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Posts Tagged ‘Gay Marriage’

And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land…

– (1Kings 15:11-12)

“How did it come to this?,” I muttered to myself the other day. “How did it come to this?” My words were my reaction to the latest story in the mainstream press about the collapse of Western Civilization. Specifically, I was referring to yet another story about the normalization of homosexuality in the United States.

It was a story about how the State of California banned official travel to yet another state deemed by its all-wise legislators to be insufficiently submissive to the enlightened LGBT – or whatever this month’s alphabet soup variant happens to be – movement. If you’d like, you can read USA Today’s version of the story here. The short version is this, California has a state law requiring its attorney general to keep a naughty list of states subject to a travel ban due to “laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”

Now you’re probably wondering what outrage against humanity Oklahoma committed to earn the opprobrium of California’s Attorney General. It was this, the Governor or Oklahoma recently signed into law a statue that allowed private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex married couples.

How did it comes to this? Well, I doubt a single blog post can fully answer that question, but I would like to outline at least a few of the major factors that have produced the current state of affairs: the disappearance of Christianity in the West, the usurpation known as Judicial Review, and the Civil Rights Movement’s attack on property rights.

The Disappearance of Christianity in the West

As John Robbins argues in Christ and Civilization, Western Civilization is the by-product of the widespread preaching of and belief in the Gospel of Justification by Belief Alone. In nations to which the Reformation came, the role of government was reduced to something close to its Biblical norm of punishing evildoers and the secular work, what the Reformers called “vocation”, came to be seen as pleasing to God. As a result of this explosion in political and economic freedom, the nations of the West became the most prosperous on earth.

But Christianity has long been under attack in the West. 200 years ago, higher critics in Germany were ruining the nation’s universities with their skeptical attacks on the truth of the Bible. At the same time, those who professed to defend Christianity embraced irrationalism, perhaps the greatest heresy of all. Feminism, Marxism, Darwinism all rose to prominence as the 19th century wore on and helped to lay the groundwork for our modern world. Even many in the professing church, instead of being salt and light in the world as Jesus commanded, were instead swept up in these anti-Christian movements and began to use the aegis of the Bible as cover for advancing their unbelief, and thus was born the social gospel.

It stands to reason that if the ideas that formed a civilization are no longer held by the people in that civilization, the laws and social mores of that society will be changed to conform to the new belief systems that rush in to fill the void.

Even in the churches, few there be who hold to the teachings of the Reformation which birthed the West. And if the spiritual heirs of Luther and Calvin no longer believe what their forefathers believed, why would one expect those outside the Protestant churches to have any use for laws based upon a Biblical worldview?

The Old Testament associates the presence of sodomites in Israel with times of apostasy, and the removal of such persons from the land with periods of reformation. In the New Testament we find homosexuality condemned as a sin, saying of those who practice it that they will not inherit the kingdom of God. And from the colonial period right up to the recent past, the American legal system reflected this with the multitude of sodomy laws on the books.

But to take such a stance today in our post-Christian world is to court being branded a hater, a bigot, and unfit for polite society. The shift from laws criminalizing homosexuality to ones promoting it is a stunning change, and one that was made possible by Americans’ rejection of Christianity.

The Usurpation of Judicial Review

One assumption shared by both political liberals and political conservatives is that the Supreme Court has the right to declare a law either constitutional or unconstitutional. Liberals want to pack the court, so that liberal judges can give constitutional blessings to current laws favored by liberals and pave the way for more such legislation. Conservatives want conservative justices to do the same for their favored causes.

Almost no one stops to ask whether the Supreme Court actually has the power to do what it does, declare laws constitutional or not.

The short answer to this question is, no, it does not. This probably comes as a shock to many people. I know it did me when I first heard it.

As originally conceived, the Supreme Court was to decide, not whether a given law was Constitutional, but whether it had been applied properly. With Marbury v Madison in 1803, that all changed. For it was in this decision that the Supreme Court first asserted what is now known as judicial review, the power to decide whether a given law is constitutional.

