L. John Bost
We are living in sad, frightening times. The two greatest documents ever written, upon which the greatest country ever to exist was established, are under attack. First, the Bible, the all-inspired and all-authoritative word of God is under attack. When our founding fathers issued the Declaration of Independence declaring the 13 colonies “free and independent states,” they began it with the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” While it is true that neither that document, nor the Constitution of the United States, contain the word, God, it is clear from numerous writings of the fathers that they believed in the God of the Bible, and that the new country could only survive if its citizens believed in and faithfully served Him. Had they mentioned God in those documents, it would have appeared that they had in mind a state religion, to which many of them were opposed. They did, indeed, eventually add the First Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This prohibits both the establishment of a state religion, and the prohibiting of the free exercise of a religion.
The First Amendment prohibits Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of or prohibiting the free exercise of a religion. I am sure the Fathers did not have in mind that Congress could not do that, but the courts are free to do so! In fact, I do not see in the Constitution where it says the courts are to make any laws. Yet, that is exactly what has happened over and over, particularly in respect to religious beliefs and practice.
Two recent court decisions come to mind. On February 13, Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen declared Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. Interestingly she wrote, “Our Constitution declares that ‘all men’ are created equal.” Did you catch the error in her statement? Judge Wright Allen did not get that right, pun intended. A correction was later issued. The Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, contains that statement. And she was declaring the ban unconstitutional? Mm. She needs to be more aware of what the Constitution says before she rules on a ban based on constitutionality. Besides, our being created equal does not mean we may marry whomsoever we will. Numerous laws ban various relationships with other human beings. pedophilia is still illegal, though movements are underfoot to legalize that vile practice. Polygamy is still banned in most states. God forbid judges start calling those bans unconstitutional.
On February 26, U.S. Judge Orlando Garcia issued an injunction barring Texas from enforcing a law and constitutional amendment that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and ban the state from recognizing same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states. She wrote, “Without a rational relation to a legitimate government purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution.” Uh?
The words, equality, and inequality, appear in both decisions. Both judges use the word, equality, in reference to the constitution. Sometimes, the Fourteenth Amendment is invoked in discussions and court decisions on the subject of same-sex marriage bans. Section 1 reads, in part, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The “equal protection clause” it is argued, means that gays must have the same right to marry as straits. It is funny, no, I will say, interesting, that this Amendment, which was adopted in 1868, was not applied that way until certain judges, appointed by Democratic presidents, arose to the throne of federal judgeship. I think my words of two paragraphs ago apply here as well.
What will be next? Will Christians be forbidden to preach against homosexuality and gay marriage? Already a judge in Colorado ordered a Christian-owned business to make wedding cakes for gay weddings, or face fines. So can churches be far behind?
What does all this have to do with the First Amendment? everything! The Christian religion believes, because the Bible clearly says so, that marriage is between a man and a woman. Notice I said, “Marriage is…” Marriage, by definition is between a man and a woman. God, who created us (and the Declaration makes mention to this), defined marriage thus (Genesis 2:23-24: Matthew 19:4-6, etc.) . We, as Christians, must teach against all sin, including homosexuality. And the Constitution, as per the First Amendment, gives us that right. It says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” We must not to anything that would show support for homosexuality. We must love homosexuals, and pray for their repentance. But, when a judge says we must do anything that violates our religious beliefs, he/she has issued an unconstitutional decree.
The Constitution does not forbid laws banning gay marriage. It does forbid laws, and court decisions prohibiting the free exercise of our religion, and voicing our religious beliefs.