Gay marriage not to be constitutional right this term

The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court has denied cert in all five pending same-sex marriage cases. There are two immediate implications of this—an upside and a downside:

(1) Downside: Same-sex marriage will now go forward in five states—Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. This should increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24. By deciding not to review these cases, the Supreme Court has let stand bad rulings from lower courts that usurp authority from the people by striking down good laws. This is not good and will likely have far-reaching effects over time.

(2) Upside: Gay marriage will not become a constitutional right this term. Many of us were predicting that the Supreme Court would take up one of these cases. Given the court’s decision in Windsor, it is very clear how they would have ruled if the issue would have come before the court again. Observers expected gay marriage to become a constitutional right across the country this June. But that is not going to happen—at least not right now. The issue will continue to be fought in the lower courts and in the states.

This is big news, and the upside is definitely significant. Still, SCOTUS at best has only delayed the inevitable. Legal same-sex marriage in all 50 states—including a constitutional right to SSM—is a fait accompli at this point. It’s like watching water roll down the windshield. You can debate what track the water will take to get there, but it’s going to get there one way or the other.

43 Responses to Gay marriage not to be constitutional right this term

  1. Paul Reed October 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    This is a smart move on the part of liberals. They’re not going to turn the temperature up on the frog too quickly. It should be very gradual, but always getting hotter.

  2. James Harold Thomas October 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Ginsburg has criticized Roe for giving the pro-lifers a rallying point. I wonder if the scotus is hoping for an eventual judgment from the court of public opinion on gay marriage so they don’t have to render a blunt decision that will serve to further polarize the issue.

    • Chris Ryan October 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

      I think both you and Paul are right. Very savvy of RBG. I do think its good that the Court is stepping into the debate for rights when the states have been reluctant to do so. Even after SCOTUS decided Loving v. Virginia in favor of allowing interracial couples to marry, it was a decade or more before the majority of Americans approved of interracial marriage.

  3. Lauren October 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    AOL.com has a very different view of what happened today, reporting that 11 states will now be able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and that the silence of SCOTUS is actually a nod to same-sex marriages. How come such a big difference in their response in yours (I am NOT a proponent of gay marriage…the term is ridiculous).

    • Denny Burk October 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Lauren,

      The immediate effect will be gay marriage going forward in the five states requesting cert. Without question, however, this will have implications for many more states. And as I said in the post above, gay marriage will continue to expand. Today’s news does nothing to stop that.

      Denny

    • Ryan Davidson October 6, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

      Buddy’s analysis is correct. The Court’s denial of the petitions for certiorari means that the lower appellate courts’ decisions striking down bans on SSM will become binding precedent within those courts’ regional jurisdiction. This means that SSM will become a reality within a few weeks or months in North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

      Further, I’ll note that none of the lower courts has found a right to same-sex marriage. To the contrary, the bans were struck down under the equal protection clause. Thus, the courts merely found that the states treated similarly situated couples differently, and did so in ways that lacked any rational connection to a legitimate governmental purpose. It is well established that moral disapproval of a class of persons is not a legitimate governmental purpose.

      It only takes four votes to permit the Court to hear a case. So, at least one of the four dissenters in Windsor elected not to hear these cases. I’d put my money on Chief Justice Roberts. It’s likely that he (and others) felt that Windsor addressed the question sufficiently, and that there was nothing more for the Court to say. I think that’s probably the right decision.

    • James Bradshaw October 6, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

      Lauren writes: “I am NOT a proponent of gay marriage”

      How about legal recognition under another name such as “civil unions” or “domestic partnerships”? For some reason, I doubt you’re just hung up on verbiage.

      I’m going to summarize the Christian fundamentalist position for you. I want you to tell me how it sounds to rational ears:

      “I don’t think gay couples should receive any legal recognition or protections. I think Christians or anyone else should be able to fire people because of their (perceived) sexual orientation. Landlords should be able to legally evict them from their apartments. Gays should either find a heterosexual to marry or remain celibate for the entirety of their lives. Gays should essentially live a life of unremitting misery and discrimination because of my chosen religious beliefs for which there is clearly no genetic basis.

      However, when I am forced to bake a cake or sign a legal contract because of THEIR sexual orientation, this is persecution of the highest order, on par with the terror of the Nazi regime.”

      Does this sound sane to you? It’s what I’ve been hearing for the last several years or so….

