Author archives: Rob Schwarzwalder

Religious Liberty: The Prospect of Its Loss

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 29, 2015

The managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, Emma Green, has published an important article, “Gay Rights May Come at the Cost of Religious Freedom.”

This is what concerned observers have been saying for years, especially in light of myriad examples of how free religious exercise has been penalized repeatedly when it conflicts with the “rights” of homosexuals (see FRC’s copiously documented “Free to Believe” site for numerous examples).  Just last week, Christian educational leaders from across the country joined FRC’s Travis Weber and Greg Baylor of the Alliance Defending Freedom on a nationwide webcast to explore how the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision (finding a constitutional “right” to same-sex marriage) could well jeopardize the liberty and financial viability of religious schools and colleges.  And I’ve just published an FRC Issue Brief on how the loss of tax exempt status could do profound harm to churches and religious organizations. 

Green’s article begins by noting a recent ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that Green called “astounding:” It says that ““sexual orientation is inherently a ‘sex-based consideration,’ and an allegation of discrimination based on sexual orientation is necessarily an allegation of sex discrimination under Title VII.”  This is, as Green notes, is a “big deal” because it expands the definition of sex from one of biology to one of sexual “orientation,” meaning that homosexuality must now be regarded in federal law as such recognizably benign and immutable characteristics as race and ethnicity.

This should come as no surprise, really.  The EEOC is led by Chai Feldblum, a former Georgetown Law professor who is reported to have said in 2006, “in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner. I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”

Ms. Feldblum is, it would seem, as good as her word, a rare and laudable quality in the political class.  Too bad that her commitment is to the side of anti-religious bigotry.

Many religious leaders, most particularly Evangelical Protestants and Catholics, have issued statements saying we will close our churches and schools and charities before bending the knee to any insistent demand we compromise the truth of Scripture and the self-apparent evidence of “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”  We have meant it.  We continue to mean it.

The cost not only to the religious but to everyone who refuses to bow to subversions of our God-given liberties would be so high as to be difficult to imagine.  They would render America a nation its Founders could never have imagined, a quasi-fascist state run by the repressive and coercive elites. 

It’s to avoid such a fate that we will use our “tools” with all the grace, truth, courage, wisdom, and tenacity we can muster.  We love our opponents too much to do otherwise.

Kansas Gov. Brownback: Investigating Planned Parenthood for “Treating the Unborn as Commodities”

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 22, 2015

For two decades, in the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and now as Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback has stood with conviction and compassion for the unborn and for their mothers, both victimized by a predatory abortion industry. Under his leadership, Kansas has now become the eighth state to address the gruesome videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discuss the marketing of organs from unborn babies aborted late in the term of their pregnancies. Here is an excerpt from Gov. Brownback’s statement:

Kansas remains committed to a culture that respects the dignity of life at all stages. Recent videos show Planned Parenthood employees treating the unborn as commodities as they discuss the sale of tissue and organs. This does not reflect the culture of life most Kansans want.

We now call upon the Kansas Board of Healing Arts to address the issue of sale of tissue and organs from the unborn in its inspections of Kansas medical offices.

Human life has dignity at all stages of life. Senate Bill 95, banning dismemberment abortion in Kansas, prevents the barbaric procedure of dismembering an unborn child.

We must remind ourselves and others that unborn children are just that — children — with certain inalienable rights that we must respect and protect.”

FRC applauds Gov. Brownback, the governors of Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for are standing up to the Planned Parenthood behemoth in calling for reviews of Planned Parenthood practices and how they might violate the law.

For a timely, clear analysis, watch FRC President Tony Perkins talking with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly about Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting the organs of healthy aborted babies.

Eloquence About Life: Commentary On the Planned Parenthood Video

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 20, 2015

Much has been written about Planned Parenthood’s abort-for-organs video.  That’s encouraging; not to have seen an effusion of outrage, pain, grief, and sheer horror would have been a dreadful commentary on our national hardness.

As Ed Stetzer notes, “progressive” Evangelicals and Mainstream Protestants, usually the first to accuse the pro-life community of caring more about the unborn than (a) their mothers, (b) babies after they are born, or (c) virtually immeasurable cryptosporidium pollution in certain public water shelves (we plead guilty to the last), “have been conspicuously absent, when they’ve spoken up on so many other issues.”

