Gay mirage in SC…

The recent SCOTUS silence has given courage to state judges bending over backwards for sodomy. Charleston County (SC) Probate Judge Irvin Condon issued a marriage license to a relative—Charleston County Councilwoman, Colleen Condon— and her lover. Despite a constitutional amendment passed by 78% of the voters of SC in 2006 defining marriage as marriage, Judge Condon issued this license. We’ll now see whether SC Attorney General Alan Wilson stays true to his word to uphold the will of the people of SC.

Meanwhile, let’s not forget that judges can be impeached. In SC there are three ways:

  • The commission on judicial conduct is authorized to investigate complaints of judicial misconduct and incapacity. Disciplinary counsel appointed by the supreme court evaluates each complaint and either dismisses the complaint or conducts a preliminary investigation. If evidence supports the complaint, a full investigation is authorized. If the investigation supports the filing of formal charges, a hearing is conducted, after which a recommendation is made to the supreme court for sanctions, dismissal, transfer to inactive status, retirement, or removal.
  • Judges may be impeached by a two-thirds vote of the house of representatives and convicted by a two-thirds vote of the senate.
  • Judges may be removed by the governor upon the address of two thirds of each house of the general assembly.

So, write to your state representative, asking him to begin the impeachment process against Judge Condon, and then pray that God would make him courageous enough to stand in the gap. And pray that Alan Wilson will have courage, too.

Update 10/9/14: Attorney General Wilson has petitioned the SC Supreme Court for an injunction: “…a public official may not refuse to follow State law because ‘he thought the law unconstitutional.'”

Update 2 10/9/14: The SC Supreme Court has issued the injunction petitioned for by the AG.

Be a fisher of men…

1. With your encouragement…

2 Cor. 1:3   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

Did you know that your difficulties and the comforts that followed from them may be for the purpose of witnessing to others, showing others the comfort to be found in Jesus Christ? We don’t reject suffering as being of the devil. We accept it as being from God and useful as an opportunity to witness to others about what we live for. Continue reading

You CAN have your cake and eat it too…

I know the following thoughts are obtuse, off-topic, and, in a major way, completely missing the point. There are real threats to freedom of religion and freedom of speech at the root of the lawsuits against Christian business owners these days…but…here goes…

I’d be willing to give those fighting for homosexual mirage all the cakes, photographs, and floral arrangements for their faux-ceremonies if Christians would return to thinking of the marriage ceremony as something more than an opportunities to play gay for a day (…fashion, photography, gourmet food, dancing…).

The wedding ceremony was not referred to as the solemnization (i.e. to celebrate with solemnity or to dignify) of matrimony just to sound cool. The wedding ceremony is vow-taking before a Holy God with a church full of witnesses. Well, that is what it used to be… Continue reading

Living for the glory of others…

I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do (John 17:4).

The result of Jesus’s living for the glory of His Father is amazing fruit. Though the world tells us to live for our own glory—to “reach for the stars,” to “be true to ourselves,” to “be all that you can be,”—all those pursuits will ultimately end in barrenness. Jesus found glory in living for His Father’s glory. We too will find glory when we die to self and live for Jesus. As Jesus lived for the Father, so we live for Jesus. As the fruit of Jesus living for the Father resulted in our eternal salvation, so our living for Jesus will result in fruitfulness in those around us.

A few thoughts and links on the recent SCOTUS rulings…

  • “Acceptance of the argument would cast all those who cling to traditional beliefs about the nature of marriage in the role of bigots or superstitious fools.” – Samuel Alito in US v. Windsor dissent

I hope I was thought of as a “superstitious fool” by pagans long before today’s rulings: I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to rescue me from the judgment to come. 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

  • How long before SCOTUS rules a dog’s waging tail should be understood as consent?
  • The polygamists are happy. The apostate church, too.
  • As I’ve said before: “A society that will not protect a baby’s right to life or a child’s right to a father and a mother will have no will to protect a child from the lusts of the pedophile.” Slip sliding away…
  • Watch the Evangelical church rejigger her view of homosexuality to avoid persecution. Oh, wait, she’s already done that
  • In Russia, we’d be praising the work of the government (Putin: ““Some countries…think that there is no need to protect children from this. We do.”).
  • In addition to stating baldly Scripture’s view on homosexuality (1 Cor. 6:9-10), Christians will need to study to know their opponents’ arguments. For help, start and end with Robert Gagnon, Associate Professor of NT at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Follow (different from “friending”) him on FB.
  • Usual good posts—here, here, here, and here—from Doug Wilson. [WIlson has recently redesigned his blog and when a significant number of people want to know what he’s thinking his site crashes. He’s being disciplined, I think…or we are….]
  • S. M. Hutchens, senior editor of Touchstone Magazine and one of the more cogent writers on sexuality today, writes, “There is no ‘homosexual voice within the Church,’ for the homosexual’s conversion entails a choice—This, or That—the sin, or the Faith. He cannot have both, nor can the Church in any way accommodate the sin from which he has been cleansed. It is wholly and actively and vehemently against it as a destroyer of the souls it has been called to save. It labors among the saints only in the accomplishment of what has already been done in Christ: cleansing, sanctification, and justification in the Name of the Lord.”
  • Marvin Olasky’s conclusion: “Pray hard for revival and reformation.”

Alito's Dissent regarding US v. Windsor: "Acceptance of the argument would cast all those who cling to traditional beliefs about the nature of marriage in the role of bigots or superstitious fools."