      • Lauren October 7, 2014 at 6:23 am #

        James: I am going to summarize the Christian fundamentalist position for YOU since I AM a Christian fundamentalist and you are not. The Christian fundamentalist knows, first and foremost, that they were born a sinner too. Your sin is no worse than any sin I have committed. The difference is…you have chosen to remain a sinner…to redefine “sin”…to call it love when God’s Word has called it an abomination. My sin has a punishment just like yours…death…eternal separation from God. But God loved me (and you) so much that He paid the punishment for my sin by sacrificing His Only Son, Jesus, to pay a payment that was due…because there ARE consequences for sin. Gay men and women want to redefine their sin so they can “escape” the consequences. They want their sin to be openly accepted instead of facing the truth…their sin will lead to death. You may be able to gain “legalization” of your sin here on earth…you may be able to get that apartment you want…you may feel “free” to now “marry” a homosexual partner and not be “celibate and miserable” and “discriminated” against. The truth is, escaping consequences of your sin here on earth will NOT solve your sin problem. I WAS BORN A SINNER…JUST LIKE YOU. The power of the Holy Spirit living in me is helping me to overcome my sin life…and the same power is available to you. The thing is…you don’t WANT to change! You want the world to change so you can be what YOU have decided you are. God loves you and sent His Son to die on the cross for you…and you think “legalization” of your sinful desire will take care of your sin problem. Consequences, in the hands of God, can help us to move closer to Him so that we get our hearts into the right position to accept His love and freedom. I am not sorry my fundamentalist beliefs line up with the teachings of God’s Word. I AM sorry that you have chosen a path that will one day have you standing before God with a man-made law that you think will cover your sin problem. I’m sorry you’ve faced discrimination…but you’ve chosen to do so by choosing to remain in your sinful state and now trying to force God-fearing, God-respect, God-loving people to “endorse” your sin. Once your sin is endorsed, we may as well just endorse all sin and let people find out the truth when it’s too late to do something about it. I pray that your heart will be softened to understand your true position before God so that like me, you too can do something about the sin that’s in your life. By the way…I have wonderful friends who are gay. One of them has chosen to live a celibate life because he’s raising his nephew and doesn’t want to set an example for him that could cause him harm. He’s not “miserable”…he’s comfortable with his choice. There are a lot of people who live celibate lives…sex is not the be-all, end-all of living. In the end, the only thing that really matters…did you accept the payment for your sin…did you return His love through obedience to His Word?

        • James Bradshaw October 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

          Lauren,
          Relationships are more than the sex that occurs. Sex merely helps define the nature of a relationship. Does that make sense? In other words: my relationship with my partner would still be fundamentally a homosexual relationship, even were no sex to occur. If you are married, you’d understand what I’m talking about.

          In terms of the Bible, well … even as someone who claims to be a fundamentalist, you’ve chosen to embrace or reject a variety of moral and doctrinal “truths” based on your own understanding, whatever the objective truth of the matter may be and what others more learned than you have had to say.

          You may have come to different conclusions than some pastors and scholars about the morality of contraception, divorce and human slavery. You might have come to ideas about what one must believe to be saved than others have. All this profound disagreement despite everyone reading the same translation of the same holy book.

          Anyone with a sense of perspective beyond their own nose knows that Christendom is in no way univocal about any of its supposed truths upon which salvation supposedly hinges. I’ve said this over and over again, but it never seems to sink in.

          That being said, I actually do care about making moral choices. This necessarily requires rejecting promiscuity. I don’t see it requiring I marry a woman (who’d be miserable with me) or that I remain celibate for life (which would allow me to be as self-involved as I’d like).

          The Bible is useful, but it’s not sufficiently coherent or comprehensive as a moral guide for everyday life. One can only abide by one’s conscience and let the chips fall where they may. Whether you acknowledge or believe it or not, that’s all YOU are doing as well (unless you wish to claim that you’ve come to inerrant conclusions about what the Bible really means about everything).

          • Brian Levie October 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

            Mr. Bradshaw- If you truly believe that one can only abide by one’s own conscience and let the chips fall where they may as your standard, how then are you able to offer any argument, critique or prescriptive advice of any kind without violating your own stated standard? You criticize others who do not see things from a perspective “beyond their own nose”, yet this is the actual position you are advocating (one can only abide by one’s conscience and let the chips fall where they may). Even suggesting that Lauren is also living by this standard without realizing it is an objective truth claim which also violates your stated standard. The problem with the “let your conscience be your guide” philosophy is that it becomes relativistic whenever it is put forth prescriptively.