Judicial review is essentially the Roman Catholic view of the Church applied to Constitutional law. In Rome, the Bible is what the Church says it is. In Christianity, the church is what the Bible says it is.

In like fashion, those who argue that the Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is are legal Romanists. The correct view, the Supreme Court is what the Constitution says it is, is legal Protestantism.

The Romanist view of the Supreme Court is one of the major, and very underappreciated, sources of the massive change in American law with respect to homosexuality. It was just three years ago in 2015 that the US Supreme Court in one fell swoop declared unconstitutional all laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The astounding arrogance of five lawyers on the Supreme Court has basically gutted the ability of Christians to find any legal recourse to resist the unchristian and aggressive LGBT agenda.

But these ungodly men and women would never have had the power to do this were it not for the Court’s prior usurpation in claiming for itself the power of judicial review.

The Civil Rights Movement’s Attack on Property Rights

Of the three reasons for the success of the homosexual movement, probably the most controversial is to point out the role of the Civil Rights movement in paving the way for the explosion in LGBT friendly legislation in recent years.

The Civil Rights Movement was a mixed bag. To the extent that its supporters sought to overturn Jim Crow laws, they have the support of this author. But to the extent they attacked property rights they deserve to be rebuked.

The attack on property rights by the Civil Rights Movement was codified into law in Title II of The 1964 Civil Rights Act. This section of the Act drew an unbiblical distinction between types of property, one called places of public accommodation and another called private clubs. Specifically, it made it illegal to discriminate in places of public accommodation – places of public accommodation were defined, for example, as inns, restaurants, movie theaters – “on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

One could read the Scriptures from cover to cover and find no such distinction between places of public accommodation or private clubs. Private property is private property, regardless of whether it’s a home, a private club or a lunch counter in a drug store. And just as a home owner has the right to refuse to all someone in his house, so too does a business owner have the right to refuse to serve someone.

“So,” someone will say to me, “Matthews, by arguing this way you’re just an apologist for racism!” To which charge I would answer, “Not at all.” Racism is a sin. It is a failure to love our neighbor as ourselves.

But not all sins are crimes. Just look in the case law of the Old Testament. Some sins, theft for example, were crimes. We know this because theft, while being condemned in the 10 Commandments, which are the summary of the moral law, also had civil penalties attached to it in ancient Israel. It is the presence or absence of civil penalties that determine whether a specific sin is also a crime.

The Bible’s stance on private property is summed up in Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard. When the workers complain to the vineyard owner about their wages, he responds, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?”

The answer to this rhetorical question is, yes it is. And one implication of “doing what I wish with my own things” is that a business owner has the right to decide with whom he wishes to do business and with whom he does not. This includes making decisions with which we may disagree and which, in fact, may even be sinful. Ultimately, that’s between the businessman and God to whom he must give account.

So why do I bring up the errors of the Civil Rights Movement? Because the LGBT Movement has followed in its footsteps. For example, the homosexual activists have applied the principle of public accommodation to those who refuse services to LGBT persons. For example, there have been a number of Christian business owners in serious legal trouble for refusing to provide cakes, flowers, or wedding photography services for same-sex weddings. These cases occurred in states that have statues preventing business owners from discriminating against homosexuals in the same way the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the ground of race, color, religion, religion, or national origin.

Had the principle of “places of public accommodation” not been established in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, LGBT activists would not be in a position to force Christians to serve them.

Many veterans of the Civil Rights Movement have been shocked by the tactics of LGBT activists, who have appropriated the logic and methods of the Civil Rights Movement to promote the homosexual agenda.

For example, commenting on then President Obama’s use of 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march to advocate for same-sex marriage, Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors said, “I marched with many people back in those days and I have reached out to some of my friends who marched with me, and all of them are shocked. They never thought they would see this day that gay rights would be equated with civil rights. Not one agreed with the comparison.”

Admittedly it is shocking. But once the LGBT Movement was able to attach itself to the Civil Rights Movement, by force of logic all the laws enacted in the 1964 Civil Rights Act also apply to them. Hence the proliferation of state-level laws prohibiting business owners from denying service to someone based on his being a homosexual.