From Alito’s dissent (pp. 13-15):

In asking the Court to determine that §3 of DOMA is subject to and violates heightened scrutiny, Windsor and the United States thus ask us to rule that the presence of two members of the opposite sex is as rationally related to marriage as white skin is to voting or a Y-chromosome is to the ability to administer an estate. That is a striking request and one that unelected judges should pause before granting. Acceptance of the argument would cast all those who cling to traditional beliefs about the nature of marriage in the role of bigots or superstitious fools.

By asking the Court to strike down DOMA as not satisfying some form of heightened scrutiny, Windsor and the United States are really seeking to have the Court resolve a debate between two competing views of marriage.

The first and older view, which I will call the “traditional” or “conjugal” view, sees marriage as an intrinsically opposite-sex institution. BLAG notes that virtually every culture, including many not influenced by the Abrahamic religions, has limited marriage to people of the opposite sex. Brief for Respondent BLAG (merits) 2 (citing Her­nandez v. Robles, 7 N.Y. 3d 338, 361, 855 N.E. 2d 1, 8 (2006) (“Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex”)). And BLAG attempts to explain this phenomenon by arguing that the institution of marriage was created for the purpose of channeling heterosexual intercourse into a structure that supports child rearing. Brief for Respondent BLAG 44–46, 49. Others explain the basis for the institution in more philosophical terms. They argue that marriage is essentially the solemnizing of a comprehensive, exclusive, permanent union that is intrinsically ordered to producing new life, even if it does not always do so. See, e.g., Girgis, Anderson, & George, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, at 23–28. While modern cultural changes have weakened the link between marriage and procreation in the popular mind, there is no doubt that, throughout human history and across many cultures, marriage has been viewed as an exclusively opposite-sex institution and as one inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship.

The other, newer view is what I will call the “consent-based” vision of marriage, a vision that primarily defines marriage as the solemnization of mutual commitment—marked by strong emotional attachment and sexual attraction—between two persons. At least as it applies to heterosexual couples, this view of marriage now plays a very prominent role in the popular understanding of the institution. Indeed, our popular culture is infused with this understanding of marriage. Proponents of same-sex marriage argue that because gender differentiation is not relevant to this vision, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the institution of marriage is rank discrimination.

The Constitution does not codify either of these views of marriage (although I suspect it would have been hard at the time of the adoption of the Constitution or the Fifth Amendment to find Americans who did not take the traditional view for granted). The silence of the Constitution on this question should be enough to end the matter as far as the judiciary is concerned. Yet, Windsor and the United States implicitly ask us to endorse the consent-based view of marriage and to reject the traditional view, thereby arrogating to ourselves the power to decide a question that philosophers, historians, social scientists, and theologians are better qualified to explore. Because our constitutional order assigns the resolution of questions of this nature to the people, I would not presume to enshrine either vision of marriage in our constitutional jurisprudence.

SCOTUS: "…a private party [may not] defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to."

The second ruling of the day, regarding California’s Proposition 8, fell out in a different grouping: Majority opinion—Roberts, Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan; dissenting opinion—Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, Sotomayor.

Scalia: "By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition."

More from Scalia’s dissent:

By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition. Henceforth those challengers will lead with this Court’s declaration that there is “no legitimate purpose” served by such a law, and will claim that the traditional definition has “the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure” the “personhood and dignity” of same-sex couples, see ante, at 25, 26. The majority’s limiting assurance will be meaningless in the face of language like that, as the majority well knows. That is why the language is there. The result will be a judicial distortion of our society’s debate over marriage—a debate that can seem in need of our clumsy “help” only to a member of this institution (24).

Scalia: "All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history."

Speaking of the majority ruling, Scalia writes in his dissent (p. 20):

[The majority ruling] accuses the Congress that enacted this law and the President who signed it of something much worse than, for example, having acted in excess of enumerated federal powers—or even having drawn distinctions that prove to be irrational. Those legal errors may be made in good faith, errors though they are. But the majority says that the supporters of this Act acted with malice—with the “purpose” (ante, at 25) “to disparage and to injure” same-sex couples. It says that the motivation for DOMA was to “demean,” ibid.; to “impose inequality,” ante, at 22; to “impose . . . a stigma,” ante, at 21; to deny people “equal dignity,” ibid.; to brand gay people as “unworthy,” ante, at 23; and to “humiliat[e]” their children, ibid. (emphasis added).

I am sure these accusations are quite untrue. To be sure (as the majority points out), the legislation is called the Defense of Marriage Act. But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “disparage,” ”injure,” “degrade,” ”demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

"DOMA is unconstitutional," says SCOTUS…

Here’s the conclusion of the opinion (Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan):

What has been explained to this point should more than suffice to establish that the principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person pro- tected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

The liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause contains within it the prohibition against denying to any person the equal protection of the laws. See Bolling, 347 U. S., at 499–500; Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U. S. 200, 217–218 (1995). While the Fifth Amendment itself withdraws from Government the power to degrade or demean in the way this law does, the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment makes that Fifth Amendment right all the more specific and all the better understood and preserved.

The class to which DOMA directs its restrictions and restraints are those persons who are joined in same-sex marriages made lawful by the State. DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty. It imposes a disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status the State finds to be dignified and proper. DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment. This opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is affirmed.

It is so ordered.

Roberts, Thomas, Alito, and Scalia dissented.