Thoughts on Obergefell v. Hodges
by Thomas Katsampes

July 2, 2015

No temporal power can change human nature or Christian theology.

Practically speaking, the Court has already done grave damage. Same-sex marriage proponents will now use the court decision to club religious organizations such as churches into marrying same-sex couples. Some say that within 5 years even the most conservative protestant churches will be consecrating same-sex marriages. This doesn't have to do with the law as much as it does with theology: protestant denominations follow a doctrine of Biblical interpretation known as sola scriptura. Loosely speaking, sola scriptura means that all scripture is of private interpretation: the Bible means whatever I want it to mean; there is no church authority (such as the Magisterium in the Catholic Church) which guides the faithful in the matter of interpretation. Therefore, because there is no authoritative interpretation, [one can make the argument that] God really didn't mean what He said when He said, "male and female created He them," and "therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." Since God didn't really mean these things (because who is to judge the way I interpret scripture?--that's between me and God), the argument that "love" (or dignity, or nobility or whatever you want to call it) always wins cannot on rational grounds be refuted.

Secular humanists, progressives, leftists, et al. will target religious businesses and organizations that serve the public with greater force and zeal because of this decision than they would ever have been able to achieve otherwise. Since these organizations cannot now legally refuse to serve nor participate in a same sex wedding ceremony if they do likewise for a traditional marriage, they will be forced to close up shop or abandon their religious faith. As it is written that, "we ought to obey God rather than men," few organizations and businesses will elect to stay in business. These organizations and businesses are not like private country clubs that have memberships so the membership argument doesn't apply. The failure to accommodate same-sex marriage could result in the loss from public service of countless organizations like the Salvation Army, Union Gospel Mission, and others that serve and help the poor. Before the decision was handed down all that could be done to religious people was to try to shame them - or in the case of Washington state - sue them at the state level for discrimination to force them to comply. The reason this works is because for the Left not discriminating is more important than religious freedom. Until last Friday, people of faith could always appeal on first amendment grounds. However, now that the Supreme Court has legalized same sex marriage, gay rights advocates will demand the same level of recognition, accommodation, acceptance, and yes even celebration, that is accorded traditional marriage. Believers will be forced to comply or to leave the public square because Obergefell has foreclosed any possibility of appeal.

The jurisprudence of this decision is bad. The right to same sex marriage does not exist in the Constitution. For that matter neither does the right to marriage. That is why we have the 9th and 10th amendments. Historically domestic matters like marriage have always been decided by the states or by the people, but not by the federal government. This is an example par excellence of left-wing judicial activism if there ever was one. It is an example of judges who have ruled, not on what the law is but rather what they think it ought to be. I'm a big fan of what ought to be, but what ought to be ought to be decided by the people, not 5 unelected lawyers. The dissents in this case are powerful and one should read them.

As the Chief Justice noted, the language in Kennedy's opinion offers scant protections for those Americans who out of deeply-held convictions refuse to assent to the brave new world of same-sex marriage.

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