Many who take compassionate, unequivocal, and unashamed stances on the sanctity of unborn life and the predation of the abortion industry on vulnerable women commented with unusual passion and eloquence.  Here are few choice selections:

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, writing in Politico

The true import of the Nucatola video is its casual moral grotesqueness. Manipulating a baby in the womb to kill it in a fashion best suited to selling off its organs is a repellant act, pure and simple … We have long been told how unborn babies are “blobs of tissue” that deserve no moral respect or legal protection. Yet here is an official from the leading abortion provider in the country talking of their livers, lungs and hearts, and of preserving those organs for their value. What Deborah Nucatola describes is the reality of abortion. If you can’t handle it, you can’t handle the truth.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), speaking on the floor of the Senate

… It doesn’t bring me comfort to know that one child is torn apart so that maybe they can do research on the child’s organs to in some future moment help a different child. Not every woman is being asked that her aborted child would be used for research and we really don’t know the whys. Maybe they’re looking for particularly healthy moms. Maybe they’re looking for very mature, healthy babies. Maybe it’s a situation where a particular mom couldn’t afford to have the abortion procedure and so they swap off and say if you can’t afford to have the abortion procedure maybe we can cover the cost by then possibly selling some of these organs then. We don’t know. But I think maybe the question needs to be asked.

Peter Wehner, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Dr. Nucatola adds, “I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.” So think about this: Planned Parenthood opposes the use of ultrasounds when their purpose is to reveal the humanity of a child (and in doing so may discourage abortion) – but it supports the use of ultrasounds when the purpose is for selling the body parts of unborn children. After all, how are we going to know which parts of an unborn child to crush without ultrasound guidance?

Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Writing at Cosmopolitan magazine, abortion supporter Robin Marty said that she had seen the video. Then she said, “Now, frankly, I’m just going to yawn.” Maybe she will, but if so that will require a massive act of denial. Later in her own essay she stated: “I shuddered when listening to the discussion of how the fetus can be removed, and the idea of a ‘menu’ of fetal tissue and organs that could be procured depending on the gestational age of the pregnancies being terminated and the number of patients who consent to donating is one I hope I never have to encounter again.”

Once again, which is it?

I give the last word to Briton Timothy Stanley, writing in CNN.com:

What matters about this video is what it appears to reveal about the reality behind America’s sanitized image of abortion; the reality of what an abortion is and how it morally compromises us all … It’s like watching Hannibal Lecter discuss making a human casserole and protesting that all the ingredients were provided willingly … We’ve been too casual for too long about some of the terrible problems that lie around us — be they abortions or the poverty and desperation that can drive women to seek one. The Planned Parenthood video holds up a mirror to a society that has become compromised by horrors that it regards as “every day.” The face of 21st-century America is Nucatola’s: discussing pulverized lungs and hearts between mouthfuls of salad.

Let’s pray for Dr. Nucatola, for Cecile Richards, for all of their Planned Parenthood colleagues, and for the thousands of women looking for help and healing instead of an abortionist’s scalpel and a culture’s grand, cold, deathly lie.

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News July 16, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 17, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


The events of the past few days have been hard not just for conservatives but everyone with a sense of decency..

We have seen the repulsive video of Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, talking happily about her group’s practice of selling the body parts of late-term, aborted babies. She boasts, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, (and) liver” of unborn children.

We have seen a growing attack on Christian liberty as some policymakers and advocates of radical sexual autonomy openly ponder churches and religious institutions losing their tax-exempt status.

The good news is that there are brave national leaders working to address these issues. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) gave a moving speech in the Senate today on Planned Parenthood’s brutality, and conscientious Members of Congress like ‎Fred Upton (R-MI) are planning to hold hearings on the organization’s activities.

Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would prohibit any kind of federal penalties against churches or individuals practicing their faith with respect to marriage, was the subject of an address he gave this week here at FRC. The historical case for religious liberty received a powerful review, also this week, at an FRC lecture by distinguished historian Dr. Mark Hall of George Fox University.

