2012 | Week of April 20 – #1094
Cultural and political observers are saying that next Tuesday, April 28, is the Roe v. Wade moment for marriage.
Of course, Roe v. Wade was the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that with the wave of a federal judicial magic wand made abortion on demand legal in all 50 states. This was an official court opinion that concocted a right to privacy in the constitution, thereby giving us one of the classic examples of “legislating from the bench,” or of judicial activism.
Many court and legal experts say that’s exactly the kind of situation we are likely facing with the definition of marriage when next Tuesday the US Supreme Court hears oral arguments in four now-consolidated cases related to the definition of marriage.
The cases the high court is hearing are coming from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. This is, to date, the only federal circuit court of appeals that has upheld the right of “we the people” through our various states to define marriage for ourselves. Up until earlier this year when the 6th Circuit cases were petitioned to the US Supreme Court, all the other cases that had been brought to that court, including Wisconsin’s, had been determined against the right of the states to decide. The court had denied hearing any of those cases. It took this so-called “split decision” for the Supreme Court to say it was time to hear the cases on marriage.
And so, now we are just a few days away from the highest court in our land hearing two and one-half hours of arguments on both sides of the issue.
Those determined to redefine marriage and thereby utterly deconstruct it in our country say they are being deprived of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” and they have been denied “equal protection of the laws.” Of course, this all assumes that there’s some kind of constitutional right to marriage, which there isn’t.
It really, in one sense, doesn’t matter what the constitution says because a certain number of the 9 justices probably don’t care, just as a majority didn’t really care in the Roe v. Wade case. Some experts believe the decision on marriage largely depends on which side of the bed Justice Anthony Kennedy gets up on next Tuesday. He’s a strong proponent of state’s rights, but he’s also very sensitive about equality, whatever that means in his thinking. State’s rights is a logical, rational position, based on the US Constitution and much judicial precedence. “Equality” is an emotional position based on pretty much people’s wants and whims. So which wins with Justice Kennedy?
Of course, tied in with these oral arguments and the ultimate decision, which will likely be issued before the end of June this year, is religious freedom. At least one friend-of-the-court briefs in support of traditional marriage has rightly noted that if the court overturns one-man/one-woman marriage, individual citizens and likely churches will be facing challenges to religious freedom and individual conscience rights. Remember what happened in Indiana last month? It’s coming everywhere; it’s not a matter of if, but when. If the court decides “we the people” have no right to determine what marriage will be in our respective states, all across the country we will be forced to not just acquiesce to, not just affirm homosexuality but to even participate in same-sex weddings.
So what can you do? I can’t emphasize this enough. Pray! Visit our website at wifamilycouncil.org for resources on this issue, specifics about what to pray for and for ideas about gathering families, Bible studies, friends, and churches as we call the state to prayer for marriage. We need Christians to pray—to storm the gates of Heaven with effective, fervent prayers, asking that God would in His wrath remember mercy and afford us yet more time to get ourselves straightened out. We need to do intercessory prayer on behalf of our nation—and on behalf of the justices and the attorneys who will defend God’s plan for marriage. Perhaps by God’s grace we can avoid a Roe v. Wade decision for marriage.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”