Archive for April 15th, 2011

A woman named Melissa responded to “Planned Parenthood on 9/11,” my post of April 13.  Three times she commented.  Four times I attempted responses of my own.  Back and forth we went… until it became clear that Melissa and I don’t share a belief in the same God.

“Melissa’s” are in our neighborhoods, families, and even congregations.  Perhaps, if you have a spare moment or two, you might skim her commentaries.  Does she think like anyone you know?   What happens when worldviews seemingly share no common ground?  What does God ask us to do?

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Three Iowa Supreme Court justices were ousted last November because the court re-defined marriage and allowed homosexuals the right to marry each other.  Months later, opinions are divided.  Some maintain that the supremes were acting exactly as they should: safeguarding the rights of an unpopular group from a discriminatory act.

Judge Richard Posner would dispute that.  Posner, a widely respected judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said in a public interview, “Nothing in the Constitution or its history suggests a constitutional right to homosexual marriage.  If there is such a right, it will have to be manufactured by the justices out of whole cloth.  The exercise of so freewheeling a judicial discretion in the face of adamantly opposed public opinion would be seriously undemocratic.  It would be a matter of us judges, us enlightened ones, forcing our sophisticated views on a deeply unwilling population.”

Put simply, when the law defines marriage as between one man and one woman, it does not prohibit any person practicing a homosexual lifestyle from marrying.  They would just have to marry in the same way that everyone else in society has to marry — namely, they would have to marry someone of the opposite sex.  This right is extended equally to all unmarried adults in the society.

When a person practicing a homosexual lifestyle claims they want to marry another person of the same sex, he or she is claiming a new right that had not previously been available to anyone in this society.  Such a right has been denied to everyone in the society prior to this time, so it is not discriminating against them to say that this kind of right is denied to them.

Let’s use another example.  A man wanting to marry his sister may claim he has the right that everyone else has: the right to marry.  But that’s an invalid argument.  The law prohibits such marriage.  When the law denies this man the right to marry his sister, it isn’t denying him anything that it doesn’t also deny everybody else as well.  In truth, this man is really claiming that he has the right to redefine marriage according to his own desires and preferences.  And he’s not just claiming a private right, but a right to redefine the institution of marriage for the whole of society.

There is so much more to be said, but let me offer one more thought.  Laws in any society have a teaching function.  The kinds of relationships that are approved by the law are more likely to be approved of and followed by the society as a whole.  People will reason, “This is according to the law, therefore it must be right.”  This happened with Roe vs. Wade: “Abortion is legal, therefore it must be right.”  50+ million babies in the U.S. died by the hand of abortionists since that court decision in 1973.

I am called to put my trust in the One who created the institution of marriage and who, therefore, defines it.  It is not for me — or anyone else — to tamper with what God has made.  Government, another institution created by God, is called upon to maintain the standard of what constitutes marriage.  Failing to do this results in societal chaos and great harm to children — the very ones marriage is designed to protect.

I was among those who voted not to retain three Iowa supreme court justices.  This wasn’t because I don’t consider all people — no matter their color, ethnicity, religion, or lifestyle choice — to be equally human under God.  Rather, it was my civic duty to say “no” to anyone’s “right” to redefine marriage, to remind judges that the law they make has a teaching function, and to act as someone accountable to the most Supreme Judge.

(SOURCE: Politics According to the Bible
by Wayne Grudem, Zondervan, pp 229-230)

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