            • James Bradshaw October 8, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

              Brian, I did not suggest we make up our own moral code. I’m suggesting we try to determine morality and live by it even though we may not know with 100% certainty what the true moral choice is.

              What’s the alternative? Suspend all personal sense of morality and adopt the position of whoever has the biggest church or the fanciest hat? This is the paradox we live with, it seems.

              Some find Catholicism to have the nearest knowledge of the truth even as others find it a big mess.

              One side may be right .. or neither. How do know for sure? What’s the process for determining it?

              • Brian Levie October 9, 2014 at 1:52 am #

                James- let me clarify. I was pointing out the subjective foundation of your moral philosophy; a moral code can be subjective yet not original. Now you clearly suggest that we should determine morality and try to live by it because the alternative – adopting someone else’s moral philosophy – requires a suspension of all personal sense of morality and raises the question by what standard are we be able to judge the correct one? Your own view suffers the same difficulty; what standard are you appealing to in making the judgment that we should determine our morality and try to live by it? Forgive the press, but I sincerely would like to know.

                • James Bradshaw October 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

                  Brian asks: “what standard are you appealing to in making the judgment that we should determine our morality and try to live by it?”

                  Failing to act morally has consequences, even in this life. If there are consequences in the next, it would seem prudent to determine what those moral choices are. So perhaps the answer is purely self-interest, in a sense, but isn’t that the reason for everyone to some degree or another?

                  I realize that my subjective ideas of morality are just that: subjective. However, this awareness allows me to re-evaluate my ideas given contrary evidence. I try to approach others with a certain degree of humility because I just don’t know. This doesn’t seem possible if one clings to a rigid fundamentalism where one necessarily has all the answers. As they say, “I’m ‘right’ today, but ask me in 10 years when I have a contrary opinion on the same topic and I’ll be ‘right’ then as well.”

                  Perhaps my gripe is not over the appeal to objective morality but rather the lack of nuance in trying to decipher what the actual moral position is.

                  • Brian Levie October 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

                    James – thanks for responding. I think the certainty expressed by others irritates you because you believe we should all share your level of uncertainty. Although there are some who certainly display a lack of humility here, I think its important to remember that certainty does not necessarily implies a lack of humility. No need to respond again; thanks James.

  4. buddyglass October 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    The decision not to take these cases also means other states in those districts will have to abide by the appeals court’s ruling. To quote one summary:

    “Among the other states in the 4th Circuit without marriage equality currently that would be impacted are North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Among the other states in the 10th Circuit without marriage equality currently that would be impacted are Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. That, once resolved, would bring the total number of states with marriage equality to 30.”

  5. Lindsay Parks October 6, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    The inexorable advancement of sin. (2 Tim. 3:1, Eph. 5:11-12)

    “Change marriage, and you change the world. Convince people that government, and not God, lays down the rules for marriage, and they will believe more strongly than ever, that THEY determine right and wrong; and that not even the world’s rulers are subject to a higher authority.” (RC Sproul)

    • buddyglass October 7, 2014 at 1:10 am #

      Sproul’s comment perfectly demonstrates the two disparate ways the word “marriage” is used.

      The government demonstrably can and does make the rules for “marriage” if you take “marriage” to mean “the state of two individuals having been recognized by the state as possessing a certain basket of rights and obligations”. Nobody needs to be convinced of this because it’s patently obvious. I suspect Sproul would agree.

      In another sense, however, the government cannot possibly “change the rules” for marriage since there is an spiritual dimension to marriage that is defined solely by God the Father. At least, that’s the truth claim Christians make. God establishes the parameters governing the spiritual institution of marriage and He has chosen to exclude same-sex couples.

      The crux of where Sproul and I part ways is in the last sentence. He seems to argue that for a ruler to legally recognize same-sex marriages is to call them “right”. I’m not convinced that’s the case.

  6. Robert Karl October 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Lauren: The Christian Fundamentalist view? Why the limitations. It is the Christian view: Marriage is between a man and women. Who says: Jesus-plainly and directly in Holy Scriptures.

  7. Curt Day October 8, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    If we really believe in equality, then we will work for equality for all groups including those with whom we disagree. So the real question us Christians is can we show the world that we want equality for gays with whom we disagree with regarding sexual practices? And if we can’t, then are what we saying to the nation is that we want Christians to have a privileged place in society in order to control the behaviors of those who are different?

