Our culture has become one of soundbites, and the ability to listen to an argument and counter-argument is becoming a rare quality indeed. I have seen the headlines today and I have heard the 10-second soundbites, but reading the Court’s decision in full has been most educational. Read it for yourself here. The biggest concern I have in this decision was stated by Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissent—
“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create ‘liberties’ that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”
And Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissenting opinion stated another truth—
“If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
Something can be legal, and still be immoral (does anyone remember slavery?). The Supreme Court of the United States can define (or re-define) legislative matters, but ultimate moral authority doesn’t belong to those nine justices; it belongs with God and His revealed will in the Bible. Despite what the Supreme Court says, God still has the final word on how marriage is defined.
Ryan T. Anderson gives us some counsel on how to respond to the Court’s decision.
John Piper’s commentary is brilliant—So-Called Same Sex Marriage: Lamenting The New Calamity.
Here is a good way for Christians to respond: “We must always remember that those who traffic in lies are image-bearers of God and objects of His love. But they are ‘defiled’—that’s Paul’s word—both in their thinking and in their values. The Lie has made such an impression on some people that it has taken over their thinking, desires, values, and choices. Such people do not need our condemnation; instead, they need patience, gentleness, and probably a series of extended conversations if they’re ever going to break out of the web of lies in which they have become ensnared. … Thus we need to make sure that our hearts are saturated with love for those we intend to confront, in order to issue a sharp rebuke and, hopefully, gain them for the faith of Christ.” —T.M. Moore