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Supreme Court Overrules Truth of Marriage

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Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 10:56 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In "Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom," Dr. Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, describes the consequences of the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, which redefined “our civilization’s primordial institution, cutting its links to procreation and declaring sex differences meaningless,” and offers sound advice to proponents of traditional marriage and religious liberty.

Anderson points out that the slogan “marriage equality” fails to explain anything about marriage.

The real debate is not about equality but about what marriage is. For him there are two conflicting views of marriage, “consent based” and “comprehensive.”

Consent-based marriage is an emotional commitment of two people and serves only their immediate desires. This romantic union of marriage can mean most anything.

It could be an arrangement between people of the same sex or multiple people of either sex. “Nothing in principle requires monogamy,” Anderson writes, because “polyandry (that is group love) seems perfectly compatible with the consent-based view of marriage.”


As for the comprehensive view of marriage, the sine qua non is that it must be a permanent, exclusive union of husband and wife.

Marriage is “inherently ordered toward a comprehensive good, the creation and rearing of entirely new human organism” and it “unites the spouses in heart, mind and body” and requires a comprehensive commitment of permanency.

This human nature-based view of marriage is not new. It has been espoused by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans and has been articulated by philosophers and theologians of all stripes including, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Locke, Kant, and Gandhi.

Chief Justice John Roberts summarized this position in his Obergefell dissent: “This universal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is no historical coincidence . . . It arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship.”

Traditional marriage, which predates government, “has been society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children” and increases the odds that a mother and father “who bring different gifts to the parenting enterprise” will be available to support and rear children.

Even President Obama has conceded that absentee fathers have had a devastating impact on their children: "We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime . . . and 20 times more likely to end up in prison . . . And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it."

The Obergefell decision, Anderson argues, is a clear example of judicial usurpation that will damage the common good.

A majority of justices who based their opinions on “new insights” not the Constitution, “simply replaced the people’s opinion about what marriage is with its own.”

The ruling, he believes, will harm us in at least four ways: “it will harm constitutional democratic self-government, it will harm marriage itself, it will harm civil harmony and it will harm religious liberty.”

Another area that will be harmed: family law. Judges and legislators will be overturning 200 years of case and civil law that presumed a marriage was between one man and one woman.

Already California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law legislation that permits a child to have more than two legal parents.

Parental rights of custody and visitation of biological parents are also being challenged.

Courts have determined that “de facto” parents (aka psychological parents) have greater rights than biological parents. Psychological parent statutes have been instituted in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

Such laws impact terminated same sex-relationships in which one partner was artificially inseminated. Expect courts to rule that children can have multiple mommies and daddies.

Anderson focuses on the impact Obergefell could have on religious liberty. He holds that true religion “entails the freedom to live consistently with one’s beliefs seven days a week  — in the chapel, in the marketplace and in the public square.”

But he fears that leftists intent on narrowing the Constitutional right to the free expression of religion to the “freedom of worship” will eventually force every citizen, charity and business to recognize same-sex marriage.

To prevent this worse case scenario, Anderson calls on us to redouble our efforts to make the rational case for marriage in the public square.

And the immediate goal should be to soften the resolve of the opposition’s goal to eliminate us from polite society.

Anderson rightly concludes in his timely and important book that in the struggle to preserve marriage, we must take a long view.

We should not count the “immediate wins or losses, but rebuilding, over decades, the intellectual and moral infrastructure of a society that can once again appreciate the truth about marriage.”

George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J., is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact." He also is a columnist for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. Read more reports from George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.






 

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The Obergefell decision, is a clear example of judicial usurpation that will damage the common good. A majority of justices who based their opinions on “new insights” not the Constitution. The ruling will harm us.
Gay Marriage, Supreme Court
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Thursday, 22 Oct 2015 10:56 AM
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