And FRC led the successful charge to have the House leadership cancel “a vote … on H.R. 2722, the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, a measure that would have poured up to $4,750,000 into the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a major donor to Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider.” Instead, all of the funding went to non-controversial breast cancer research organization.

The news can be overwhelming. The fight for faith, family, and freedom can be exhausting. And the results are often unpredictable.

But whatever the outcome, unborn children are worth defending, religious liberty is worth sustaining, and prudent, principled political action can make a difference. Maybe not a final or comprehensive difference in the here-and-now, but for Christians, the battle is far more than temporal.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. FRC’s Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment, the Hon. Ken Blackwell, was featured on C-SPAN on Monday of this week.  Be sure to watch and gain wise counsel from a distinguished Christian statesman.


Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Bioethics

Obamacare

 

Marriage & Family

Economy and the family

Fatherhood

Homosexuality and Gender Issues

Human Trafficking

Marriage

Pornography

 

Religious Liberty

 

Religion in Public Life

 

Education

Justice Kennedy and the Lonely Promethean Man of Liberalism

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 9, 2015

In The Public Discourse, David Azerrad, director of the Heritage Foundation’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, has written the best analysis of the underlying philosophy of Justice Kennedy’s opinion I have yet read. It is penetrating, eloquent, and compelling. The full text follows.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/07/15286/

Justice Kennedy and the Lonely Promethean Man of Liberalism

by David Azerrad

July 8th, 2015

Conjured as it was from Justice Kennedy’s imagination, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has little to teach us about the Constitution. It does, however, afford us keen insights into the liberal worldview. In the opinion, it is less Anthony Kennedy the Supreme Court Justice than Anthony Kennedy the aspiring liberal political theorist who speaks.

Woven throughout his musings on the dynamic synergies between the various clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment is the central premise of modern liberalism: individual autonomy. It is the very first argument that the Court offers on behalf of the newfound constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Indeed, in the opening sentence of the decision, Kennedy proclaims all individuals free “to define and express their identity,” thereby echoing his even more grandiloquent pronouncement in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that at “the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

On this foundation, the edifice of modern liberalism is built. We are all sovereign individuals, radically free to fashion and refashion ourselves into anything we so please at any point in our lives. Man is the undefined animal. He is auto nomos—self-legislating. Neither God, nor nature, nor tradition, nor the obligations he previously contracted may hem him in. Bruce Jenner may become Caitlyn whenever she so pleases—and then become Bruce again if he wants.

Beyond the rudimentary demands of refraining from harming others, nothing may constrain the choices we make in defining and redefining our identity. This is democratized, domesticated Nietzscheanism. Prometheus not fully unbound—just mindful of the rights of others. This, it should be pointed out, is also the starting-point of libertarianism—but also its end point. Not so for liberalism.

Loneliness, Insecurity, and the Need for Recognition

 

Liberalism’s exalted view of man’s limitless possibilities, paradoxically enough, is not accompanied by an equally exalted view of his inner strength and resolve. One might think that liberalism would encourage individuals to trust in themselves and to be scornful of society’s staid bourgeois conventions in defining and expressing their identity.

It doesn’t. For all his purported god-like powers of self-creation, liberal promethean man is actually a weak, insecure, and isolated individual. It is not enough that he define and express his identity. He needs others to recognize it, embrace it, and celebrate it. He needs the state to confer dignity upon it.

Otherwise, he may find himself marginalized by his peers, crippled by their disapproving looks, and insecure in his choice of an identity. After all, a particular lifestyle or living arrangement may not be illegal, but it can still be viewed as dishonorable by some. Even before the Court’s ruling, gay couples could marry in a house of worship or banquet hall in any of the states that still defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. But they carried the lack of state recognition for their marriages like the mark of Cain.

Outlaw to outcast may be a step forward, but it does not achieve the full promise of liberty, ” explains Kennedy. The Court’s opinion is replete with references to stigma, hurt, and humiliation. “It demeans gays and lesbians for the State to lock them out of a central institution of the Nation’s society.” It is therefore incumbent upon the state to dignify them. As Matthew Franck wrote in Public Discourse last week: “In Kennedy’s mind, the Constitution has been converted into a great Dignity Document.”