    • Lauren Law October 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

      Curt Day…you are equating “equality” with “freedom to do or be whatever you want”. None of us have that. I am a woman and you are a man. We will NEVER be equal because you can NEVER give birth to a child. We ARE equal in the fact that without a man’s sperm, my egg would never form a child. It is not Christians who “control the behaviors of those who are different.” It is God’s Word that condemns the behaviors that are sinful, and Christians only choose to agree with God’s Word. God does not grant “equality” to all. There will come a day when those who have chose to reject the sacrifice of His Son will find out that “equality” on earth does not mean the same thing as “created equal by God.” We are created equal in that we ALL have the ability to choose to do things God’s way…or our way. As long as homosexuals, murderers, pedophiles and sinners of every sort (liars, adulterers, fornicators…the list is long) choose to do things “their own way”, they will never be “equal” to those who have chosen to obey God. Talk to God if you want homosexual behaviors to be “accepted” as “equal”…your argument is with Him, not me!

      • Curt Day October 8, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

        Lauren,
        I am equating “equality” with homosexuals having the same rights as heterosexuals. However, you are equating “equality” with “being identical.”

        In addition, I want nonChristians to have the same religious rights as Christians do. Yes, I want Christians to influence society. But at the same time, I am against Christian privilege in controlling what others in society can do. The NT view of society is that it contains both Christians and nonChristians and that the nonChristians there are not under Church laws and discipline.

        Yes, we will all be judged by God who shows no preferential treatment. But we cannot afford to force on nonChristians the standards put on Christians. We can call nonChristians to repent and believe, but we can’t discipline them for refusing to do so. Otherwise, we are blurring the lines between the Church and Society.

        • Lauren Law October 8, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

          Curt…there is no proof that accepting gay marriage will make society a better place to live. Gay men and women will be raising children who could only be formed through heterosexual unions! As if sexual harassment wasn’t already a problem between opposite sexes, now we will face the same thing between gays and heterosexuals. My children and grandchildren will be FORCED to compromise and tolerate what God calls an abomination. I will get to explain to MY grandchildren that God’s Word is true…and that these men and women are choosing to act in a way that does not please God…because American government says they have the “freedom” and “equality” to do so???? No thank you. Morally…scripturally…emotionally… physically…I cannot see any advantage to the rest of society for accepting gay marriage. Homosexual men live shorter lives than straight men…lesbians are twice as likely to get breast cancer….homosexual relationships are twice as likely to experience domestic violence. There is no “equality” for people whose behavior and personal practices lead to different outcomes. I am not sorry for wanting to protect my family, my society or my world from the effects of living alongside homosexual couples.

          Jesus did not hesitate to speak to the world about what they were doing that showed a lack of fruit in their lives. If we remain silent, we appear to condone the behavior. If we speak out against it, we’re considered “pushy”, “forceful” or “judgmental”. I will not and cannot be silent and shame the Name of Jesus who lives within me. No other sinner has asked me to condone and legitimize his/her sin: not murderers, not pedophiles, not liars, not adulterers…again, the list is long. I will NEVER agree that people who practice homosexuality deserve to be “married”…an institution ordained by God.
          .

          • Curt Day October 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

            Lauren,
            I understand the personal reaction and the fear, but you didn’t address the equality issue. In addition, I don’t how making same-sex marriage legal causes us Christian to compromise what God’s Word says.

            See, we don’t believe in idol worship but we do allow for the freedom of religion. So why does allowing for same-sex marriage mean we have to believe in it or not say that it is against God’s Word?

            • Lauren Law October 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

              Curt: Homosexual “love” has NEVER been equated with marriage. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years…and no “marriage” between homosexuals. Laws that allow “marriage” between homosexuals will not change the Truth that homosexuality is an abomination. Had God changed His mind about it, don’t you think Jesus would have corrected us on our thinking…or Paul…or Peter? Jesus told us to love homosexuals…I do believe that. But He NEVER instructed us to condone or accept their sin and give it an equal status with marriage between a man and a woman.

              Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but the LGBT isn’t satisfied to just have “equality” in marriage. They want to FORCE people who love God and believe in His Word to SERVE them and ACCEPT them and to NOT SPEAK OUT against them. In America, we can now be charged with a HATE CRIME if we express any of the Scriptural truth about homosexuality. Did you see what happened to Phil Robertson when he quoted the Scripture??? Where is the “equality” when Christians cannot say what they think or express what they feel but homosexuals can? This isn’t just about being a Christian. It’s also about being an American.

