I was coming out of a movie theater on Sunday evening when I received word that one of our students at Boyce College, Joshua Lewis, was stabbed while on the job delivering pizzas. It just so happens that Joshua was making a delivery to a local hospital. For that reason, he was able to get immediate medical attention for a collapsed lung after the attack. Obviously, our entire campus has been concerned for this brother, who is in stable condition now and posting updates to Facebook. Continue Reading →
Transgenderism is more than an identity. It is an ideology that represents the next phase of the LGBT-rights revolution. It mandates the decoupling of gender norms from biological identity. Transgenderism says that a male of the species can be a woman if he feels himself to be one. As an ideology, transgenderism requires society to recognize and validate a person’s self-defined gender identity even if it is at odds with their biology. Continue Reading →
In 2006 Chai Feldblum—whom Pres. Obama would later appoint as a commissioner of the EEOC—wrote that gay rights create a bona fide conflict with religious liberty. In an interview that same year, she told Maggie Gallagher that when there is a conflict between sexual liberty and religious liberty, sexual liberty should almost always win. In Feldblum’s own words, Continue Reading →
Last week Alana Massey wrote a fascinating piece for The Washington Post titled “How To Take Christ out of Christianity.” The gist of the article is this. Churches need to make room for unbelievers who do not want to follow Christ but who want to remain connected to the community and moral vision of Christianity. That is precisely what she wishes for herself, an unbelieving Episcopalian. She writes: Continue Reading →
Many of you readers know that my co-author for a forthcoming book on homosexuality is Heath Lambert. Heath is not just a co-author and colleague, but a very close friend. I have heard his testimony before but never in the length or detail that he shares in the video above. It is a tale of great pain, terror, and loss swallowed up by grace. I wouldn’t recommend it if it weren’t worth your time. So take a listen.
Ruth Graham’s write-up on the recent Q conference in Boston is a fascinating take by a journalist looking in on what evangelicals are doing. In the end, she says Q’s efforts to be relevant will be undermined by its commitment to traditional Christian views on sexuality, which were made very clear at the conference (which I am very grateful for, by the way). She writes,
Today a majority of Americans support gay marriage, including 43 percent of white evangelical Protestant millennials. Those numbers seem bound to tick upward in the years to come, particularly among the peers of Q’s on-trend attendees. And as the Supreme Court hears arguments this week on whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, there are signs that gay marriage will soon be a settled matter legally, too.
The problem for Lyons and his acolytes is that the culture at large increasingly does not think that affirming gay people or calling them to lifelong celibacy are “equally valid options,” either. The gay marriage debate may not be a debate much longer. For evangelicals who value their image as culturally relevant conversation leaders, the clock onstage is ticking down.
These remarks are both clever and ominous. The clock is indeed ticking down, but it’s not just on those attending the Q conference. It’s on all Christians who remain true to Christ in the face of a sexual revolution that has shown it will not tolerate our dissent. No amount of culture-savvy relevance will remove the reproach of following Christ on this issue. That is where we are, and we will be negotiating the realities of our minority status for the foreseeable future.
But that is no reason for despair. Our new situation will be difficult, but it will also disambiguate us from the world. It will offer us new opportunities for witness, and God will be with us. He has a way of plundering the enemy when His people seem to be at their weakest (e.g., Acts 16:30; 18:8). He will surprise us in ways we cannot anticipate now. So we have every reason to be hopeful even as we are sober about what lies ahead.
Ryan Anderson went on Bill Bennet’s radio program today and said that he believes Kennedy may rule against redefining marriage (listen above). In Anderson’s own words:
I went in thinking that Kennedy might have already made up his mind and Kennedy might be inclined to strike down these laws. I came out thinking Kennedy hasn’t made up his mind. And there’s a good chance that Kennedy’s going to be inclined to uphold the male-female marriage definition.
I would like to let myself believe that Anderson is correct, but I am still very skeptical. Yes, Kennedy asked some tough questions. But Kennedy has written two landmark opinions in favor of gay rights–Lawrence (2003) and Windsor (2013). In the latter case, he specifically attributed opposition to gay marriage to irrational animus. I just don’t see how he walks that back at this point. Even though he asked tough questions in oral arguments, I’m skeptical that he will now overturn his gay rights legacy and nullify precedents that he himself wrote.
Again, I hope I’m wrong about this. Nothing would make me happier than for Anderson to be right!
Before yesterday’s oral arguments on gay marriage at the Supreme Court, I had contended that the Court’s decision was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I predicted that by the end of June, the Court would rule gay marriage to be a Constitutional right. Now that the case is in, I have listened to all of the arguments made by attorneys on both sides of the question. I have also listened to the Justices’ grilling of those attorneys, and I can say this. I am no Constitutional scholar, but I heard nothing today that would alter my original prediction. The Court will ensconce a Constitutional right to gay marriage. Continue Reading →
Below are the audio and transcripts of oral arguments made in the same-sex marriage case heard by the Supreme Court today (Obergefell v. Hodges). Justices heard each side present arguments in answer to two questions:
1. Does the 14th Amendment require states to issue marriage licenses to two people of the same sex?
2. Does the 14th Amendment require states to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states?
The Court will render a ruling on these questions by the end of June. In the meantime, you can listen to or read the arguments from both sides below. Continue Reading →
Most readers already know how historic today is in our national life. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments concerning gay marriage. The Justices will render a decision on the matter by the end of June. Given the high court’s precedents in the 2003 Lawrence decision and in the 2013 Windsor decision, most observers agree that the current case is a forgone conclusion. The Supreme Court is poised to declare gay marriage a constitutional right.
Seventy percent of Americans already live in states where gay marriage is legal. But by the end of June, one hundred percent of Americans will live in a state where gay marriage is legal. That means that every community in America—from New York City to Los Angeles, California to DeRidder, Louisiana—will have gay marriage. That is what we are facing, and the final stage of the legal battle starts today.
Today’s oral arguments come amidst a moral revolution in our country on the definition of marriage, and that revolution even cuts into those who claim the mantle of Christianity. Daniel Burke reports for CNN that “there are now more people of faith who favor marriage equality than stand against it, a dramatic turn in one of this country’s most divisive debates and a generational shift.” The shift is indeed overwhelmingly generational. Burke writes,
Seven in 10 Millennials, for example, support same-sex marriage and say that faith groups alienate young adults by being judgemental on sexual ethics. Half of millennial Republicans say gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, and 43% of white evangelical millennials agree.
That last number is the one that should stand out. Who knows how these evangelical millennials are defined. Nevertheless, the story suggests that not even evangelicals can escape the revolution—a revolution that will have the imprimatur of the Supreme Court by the end of this summer.
So this is a watershed moment in our national life, and it is a watershed moment for Christianity in America. As popular opinion and legal precedent move decisively in favor of gay marriage, those who call themselves Christians have a choice. They can either join the revolution or they can follow Jesus. Which is another way of saying that they can walk the narrow path that leads to life or they can join the throngs headed down the broad road that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14). Gay marriage will cause a winnowing of our ranks, and we are about to find out who is willing to follow Jesus when it gets hard.