And don’t suppose that this is going to stop with traditional businesses either. For example, this 2017 story “Ohio LGBT Group Announces Plans to Target Churches for Homosexual Weddings” is a shot at Evangelicals, not just in Ohio, but across the nation. As the article explains, An LGBT organization in Ohio has announced plans to target churches if they refuse to offer their property to be used in a homosexual wedding. In opposing the Ohio Pastor Protection Act (HB-36), the group Equality Ohio announced that they would target churches, forcing them to rent church facilities to groups that oppose their beliefs.”

This is seriously dangerous stuff, and perhaps represents the biggest threat to religious freedom in the US today. Given the current legal climate, it is this author’s opinion that it is just a matter of time before we see such a case in court.

Had the “places of public accommodation” clause not been included in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the threat posed by the LGBT Movement to the churches would be much less than it is today.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as a Christian I’m embarrassed at the current moral climate of our nation. And nothing highlights the current mess we’re in more than the stunning advance of the LGBT Movement over the past 50 years.

I’m embarrassed and ashamed that every year we’re enjoined to “celebrate Pride Month” as if sodomy were something to rejoice in. I’m embarrassed and ashamed that the leading institutions in my country not only do not stand up to the LGBT lie, but actually actively promote it. But perhaps most of all, I’m embarrassed that we Christians have been so ineffective in putting a stop to this nonsense.

Perhaps one of God’s purposes in allowing the stunning success of the LGBT agenda in the US is to chastise his people for their intellectual laziness and lack of faith. If so, may God grant us repentance as well as the knowledge of the truth and the wisdom and the courage to apply it to good effect.

In times past, God raised up Asa, Jehoshaphat and Josiah to put an end to the LGBT agenda in Israel. Has his arm been shorted that he cannot save today?

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Jack Phillips_SCOTUS

Mary Torres holds up a rolling in in support of cake artist jack Phillips outside the Supreme Court n Washington on Dec. 5.  (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press)

In perhaps the biggest story of this past week, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the case Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The case involves the Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop, who in 2012 refused to make a custom wedding cake for a same sex married couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. This set in motion a legal battle that saw Mr. Phillips, a Christian, dragged before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which did not look kindly on his appeals to free speech and the free exercise of his faith.

“I can believe anything I want,” said Commissioner Raju Jaram, “but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people.” According to this same article, Phillips was ordered to stop discriminating against gay people, document any customers he refuses to service, provide antidiscrimination training for his staff, and report quarterly for two years.

One commissioner likened Phillips’ actions to those of the Nazis.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal organization representing Jack Phillips, argued this week before the Supreme Court that the baker’s First Amendment rights were violated by the Commission’s ruling. According to her, the Commission also violated Phillip’s religious liberty by attempting to force him, “to sketch, sculpt, and hand-paint cakes that celebrate a view of marriage in violation of his religious convictions.”

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Nashville Statement

Marriage is to be between one man and one woman.

    – The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24

This isn’t hard, folks. As theological questions go, the definition of marriage is pretty simple. It is a God-ordained, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman, and this the Christians has acknowledged for 2,000 years. In truth, the institution and its definition are much older than that, going all the way back to the creation of the world.

To borrow a turn of phrase from the Author of Hebrews, the biblical definition of marriage is milk, not meat. It’s something every Christian, even children, easily can, and ought to, understand.

And just as the Bible’s definition of marriage is simple and clear, so too is its stance on homosexuality: it’s a sin, and a particularly egregious one at that.

But as is the case with many things in this fallen world, what ought to be often times is not. Ours is a confused age, and truths that were almost taken for granted in earlier times now once again must be restated. One could point to any number of examples of the collapse of Western Civilization, but perhaps none exemplifies it better than the sweeping success of the homosexual agenda over the past 50 years.

