California’s race toward an abomination

Pro and anti-Proposition 8 protesters rally in...
Image via Wikipedia (original from Flickr by Jamison)

Last Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto in his Best of the Web Today feature (“The Ball Heads for His Court,” 2/7/2012) offered his solid reasons for thinking that California will almost certainly have enforced homosexual “marriage” very soon.

As some of you have surely heard, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the “Proposition 8” amendment to California’s previous allowance of same-sex “marriage.”  So, for those who haven’t been keeping up: The California Supreme Court orders that homosexual “marriages” must be allowed under the California state constitution; the people of California respond by trumping the California Supreme Court by amending their constitution to include an explicit statement that marriage is between a man and a woman, and amendment that was upheld by the California Supreme Court; those displeased with the amendment appealed to the Federal District Court in San Francisco, where the California Supreme Court and the supporters of the amendment were trumped, themselves, by the judge who said that the amendment violates the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, reinstating homosexual “marriage” as a “right” in California; further appeal was then made to the Ninth Circuit in the hops of reversing the decision of the Federal District Court–and effort that failed, allowing the decision to stand, striking the amendment and allowing the “right” to remain.

All that is left for those who wish to prevent California from having legal homosexual “marriages” is to appeal to the entire Ninth Circuit (the smaller three-judge panel made the decision, split 2-1, so they can appeal to the full Ninth Circuit or directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. Regardless of their choice, it should be clear to everyone that the ultimate destiny of this case is the U.S. Supreme Court.

In Taranto’s reasoned opinion, SCOTUS will uphold the Ninth Circuit’s decision, dependent as it is on Justice Anthony Kennedy. Given some of the broad details in this case, his conclusion wouldn’t be as solid. However, there are particulars here–the way in which the opinion was crafted, utilizing, in particular, a previous SCOTUS case whose opinion was crafted by none other than Justice Kennedy, himself.

His reasoning seems sound to me — very sadly sound.

However, for all the talk that legalizing homosexual “marriage” is corrupting the idea of marriage in our culture (and it is) and for all the talk that it is false to say that proper marriages are unaffected by that legalization (and they are), let’s all recognize that this is not the first step toward degrading the institution of marriage but rather simply an additional step in a walk that has been going on for a long, long time.

No fault divorce. The rise of “cohabitation” as an acceptable alternative to marriage. The removal of social stigma from pregnancy outside of marriage. The sexualization of youth before marriageable age.

If marriage has been so easily assaulted in our times, it is because the walls that protected it have been decaying for decades.

Marriage has come to be seen as a simply contractual arrangement between people–one that can be redefined at will like any other contract. The sex of the contractual partners, the number of the contractual partners… As long as marriage is simply something created by society, then society can rewrite it to suit its whims.  Like any created thing, it exists for the purpose of its makers pleasure.

Then ultimately, the decaying of the institution of marriage that we have seen over the decades has, ultimately, at its root the fact that we have forgotten Who created marriage in the first place. Or if we haven’t forgotten, we’ve decided that we no longer care.

Marriage was created by God Almighty. It is not ours to define, dumb down, or degrade. The abomination that is beginning to set up a permanent home in California is only the latest in a series. To see this as something completely new and not as simply the next step in what has been a long walk is a mistake.

America will suffer for these things. This state of affairs is certainly an instance of failing to identify unholy thing for what it is, but it is more than that. It is a consequence of failing–for a long, long time–to honor the holy thing for what it is.

18 thoughts on “California’s race toward an abomination

  1. Michael O'Byrne

    It looks like the ” die is [ almost ] cast ” on this question in California, but I expect the worst possible outcome in that same-sex ” marriage ” will be legalized. I won’t be surprised if the Labour Party of Ireland, currently in government with the Fine Gael Party, will propose legislation to achieve the same purpose in Ireland. It’s possible that there may a legal impediment in the Irish constitution that will prove to be an obstacle delay their plans. If that is the case I’m sure a referendum will be held in order to amend the constitution so that the way will be cleared to assist the ultra liberals to attain their objective. Unfortunately it seems that a majority of the citizens who are eligible to vote have been recorded as being in support of such a proposal according to recent opinion polls and apparently will support any amendment if it is required.

