On April 28, the Supreme Court will hear extended oral arguments on the marriage protection laws in four states. These cases are expected to determine whether states must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, and whether such marriages in one state must be recognized by states that don’t recognize such arrangements.
Prior to that hearing, there is a march on Washington scheduled for Saturday, April 25th. Christians and their churches around the country will be praying about this issue for days beforehand—some have already begun.
A large contingent of well-known religious leaders has pre-emptively signed a pledge to engage in civil disobedience if necessary to defend traditional marriage and refuse to recognize the alternative. (The pledge can be viewed and signed here).
For Christians, defending marriage will not end, regardless of what the Court decides. For Christians, the sanctity of marriage is not a democratic question, or the purview of the Court, or a matter of societal whim.
For Christians, marriage is the hill to die on.
Biblically, marriage is not a matter of man’s definition. It is a divine sacrament, instituted by God Himself almost at the beginning of recorded history. Its parameters (age, consanguinity) have been defined by churches and states, over time and in many cultures. However, at no time, and under no Biblical authority has marriage ever been considered to go beyond a heterosexual relationship. In fact, all other relationships that take on the elements of marriage have been forbidden to Christians. The type of “marriage” to be considered by the Court on Tuesday is, in fact, considered an abomination by Almighty God.
While Christians and non-Christians alike have done a fair job of shredding much of marriage in America–in the sense of condoning divorce, ignoring fornication, and doing little about the rampant and destructive spread of pornography–accepting a profane and unholy relationship under the name of “marriage” is a line that, as the pledge says, “we cannot and will not cross.”
Although churches and Christians have mostly sat by while the culture around them embraced what was once the “love that dare not speak its name,” and while that “love” got louder and louder in the mainstream media—it is no longer considered enough to be tolerant. One must accept, embrace, celebrate, and participate in the sin that begs to be legitimized.
This we cannot do.
Many a Christian martyr—historically and to the present day—has gone to his or her death for refusing to follow the dictates of secularism where they clashed with the requirements of faith. No one is saying that Christians will be killed for refusing to accept the notion of “gay marriage,” but there is a high likelihood—becoming higher every day—that they will be punished. Already, the voices of secularism and militant gay marriage activists push Christians to put their hand to the camera, the paintbrush, the vase, the wooden spoon, and give their assent and their approval to a ceremony that revolts their very soul. To refuse, even now, while the question is still undecided, is to risk one’s safety, liberty, and livelihood. A florist loses her business because she cannot in good conscience use her God-given talent to craft a tribute to a wedding of abomination. A pizza place is attacked on the Internet, vilified, and forced to close simply because it becomes known that, if ever asked, the proprietors would not cater a gay wedding.
If ever asked.
The offense of Memories Pizza was not refusing to cater a gay wedding. It was harboring the intention to refuse. It was the “thought crime” of disagreement with the prevailing social norm. At this moment, while the question is yet to be decided, it is not a crime. Yet it is punished by people who can descend anonymously, with impunity, and the government is unlikely to react. The only person punished in the terrifying festival of defamation and persecution to which Memories Pizza was subjected has been the high school coach who tweeted an invitation to go with her to burn down the place that night. And she has only been fired.
Should the Court determine that gay marriage is a recognizable right, the state will become the instrument of punishment for those who resist. For reasons that are still not clear, this one issue is one that is not subject to the normal expansive boundaries of free speech. One is shamed and ostracized by media, academia, and their allies for disapproving of homosexual marriage, or homosexuality in general in ways that don’t apply to any other characteristic. One is free to dislike (and say out loud that one does) redheads, or Mormons, or fat women, or hippies. There is no societal punishment for ridiculing blondes, or Republicans, or children of politicians.
But touch not the homosexual, lest ye be shunned.
The right to dissent from orthodoxy is one of the most important protected by the Constitution. The right to freely exercise one’s religion is, as well. And when those rights run afoul of the prevailing politically correct atmosphere, it is the social norm that is supposed to give way.
We will soon find out whether that rule still holds sway in our civil society. Whatever the answer, the church universal and militant will never give in.
Image: http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/interactive_learning/america/Unit_4_Bat_of_Bunker_ Hill.htm