Keeping the Courts out of the Marriage Debate

Robert George has a must-read opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. He argues that the Supreme Court should stay out of any effort to redefine marriage. The Supreme Court sparked the fire of a culture war in its Roe v. Wade decision, and the court would do so again if they were to issue a decision on marriage. Instead, George argues, the matter should be resolved democratically. He concludes with this:

‘Because marriage has already been deeply wounded, some say that redefining it will do no additional harm. I disagree. We should strengthen, not redefine, marriage. But whatever one’s view, surely it is the people, not the courts, who should debate and decide. For reasons of both principle and prudence, the issue should be settled by democratic means, not by what Justice Byron White, in his dissent in Roe, called an “act of raw judicial power.”‘

George knocked this one out of the park. Read the whole thing here.

10 Responses to Keeping the Courts out of the Marriage Debate

  1. Matt August 3, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Robert George is a bigot.

    He infers that LGBT people are whores, and are seeking multiple sex partners, which couldn’t be further from the truth!

    LGBT people are seeking monogamy and marriage!

    We have families, children, and grand children – just like everyone else. LGBT people deserve marriage rights and equality just like every other tax paying American. Marriage strengthens families, provides tax breaks, and protects children.

    The self-righteous, morally bankrupt of our society – the ones who always judge first – fail to realize that LGBT people have long, sustained relationships, produce children, go to church and have happy lives.

    Find a new group to discriminate against and leave us alone. We aren’t going to stop demanding equality, and we will eventually achieve that equality.

    Christian’s once condoned slavery and racism – that changed. Today we are witnessing another such awakening as Christians realize that God does not hate LGBT people, but that society has influenced their views of God.

    Discriminate at your own risk – one day we will all stand before the Lord to be judged, and those who spent their lives judging others in his name will have a lot of explaining to do.

  2. paul August 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    “Because marriage has already been deeply wounded…”

    It’s ridiculous quotes like this that are the reason that the Wall Street Journal should stick with top notch news reporting and stay out of the op-ed biz. Especially now that they’re owned by Rupert Murdoch.

  3. Matt Svoboda August 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Matt,

    Your comment was one of the most self-righteous things I have read in a long time… so maybe you should stop calling others bigots.

  4. Matt Svoboda August 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Matt,

    Also, stop playing this pitty me card. LGBT people are living in clear contradiction to what the Bible teaches. It is not us you have a problem with, it is the Bible.

    The Bible is what calls homosexuality “unnatural.” If you are going to complain and play a pity card play the card to God because it is his word that you really have issue with. Stop attacking the people who are faithfully teaching ALL that the Bible says…

  5. Matt August 4, 2009 at 1:14 am #

    I’m not asking for anyones “pity.” It is your right to be a bigot, but don’t hide behind the love of God. It don’t push people away from Christ with your condemnation.

    What many fail to realize is that LGBT people pay taxes. We have, and continue to, fight and die for our county – despite the fact that we are forced to hide in shame while doing so. Many of us are deeply spiritual and religious people.

    As citizens of this free nation we deserve equal rights, and we are not going to stop demanding them. It is basic fairness.

    You don’t have to agree with other people to believe they should be treated equally. That is one of our nations greatest values.

  6. Brian Krieger August 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    I think what Matt S was indicating was that the LGBT who proclaim Christ are calling dark light and evil good. The bible is very clear about this sin. The bible is very clear that we are all rebellious. Meaning I sin and fall short of the glory of God. It is another thing, however, to say that my sin is OK and acceptable in God’s eyes. No one will arrive at judgment without sin, we all stand condemned. What is in question is standing on the word of God or saying that God was a liar when He condemns homosexuality. And, perhaps I should restrain, but Paul said that the Athenians were deeply religious people, too, spiritual, religiosity and Christianity are not one in the same.

    As far as the equal rights part, we live in a country where we have a say in the laws. As bible-believing Christians, we’ll continue to fight for biblical commands, but, in the end, we will obey authority in the absence of disobeying God. However, just to quickly address the rights question and reiterate a question asked often, what is the difference between the right of two men (or women) marrying versus three men or three women and one man? In the sliding scale of “equal rights”, do you have an eternal measuring stick for those?

    Didn’t this conversation already happen in a way?

  7. Matt August 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Brian,

    150-years-ago misguided individuals and institutions used select Bible quotes to condone slavery and condemn African Americans. I believe it is safe to assert that the vast majority of American Christians no longer agree with those interpretations, but it was once commonplace among American Bible scholars.