  2. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    There is an article which I copied from The Atlantic Magazine which I can’t find now, dating from some years ago [and not even a search on their very helpful Web site has aided me, although they have what looks like a very good monthly feature on The Death (and Life) of Marriage in America)]. I seem to have mislaid even my Word .doc file copy.

    No matter. The author made the same essential point that you did – indeed as he pointed out toward the end, homosexuals in this country have made the same point that you did. If we heterosexuals had treated marriage ourselves with the respect we claim it deserves, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in right now concerning the issue. And as for The Atlantic, the article pointed out that the same social experiment we’re trying now has already been carried out in Sweden to the fullest and the results of that experiment are in. The article itself was called something like “The Death of Marriage in Sweden [or Scandanavia, I’m not sure which]”. It’s a long article but if you can locate it you’ll find it both instructive and sobering.

    We focus a lot on the sins of the Israelite tribe of Joseph. The sins of what we consider to be Naphtali (the Swedes, the historical Nephtalite Huns), to a lesser extent perhaps their neighbors in Scandinavia (maybe we should rename the region Scandalnavia), and Zebulun (Holland) in some areas likely make ours pale by comparison – although likely not for long. And there are some places in Judah, notably Tel Aviv, which are on the cutting edge of sexual sin in the Western world, including sexual slavery and encouragement of homosexuality and “gay tourism”. There the “enlightened” city fathers, according to a report from an evangelical group in the State of Israel, want to make their city the San Francisco of the East. I used to live there and I’ve visited Tel Aviv, and know that the latter has both the climate and the secular atmosphere to pull it off.

  3. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    Oh, and did I mention that due to their sheer disproportional numbers, generally liberal-leaning politics and disproportionately ENFP personality type in the positions that count within the entertainment industry, the House of Judah – which, make no mistake, I love to pieces one and all – is also on the cutting edge of the decline of our Israelite society? I mean to cast no undue aspersions, but it really is a shame that those tribes and especially Levi that were entrusted with God’s Word and with teaching it can get so radically far away from even its most basic intent. Maybe many are overreacting to the other extreme(s) found in Rabbinic Judaism. I don’t know. But just as an ENFP I know that many (like me) have a deep-seated need to be liked and being accepted on the one hand and avoiding persecution on the other may well be a snare to many within the House of Judah, as elsewhere in Israel.

  4. texasborn

    Mr. Smith, related to your recent post on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on January 11 declaring the right of churches freedom to hire (and fire) ministers without government interference, is a recent decision by a New Jersey judge. He ruled that a tax-exempt retreat affiliated with the United Methodist Church that had refused to let a same-sex marriage take place there, had violated New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. In his ruling, he stated that even though a church opposes same-sex marriage because of its beliefs, the First Amendment should tolerate “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance OTHER IMPORTANT SOCIETAL GOALS.” (Capitalized emphasis mine) So, it seems that he admitted it is our present USA society’s desire to have homosexuals and lesbians to cohabit legally(?). Not in the eyes of God!

    As you have stated, this is just another step (a very important one!) in the wrong direction towards the final degradation of said society.

  5. You wrote: “His reasoning seems sound to me — very sadly sound.”

    This is probably the only point I disagree with you on. The 14th Amendment was created to grant citizenship to ALL whether born in this country or naturalized. That it has been abused (in both directions, mind you) really shouldn’t be the point. No one is restricting anyone’s rights, and in particular no rights are being restricted without “due process”.

    Simply put, the citizens had a vote, which had a result that A MINORITY did not like, and the court threw it out in spite of it going through the correct process and with an outcome supported by the majority of California citizens. It is the court that is not following due process. The citizenry did, and they were slapped down by a group of pompous judges who think their value system is superior to all others.

    We no longer have the rule of law in this country. Ginsberg’s recent comments about our Constitution should show the depravity of the mindset in this country which in effect says we are not a special nation, we never were a special nation and we are willing to accept our decline. Why? Because we have thrown all absolutes out the window, including the most important one: “one nation under God”.

  6. Thanks for commenting, Mr. John D, but don’t get me wrong — perhaps I’ve miscommunicated. I don’t think the constitutional interpretation is sound at all. Your points are accurate.

    Rather, I think Taranto’s reasoning about why SCOTUS will probably go the way he predicted (in particular due to the role Kennedy will play) is completely sound. Regrettably, the opinion as given by the Supreme Court does NOT always represent the best constitutional analysis.