              Curt, I’m not sure what you’re looking for. You’re not going to change my mind. I apparently am not going to change yours. That makes me sad. This is why the world will never know the truth about the relationship between Jesus and His Father…One. Satan is insipid in dividing believers and deceiving them. I am not deceived because I stand on God’s Word…the Truth. People who call themselves “believers” and re-invent God’s position are being used by satan to deceive the world. And God cries…and Jesus weeps.

              • Curt Day October 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

                Lauren,
                Worshipping idols is detestable too and yet we have the freedom of religion in this country. What should be allowed in society is different from what should be allowed in the Church.

                As for your statement about homosexual love and marriage is not historically correct.

                BTW, if you want to complain about the pendulum swing and the desires of SOME LGBT advocates, first remember the pain caused by where the pendulum is coming from. Also realize that in a Capitalist country, denying services based on sexual orientation is pretty much like what denying services occurred during Jim Crow. Is that what we want to associate with the Gospel?

                • Lindsay Parks October 10, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

                  Curt- your likening of the LGBT agenda and what happened with black civil rights, is, in a word, ridiculous. Black people are BORN that way, and Acts 17 tells us that The Lord created all peoples “in the same blood…” Homosexuality is a CHOICE. That is supported by both the Bible, and modern science- as not a single study worldwide has EVER shown it to be a “born this way” thing. In every demographic world-wide, the % of homosexuals is always less than 3%…for the entire LGBT population is consistently <4.5%. It is incomprehensible that such a minute minority has gained so much momentum, in twisting so many folks into giving them "rights" to live as they choose. God knew exactly what He was doing when He labelled this sinful behavior "unseemly, inappropriate, unnatural, and abominable sin." That so many people have drunk the gay-colored Kool-Aid, is just bewildering.

                  • Curt Day October 11, 2014 at 8:33 am #

                    Lindsay,
                    So because someone chooses to be gay we have the right to marginalize them? You still advocate treating a group of people as being less than equal, to be less than you. And because of that, you are still demonstrating the same prejudice against gays as was, and in fact still is, shown against Blacks.

                    • Johnny Mason October 11, 2014 at 9:03 am #

                      So because someone chooses to be attracted to kids we have the right to marginalize them? Because someone chooses to be attracted to their sister, we have the right to marginalize them? Because someone chooses to have multiple wives or husbands, we have the right to marginalize them? It appears you are demonstrating the same prejudice that was show against blacks.

                    • Lindsay Parks October 11, 2014 at 11:44 am #

                      Johnny- your response to Curt was positively brilliant. In very few words, you show the idiocy of the thinking behind this immoral agenda. The next 3 huge battlegrounds in the Bible vs. immorality culture war, are projected to be pedophilia, incest, and polygamy. In a number of countries, these activists already have a very prominent and public agenda.

                      It stuns me that so few people, in so short of a time, have become so strong, and that from their position of incredible minority, they have caused the thinking of so many normally common-sense people to be turned completely upside down.

                      When these next 3 abberrancies come to the fore to be socially and politically “accepted”, one of them will cause Curt to draw a line, and take a stand. And then, he will wonder why he was so wrong on this one, the first of many.

                    • Ryan Davidson October 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

                      Right, Lindsay, because it takes real brilliance to compare gay people to child rapists.

                      The basic question comes down to whether you’re comfortable living in a pluralistic society. Under our current legal regime, an electoral majority cannot deny legal rights to minority groups (e.g., sexual minorities) unless the denial is rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose.

                      I think we can all agree that the government is pursuing a legitimate purpose when it enacts laws that prevent children from being raped. By contrast, the government does not have any similarly legitimate purpose in seeking to regulate the private sexual conduct of consenting adults. Expressing moral disapproval of a minority group isn’t exactly a legitimate purpose of government. End of story.

                    • Lindsay Parks October 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

                      “End of story” maybe in your mind, Ryan, and the pitiful laws of failing man. NOT end of story in God’s mind or His court of law…and you may have noticed thus discussion is on a Christian website, where Biblical values are contrasted to secular. My point is that the sin of homosexuality is no different from the others mentioned, in God’s eyes.

                    • Ryan Davidson October 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

                      Lindsay,

                      So, it sounds like you’re simply saying that you’re not comfortable living in a pluralistic society. That’s your prerogative. But there’s nothing particular Christian about that.

