On Dec.13 of last year, the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) became law. This was only six days after the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, our naval base in Hawaii in 1941. Our President at that time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said that December 7 was a date “that will live in infamy.” This horrid new law will also be remembered as another wonderful December event. It follows almost 7-1/2 years after the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision which stated that disallowing homosexual marriage unions in any state or territory of the USA was unconstitutional.
Despite the perfidy of that SCUSA decision which overturned thousands of years of marriage as being only between men and women, we hear no outcry from the great leaders of Judaism, Christianity (Protestants, Roman Catholics, and/or Orthodox clerics), nor even from Muslim clerics living within our country or abroad. There either is little opposition or a media blackout of the opposition. Now a decision has been made by our legislative branch to pass a law which, along with the Supreme Court decision, essentially wounds or kills the foundation of civilization—both Western Civilization and all other civilizations—and like an echo of the cute name of Little Bo Peep, our spiritual leadership goes peep peep peep.
Obergefell v. Hodges set the stage for the RMA. Five people dictating to over 300 million citizens of the USA reversed thousands of years of marriage reality that applies to billions of people worldwide. Now, less than three months ago, a majority of our legislators have passed a law essentially applauding the decision of the Court.
A key legal component of the decision is that marriage laws that only permit men and women to marry violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which requires due process of law for all citizens. However, the Fourteenth Amendment applies only to federal laws that are passed and enforced under the legitimate purview of the U.S. Constitution. However, marriage, like stop signs and traffic laws, education, local policing, etc. are not under federal supervision. The 10th amendment clearly states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The federal government has broken a basic principle of federalism enshrined in our Bill of Rights by passing a law defining marriage which definition belongs to the separate states. In fact, as recently as 2012, 31 states voted not to have homosexual marriage. The marriage laws of the states are not the U.S. government’s business.
Ten years ago, 31 states (60% of the states) had voted against homosexual marriage—yet five authoritarian jurists thought they had the prerogative of overriding all those people!! Nevertheless, there was no outcry. Those states did not send protestors or delegations to protest in Congress and in front of SCUSA about that decision. Nor did we hear more than a few speeches against RMA. Where were Franklin Graham, Beth Moore, John MacArthur, Tim Keller, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, The Southern Baptist Convention, The Presbyterian Church of America? The Catholic Council of Bishops or their Cardinals? Where were the Orthodox and Conservative Rabbis or the Chasidic followers of Menachem Schneerson?
[In fact, the Catholic and Orthodox positions are very clear and both have protested. The Catholic position and the Orthodox position, clearly stated. The Catholic protest is found here, and the Orthodox protest is here. Ed.]
Justice Anthony Kennedy and the other four betrayers of the sanctity of marriage on the Court in 2015 had many reasons for their decision. Some of their arguments come under the heading in legal philosophy of sociological jurisprudence. In this mode, jurists will argue that changing social conditions legitimize the overruling of traditional rulings by the courts. This contrasts with the originalist jurists who wish to adhere more to precedent such that precedents govern the affirmation of legal principles. Kennedy and his confrères suggested that the gradual emancipation and equality afforded women in society had much to do with negating rules of coverture which gave males a dominant place in the marriage relationship and in matters such as divorce. In parallel fashion, the homosexual community has gained increasing social acceptance and this necessitates a change in our laws with respect to marriage by members of that community.
Kennedy stated in 2015 that marriage should be understood as a psychological phenomenon, a place to “find freedom, intimacy, and expression.” Not only is marriage a safe place to escape loneliness, a place that provides assurance that “there will be someone there to care for the other,” but according to Kennedy marriage is a “response to [overcoming] fear.” As this writer will show momentarily, Kennedy and the four other tyrants missed almost completely the essential features of what marriage is.
At the same time, on the other side of his limited or even false idea of marriage, Justice Kennedy reaches the peak of condescension by stating the sincerity of those who oppose homosexual marriage. He went to great lengths to affirm that those of us in the hetero- camp have the best of intentions, and should not be punished or suppressed in any way for our views. Instead, we must predicate the justification for homosexual marriage on the equally valid principle of live and let live. Those heterosexual marriage advocates also have a right to live in peace and tranquility with their beliefs even though they are behind the times, even though they wish to deprive others of the real blessings of marriage, and even though they are overwhelmed by prejudice. Though retrograde, the hetero- camp may remain protected under the law.
And that condescending view is carried through in the latest RMA law magically advocated for by Sen. Chuck Schumer. Advocates for the RMA agreed to certain insertions in the RMA legislation that would exempt religious institutions from the requirements of RMA, although they would not go so far as to accept the provisions of Senator James Lankford (R-OK) or Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) which would have accepted individuals also (not only religious institutions or agencies) from having to compromise their principles on the matter of marriage.
However, the greatest mistake of the five jurists in Obergefell and of the legislators who passed the recent legislation is their understanding of marriage. Marriage is based on principles that the pro-homosexual legislators do not even address. These are principles found in the Old and New Testaments which validated marriage between men and women for thousands of years. First, only women were created out of man and for intimate relationship with men. (Genesis 2: 18-23) Second, Jesus Christ – a greater authority than Judge Kennedy – said that God created man and woman and that was so that they “would become one.” (Matthew 19:5) Justice Kennedy said not one word about becoming one as the basis for marriage. Further, it is directed by God that a man shall leave his mother and his father and “cleave to his wife.” (Genesis 2:24) Also, men are told by Almighty God to love their wives, but there is no mention of love by the great jurists in Obergefell or in the RMA. (Ephesians 5: 25) Lastly, It is emphatically called to the reader’s attention that Almighty God is not referenced one time in either Obergefell or RMA.
Jeffrey Ludwig presently teaches philosophy at a public university. He has also taught at Harvard, Penn State, and Juniata College, and during a stint as a high school teacher was listed four times in Who’s Who Among America’s High School Teachers. His latest book, Christian Perspectives, Vol.1 is now available.
Featured: Too Young to Marry (My Aunt Elsie), by Walter Biggs; painted in 1956.