Last Friday morning, the Supreme Court declared, in a 5-4 decision, a fundamental right to homosexual and lesbian “marriage.” Since publication of the Supreme Court’s decision, social media has been abuzz with comments both in support of the decision and in opposition. I also got into the social media fray, and posted two comments about the decision. In one, I quoted a sentence or two from each of the dissenting opinions, and congratulated Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Thomas, Alito, and Scalia “for respecting and affirming our nation’s constitutional order!” As a sample of what is to come for those of us who are Christians who hold traditional views of marriage, I drew the opprobrium of a number of commenters. Among the comments that chided my views included the following, “Michael, shut up. You old views and sad bigotry are outdated and unwanted,” “you should stop these vicious attacks before you open your vile mouth again,” “people like you should get your noses out of other people’s living rooms,” and the particularly sophisticated response of “Blah Blah Blah.” Then in another posting, I mocked Mr. Obama, who said after the Supreme Court’s decision, that Americans need to change their religious views to be accepting of homosexual “marriage.“ To that end, Mr. Obama encouraged supporters of homosexualist “marriage” to “help” people overcome their deeply-held religious views. I then posted what this meant in Obama-speak:
All you crazy religious people who believe in traditional marriage need to change your beliefs. Your old-fashioned beliefs are holding you back from joining up with the rest of us super-smart people who aren’t burdened by those pesky moral standards given to you by a “Higher Power.” After all, I went to Harvard Law, so We know much better than you, and We know much better than God! Drop that religion crap already and come join us in supporting something you find morally repugnant.
But as you can imagine, that social media post also drew some mild disapproval as well, much of which is unsuitable for Mere Comments. Nevertheless, I think that this level of vitriol will be what we can expect to see for Christian religious traditionalists in the future. After all, Justice Kennedy’s learned opinion has given justification to a deluge of hatred aimed at conservative Christians, Jews, and even Moslems, even though Justice Kennedy was acutely aware of the very real danger of anti-religious persecution arising from the majority’s decision. Having lived and traveled around the world for many years, I have seen first-hand the victims of vicious Christian persecution who pay a heavy price daily for being followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, so a few choice words in opposition to my thinking on social media is nothing. Although this is mere speculation on my part, I do not expect that Christian social conservatives in the United States will be carted off to gulags in Montana for “re-education through labor” in the coming few years, but we must certainly be prepared for increased persecution for our Christian faith. As has been the case with bakers, pizzeria owners, wedding planners and florists, the attacks will be foremost on our financial livelihoods, such as fines and the cost of defending lawsuits. And as was the case for Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla, who was chased out of that company for supporting California’s Proposition 8, our jobs will be in jeopardy. If you hold a job in a larger corporation or organization, or at a university or governmental unit, then you must either be cowed into silence, or you will be fired from your job. Are you willing to pay such a price for the Lord Jesus Christ? You might say, “But Mike, I have a spouse and children, and I want to afford to send my children to a good Christian school, plus I have a mortgage and two car notes, so I really need my job. Plus, I can preach a better sermon with my life than with my lips.” And if you were to dare to share your views or teach your children what you believe, what will you do when the government comes to remove your children because you have taught them traditional biblical values? I can certainly anticipate that in near future, homeschool curricula will be modified by governmental diktat. The New Testament scholar, Professor Robert Gagnon, recently wrote the following in his excellent essay, available here:
As individuals, people of faith will be aggressively indoctrinated, fined, denied advancement, fired, intimidated, and subjected to ceaseless verbal abuse in public and private schools, at institutions of higher learning, at places of employment in public and private sectors, and throughout the main communication organs of the media and entertainment industry. Their institutions and businesses will be set on a collision course with the state: denied government funding, contracts, and loans; denied accreditation and tax-exempt status; and subjected to government harassment.
We should heed Professor Gagnon’s warnings. As corroborating evidence of what is to come, at the time of the oral arguments in this case last April, I posted an article on these pages where the Solicitor General Verrilli “spilled the beans,” available here. Mr. Verrilli was asked the following question by Justice Samuel Alito:
Justice Alito: In the Bob Jones case, the [Supreme] Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?
Donald Verrilli: It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is — it is going to be an issue.
Most American Christians, never having faced any such real persecution for their Christian faith, will prove themselves unable to do so, and will wither, as the Lord Jesus warned in Mark 4, “as a scorched plant without deep roots.” Sadder still, most clergy will prove themselves unable or unwilling to prepare their congregants for what is coming to their communities. But have no doubt, even more than Islamic terrorists, ISIS, and the Iranian mullahs, Christian traditionalists are understood to be the greatest threat to this president (and to the establishment elements of both political parties) as we are the only ones who can, and will, challenge their monopoly on unchecked political power. As a result, this government and the institutions of influence in our society, following the principles laid down by Saul Alinsky, must marginalize and silence Christian believers who do not support homosexual “marriage.” Homosexualists may contend that this is all about dignity, love, and human rights, but as many have readily observed, including many writers on the pages of Touchstone and Salvo magazines, their real goal is to require that everyone share their view. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, stated with unguaranteed assurance that religious people can continue to advocate their beliefs (Kennedy, page 32). But where there is a fundamental right to same-sex “marriage,” it is unclear how discrimination laws can be applied to balance religious liberty. How can a Christian college, for instance, deny homosexual, “married” couples housing without losing their tax-exempt status? In their dissents, the Justices recognized the Orwellian doublespeak of Justice Kennedy and the other majority justices, and raised appropriate red flags. Chief Justice Roberts stated, referring to whether those who oppose same-sex “marriage” would have protection from governmental penalties, wrote, “The majority’s decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.” (Roberts dissent, page 28.) Justice Alito also saw through the majority’s subterfuge, and wrote:
It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. [Citation omitted.] The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”
Emphasis added. (Alito dissent, page 6.) Justice Thomas wrote, “Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect.” Emphasis added. (Thomas dissent, page 14.) Astutely, C.J. Roberts expects that this will result in civil disobedience if not even more consequential ramifications that are presently unimagined. Chief Justice Roberts notes, “People denied a voice are less likely to accept the ruling of a court on an issue that does not seem to be the sort of things courts usually decide.” (Roberts dissent, page 27.) After all, the Supreme Court did not create marriage, so it does not have a right to re-create it. Our Lord Jesus taught us in Matthew 5: 11-12, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Be prepared, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, for truly dark days are now upon us.
reblogged from Touchstonemag