Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage Evokes Strong Reactions From Christian Leaders.
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Editor Faithinspires.Org
Earlier today the U.S. Supreme Court released its ruling that the U.S. Constitution guarantees same sex couples the right to marry. News of the decision had barely crossed “ the wires” when the reaction from all parts of our nations Christian leaders came flooding back across the same news wires, emails to supporters etc. What follows is a small sampling from some of the press releases etc. we have seen.
The Evangelical Church Alliance issued a statement which read in part,
Evangelical Church Alliance (ECA), one of America’s oldest associations of independent Evangelical ministers, missionaries, and military and institutional chaplains, reaffirms the biblical, natural, and millennial-old nature of the definition of marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.
The Supreme Court of the United States does not possess the authority, or the expertise, to speak to the nature of Holy Matrimony, which is exclusively within God’s provenance. Jesus explicitly spoke to the divine origin and purpose of marriage when he said, “[A]t the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
The ECA takes seriously the assurance of Associate Justice Kennedy and the four other justices when they write in today’s opinion, “[I]t must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”
Jonathan Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church contributed this to the conversation,
“It is a sad day in our nation when the Supreme Court believes it has the moral right to redefine marriage. Beyond the clear Biblical mandate that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, this decision flies in the face of all of recorded history. The Bible clearly commands us to love others regardless of their spiritual or moral condition, but it does not leave room for us to change the definition of sin. For those in the faith community, this decision doesn’t change what we do or how we do it. We will continue to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only hope for the world. We will do this in a way that always reflects Christ’s love, but we will not compromise our values or beliefs according to the Scriptures.”
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council said in his statement,
“Five justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature.
“In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy.
“No court can overturn natural law. Nature and Nature’s God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court.
“Marriage is rooted not only in human history, but also in the biological and social reality that children are created by, and do best when raised by, a mother and a father. No court ruling can alter this truth.
“It is folly for the Court to think that it has resolved a controversial issue of public policy. By disenfranchising 50 million Americans, the Court has instead supercharged this issue.
“Just as with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the courts will not have the final say on this profound social matter. The American people will stand up for their right to have a voice and a vote, especially as they experience the ways in which redefining marriage fundamentally impairs their freedom to live and work in accordance with their beliefs.
Steve Crampton, Special Counsel to The Thomas Moore Society who wrote the Society’s amicus brief which made up part of the case the Supreme Court ruled on today, responded this way,
“Today’s Supreme Court decision purporting to redefine the institution of marriage will be regarded by many Americans as a grave aberration that obliterates the borderline between the rule of law and policy-making. Natural marriage – the union of one man and one woman – is the foundation for a stable, fruitful civil society. Without it, societies are prone to crumble. The Constitution does not authorize the Court to redefine marriage, nor to rob the people of their right of self-governance – to debate and determine for themselves what laws will govern. This is not justice. It is sheer judicial activism and politics run amok.”
Rev. Anthony Evans, President to the National Black Church Initiative declares,
“The Supreme Court has redefined the concept of marriage in America by declaring everyone has a right to marriage despite their sexual orientation. The church strongly believes the Supreme Court is about to abolish the institution of biblical marriage…..a marriage between a man and a woman.” This is such an extraordinary ruling bound to cause great anguish in bodies of religions all across the world. Demonstrated acts of unconditional love for our gay brothers and sisters must be exhibited to ensure a smooth transition within and among all communities through the midst of this sensitive legal and moral issue.
This is why the National Black Church Initiative is reaching out to our gay brothers and sisters in anticipation of preventing any verbal, physical or emotional acts against the gay community. We strongly believe in the effectualness of prayer and having a venue for open dialogue and communication as the appropriate solutions going forward. Therefore we are calling for and invite the leadership of the gay community to visit our houses of Christian worship as we seek to show ourselves friendly and engage in this great journey of unconditional love.”
“This is a tragic day for America,” said Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, an Ohio-based Christian pro-family group. “By this unjust and unconstitutional decision, the rule of law in America apparently no longer applies. There is no phrase or word in the 14th Amendment that justifies this illegitimate ruling that will create a monumental, unnecessary division in this country by setting a standard supporting sexual deviance.”