    Such interpretations were supported by dozens of Biblical passages – how many verses can you point to and say that God condemns all LGBT people? In total five passages are commonly cited. I would encourage you to explore each example in the FULL context of the Bible and the original meaning of the words (in the original language). If you approach this study with an open heart, and keep a clear connection to God – not man – you might be surprised what God reveals to you.

    I don’t wish to discount the religious views of other individuals, but you can’t continue to attack our families and faith and expect us not to notice or speak up.

    I believe that there is a misconception in our society about what LGBT people look like, which is based on stereotypes. Chances are, if you go to a large enough church, they’re (secretly/quietly) LGBT people in your congregation. I apologize for being a little hot tempered in my previous posts, but we are talking about my most basic civil rights – my very ability to freely pursue happiness and marry the person I love.

    For example, I am an active member of my local church. I actively volunteer at hospices, youth centers, homeless shelters, and with civil rights groups. I’m 26, and hope to someday marry my current boy friend. I like college football and play team sports. Overall I live a plain, normal life. I am telling you this because some only perceive LGBT people to be parade floats in San Francisco – I live in Texas.

    As for the polygamy question – how is marriage equality different?

    Simple, LGBT people are only asking for the same basic civil rights, not a special/new right. For decades we have been discriminated against based on our sexuality. The LGBT community is only asking to be allowed to do what every other couple in this country has the right to do – marry the person you love. Polygamy is a totally separate topic that has nothing to do with the LGBT community, and is almost exclusively a heterosexual practice. Suggesting random things like Polygamy and Bestiality, only works to avoid the fact that this is about basic fairness. Similar tactics were used forty years ago to dissuade people from supporting interracial marriages. I don’t support polygamy in anyway, but a slippery slope argument is not an excuse to deny basic fairness to LGBT people.

    Once again – LGBT people are only asking for basic, equal rights. To be allowed to live our lives free of persecution, discrimination and abuse.

  8. Darius T August 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    “I like college football… I live in Texas.”

    Inquiring minds want to know… is the SEC or Big 12 better? 🙂

    Seriously, though, Matt, slavery was ENDED because of Christianity. It’s a silly canard that continues to beat the “Christians used to love slavery” drum. And it is that same Christianity that will continue to preach the truth about racism and sexuality. As for special rights, it IS a special right you are demanding. Everyone has equal rights currently, we all can marry someone of the opposite gender as long as they are willing and are of a certain age. I can’t marry a dog, the little neighbor girl, or a flock of seagulls. Neither can you. We’re equal in the eyes of the law. What you want is to add a special right which you would (for now) deny to a polygamist. In his eyes, you are just as big of a bigot as you believe many Bible-believing Christians to be. Why do you have to force your sexual choices onto society? Why can’t you live with your boyfriend (call him your husband for all I care, even have a private ceremony) and stay out of the public sector? My guess is that deep down, you want the government to condone and affirm your relationship and force others to do likewise.

    As for what the Bible says about homosexual behavior… let’s have that discussion. Paul said the following:

    “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
    AND
    “the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine…”

    Perhaps the reason it’s only mentioned a few times (though every time very seriously) in the Bible is because it was beyond the pale to think that homosexuality was anything but an evil act of rebellion against God. Furthermore, using the “how many times is it listed in the Bible” standard is a very weak one indeed. Taken to its logical end, all sorts of bad theology would result. The Bible doesn’t once tell us not to eat our children. I kinda doubt though that you believe it is okay to cannibalize our kids. The Bible barely even addresses polygamy (and even then it takes a little exegesis to come to a clear understanding that God doesn’t favor it), but it seems you have something against that. Why are you so inconsistent?

  9. Matt August 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    Darius T,

    Your first question is difficult to answer. Three years ago the answer would have been obvious – hands down the SEC. Overall I think the SEC maintains a slight edge, but most people would probably agree that the Big 12 South is the strongest division. I would keep an eye on three Big 12 teams in the South this year – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas. The retention rate at all three schools is strong – we should see an experienced offence and improved defense from all three schools. Tech will probably take a small step back, and in the North Nebraska may rise again, Missouri will be slightly weaker and Kansas could have a good year. Last year it felt like the SEC was reloading after a couple years of dominance – I doubt they are back to the same level of play, but I’m sure they will be dominate next year when the Big 12 will probably be reloading. On September 5th Georgia plays at Oklahoma State – I think the winning school/conference will have some serious, early bragging rights.

