Missouri Family E-News

June 30, 2015

Religious Leaders Condemn Marriage Decision

Missouri religious leaders have been quick to denounce the depraved decision of the United States Supreme Court to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions. 

Pastor Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, compared it to the deadly Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion-on-demand.

"A one-person majority of the Supreme Court got it wrong--again.  Some 40 years ago, a similarly activist court legalized the killing of children in the womb.  That decision has left a wake of some 55 million Americans dead."

"Today the Court has imposed same-sex 'marriage' upon the whole nation in similar fashion.  Five justices cannot determine natural or divine law.  Now shall come the time of testing for Christians faithful to the Scriptures...a time of testing much more intense than what followed Roe v. Wade."

Pastor Harrison said that the Supreme Court had forfeited its moral authority.  "When a government no longer distinguishes between right and wrong, when its courts are no longer governed by a strict desire for justice... when it weakens through its family law parental authority and the estate of marriage, then it ceases to be governing authority."

The Lutheran leader added a call for resolve.  "Christians will now begin to learn what it means to be in a state of solemn conscientious objection against the state." 

"We will resist its imposition of falsehood upon us, even as we reach out to those harmed by the ethic of radical sexual freedom detached from God's blessing of marriage.  We will stand shoulder to shoulder with Christians, churches, and people of good will who are resolute on this issue."

Dr. George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, expressed grave concern about the religious liberty threats posed by the decision.

"This ruling will be used as a wedge to narrow the scope and weaken the protections afforded by the free exercise of religion guaranteed to Americans by the First Amendment.  No religious person--Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.--can view that possibility as good news.  No freedom-loving American should."

Dr. Wood also stated that the "gay rights" movement has been falsely characterized as a human rights crusade.  "Proponents of same-sex 'marriage' like to draw analogies between their movement and the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements.  This analogy is false, but is nonetheless instructive."

"Whereas abolition and civil rights were enacted democratically by amending the U.S. Constitution in the 1860's and passing civil rights legislation in the 1960's, same-sex 'marriage' has been democratically enacted in only 11 states and the District of Columbia.  It has been imposed on 39 states and American territories by state and federal courts that overturned democratically enacted definitions of man-woman marriage."

Bishop James Johnston of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Catholic Diocese talked about the true nature of marriage.  "Marriage is more than simply two people in a loving commitment." 

"An essential part of marriage is the physical union that, when entered into by a man and a woman, has the potential to bring new life into the world.  That is biology, not bigotry.  It forms the basis for a healthy, stable culture for raising children to become integrated adults and citizens."

Bishop Johnston also drew a parallel to the Supreme Court's abortion decision.  "What Roe v. Wade did to the medical profession, this decision does to the rest of us--it creates a crisis of conscience."

"Just as Roe was not the final word, neither will today's decision be the end of the matter.  By redefining marriage, the Supreme Court has ensured there will be church-state conflict for generations to come."

Dr. John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, offers this fitting closing commentary:  "We live in a sinful and fallen world, and I am as responsible for this sad reality as much as anyone else."

"The world was not always this way, and it will not always be this way.  Ultimately, the redemptive work of Christ will rise to its crescendo in His glorious return, and He will set things right.  Until then, be faithful.  For He said, 'Take courage, I have overcome the world.'"

Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Jeff City Update online at 

U.S. Supreme Court:
Marriage is
What We Say it is 

The U.S. Supreme Court invented a constitutional right for same-sex individuals to "marry" last Friday by discarding centuries of constitutional law and legal jurisprudence. 

The High Court issued a 5-4 ruling that states must "license a 'marriage' between two people of the same sex," and must "recognize a 'marriage' between two people of the same sex when their 'marriage' was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state."

Justice Anthony Kennedy was the deciding vote in the case known as Obergefell v. Hodges.  He was joined in his decision by Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer.  Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas,  Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito each offered separate dissents.

Justice Kennedy already has the blood of millions of unborn children on his hands as a result of his cowardly decision in 1992 to reaffirm the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion on demand.  Now he bears the ignominy of being the shameful author of a decision that corrupts the American family and the institution of marriage for as long as our nation yet survives.

As has been his practice on this subject, Anthony Kennedy's opinion was for the most part devoid of constitutional analysis and legal scrutiny.  In other words, it had nothing to do with what the Constitution says or how it has been interpreted over the years.  Instead, it was full of Kennedy's familiar philosophical lectures about people's right to "define and express their own identity."

Instead of citing legal precedent or previous cases to support his ruling (there are none), Kennedy instead wrote that "new insights and societal understandings" and "new dimensions of freedom" ..."can reveal unjustified inequality."  In other words, equal justice under the law is going to be determined by how five lawyers on the Supreme Court think life should be.

Most significantly, Justice Kennedy decreed that the right of homosexuals to "marry" is a fundamental right under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment.  In so doing, Anthony Kennedy set aside a constitutional standard that has guided federal courts for much of this nation's history.

That standard established that a fundamental right "be deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition," which so-called same-sex "marriage" clearly is not.  Now the standard for determining fundamental rights under the Constitution will be the "enhanced understanding of an issue" in the viewpoint of lifetime appointed judges.

Chief Justice John Roberts issued a strong dissent sharply attacking the legitimacy of the High Court's decision.  "This Court is not a legislature.  Whether same-sex 'marriage' is a good idea should be of no concern to us.  Under the Constitution, judges have the power to say what the law is, not what it should be...The majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment...Just who do we think we are?"

Justice Roberts unmasked the heart of the matter in plain terms.  "The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage.  And a State's decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational."
Roberts pointed out that the unaltered universal definition of marriage was no "historical coincidence."  "Marriage did not come about as a result of political movement, discovery, disease, war, religious doctrine, or any other moving force of world history--and certainly not as a result of a prehistoric decision to exclude gays and lesbians."

"It arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship...The premises supporting this concept of marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation.  The human race must procreate to survive."

Chief Justice Roberts quoted from the dissent in the infamous Dred Scott decision.  "When the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws are abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control [the Constitution's meaning], we no longer have a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their own views of what it ought to mean."

Justice Roberts said that the dictatorial decision rendered by Justice Kennedy and the majority had undermined the "legitimacy" of the High Court.  "Over and over, the majority exalts the role of the judiciary in delivering social change.  In the majority's telling, it is the courts, not the people, who are responsible for making 'new dimensions of freedom..."

"Those who founded our country...risked their lives and fortunes for the precious right to govern themselves.  They would never have imagined yielding that right on a question of social policy to unaccountable and unelected judges," Roberts observed.

The Chief Justice concluded his dissent with a tart summary.  "If you are among the many Americans...who favor expanding same-sex 'marriage,' by all means celebrate today's decision...But do not celebrate the Constitution.  It had nothing to do with it."

We will have more analysis of this ghastly decision, with a focus on the religious liberty implications, in next week's Jeff City Update.

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