The Fight Against Love

In Constitution, Courts, Democracy, Families, Free Speech, Gender, Government, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Religion, Religious Freedom, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Freedom, Sexual Orientation, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on October 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm

gay marriage handsMekelle Tenney

Contained within the First Amendment are two religion clauses, the establishment clause and the exercise clause. The establishment clause ensures that Congress will not establish a federal religion and that Congress will not enact legislation that effects just one sect of religion. The exercise clause protects the individual’s rights to practice their religion. The history of the exercise clause is very interesting. In fact a case involving the exercise clause did not appear before the US Supreme Court until 1878 with Reynolds v. US, a case that involved polygamy. Since that time the court has seen numerous cases involving the free exercise clause. Throughout United States history religious liberties have been silently attacked. Most recently the exercise clause withstood a hard blow and came out victorious. In the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby the US Supreme Court held that a closely held for profit organization can be exempt from a law that is against its owners religious beliefs. The law in question involved the contraception mandate.

Currently Americans are facing another enemy of religious freedom. This attack is different from any other that religious liberty has yet endured, and it is championed under an ideology that is one of the most difficult to face: love. In the last few years there have been many cases where private business owners refused, based on their religious beliefs, to provide services for a same-sex marriage and were fined. Most recently two Christian ministers who own a wedding chapel have been told that if they refuse to marry same-sex couples they are in danger of jail time and up $1000 fine. The Hitchin Post wedding chapel is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Idaho is one of the most recent States to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week the city of Houston issued a subpoena ordering several pastors in the city to turn in any sermons they have regarding homosexuality. The subpoena was issued under the cities recent non-discrimination act. Earlier this year, in August, a Christian owned farm in New York decided not to host a lesbian marriage. The farm owners were charged $10,000 and where required to pay an additional $1,500 to both the women. The owners were told they would have to host all weddings or none at all. The owners chose to not host any more weddings. Those are just a few examples in the last couple months. These kinds of stories are not new, they have been happening for the last few years. What is it about the same-sex marriage movement that makes it so easy to violate a individuals religious rights? In a talk show hosted by Oprah that aired last year a panel of different ministers explained what they thought was the driving force behind the success of same-sex marriage. One of the panelists stated that the Nation has been “educated through love.” As cheesy as it sounds, there’s a solid foundation for her statement. Given America’s past history with racial and sexist discrimination we are suckers for guilt trips. Anytime the word discriminate is brought up we throw our hands in the air and say “ok you can have your way just don’t think me a hater”. It is so hard to take a strong stance against the argument that if two people love each other they should be allowed to pursue their happiness. The same-sex marriage movement has ridden the love train all the way to the top. With same-sex marriage now legal in more than half the states the definition of marriage is slowly changing. But the train doesn’t stop there. The first goal was to legalize. The next goal is to make it accepted by all. The last few months alone have shown us that the same-sex marriage campaign will cut through any barriers to make that goal a reality. Even if it means restricting religious liberties. I hope and pray that our religious liberties will stand strong in the fight against “love”.

The Wheately Conference: The Supreme Court Decided, Now What?

In Abortion, Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Constitution, Courts, Democracy, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, father, Free Speech, Gender, Government, Grassroots, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Non-Discrimination, Parenting, Religious Freedom, Research, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Freedom, Sexual Orientation, Supreme Court, The Family, Values on October 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

marriage equality and supreme courtDiane Robertson

Yesterday I had the unique opportunity of attending a 4 hour long conference hosted by the Wheately Institute and titled: Family is Crucial: Views from Law and Social Science. Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, Mark Regnerus, and Jenet Erickson spoke. These speakers have all vested a lot of time and resources to help form the marriage debate. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to recap a few of the important points as well as some fascinating scientific and statistical information presented in this conference.

Two weeks ago the Supreme Court made a decision about marriage, simply by remaining silent. Many people have either been celebrating that the debate is over or they have been wondering if there is anything else that can be done. This question was answered in a couple of ways during the conference. Ryan T Anderson discussed how the pro-marriage movement needs to look to the pro-life movement as its model. He reminded us that when the Supreme Court handed down Roe v Wade, pro-lifers could have gone home discouraged. Instead, they got to work. Pro-lifers began relying on scientific and legal arguments.

