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
January 12, 2015
Nearly 28,000 petitions gathered in support of Chief, Religious Freedom
ATLANTA, GA — Tomorrow, Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins will join Atlanta area pastors and religious liberty advocates at a rally in support of former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. Cochran was suspended and then fired because of a book he wrote for a men’s Bible study group at his Baptist church.
The “Standing for our Faith Rally” is scheduled to take place at the Georgia Capitol Rotunda at 1:30 p.m. FRC has gathered nearly 28,000 petitions over the last few days protesting the overreach of government authority that resulted in the Chief’s firing.
“The idea that the government can force public servants to surrender their First Amendment rights is outrageous,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
“If a government will fire someone for their religious beliefs, no beliefs are safe from government regardless of how sacred those beliefs may be. Mayor Reed is sending a very clear message that Christians must check their faith at the door of public service.
“Increasingly, the expectation seems to be that anyone in public service shouldn’t serve in Sunday school, lead Bible studies, write books, or believe anything contrary to government dictates. I stand with Chief Cochran, Atlanta pastors and all those who cherish our constitutional freedoms of speech and religious freedom,” concluded Perkins.
WHO: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
WHAT: Standing for Our Faith Rally
WHERE: Georgia Capitol Rotunda
WHEN: 1:30 PM — 2:30 PM ET Tuesday, January 13, 2015
FRC’s Tony Perkins Wraps up Visit to Israel as a part of ‘Christians in Solidarity with Israel’ Trip
JERUSALEM, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is wrapping up a visit to Israel this week as a part of the “Christians in Solidarity with Israel” trip, hosted by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). He met with several high level Israeli officials including Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor and advisors to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Perkins’ national radio show, Washington Watch, broadcast live from Jerusalem during Perkins’ trip.
Perkins made the following comments about his trip during which he observed missile attacks on Israel:
“We came to see first-hand what is happening in Israel, show our support for Israel’s right to defend itself, and remind Christians to pray for Israel.
“Near the Gaza border, I met an Israeli man in a bomb shelter whose recently vacated house was hit and destroyed by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip. Tragically, missile attacks have become a way of life. However, it is not the missile attacks they fear the most but the underground tunnels of terror.
“During our meeting with the mayor of Jerusalem, we read Psalms 122:6. This Scripture took on a deeper meaning sitting with the mayor of Jerusalem knowing that he was leading the city we have been instructed by God to pray for. We prayed for him and then walked outside on the terrace overlooking the entire city. Psalm 122 does not have an expiration date. This is why we continue to emphasize the need for American Christians to remain steadfast in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem so that all the people of that region, Jewish and Palestinian, can live without fear. In addition, we must not forget the many Palestinian Christians who are under the control of Hamas. We also stand with those in the West Bank and Gaza who truly desire peace.
“Evil unleashed is the only way to describe what is taking place in the Middle East. Thousands of missiles are raining down on Israel at the same time Christians are being slaughtered across Iraq and Syria. Sadly, we are seeing the ongoing consequences of the failed foreign policy of the Obama administration.
“Israel is truly an oasis of freedom in a bad neighborhood. It’s the only place in the Middle East where Christians can live out their faith without persecution. America’s commitment to Israel’s security is and must remain sacrosanct – especially now as it defends itself from terrorism,” concluded Perkins.
Those joining Mr. Perkins and Dr. Johnson included Kay Arthur, Co-Founder, Precept Ministries; William A. Blount, President, Blount Communications Group, and Chairman, NRB Board of Directors; Richard P. Bott II, President & CEO, Bott Radio Network; Annette M. Garcia, President/GM, Son Broadcasting Co. Inc.; Richard Land, President, Southern Evangelical Seminary; Anne Graham Lotz, President, AnGeL Ministries; Katie Pavlich, News Editor/Fox News Contributor, Townhall.com/Townhall Magazine; Jerry K. Rose, President & CEO, Total Living Network; and Chelsen A. Vicari, Evangelical Action Director, The Institute on Religion & Democracy.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court announced their decision on the definition of marriage. Below is some of the reaction from leading Conservative Christian attorneys who have been involved in, or very closely following the case.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin R. Nimocks had this to say,
“Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, the debate over marriage has only
just begun. The court’s decision does not silence the voices of
Americans. Marriage–the union of husband and wife–will remain
timeless, universal, and special, particularly because children need
mothers and fathers. This has been the experience of diverse cultures
and faiths throughout history, including the American experience, and
that will not change. Americans will continue
advancing the truth about marriage between a man and a woman and why it
matters for children, civil society, and limited government.”