          • James Bradshaw October 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

            Lauren writes: “No other sinner has asked me to condone and legitimize his/her sin”

            Because they don’t have to ask. Divorce and remarriage are legal, regardless of the circumstances. Interfaith marriage is legal. Idolatry is legal. Heresy is legal. Mormons can go door-to-door and seek converts to their religion (which many believe to be a blasphemous cult). Contraception is legal. Smoking is legal (at least in some places).

            All of these folks would take issue with you infringing on their “right” to engage in any of these activities.

      • James Bradshaw October 8, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

        Lauren, if you don’t mind me asking: how and when did you come to the conclusion that the Bible was the inspired and inerrant word of the Supreme Creator of the Universe?

        Was it a personal and sudden sense of conviction or did you only reach this conclusion after study and matching its claims against those of competing world faiths?

        • Lauren Law October 8, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

          James Bradshaw…I came to the conclusion slowly through the years as God answered prayer after prayer after prayer. I came to the conclusion that His Word was inspired and inerrant as promises continued to be fulfilled…promise, after promise, after proms. It was a very personal decision…but that doesn’t negate that it’s true. It wasn’t a “sudden conviction”. It was a faulty, nervous first step of faith that grew as I experienced God’s love…His attention…His answers to questions…experience every day with Him for now over 40+ years! I don’t need to match His claims against “competing world faiths” because that’s exactly what they are…competition…which is really what satan was from the get-go. Christianity is the ONLY faith that has a God who has reached out to man. EVERY OTHER RELIGION has a man as its god…a human who cannot do what the God of the Scriptures can do. When I find what I’m looking for, I tend to stop looking for it because it’s already with me. I have no need to explore other religions…that would become a waste of time for me. I’m busy getting to know God…growing closer to Him…experiencing Him. I don’t want to give up any of that time for lesser pursuits. By the way…I have a Masters degree and am not an uneducated person. I am not a Bible scholar, but I am a student of the Bible. I don’t suppose to know everything…but I am busy getting to know the Only One Who matters. I love God and know that He loves me…and there is no other “religion” that can give me that. Truth is a person, not a thing…and once you know Him, you have no need to look for anything else.

    • Lindsay Parks October 8, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      Curt- I guess the real answer to your question is this: are we more interested in honoring the ever-changing laws of sinful and failing human beings? Or, is it far more important to honor the moral laws of the Creator and Lord? It truly is a huge difference…

      • Curt Day October 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

        Lindsay,
        See my last note to Lauren as I distinguish between allowing freedom of religion and not believing in idols.

      • Ryan Davidson October 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

        I don’t see that we have to choose between the two.

        Religious groups, such as evangelical Christians, are free to organize their religious communities on the basis of their collectively held moral convictions.

        Even so, in a pluralistic society, we have to govern ourselves based on principles that can be fairly drawn from human observation. In that context, we tend to criminalize only that conduct that imposes harm or an undue risk of harm on others without their consent. Otherwise, we tend to let people live as they please without government interference.

  8. Curt Day October 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    Johnny,
    Since they ran out of reply buttons, I am writing here. In what world are pedophilia and homosexuality equivalent so that we would treat the participants in the same way? These comparisons might impress the choir but they give others a dim view of Christians. How is it that adults abusing children is equivalent consenting relationships between two adults?

    And as for multiple partners, how is it that polygamy is more comparable to same-sex marriages than heterosexual marriages are to same-sex marriages? In the latter comparison, you have monogamous marriages between two consenting adults which allows for a partnership between equals. That is not the case with polygamy.

    Finally, marriages between people who are closely related are prohibited because of the potential problems for the offspring.

    Listen, if you want to go out marginalize gays, don’t be surprised when they don’t want to hear the Gospel or when some want to legally silence people who say homosexuality is sin. That will only be the marginalization pendulum swinging the other way. In addition, you will find no justification for such marginalization from the NT. Check out I Cor 5 and Paul’s attitudes toward sexual immorality in society.

    • Lindsay Parks October 11, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

      Curt- check out Romans 1 and 1 Cor. 6, where Paul not only calls homosexuality “abuse” in both of these passages, he makes it clear that what he writes, is of The Lord. So, you’re worried about pedophilia being “abuse”, when God calls it the very same word that Scripture uses for homosexual sin. So you have allowed one sin to not be marginalized, but you’re not worried about the others. Sad thing is- they are ALL sin to God. And furthermore- of ALL these sexual sins, they all serve to again to prove that the ONLY human sexual activity condoned by Heaven is between a married male husband and his female wife.