    I used slavery as an example, and I believe an effective one. In this county millions of Christians and dozens of churches openly condone slavery. Some churches referred to African Americans as the spawn of the Devil. Obviously, other churches in the north eventually reevaluated there past prejudice and helped to begin the abolitionist movement. Man has a history of prejudice, and a history of justifying that prejudice. The fact remains that this was a divided county, and the church was just as divided. I am simply pointing out a similar circumstance where mans prejudice blinded good people to the truth.

    I am not discounting a single word of the Bible. In my experience it is easy to cherry pick a couple of versus from the Bible and claim anything. All one does is quote the verse, fill in the rest with their own opinion, discount the full context of the particular chapter and book, and fail to explore the original meaning and language of the text. I don’t believe this is intentional, but a result of ignorance and a failure to fully explore an important and divisive issue.

    Now I’m not saying that you are intentionally misleading, but that further study is needed. Here is a link to a worthwhile article on the topic: http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian. The author walks through both societies views and what the Bible actually says about these issues. It is worth a quick read, but I would always suggest that you discover the truth for yourself through study and prayer.

    However, I’m not here to debate the bible but to discuss the political issue.

    I’m not asking for anyone to be a part of my life or marriage. Sexual orientation is not a choice – trust me I know first hand – thus we are denied the right to marry the person we love. That is the basic right we are fighting for – for a couple to freely marry. All other current laws affect everyone equally – to deny a minority such a basic right is unjust. Imagine a society that was predominantly homosexual – and heterosexuals were denied the right to marry – only to breed. In that society people would be allowed to marry a person of the same sex, but not the opposite sex – that would be just as unjust as our current system.

    Marriage offers a number of contract obligations, tax breaks and benefits children. I have a number of friends who have already started their families, and due to current laws it can be very difficult when a child is injured or sick, and only one parent can make guardian decisions at the hospital. As for taxes, LGBT couples on average pay more than $3,000 at year in additional taxes because of these discriminatory policies. Marriage also strengthens relationships through legal means and incentives – I think we all want strong marriages and relationships – especially for families with children.

    For me the problem is other people are interfering in my personal life and family. I doubt you would even notice if LGBT people were married.

    As for forcing things on society, I would never want you around my family, nephews or future children – for the same reasons you wouldn’t want me around your family – I find your prejudices offensive and harmful. However, I would not try to prevent your family from existing.

    LGBT have existed since the dawn of time. We are created by God, and we aren’t going anywhere. Despite your personal views or prejudices – fair-minded people can agree to allow fairness and legal equality to exist – while maintaining their personal beliefs.

    27 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. 28 Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
    Matthew 23:27-28 (New Living Translation)

  10. Brian Krieger August 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    I had posted a comment and I assumed it got into a “hold” account. Oh, well (this might be a 2nd post). Basically, I disagree with being labeled a bigot because I hold to a consistent biblical view of homosexuality. To infer that necessarily means intolerance is an interesting conjecture. I don’t understand why people (such as Phelps and others) hold the absolutist views they do. I think many do hate the sin and the sinner. I say I do hate the sin, but absolutely not the sinner (lest I hate myself, right?). As a very weak comparison, if my daughter were stealing school supplies from someone who never missed them, I would certainly still love my daughter. But would also tell that the sin is still a sin no matter how minor or how little impact we perceive it.

    That flows into the reason that I support legislation against homosexual marriage. We have a democratic process that allows me to influence my culture (however small). I will stand for what part of God’s command is represented along that route. And, in the (presumably) eventual concession of the government, I will honor what the government decides (meaning I won’t plan vehement protests, etc.) in an effort to lead a tranquil life. However, even in that event, I will not cease proclamation of the truth.

    I agree with Darius’ comment on slavery, I guess I just don’t see the bible upholding slavery as a command. The verses on homosexuality aren’t cherry-picked. Mostly, the argument that is made in the link you referenced was born of emotion (the other is another you-must-read-what-the-bible-says-in-the-background argument). Nothing wrong with emotion, but being nice isn’t what God wants. He desires obedience (which, when you are obedient, you wind up nice……until you remind someone of their sin, then you’re prejudiced, bigoted or judgmental).

    Also, I never said anything about not being around my family. I am not a separatist. I embrace my family being in the lives of everyone, sinners and saved sinners alike (well, safety and a few other things are a factor, too). The aversion to which you allude may be born of your personal experience or what you would expect, sans experience. I don’t avoid slanderers, homosexuals, thieves, adulterers, etc. (again, safety and being wise about subjection would play a role). That’s a caricature you are choosing to paint (again, berthed out of personal or anecdotal reasoning).

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