U.S. Catholic Bishops released the following through Catholic News Service,
Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet had the following comments on today’s ruling,
“Since marriage is an institution that predates any government, the nature and definition of marriage were never in doubt, and thus could not justly be changed by any court or vote,” said Father Boquet. “Marriage still is, and has always been, a covenant by which one man and one woman establish a partnership for life that is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.”
“We must continue to demand that our political leaders recognize and protect this most natural institution especially in this time of intense bigotry and discrimination toward those who defend marriage in the public square,” said Father Boquet.
“Most Americans know that this debate over marriage will never ultimately be settled by the Court, for at least two reasons,” said Father Boquet. “First, those who are leading the assault on marriage have demonstrated again and again their disdain for laws that defend marriage and for the will of those with whom they disagree. Theirs is a crusade against both faith and reason, and they are no more likely to stop with a court decision than are the defenders of marriage.”
“Second,” he said, “the definition of marriage is not determined by any court or any legislative vote. A just nation recognizes and upholds the true meaning of marriage for the common good of the people and the institutions of the nation.”
“Our larger task remains the same – to remind all people of good will that without marriage, there is no prosperous and unified future for any nation,” Father Boquet said. “As the lifetime, faithful, and life-welcoming union of one woman and one man, marriage is naturally the best place to welcome children into the world and form them in love and truth. The more a society understands this natural fact, the healthier and more unified it will be. The more this natural fact is attacked, the more divided we will become, needing ever more expensive governmental solutions (welfare, prisons, etc.) to compensate for the natural good that has been discarded.”
“Finally we note that these decisions do not bode well for the freedom of those religious institutions, such as the Catholic Church, who can only uphold the true definition of marriage. We expect that persecution of the Church will increase as opponents of true marriage demand that no dissent be tolerated, and that religious institutions participate in performing ‘marriage’ ceremonies for same-sex couples or suffer charges of discrimination. We are prepared for these inevitable events, and we stand in solidarity and hope with all who defend marriage.”
- Supreme Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Reactions to gay marriage wins at Supreme Court (religionnews.com)
- Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA, Clears Way For Same-Sex Unions In Calif. (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Supreme Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Liberty Institute Sends Letter to HHS to Clarify Family Research Council’s Requirements Under the HHS Mandate (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- Paul Ryan to Right-Wing Activists: Obama Policies ‘Compromise Judeo-Christian Values’ (alternet.org)
- Family Research Council Voter Scorecard (rockinconservative.com)
Liberty Institute Sends Letter to HHS to Clarify Family Research Council’s Requirements Under the HHS Mandate
October 23, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council (FRC) announced today that the Liberty Institute has submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on behalf of FRC, asking for clarification of whether FRC will be forced to cover sterilizations, abortifacients and contraceptives in its employee health care plans. If FRC does not hear from HHS by November 5, FRC will consider legal action challenging the enforcement of the HHS employer mandate.
J. Michael Johnson, senior counsel at the Liberty Institute, notes in the letter that “FRC believes that it should qualify as an exempt religious employer, but under the strict definition provided in the amended interim final regulations issued and made effective in August 2011, it may not. Because the precise application and final scope of the religious employer exemption remains ambiguous, we are hereby requesting a formal determination by the Department of Health and Human Services on whether or not FRC will be made to comply with the mandate. If you determine the religious exemption does apply to FRC, a legal challenge may be avoided.”
Johnson and Liberty Institute already serve as counsel on pending federal court litigation challenging Obamacare on behalf of other religious institutions. “If FRC is forced to comply with this unconscionable mandate, we will be happy to file an immediate challenge on its behalf,” said Johnson.
Of the letter FRC President Tony Perkins made the following comments:
“It is unbelievable that there is even a need to submit such a letter, since FRC and many religious organizations like it around the country should be recognized as such by the Obama administration. Religious bookstores, universities, and many other Christian-owned businesses have already been targeted, and many are fighting back in court against this unconstitutional attack on religious liberty. If HHS responds to this letter by insisting we comply with this unconstitutional mandate, then we will pursue other options to defend our religious liberty.
“Family Research Council will not comply with a mandate that forces us to violate the statement of faith that every employee agrees to. We are committed to repealing and replacing President Obama’s unjust health care law, which uses taxpayer dollars for abortion, further burdens American families, raises taxes and restricts religious liberty,” concluded Perkins.