    Thanks for writing in, and for letting me clarify my comment. 🙂

  7. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    Texasborn’s comment and your follow-up illustrate why I wrote and submitted this LCG Commentary:

    http://www.lcg.org/cgi-bin/tw/commentary/tw-comm.cgi?category=Commentary1&item=1327694583

    Somebody’s religious point of view is going to predominate in civil society whether we like it or not. If we try to guarantee religious freedom to all regardless of truth or error, then some will try to push that freedom aside by one pretext or another. If there is a “state church” – as there should be, provided that it’s the true religion, something Thomas Jefferson et al. realized man can’t impose on free moral agency of himself – then some will try to use pretexts and strategems to make it toothless anyway, but at least one can more easily see the assault coming.

  8. “don’t get me wrong — perhaps I’ve miscommunicated. I don’t think the constitutional interpretation is sound at all.”

    OK, that seems more in line with the rest of your article, then. Thank you for clarifying it, because I was scratching my head for a moment. 🙂

  9. wakemeupwhenthekillingstarts

    Marriage was not created by that man created deity, God. Marriage is a contract and to deny same sex couples a marital contract is discrimination. Not that you bible worshippers give a [EDIT: Common vulgarity removed — WGS] about discrimination.

  10. Yes, marriage was created by God. Yes, I do care about discrimination. (And you’re a funny one to talk about it, given the vulgar manner in which you are treating us. Tolerance only when it’s convenient, huh?) Yes, I also care about sin and institutionalizing it in our nation, as we have easy divorce, abortion, and many other things.

    So, thanks for writing, WMUWTKS. The attitude you display is, if anything, instructive.

  11. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    It’s been said by more than one person, Mr. Smith, including Protestant apologist Dr. Norman Geisler (whom I’ve met twice after his presentations): even in their defiance of God, atheists prove His existence (and, I would add, and he would agree, His truthfulness). And that would go for anyone else who does what’s right in his own eyes contrary to God’s will. God certainly knows us humans all too well.

  12. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    By the way, you just demonstrated something Dr. Geisler calls “the Road-Runner technique”: showing how a person’s position is logically self-refuting and thus leaving him hanging in the air like Wile E. Coyote before a fall. He did that as a college freshman to the philosophy of logical positivism, in twenty seconds, and left his professor without a subject to talk about for the rest of the semester, or so he claims in I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist (which I’ve recommended before, not least for one of the best summaries of the Trinitarian position I’ve ever seen).

  13. Thanks, Mr. Wheeler. I am familiar with the book and have used some of Geisler’s comments about the historical reliability of the New Testament text in several Bible studies over the last few years.

  14. dimitterecanes

    How can marriage be invented by a something that has not been proven to exist? Your kind is using a book to discriminate against love; and love is not just a man/woman thing. The only abomination is a load of messed up people using a book of outdated myths to justify their homophobia.

  15. Thanks, again, WMUWTKS, and thanks for providing another name. I’ll stick with dimitterecanes if you prefer — perhaps the dogs need a run, eh?

    I agree that love, as broadly as that word can be taken, is not just a man/woman thing. Parents love their children, children love their parents, citizens love their country, a man loves his friends, and many folks love their pets. Your statement adds nothing helpful or informative.

    That a societal institution (established by the God who can, indeed, be reasonably demonstrated to exist for those willing to accept His existence) should be redefined based on a willy-nilly, “what’s popular now” idea of “love” is irrational at best and scandalous at worst. After all, if we’re going to legitimize any old sort of “love” and designate relationships rooted in those “loves” to be “marriage,” why stop at same-sex “marriage”? Why draw the line anywhere at all?

    Oddly, the teachings of that “book of outdated myths” is part and parcel of why the civilization you live in has any decent idea of what real “love” is, at all. I would say that a little thanks are in order to the Author of that book, versus the uninformed derision you heap so easily.

    Thanks for your comments, dimitterecanes. I’d say “thanks for your thoughts,” but it doesn’t look as though too much thinking was involved.

  16. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    Good, glad you find that book useful. And again, if we want to come to grips as a Church with Trinitarian theology, we could do much worse than start with Dr. Geisler’s explanation of it.

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