      • Curt Day October 11, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

        Lindsay,
        Did you read Romans 1 and I Corinthians 6? In the latter passage, Paul didn’t call Homosexuality abuse. He told people to flee sexual immorality because it is sin against one’s body which is the temple of God. So if you want to base actions against homosexuality on that passage, you must plan to do the same for all sexual immorality. But note Paul does not propose that for what was described in I Cor 5. He was content to discipline the brother in Christ, but he did call for the disciplining of those in society despite that the sin disciplined seems to be beyond homosexuality for it was a sin despised among the unbelievers.

        And how about Romans 1? Isn’t Paul’s focus unbelief? And he states that homosexuality is a result of unbelief. And that isn’t the only sin that comes from unbelief. note the parallelism that exists between vs 21-27 and 28-32. And note the other sins that result from unbelief including disobedience to parents, envy, and arrogance. Do you propose that we treat all of those sins alike?

        Also, did you realize what follows Romans 1? it is Romans 2:1 with the warning not to judge because those judging are guilty of sin as well and thus in judging they condemn themselves.

        Finally, since Romans 1 is about the sinfulness of the unbeliever and Romans 2 is about the sin of those who believe in God, Romans 3:9 compares them by saying that because everybody is under sin, neither is the unbeliever better than the believer nor visa-versa.

        The point here is not to minimize the sin of homosexuality, it is to point out that we are all in the same boat though our sins are not identical. So your deliberate attempts to marginalize homosexuals because, in your opinion, their sins make them less than you is totally unbiblical.

        See, the argument is not about what is condoned sexual activity according to the Bible, the argument is about how we should treat homosexuals in society. And from what I see, some here want to treat homosexuals as being less than themselves. Guess what historical precedent you are following.

        • Lindsay Parks October 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

          Curt- you are reading into these passages what most definitely is NOT there, and you are completely misconstruing what IS there.

          In fact, Paul uses the word, in the Greek, for “abuse” in BOTH Romans 1, and 1 Cor. 6. In Romans 1, he plainly says that both homosexuals and lesbians “change the natural use of their bodies into that which is against nature” (verses 26 and 27), and he states this twice.So the words he uses, prove that it is, in God’s eyes, abuse (the wrong use, contrary to nature…and the words God uses in the preceding verses to describe this behavior are not kind at all.

          In 1 Cor. 6, Pauls speaks of an entire raft of sins, and he plainly says, in the KJV, that “abusers of themselves with mankind” (homosexuals), will not inherit the kingdom of God.

          So in BOTH instances, homosexual activity is called “abuse”. I am NOT saying that their sins make me better than them. I am nothing more than a sinner saved by the grace of God. But when Paul describes the steady progressive march of sinful man against the Lord in Romans 1, and he gets to the greatest affront to the creature rising up against the Creator, he uses homosexuality as the ultimate example of this.

          God did not shower any city with burning sulfur for lying or thievery. Sodom and Gomorrha received specific, horrible, immediate judgment for their abomination, and God says their activity was sinful. I’m not going to say this sin is “worse” than any other sin, but it would sure seem so, from how the Lord treated it.

          And now you’re saying “don’t judge”? How can a Christian assembly remove a sinning member, following the list of 1 Cor. 5, without judging? Judgment MUST be done, to carry out God’s Word, and to remove the leaven, so that the whole thing doesn’t get leavened.

          Paul’s claim in 1 Cor. 6 that “such were some of you” prove that there actually were saved homosexuals in the Corinthian church, but they had been washed in Christ’s blood, and had become “new creatures”. This activity had become a thing of the past. The only cure for homosexuality is the only cure for all sin- salvation through the shed blood and the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

          • Ryan Davidson October 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

            Lindsay,

            I’d suggest that your exegesis reads a lot more into the text than what seems to be there. You seem to feel an inordinate passion regarding this issue. It may be good for you to take a step or two back and question yourself as to why this particular issue animates you so much.

            The passages you cite present a number of interpretive challenges. In my view, the weight of the biblical narrative counsels in favor of opposite-sex coupling. Even so, I see no reason why the state ought to be obligated to enshrine my religious convictions into law. There is a difference, after all, between covenantal marriage (that the church affords) and contractual marriage (that the state affords).

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