- Report: Christians Victims of ‘Hostility’ From Gov’t (foxnews.com)
- Debunked: Biden Claims HHS Mandate Not an Assault on Religious Liberty (heritage.org)
- Liberty Institute: Assault on Religious Liberty is at All-Time High (and That’s Just Counting Christians) (blogs.dallasobserver.com)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is pleased to announce today that Lt. Gen. (USA Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin has joined Family Research Council as its Executive Vice President. In this role, he will oversee day-to-day operations including policy, finance, development, communications, human resources, facilities, information technology, constituent communications and services.
Of Boykin, Perkins said:
“We are very excited and pleased to announce that Lt. General Boykin is joining Family Research Council’s leadership team,” said FRC President Tony Perkins, a Marine veteran. “The depth of his leadership skills, forged under the most demanding circumstances, combined with his passion for faith, family and freedom, will greatly enhance FRC’s effectiveness and impact in Washington and beyond.”
General Boykin was one of the original members of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force. He was privileged ultimately to command these elite warriors in combat operations. Later, Jerry Boykin commanded all the Army’s Green Berets as well as the Special Warfare Center and School. His last four years in the Army were spent in Washington, D.C. as the U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
“I am honored to join the country’s premier Christian public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the family, defending life and advancing freedom,” said Boykin. “As I ponder the future that my six grandchildren will grow up in, I realize how important it is that I do my part to restore the values that made America a great nation. This is why I am honored to help advance Family Research Council’s mission of faith, family and freedom.”
Additionally Lt. Gen. Boykin will assist FRC in its expanded role of advocating for the men and women who continue to serve in our nation’s military.
“The Obama administration has undermined our nation’s security and increased the risk to those who serve by systematically using our nation’s military to advance a liberal social agenda. There is no one better equipped to speak on behalf of those who serve our nation in uniform and advocate for policies that uphold our national security than General Boykin,” concluded Perkins.
- Look where Delta Force general is headed (wnd.com)
- Hero general: Obama following Castro’s plan (wnd.com)
- FRC Says No Rice Please (whitehouse12.com)
- Retired Three Star General: The things done in every Marxist insurgency are being done in America today (americafirstsite.com)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today,
, a former Rutgers University student was found guilty of invasion of privacy. The student had been charged after his roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide after learning that Ravi had used a webcam to watch his sexual encounter with another man.
“Today’s verdict is another opportunity for all Americans to speak out against the behavior of anyone who would abuse another person – especially a child – because of his/her sexuality or any other reason. This is a complete violation of Jesus’s commandment to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Family Research Council believes that every individual deserves equal protection, and every offender should receive equal punishment.
“Unfortunately, some pro-homosexual activists would exploit the personal tragedies of these families to promote a political agenda. Some have even laid blame not on the actual bullies but on Christian churches and conservative politicians. It’s wrong to politicize these tragedies. Instead, we should focus on preventing the bullying of young people-for their sexual orientation, appearance, religion, or any other reason,” concluded Perkins.
- Dharun Ravi Convicted of Hate Crime in Tyler Clementi’s Death (ronskemp.wordpress.com)
- Ex-Rutgers student guilty in Tyler Clementi webcam suicide case (miamiherald.typepad.com)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council Action (FRC Action), the legislative advocacy arm of the Family Research Council, criticized the U.S. Senate vote today against Senator Roy Blunt’s ”
” amendment. The amendment would have restored the status quo on conscience rights prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and protect against the recent mandate on abortifacients, sterilization and contraceptives by the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services.
FRC Action will score the vote in its annual scorecard.
Of the vote, FRC Action President Tony Perkins said:
“Today, 51 senators, led by Sen. Harry Reid, sacrificed the Constitutional right of religious liberty on the altar of the Obama administration’s radical big-government agenda. They turned a deaf ear to the very real religious and moral objections of millions of Americans and the First Amendment rights of all.
“We thank Democrat Senators Joe Manchin, Robert Casey and Ben Nelson for standing up to their caucus and fighting for religious liberty. Their vote for Sen. Blunt’s bill, along with support from Republican Senators ranging from pro-life Senator Kelly Ayotte to pro-abortion Senator Susan Collins showed that this is not about women’s health but about whether the government can violate religious liberties.
“The President and Congress need to wake up and realize that they have run into an immovable wall of principle that religious liberties are still in fact fundamental rights in this country. No political machinations they attempt will surmount the unshakeable religious and moral convictions of those of us opposing this government mandate.
“We urge the House of Representatives to pass Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s legislation and send it back to the Senate as Americans increasingly realize that their fundamental religious liberties are being threatened.”
News Conference Today: FRC Releases Letter Signed by 2,500 Religious Leaders Opposing Contraceptive Mandate