Est. May 2008

27 June, 2013

DOMA Demise A Good Thing For The Church?

That’s the view taken by Dave Thompson in an article at the Christian Post; IMO, in the face of all the evidence, it’s a rather naïve assumption.

The demise of DOMA might be interpreted by many Christians as being a blow to the sanctity of marriage. This couldn't be further from the truth. The Supreme Court has effectively upheld a more important notion for Christians: the separation of Church and State.
Once again we have to bring out the truth: separation of church and state is not in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights; the phrase is found in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in which he assured them the Federal Government would not dictate a state church.  The First Amendment of the Constitution offers the Establishment Clause, which mirrors Jefferson’s statement; the Free Exercise Clause, which follows the Establishment Clause, assures that the Federal Government cannot restrict the free exercise of any religion in the united States.

I’m getting sick and tired of having to repeat that.
Over two-hundred years ago we fought for the freedom to practice our religious beliefs, however we saw fit. In fact, as a Son of the Revolution, my family had a very active part in that rebellion. They believed that all persons should be able to live in accordance with their own interpretations of scripture and faith. Most who had immigrated to the US Colonies had fled religious persecution -- chief among them, protestants (aka today's Protestant Evangelicals).

Today's Supreme Court vote, in fact, has protected our country from the very ills we fought to rid ourselves from long ago.
Mr. Thompson apparently has decided to ignore the Obama Administration’s various and numerous attacks on the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment: the Affordable Care Act’s mandatory birth-control regulations (which numerous churches are fighting on Free Exercise Clause grounds); the defunding by the Department of Justice of the Young Marines chapter in Bossier Parish, LA because they reference God; the refusal to re-fund the USCCB’s program which assisted victims of sex-trafficking because the USCCB refused to offer abortion information; the removal of Just War teaching from the Air Force Academy because it’s religious in nature; and multiple other evidences of our current Administration’s ‘war on the Free Exercise Clause’.

Mr. Thompson also fails to note the Administration’s tacit agreement with the various lawsuits brought by homosexual couples against Christian-owned florists, bakers, photographers, and the like over refusal to provide services based on their beliefs (which will come up later).
Today, all persons and churches will be able to decide for themselves how their faith defines marriage. Today, the sanctity of marriage has been placed back into the pulpits, where God may more effectively uphold it and where we as Christians may continue to advocate for our faith.
The sanctity of marriage has been around a lot longer than just the church age, for one thing; for another, the church will always base it’s beliefs involving marriage on the belief that it was mandated by God to be between man and woman.  Whether that can remain in the pulpit is another matter entirely.

Homosexual activists were unsatisfied with the term ‘union’ – they wanted the word ‘marriage’ in order to confer social approval on their bonds.  We already have so-called-Christian churches offering to perform homosexual marriages (under the guise of ‘sanctification ceremonies’, in one case); considering how homosexual activist couples have treated Christian business owners, how unlikely is it that they won’t begin to try the same with churches?  After all, there was no reason those homosexual couples, after being refused service, couldn’t have gone to any other florist, baker, photographer, whatever to fulfill their wedding needs – it’s hard not to see their actions as a direct attack on Christian businesses.  If they were willing to do that, and since there are some ‘Christian’ churches providing homosexual marriages, what’s to say they won’t attempt to force churches which don’t to do so?  After all, it worked with Christian-owned businesses.

Is Mr. Thompson basing his assumption on Mr. Obama’s statement that he won’t force churches to provide homosexual wedding ceremonies?  Mr. Obama made a whole lot of promises which have been and remain unkept – what’s another one, especially a promise made to a group he seems to despise?  In fact, the Examiner has an article up regarding Fresno churches and being forced to offer homosexual weddings.
There is Church marriage and then there is legal marriage. In the Church, we should be able to marry according to our faith. In our laws and country, we should be able to marry regardless of our own faiths.
I return to the rather-well-founded evidence that even offering non-religious marriage ceremonies, such as courthouse weddings by a Justice of the Peace, for example – will not satisfy the homosexual lobby, just as the word ‘union’ wasn’t satisfactory.  Just as the word ‘marriage’ confers social acceptance, a church wedding will do much more to show social approval, even if that marriage was forced on the church.

About the only good I see coming to the churches from this decision will be that churches will be forced to fight for their rights, something which, except for lately, has been low on the priorities list.  I expect plenty of legal wrangling between the church and the society over this decision, and I pray the church will stand firm in the face of what promises to be a withering storm.

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