SCOTUS Turns Down Marriage Proposal
For once, it isn't what the Supreme Court said that's making news -- but what it didn't say. After weeks of speculation, the justices surprised everyone by sidestepping what most people thought was a sure thing: a hearing on state marriage laws. What was supposed to be the biggest political hot potato of Chief Justice John Roberts's 10th year was instead left in the laps of the appeals courts, where both sides continue to slug it out over state sovereignty and the rule of law.
As usual, there was no explanation for the Court's decision, which will have an immediate impact on at least five states -- Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Utah -- where "weddings" had been on hold in hopes the justices would intervene. While the Left races to spin the news as a victory for its cause, the reality is that today's announcement doesn't mean that the justices would rule against marriage. What it does show is that the Court is hesitant to jump into the fray and impose a Roe v. Wade-type decision on a nation still sharply divided on the issue.
If liberals should be anything, it's worried. When it comes to marriage, time is not on their side. Deep down, the Left knows it needed the Court to force same-sex "marriage" on America before more people saw the fallout for Christians like Aaron and Melissa Klein. Or sportscasters like Craig James. Or CEOs like Brandon Eich. Ask them if same-sex "marriage" is just about two people who love each other. For them, it was about losing their business, their livelihood, and their freedom.
If the Supreme Court thinks America isn't ready for same-sex "marriage," they're right. As more states are forced to recognize it, people will see the ensuing attacks on religious freedom. They'll feel the wedge driven between parents and their children when school curriculum is changed to contradict the morals moms and dads are teaching at home. They'll shudder as more people lose their jobs because they refuse to celebrate (not just tolerate) same-sex "marriage." Maybe then they'll realize that the true goal is not about the marriage altar -- but fundamentally altering society.
As disappointing as the Supreme Court's silence is, the good news is that the debate over same-sex "marriage" will continue. With 92 cases on marriage flooding the courts, conservatives have a chance to push back and demand that Congress step in where SCOTUS has not. By refusing to get involved in a mess it helped create, the justices are leaving our laws vulnerable to rogue judges on the lower courts. With the exception of one district court, the benches have been filled with black-robed tyrants who insist on substituting their radical ideology for history, legal precedent, and the consensus of voters and the law.
That has to stop. And the only way to do it is putting the ball back in Congress's court. When it comes to judicial meddling, members of the House and Senate have just as much stake in upholding the rule of law as anyone. At its core, this debate is about far more than marriage. It's about the fundamental value of self-governance and the constitutional right of people, through their elected officials, to decide marriage policy. And the people (of whom the government is "of," "by," and "for") aren't exactly tripping over themselves to jump on the courts' runaway train for redefining marriage. Support for the Left's cause is dropping significantly -- from 54% to 49% -- according to Pew Forum's latest poll.
For Republicans, this is exactly the momentum they need to push Rep. Randy Weber's (R-Texas) and Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) State Marriage Defense Act, introduced to protect voters from the judicial chaos that suggests marriage laws (or any laws!) are fair game. Under the House and Senate bills, the government could no longer barge in to states and stomp all over their marriage amendments. Instead of undermining state laws, the federal government would be bound by them.
If the Supreme Court won't move on marriage, Congress must. Contact your representative and senators. Ask them to sign on to the State Marriage Defense Act -- and help put an end to Government of the courts, by the courts, and for the courts.
IRS Looks to Pulpits for Culprits
The IRS hasn't exactly been shy about its goal of silencing Christian conservatives. Over the last two years, Americans have had a glimpse inside the systematic targeting of men and women of faith -- and there's no sign that the tax agency is slowing down. If the IRS wants to take on America's pastors, one thing's for sure: our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) will be ready.
More than 1,500 pastors joined Pulpit Freedom Sunday, challenging theIRS's rules on what churches can and can't say about elections. The project, part of ADF's outreach, actually got its start at FRC's Watchmen on the Wall pastors conference in 2008. Since then, the number of churches involved has absolutely exploded, making yesterday's event one of the most successful yet. "The purpose is to make sure that the pastor -- and not the IRS -- decides what is said from the pulpit," said ADF's Erik Stanley. That's even more important now, as the fate of the culture hangs in the balance. I'm convinced that the reason we're seeing this effort to redefine marriage, and even nature itself, is because the pulpits of America have been muted on God's laws.
At the invitation of Dr. Steve Ingino, I had the opportunity to participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday by preaching at Tucson's Christ Community Church. I spoke, in part, on John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"
Jesus didn't say He was "a" way, or a truth, or a version of life. He said He was the way, the truth, and the life. The "way" is the path of life, the manner of living -- and it is an all-encompassing way of life, not just a Sunday morning worship service. This "way" includes how we vote. As Christians, we should vote for godly leaders who embrace and uphold biblical values. If we want our prayers to be answered for a righteous government, we need to put individuals with that kind of character in office.
As William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania said, "Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too.... Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it." Vote for biblical values! Make sure your church is planning to participate in iPledge Sunday this Sunday night October 12 at 7:00 p.m. (ET). To find out more, visit iPledgeSunday2014.org.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.