An earlier generation of liberals would have told the man to go to hell with his marriage certificate. “We don’t need no thought control,” they would have yelled. “All in all you’re just another brick in the wall!” To have the suits recognize your alternative lifestyle would have defeated the whole purpose of embracing it in the first place.

Contemporary liberalism, by contrast, views man as a weak and fragile creature. Adversity doesn’t forge character. It stigmatizes and demeans. Unless others affirm our choices, they are worthless. We have no unshakable inner convictions or faith. We are all insecure.

Promethean man, it turns out, is a pathetic creature. He thinks himself the measure of all things, but must in fact have his solipsistic existence be publicly affirmed and dignified by the state. He is simultaneously everything and nothing.

Kennedy’s Feigned Appeal to Nature

Liberalism’s celebration of human autonomy is obviously incompatible with any conception of an unchosen nature that restricts our scope of action. Nevertheless, Kennedy twice appeals to the idea of a permanent nature in the decision. Homosexuals have an “immutable nature,” he asserts. They are born gay and cannot change. So are heterosexuals, bisexuals, and all other flavor-du-jour-sexuals for that matter: “sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”

The essence of liberty is the freedom to define and express one’s identity, just not when it comes to sexual orientation, which is innate and immutable. We can choose our gender—that is not fixed at birth—but our sexual orientation is handed down to us by the gods and must be accepted with passive resignation (for a contrasting view, see this Public Discourse essay by Paul McHugh and Gerard Bradley).

Turning to marriage, Kennedy implicitly carves out another exception to the realm of autonomy. Marriage, though clearly not possessing a permanent nature, is nevertheless “essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.” This implies that happiness outside of marriage is not possible. No one will be forced to get married—but all who aspire to be happy (and who doesn’t?) will want to. Marriage is no longer what earlier liberals called an “obscene bourgeois institution” or “a comfortable concentration camp.”

Only marriage can respond “to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there,” writes Kennedy. Not to marry is to “be condemned to live in loneliness.” Lovers, friends, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, neighbors, coreligionists, brothers-in-arm, colleagues—none of them can be counted on to respond to our lonely cries of anguish. All bachelors are not only unmarried—they’re also unhappy.

All this adds up to a really interesting coincidence. In deliberating on the question of gay marriage, Justice Kennedy proclaims that we are absolutely free to be who we want to be—except when it comes to gayness and marriage.

Only Kennedy’s syllogism trumps autonomy:

1. Everyone has a right to pursue happiness.

2. No happiness is possible outside of marriage.

3. Sexual orientation being immutable, gay marriage is therefore a right.

Either Kennedy is a sloppy thinker who hasn’t thought through the implications of the autonomy he celebrates, or this is a calculated move on his behalf to elicit public support for his pronouncement by bending his argument to appeal to two widespread beliefs: people are not responsible for their genes, and marriage is good.

Either way, this is not a rigorous argument. But it is fitting that a decision that reveals the contradictions of modern liberalism should also reveal the contradictions of Kennedy’s arguments.

Wise Thoughts on Christians Trying to Conform Jesus to the Culture

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 2, 2015

From Tim Challies:

Many (Christians) … are redefining the terms of their friendship by redefining their friend. They are creating a new version of their friend Jesus, rewriting him in their own image, or in the image of the culture around them, making him into a figure who has been misunderstood and who is far more tolerant, far more accepting, far more palatable. This inoffensive Jesus loves without judgment, he gives without expectation, he proudly waves a rainbow flag.

But, of course, Jesus is unchanged and unchanging. He will not bow to the changing culture, he will not cede to the rising tide. Jesus will only ever be who he is and who he has always been. And each of us has a choice to make.

Social Conservative Review: An Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News July 2, 2015

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 2, 2015

Click here to subscribe to the Social Conservative Review


The World Turned Upside-Down” reportedly was the tune the British played when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown. Perhaps close listeners could have heard the strains of the tune emanating from the Supreme Court last week.

Those who understand that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for purposes of natural procreation, child-rearing, and male-female complementarity were heartbroken by the specious constitutional and moral reasoning captured in the majority’s opinion making same-sex unions legal nationwide.