The opinion’s legitimacy is also in question for the refusal of Justices Ginsburg and Kagan to recuse themselves, despite their public participation in same sex “marriages” in the past.
States have been regulating marriage law for over a century, so the majority ruling defies the precedent of states’ rights, including the lawful votes of over 51 million American voters who cast ballots in favor of man/woman marriage in state constitutional amendments, Harvey also said.
“This unsupportable ruling will open the door to the violation of religious convictions and to civil disobedience if necessary by people of faith,” added Harvey. “Despite the bone tossed to people of faith by Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion, Americans can no longer trust this court or trust that such First Amendment freedoms will be sustained.”
This next comment is part of a statement issued by the Georgia Baptist Convention,
“ The Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) is disappointed and saddened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on state bans against same sex marriage. The ruling contradicts the longstanding tradition of, and historical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Even more essential, it contradicts the biblical definition of marriage.
As Justice Kennedy pointed out in arguments, the long-standing belief that marriage is between a man and a woman is “millennia, plus time.” As Christians, our belief is that marriage is ordained by God in the scriptures at the beginning, and only between a man and a woman. Government didn’t create marriage, and therefore shouldn’t change the definition of marriage, nor force it upon those who do not wish to participate in it.
Scripture tells us in the book of Matthew, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” “Throughout the scriptures it is very clear what God’s idea and purpose of marriage is,” said Dr. J. Robert White, executive director, Georgia Baptist Convention. “We support the biblical view of marriage on moral religious grounds, but also for the value and impact traditional marriage has on the family, stability and society as a whole.”
Institute for Religion and Democracy President Mark Tooley commented:
“As in other infamous politicized rulings, the Supreme Court has chosen fashion over law. There are no winners, and the biggest losers are children in America who are the chief victims of the breakdown of marriage and family.
“As The Church has for 42 years rallied ongoing resistance to the court’s Roe vs. Wade invention of a right to unrestricted abortion, so now The Church must resist the court’s attempt to claim authority over the definition of marriage.
“The coming decades offer the opportunity for Christians and other traditionalists to help revive marriage and family as increasing numbers of Americans suffer the consequences of radical secularist assaults on both.
“Now is not the time for despair, retreat or anger. The court’s arrogance should be mocked, and The Church should declare that, in a free society, appointed judges don’t have power over what is eternally rooted in creation.”
Brian S. Brown president of the National Organization for Marriage said in part,
Though expected, today’s decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute.
Make no mistake about it: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and countless millions of Americans do not accept this ruling. Instead, we will work at every turn to reverse it.
The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today’s ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority.”
From the Episcopal Church which was meeting in its General Convention at the time of the ruling, two of its leaders came out in favor of the Supreme Court’s decision,
First by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori,
“I rejoice that the Supreme Court has opened the way for the love of two people to be recognized by all the states of this union, and that the court has recognized that it is this enduring, humble love that extends beyond the grave that is to be treasured by society wherever it exists,” she said. “Our society will be enriched by the public recognition of such enduring faithful love in families headed by two men or two women as well as by a woman and a man. The children of this land will be stronger when they grow up in families that cannot be unmade by prejudice or discrimination. May love endure and flourish wherever it is to be found.”
To which House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings added,
“As we Christians are known to say from time to time: ‘Alleluia’.”
“I am elated that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. In March I had the great privilege of signing on to an amicus brief urging the justices to make the decision they announced today, and I am deeply grateful that they have granted a fundamental human right to people whom had been denied it for so long.”
Jennings said she supports marriage equality “not in spite of my faith but because of it.”
“In more than 35 years of ordained ministry, I have known many faithful, committed same-sex couples whose love gave me a deeper understanding of God’s love and whose joy in one another testified to the goodness of God’s creation,” she said. “I have also learned through simple, everyday experience that same-sex couples make vital contributions to our common life, and I rejoice at the security today’s ruling affords them.”
I am sure this will by no means be the end of the reaction from Christian groups and leaders. It is highly likely that we will be adding more to this article in the coming days.- Pastor Crutchfield
Posted on June 26, 2015, in Church and State, Marriage & Relationships and tagged Christian Leaders react, Gay Marriage, Jonathan Falwell, National Organization for Marriage, Same Sex Marriage, Tony Perkins, U.S. Supreme Court. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.