to withstand tweetings. Social scorn is worse than the lash.
Also writing at National Review Online, Ted Cruz argues that desperate times call for desperate measures: making the Supreme Court justices run for re-election every eight years.
. . . as Justice Alito put it, “Today’s decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court’s abuse of its authority have failed.”
. . .
As a constitutional conservative, I do not make this proposal lightly. I began my career as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist — one of our nation’s greatest chief justices — and I have spent over a decade litigating before the Supreme Court. I revere that institution, and have no doubt that Rehnquist would be heartbroken at what has befallen our highest court.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, we have to defend traditional marriage using secular arguments and secular evidence. We have to show how same-sex marriage undermines religious liberty. We have to show how same-sex marriage undermines marital norms like exclusivity and permanence. We have to show how same-sex marriage harms children by depriving them of a mother or a father or both. And so on. We have to defend the goodness of traditional marriage.
- Celebrating same-sex unions is bad for children
- Celebrating same-sex unions is bad for public health
- Celebrating same-sex unions is bad for business and religious liberty
Christians and conservatives should also continue to work on repairing our culture of marriage in other ways. The latest redefinition was not the first blow to marriage, or perhaps even the most consequential. Via Wintery Knight, check out “Five Myths about No-Fault Divorce”, Stephen Baskerville.
Messages from the Mythical argues,
Alternate versions of marriage to the traditional heterosexual one can only exist as alternatives to the standard. If the standard erodes away, or is legislated out of existence, those marriages also will disintegrate.
She links to “The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality”, Adam J. MacLeod, who argues,
If [proponents of “marriage equality”] are asking for governments to make marriage and same-sex couples the same in law, then they are asking for governments to eliminate the incidents of marriage that connect children to their natural parents. If same-sex “marriage” proponents are not asking governments to eliminate those legal securities for children, then they are not asking for full marriage equality.
America’s Watchtower offers a novel perspective: “Could the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling set the stage to justify national concealed carry reciprocity?”
There is however one difference between these two issues and it is a glaring one: whereas the Second Amendment is actually mentioned in the Constitution the issue of marriage is not which means that if either issue should be left up to the purview of the States it should be marriage and not the right to keep and bear arms for that is a universal right protected by the Constitution.
Heinlein-inspired libertarian and novelist Sarah Hoyt writes,
I want to emphasize that as a supporter of SSM (And polygamy, and any other contract been free, consenting adults) I never supported judicial activism, much less supreme court activism or turning the constitution into a sort of tea leaf reading show.
I will confess too that the thing that worries me most about this decision is the fact the window I’m typing in has a rainbow flag up top, courtesy of WordPress. That kind of bizarre triumphalism, of tribal cheering makes me uncomfortable and ALWAYS ends in tears.
It’s somewhat interesting to see the right do their best to pin the blame on the activist SCOTUS judges. . . . Really? They’re simply doing what they were put in place to do. So who’s to blame? Per usual, the American electorate that installed the same POTUS fool twice giving him the power to make those appointments. Tired of hearing that elections have consequences?
it’s an interesting decision, considering that it rips many of the precedents it cites right out of their context and twists them into submission to try to make them fit.