The Court’s rulings in Obergefell and the Affordable Care Act case jettisoned the text of the Constitution and institutionalized subjectivism as the only consistent interpretive grid the Supreme Court now applies to the nation’s charter text.

Many of the entries in this week’s Social Conservative Review address these two landmark decisions. Analysis is replete in conservative journals, magazines, and blog sites. Perhaps Justice Antonin Scalia offered the most penetrating summary of the implications of the rulings. Writing of Obergefell, Mr. Justice Scalia said:

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 … 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.

Speaking of 1776, FRC hopes you and your family have a glorious Fourth celebrating the many benefits of life in our beloved country. Although some of the foundational freedoms we have long enjoyed are under growing threat, we can look back on our long history with gratitude and our future with the confident knowledge that Jesus Christ remains Lord.

This truth transcends national boundaries, human endeavors, all time and all places. No court, human institution, or leader of any political party can ever change it.

Sincerely,

Rob Schwarzwalder
Senior Vice-President
Family Research Council

P.S. FRC President Tony Perkins and Senior Fellows Ken Blackwell and Peter Sprigg have been making the rounds of places like CBS, ABC, and CNN to discuss last week’s rulings. Go to FRC’s Newsroom to get their take on these historic events.

P.S.S. The nightmarish shootings South Carolina and the burning of several Black churches in the South have prompted renewed consideration of race among Christians nationwide. In “Taking the Charleston Shooting Personally,” writer Hope E. Ferguson (the great-granddaughter and granddaughter of AME ministers) calls on her “brothers and sisters in Christ, be they white, black, brown, or any other color, would put down our differences at the foot of the cross.” Amen.


Social Conservative Review

Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Assisted Suicide

Bioethics

Obamacare

Marriage & Family

Economy and the family

Fatherhood

Homosexuality and Gender Issues

Marriage

Pornography

Religious Liberty: Domestic

Religious Liberty: International

Education

Other Stories of Note

Increasing the Child Tax Credit: Good for Families, Good for the Economy

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 30, 2015

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced a pro-growth economic plan that includes an increase in the child care tax credit, and the Wall Street Journal isn’t happy about it. In fact, the normally prudent Journal even goes so far as to assert that the child tax credit “does nothing for economic growth.”

Oh, c’mon: Let’s assume that the money retained by families through an expanded credit, per Rubio-Lee, in fact does not foster immediate growth. This is a dubious argument. Personal income tax cuts spur growth just as do corporate income tax cuts.

However, let us agree, for the sake of argument, that the child tax credit is deficient in animating the kind of sustained growth serious people want for the economy. It has another, more profound benefit that the Journal ignores completely: It strengthens families. And strong families mean a stronger economy.

Productivity increases when an adequate number of people are employed using their skills, capacities, and know-how to provide quality and affordable goods and services. Development of these capacities comes heavily from personal formation within the family. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker argued, healthy, educated, and emotionally stable children are essential to economic growth.

So, in targeting family formation through enabling mothers and fathers to better provide for their children and also to bear and raise more children, something demonstrably needed for the economy of the United States given our looming demographic deficit, the Rubio-Lee proposal would substantially abet growth in coming decades. Its facilitation of growth over time is an investment that will bear fruit in a steadily more robust economy.

The immediate costs of child-rearing are such that extra money to help families pay for the enhancement of their most fundamental “investments” – their boys and girls – is laudable.

Regrettably, the Journal has shown a considerable lack of economic common sense in attacking a proposal that would bolster our human capital capacity. FRC applauds Sens. Rubio and Lee for their foresight and justified consideration of family well-being.

Earlier in his career, Schwarzwalder was Director of Corporate Communications at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Supreme Chaos

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 30, 2015

Last week, the Supreme Court overturned the votes of more than 50 million people in 31 states concerning same-sex marriage, finding, instead, a constitutional “right” for same-gendered persons to marry. They blithely dismissed the will of the voters in order to find this “right,” rejecting the Tenth Amendment’s affirmation that those things not specifically articulated in the Constitution as within the province of the federal government belong to the states and the people.