Behavior that once was subject to sodomy laws is now celebrated at the highest levels of society. Governments, corporations, academics and the corporate media work diligently not only to promote the acceptance of homosexuality as normal and a thing to be celebrated, but also to cover in shame anyone who stands in their way.

The modern homosexual movement is usually traced back to the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village that occurred in June 1969. From there, the homosexual agenda has gone from strength to strength, culminating in the Supreme Court’s 2015 discovery that the U.S. Constitution supports the right of homosexuals to marry. The pace of change has been remarkable, and what was, just a few short years ago, considered filthy and shameful is now held up by all respectable people and institutions as the epitome righteousness.

Things have gotten to the point that, not only has it become socially unacceptable to speak out against homosexuality, but to so positively invites vilification from society’s mainstream institutions. Just last week, I wrote in this space about the SPLC’s declaring D. James Kennedy Ministries a hate group due to its opposition to the homosexual agenda. Many other examples of the same can be found

When I wrote that piece, I was unaware that a few days later that The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood would release the Nashville Statement, a work intended to affirm what the Bible has to say about men and women, marriage and homosexuality.

I first became aware of the Statement this morning while listening to Jason Hutchinson’s sermon during this morning’s church service. His comments were quite good and I will include a link to his sermon once it has become available.

After reading the document for myself, as far as I have been able to determine, the Statement is biblically sound and does a good job of setting forth Scripture’s clear teaching on sexuality. Further, the Statement also effectively refutes from Scripture some of the current arguments advanced in favor of homosexual marriage and transgenderism.

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fake-news

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Week In Review. Too long for my taste. I’ve been a political/economic/world events junkie for as long as I can remember, and I really do enjoy reading and writing about the events of the day.

So, let’s get on with the business at hand…

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epic-failNow that convention season is upon us and the thoughts of many are tuned politics, specifically to the party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, it seemed good to discuss the relationship between Evangelical Christians and the political process.

For some time now, really since the end of WWII and the rise of the neo-evangelicalism, American Evangelicals have worked assiduously to influence the culture, oftentimes through the political process.

Growing up, I recall the rise of the Christian right during the 1970’s. Led by such figures as the Moral Majority’s Jerry Falwell and Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum, the Christian right promised to push back on the radical cultural changes that had rocked the nation during the 1960’s.

And now after several decades of Evangelical politicking by these and other groups, it’s fair to ask, Just what have they accomplished? Is our nation more moral, or better still, is America more Christian than it was forty years ago? Is there greater respect in 2016 for the rule of law, for private property, for public morality than before the rise of the Christian right?

The answer to these questions is, I believe, obviously no. In fact, it seems to me, that not only has the religious right failed to reverse the tide of national decline – and make no mistake about it, the US and the entirety of Western Civilization is in the midst of what appears to be terminal decline – but that things actually are far worse now than they were before the term “religious right” entered the mainstream of public discourse.

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Minding your own business is getting more dangerous all the time for ordinary Americans. Perhaps especially if they’re Christians. And if you don’t believe it, just consider the ongoing case of Jack Phillips, a baker from Lakewood, Colorado who’s found himself embroiled in a four-year-long dispute with the State of Colorado over his refusal to make a wedding cake in celebration of a same-sex marriage.

Phillips, a Christian, refused to make a wedding cake for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, a homosexual couple married in Massachusetts, during their visit to his bakery in the summer of 2012. Phillip’s refusal of service has set in motion a Kafkaesque series of legal battles in which Phillips was ordered to make wedding cakes for gay couples by administrative law judge Robert Spencer or risk facing fines, was likened to the Nazis by a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and was forced to submit quarterly reports about whom he refuses to serve and provide anti-discrimination training to his employees.

In the latest legal twist, Phillips was refused service by the Colorado Supreme Court, which elected not to hear his case. Apparently Colorado judges have the right to discriminate without suffering any consequences, but bakers who do so are in a world of hurt.

At bottom, this and other cases of this same ilk, are not, as many people suppose, matters of free speech or religious liberty. At its most basic level, this is a battle over property rights.

