Churches across America pledge massive civil disobedience as Supreme Court forces them to recognize gay marriage
J. D. Heyes
A Christian-themed movement that seeks to reaffirm traditional marriage – that between a man and a woman only – recently took off with a campaign ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that recognized a right of gays and lesbians to form a legally protected marriage.
According to an ad placed in The Washington Post[PDF] by an organization called Defend Marriage, the group has launched a pledge drive which recognizes only marriage as defined by the Christian faith.
The organizers of the pledge drive have pledged to disavow the high court’s decision to uphold lower court decisions conveying the right to marry on homosexual couples.
“We ask you not to force us to choose between the State and the Laws of God,” says the group on its website.
Citing Martin Luther King, Jr., to make their case
As for the Post ad,[PDF] which is also an open letter to the Supreme Court Justices, the group makes a number of declarations:
We the undersigned have joined together to present our unified message and plea to the Justices of the United States Supreme Court regarding the matter of marriage.
We are Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian pastors, clergy, lay leaders and Jewish leaders, who collectively represent millions of people in our specific churches, parishes, denominations, synagogues and media ministry outreaches. Marriage transcends our various theological differences and unites us together in one voice.
We affirm that any judicial opinion which purports to redefine marriage will constitute an unjust law, as Martin Luther King Jr. described such laws in his letter from the Birmingham Jail.
We are Christians who love America and who respect the legitimate rule of law.
However, we will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.
Some have suggested that the issue is shaping up to be the principle civil rights battle of the 21st century thus far.
“We affirm that Marriage, as existing solely between one man and one woman, precedes civil government. Though affirmed, fulfilled, and elevated by faith, the truth that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman is not based solely on religion but on the Natural Law, written on the human heart,” the pledge says in the ad.
“We implore this Court to not step outside of its legitimate authority and unleash religious persecution and discrimination against people of faith. We will be forced to choose between the state and our conscience, which is informed by clear biblical and church doctrine and the natural created order,” it continues. “On this choice, we must pledge obedience to our Creator. While there are many things we can endure, any attempt to redefine marriage is a line we cannot and will not cross.”
Most Americans support gay marriage
As of this writing, more than 50,000 people had signed the petition.
As reported by CNN, Christian pastors and other activists are preparing to demonstrate against the decision that goes against what they personally believe.
“We want to help people, but we are not going to be forced by the government and society or the politically correct to say we are going to believe in it,” New Mexico Pastor Steve Smothermon, senior pastor of Legacy Church in Albuquerque, said. “If they said, ‘Listen pastor, we are going to put you in jail if you don’t honor this.’ I am going to say, ‘Then put me in jail.'”
Others oppose the imposition of gay marriage on states whose own residents have supported measures banning either it or the recognition of gay marriages from other states on constitutional grounds.
Imposing gay marriage not only tramples on states’ 10th Amendment rights, but also first amendment religious rights and freedoms.
That said, a majority of Americans support gays’ and lesbians’ right to be married. According to a recent CNN/ORC poll, 63 percent favor it. That is up from a bare majority – 51 percent – in 2010.