National Catholic Register

Commentary

‘Gay Marriage’ or Religious Freedom: You Can’t Have Both

BY Benjamin Wiker

May 5-18, 2013 Issue | Posted 5/4/13 at 5:45 AM

 

While we wait until June to find out how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in its two "gay marriage" cases, perhaps it will add a little energy to our prayers to understand that the judges in black will be making a stark choice: The choice is either "gay marriage" or religious freedom, but not both.

If the court, in settling Hollingsworth v. Perry, affirms the desire of the minority to extend the sexual revolution to same-sex "marriage," then it will be a violation of the Constitution (specifically the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment) to claim that homosexual activity and hence homosexual "marriage" are wrong.

Note that both aspects are mentioned. If the law affirms "gay marriage" as a guaranteed right, it implicitly demands that all citizens likewise affirm homosexual activity of any and every kind.

In affirming same-sex "marriage" as a protected right, the Supreme Court will not just be making law — which is itself a violation of the separation of powers — it will be remaking morality.

To be more exact, it will be acting as an instrument of the ongoing (and now, nearly complete) sexual revolution against the Judeo-Christian understanding of sexuality and marriage.

And, to be even more exact, the court will be establishing secular liberalism ever more firmly as our state religion, the worldview that defines what is good and evil, and therefore defines what is legal and illegal.

Unfortunately, that is nothing new.

Recall Roe v. Wade. Opposition to abortion is, historically, an identifiably Christian moral position, one that runs all the way back to the first-century Christian catechetical document the Didache, and then back even further to the Judaic understanding that all human beings are created in the image of God (not just the ones that are convenient).

In one fell judicial decision, the justices of the Supreme Court were able to defeat 2,000 years of Christian moral evangelization.

Clearly, socially liberal activists are hoping that Hollingsworth v. Perry will be the Roe v. Wade of the homosexual agenda, sweeping away all state laws denying "gay marriage" (including Proposition 8 of California, the law at issue), as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). And with them the Judeo-Christian understanding of sexuality and marriage.

Is anyone unaware that the Judeo-Christian moral tradition is the historical source of opposition to homosexuality? That Christianity is — was? — the main obstacle to the social-legal affirmation of homosexuality? Is there any secret about whose understanding of morality would be swept away by that never-resting judicial broom?

If Hollingsworth v. Perry comes down on the side of Perry, then principled, institutional opposition to "gay marriage" would then be — as it is with abortion — on the other side of the law, with the full force of the federal government set against it.

I stress especially "institutional," because what will result from a "gay marriage" victory is setting the state against the Christian church. The state will be saying "‘Gay marriage’ is legal," and that means: "‘Gay marriage’ is good." The remaining orthodox among the Christian churches will be saying, "‘Gay marriage’ is not good"; therefore, "‘Gay marriage’ should be illegal."

In other words, the strong-arm branch of the government will create, in regard to same-sex "marriage," what it has created in regard to abortion: a polarized society where the state is at complete moral and legal odds with its own Christian citizens.

But make no mistake: The state antagonism to the Christian church will be much worse in regard to homosexual "marriage."

Those who favor abortion rights are at least inclined to say things like, "Abortion should be safe, legal and rare," admitting tacitly that abortion itself is regrettable, even if, in their eyes, it’s necessary.

But liberalism positively celebrates homosexual activity as essentially good and hence a protected right.

The federal government and public schools will therefore be free to throw their full weight behind indoctrination. And that means that state-mandated liberal sexual doctrine will be aimed directly at sinking the moral doctrines of the Christian church. Opposition to homosexuality will not be tolerated, and, in fact, it will be punished.

We know this because it has already occurred elsewhere. In Canada, for example, that country’s Supreme Court recently ruled that biblical speech opposing homosexual behavior is punishable as a "hate crime."

On our own soil, homosexual activists follow the same strategy, declaring opposition to homosexuality to be equivalent to racism, so that they can use "hate crime" legislation to quash any opposition to their agenda.

Also on our own soil, consider the New Jersey "Bias Intimidation" statute, which declares: "A person is guilty of the crime of bias intimidation" if something he says, does or intends causes "an individual or group of individuals to be intimidated because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation or ethnicity." If a homosexual feels intimidated by someone affirming Christianity’s opposition to homosexuality, then said someone is "guilty of the crime of bias intimidation."

If the U.S. Supreme Court affirms same-sex "marriage," things will only get worse for Christians. It will be the secular liberal state against the Christian church, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment against the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Religious liberty will be the loser — precisely because, in using the amendment historically designed to remove the vestiges of the evil institution of slavery, liberalism will have successfully equated, in the eyes of the law, racism with religious opposition to homosexuality.

Author and speaker Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D., has published 11 books, his newest being

Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion.

His website is BenjaminWiker.com.