John Robbins has called private property, “the central economic institution of civilized societies” (Ecclesiastical Megalomania, 30). And if he’s right in his assessment, and he is, this says something deeply disturbing about a society that subjects a man who, quite literally, was minding his own business to the sort of legal nightmare Colorado has put Jack Phillips through.

The idea that business owners do not have the right to determine their clientele entered into American law through Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited privately owned businesses from refusing to serve customers on the basis of “race, color, religion, or national origin” While much of the Civil Rights Act is sound, Title II represents a disaster for property rights. Not only is it unconstitutional for the federal government to prohibit discrimination by private entities- and discrimination, as Walter Williams explains in the video at the top of this post, is simply another work for choice – but Title II set the precedent for states to pass laws punishing Christians who seek to conduct their business according to the Word of God and the dictates of their own consciences.

Phillips ordeal is nothing but a legal mugging in broad daylight. And not only do the ACLU thugs who have helped carry it out feel no shame, but they actually boast about their activities. Ria Tabacco Mar, the attorney who argued the case against Phillips on behalf of the ACLU is quoted as saying, “We all have a right to our personal beliefs, but we do not have a right to impose those beliefs on others and harm them. We hope today’s win will serve as a lesson for others that equality and fairness should be our guiding principles and that discrimination has no place at the table, or the bakery as the case may be.”

Now one would suppose that Mar, a trained attorney, would be bright enough to see the irony in her remark about not having the right to impose our personal beliefs on others. But apparently that’s not the case. For what is it that both she and her clients did but impose their belief about the goodness and rightness of gay marriage on a man whose Christian faith led him to a different conclusion?

Social Justice Warriors of Mar’s ilk, the ones who claim to oppose hate and intolerance, never seem to realize that they are the biggest purveyors of the very things they claim to stand against.

In the end, a business owner’s right to refuse service to anyone for any reason is rooted in the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” We may not like the businessman’s reason for discriminating, and in fact his reasoning may be sinful, but it is not for the state to impose criminal sanctions on him. This respect for free association is a major test of a free society. And as things stand, America isn’t doing so well these days.


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Pat McCrory

Pat McCrory, embattled governor of North Carolina.

Oligarchy:  Government by the few; a form of government in which the power is confined to a few persons or families; also, the body of persons composing such a government.

 

American oligarchy. What a strange term it is. In the years immediately following the cold war, it was common to hear about the Russian oligarchs. These were unscrupulous men who were alleged to have acquired great power and wealth after the breakdown of the Soviet Union, and to have done so in a dishonest fashion. But back then, no one ever spoke of an American oligarchy.

But now, more and more it is common to hear people speak of about an American oligarchy. And it would seem they are onto something. Consider:

  • Gay Marriage: In June 2015, a body of nine lawyers on the Supreme Court found that the US Constitution guarantees homosexual couples the right to marry. And this in spite of the fact that 1) the Constitution says nothing about marriage, that 2) large numbers of the American people oppose gay marriage and that 3) many states, including Ohio where I live, had laws prohibiting gay marriage that were put there as a reflection of the will of the people. In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, any attempt by states to offer some measure of protection to those who oppose the encroachments of the aggressive, unbiblical homosexual lobby are met with the strictest denunciations from oligarchs in both business and culture.
  • Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid: Some politicians come with baggage. Hillary comes with a whole baggage train. That Mrs. Clinton is a felon is almost a certain. For her guilt has nothing to do with the content of the emails she had on her private server. As former CIA officer Scott Uehlinger put it, “The fact that she set up a private server, in and of itself, means she is guilty of a felony right there. Obviously, by having a private server, she was conspiring to evade her signed sworn statements that she would uphold secrecy agreements. The fact that simply established that (private server) regardless of what was on it, she intended to go around and circumvent the law.” Any ordinary American would long ago have found himself rotting in a cell in Leavenworth for committing just a fraction of the violations Hillary almost certainly has committed, and yet not only does she not suffer the legal consequences for her actions, but she is allowed to run for the nation’s highest office with nary a peep from the national press.

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