In a ruling on the shaping of congressional districts, issued today, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a leading advocate of a constitutional “right” for same-sex partners to marry – wrote the following: “The animating principle of our Constitution [is] that the people themselves are the originating source of all the powers of government.”

Affirming federalism is not a matter of whim; it is foundational to our system of government, even our existence as a nation. Yet, troublingly, this subjective application of the Founder’s political philosophy seems to be the pattern of our current Supreme Court.

Four Short Observations about Justice Kennedy’s Opinion on Same-Sex Unions

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 26, 2015

Homosexuality is an “Immutable” Characteristic

Far from seeking to devalue marriage, the petitioners seek it for themselves because of their respect—and need—for its privileges and responsibilities.  And their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.” Opinion of the Court, p. 4

Wrong: Homosexuality is NOT an immutable characteristic.  This is documented copiously and is demonstrated anecdotally by everyone from Rosaria Butterfield to Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

As reported in an amicus brief for the Family Research Council, an examination of just some of the complaints that have been brought to date challenging state marriage laws reveals that dozens of the plaintiffs seeking to marry someone of the same sex previously were married to someone of the opposite sex. Notwithstanding their (presumed) sexual orientation, they were issued a license to marry. It might be argued that at the time of their previous marriage, they were not homosexual. But that response creates a new problem. If they were heterosexual then, but are homosexual now, then their sexual orientation could not be said to be immutable. – FRC Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg, The Wrong Argument Against Traditional Marriage, April 27, 2015

Changing Understandings of Marriage”

The ancient origins of marriage confirm its centrality, but it has not stood in isolation from developments in law and society. The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. That institution—even as confined to opposite-sex relations—has evolved over time.  For example, marriage was once viewed as an arrangement by the couple’s parents based on political, religious, and financial concerns; but by the time of the Nation’s founding it was understood to be a voluntary contract between a man and a woman … Indeed, changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations, often through perspectives that begin in pleas or protests and then are considered in the political sphere and the judicial process.” Opinion of the Court, pp. 6-7

Wrong: The nature of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has never changed. Legal matters attendant to marriage (women’s property rights, arrangements by parents, etc.) have changed, but the nature of marriage has itself never changed.  Kennedy’s argument says, in essence, that because a car now has airbags, it should be called an airplane.  Incorrect: It remains a car, even if improvements have been made to its engine, its safety, etc.

These aspects of marriage—the complementarity of male and female, and the irreplaceable role of male-female relations in reproducing the human race—are part of the original order of creation, and are evident to all human beings from the enduring order of nature. These common elements of marriage are at the heart of our civil laws defining and regulating marriage. Therefore, people of all cultures and religions—including those who lack faith in God, Christ, or the Bible—are capable of participating in the institution of marriage. – Andreas Kostenberger, Ph.D., “The Bible’s Teaching on Marriage and Family”

Homosexuality is analogous to race

When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.  Applying these established tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution.  In Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967), which invalidated bans on interracial unions, a unanimous Court held marriage is ‘one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men’.” Opinion of the Court, p. 8

Wrong: Race is immutable and benign.  It is irrelevant to with one’s character or conduct.  Homosexuality is not immutable and those who practice same-sex intimacy are engaging in behavior that has intrinsic moral content.

One of the four criteria for defining a classification such as sexual orientation as suspect—which in turn subjects laws targeting that class of people to the highest burden of proof—is that the group in question share an immutable characteristic. The immutability of sexual orientation is hardly a settled matter—just ask Anne Heche (the former partner of celebrity and lesbian Ellen DeGeneres who has now affirmed her heterosexuality). - Margaret Talbot, “Is Sexuality Immutable?” The New Yorker, January 25, 2010

Marriage is a matter of “individual autonomy”

A first premise of the Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.” Opinion of the Court, p. 13

Wrong: While individual autonomy in terms of “personal choice” is “inherent in the concept” of marriage, marriage is not strictly about personal volition.  It is a social institution designed for procreation and child-rearing in a complementary household in which a child benefits from the influence of differently-gendered parents.

Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father. Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage; it rejects these truths. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. By encouraging the norms of marriage—monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence—the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role. The future of this country depends on the future of marriage. – Ryan T. Anderson, “Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It”, Heritage Foundation, March 11, 2013

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