Through the science of ultra sound imaging, pro-lifers proved the pro-abortion movement wrong. Through psychology and statistics, pro-lifers taught about the stress of abortion on the mother’s mind and body. Through compassion and love, pro-lifers set up pregnancy centers to help women with crisis pregnancies. Now the younger generation is more pro-life than the older generation, and there have been more limits on abortion passed through state legislatures than ever before.

Ryan Anderson suggested that we continue litigating in circuit courts, because we don’t know what will happen. The Supreme Court did not hand down a Roe v Wade ruling. As religious freedom, freedom of conscience and even churches are attacked and forced to accept gay marriage, we can still continue battling through litigation and even state laws.

One of the hosts, Jason Carroll, suggested that we need to be positive. Do not be against same sex marriage, be for the family. Marriage has been broken not only by the advancement of same sex marriage, but by the acceptance of pre-marital sex, no fault divorce, co-habitation, and the acceptance of single parenthood. All are at fault and all are enemies to the family.

Be confident. When people see your confidence in your stance, they are less likely to attack that stance. Be really good at what you do. Always do your best and always know your facts. Mark Regnerus only kept his job because he was thorough and careful with his research and statistical report.

The Supreme Court decided, now what? We just keep going. The fact that children do best with their married mother and father has not changed and will not change. The fact that a society is most prosperous when it offers sincere freedom of religion has not changed and will not change. It may seem like we are fighting a losing battle, but we are not. The world needs children and the world needs freedom. The war may be long and hard. Chin up. Be confident. We are on the right side of history.

Three New Words

In Cohabitation, Gender, Sexual Freedom on October 21, 2014 at 10:08 am


Nathalie Bowman

We live in a world in which thousands of years of traditional, assumed gender roles are being turned upside down. Many questions about human sexuality and gender are being asked that have never been asked before, and new vocabulary is being developed by those who wish to redefine man-woman marriage and gender roles. New vocabulary? Why do we need new vocabulary? Well, because there are so many new ways to explore human sexuality, and relationships are no longer just between one man and one woman. There must be new terminology to describe and protect all kinds of relationships.

Yesterday I attended a wonderful symposium given by the Wheatley Institute at Brigham Young University. Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, co-authors of the book, “What is Marriage?” were two of the speakers. These men are highly educated and on the forefront of the man-woman marriage debate. I was impressed by how matter-of-fact and positive they were. As Ryan Anderson was answering the question, “Why does marriage even matter?” he referred to three new words being used to accommodate modern sexual trends. He has written about these new words in an article from which I quote:

“”Throuple” is a three-person couple. New York Magazine reports about it. Here’s the question: if I were to sue and say that I demand marriage equality for my throuple, what principle would deny marriage equality to the throuple once you say that the male-female aspect of marriage is irrational and arbitrary? The way that we got to monogamy is that it’s one man and one woman who can unite in the type of action that can create new life and who can provide that new life with one mom and one dad. Once you say that the male-female aspect is irrational and arbitrary, you will have no principled reason to retain the number two.

Likewise, the term “wedlease” was introduced in the Washington Post in 2013. A wedlease is a play on the term wedlock. It’s for a temporary marriage. If marriage is primarily about adult romance, and romance can come, and it can go, why should the law presume it to be permanent? Why not issue expressly temporary marriage licenses?

And lastly, the term “monogamish.” Monogamish was introduced in the New York Times in 2011. The term suggests we should retain the number two, but that spouses should be free to have sexually open relationships. That it should be two people getting married, but they should be free to have sex outside of that marriage, provided there’s no coercion or deceit.”

Now, whatever you think about group marriage, whatever you think about temporary marriage, whatever you think about sexually open marriage, as far as adults living and loving how they choose, think about the social consequences if that’s the future direction in which marriage redefinition would go. For every additional sexual partner a man has and the shorter-lived those relationships are, the greater the chances that a man creates children with multiple women without commitment either to those women or to those kids.“

(Ryan T. Anderson, “Marriage Matters, and Redefining It Has Social Costs”, 2014)

There may be even more new words emerging to describe new sexuality, and political leaders are eager to be on “the right side of history” by supporting these new ways of living.

I urge each of us to continue to study, learn, and share this information with others who are on the fence about how redefining marriage will affect every one of us. The conference I attended yesterday was a great teaching moment for me as I listened to six speakers who shared with kindness, hope, and encouragement. We can do the same when we share this information with others. There is hope for the cause of marriage and family.


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