What should the US Supreme Court decide on the possibility of redefining marriage? One answer is really simple. They should decide not to make a decision. One reason expressed is that they are not qualified to do so. Marriage is a “given” in its present form. As I wrote in my previous article, marriage is a given from the Creator Himself. It has the formula “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” Gen 2:24. It was given by God the Creator for the benefit of His creatures. It is His only pattern for marriage. It cannot be “extended” to those of the same sex because that would be contrary to the Creator’s expressed will regarding Marriage. His view of marriage is permanent because He alone is permanent. People with various opinions may come and go but His precepts are eternal. No matter what humans may decide, His will for marriage remains the same. He does not adapt His will to meet the vicissitudes of changing cultures. Rather those in changing cultures are meant to get into line with His declared will for humankind revealed in the Bible.
Another answer is that the Supreme Court should defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. This states, Section 3. Definition of marriage. In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. Regardless of any other decisions the Supreme Court may make, that definition of marriage should remain the basis for American and every other society. Any other relationship cannot be described as marriage by this definition.
We have to live with the “givens” of life. For example there is a defined unit of measurement called a “metre” or “meter” in the USA. Humans didn’t just pluck the measurement out of the air. Rather they came to that measurement by observing the measurements of our given world, and decided that a certain length, a certain proportion of the earth’s measurements, should be one metre. But I have a problem with the given metre length. It rules me out of gaining the Gold Medal for the 100 metres sprint at the next Olympics. The metre in its present prescribed length discriminates against older folk like myself. I certainly could not beat Bolt or the next bolter while a metre remains one metre long. However if the definition was changed so that for me alone it now measured 10 metres, I might have a chance of getting the Gold Medal. You’ve done the Maths. I would only have to run 10 metres in the race! Everyone else has to run the full 100 metres! Some unkind folk might object to this special allowance being given to me alone. They would argue that the definition of a metre can’t be changed. It must always remain the same length. They would be right! But it is the same thing with God’s definition of marriage. It’s a given. It can only be used for the relationship of a man and the woman who becomes his wife. His pattern for marriage is unalterable.
Division. If the US Supreme Court were to decide to redefine marriage so that is no longer just between a man and a woman it would be contrary to the Creator’s wishes and plan for His creatures. It would certainly cause a division. Most of those who hold to the Biblical view of marriage will never change their minds about the nature of marriage to accommodate other views. In their minds God has set the pattern for marriage. They will accept no other pattern. They will not tamper with God’s revelation of His will in His word about marriage to fit in with changing cultural patterns. Division would be regrettable but inevitable.
Another factor needs to be kept in mind. It is the possible danger that could come to millions of people around the world if the definition of marriage is changed to include same sex couples. There are those in other religions and in other cultures for whom the thought of “gay marriage” is anathema. If the US Supreme Court does decide that marriage can be extended to same sex couples it could cause an even greater hardening of people towards Americans. In some cultures the USA is already seen as “The Great Satan” because of the perception that it is corrupt and immoral. Certainly many in other countries who have become aware of American produced films and TV productions think they have reason to believe Americans are immoral. When you think of the many shows which depict people in authority in the United States such as parliamentarians, police personnel and military as being immoral and corrupt it is no wonder that some in other countries think that is a true picture of America as a whole. They are certainly encouraged strongly to believe so. So if a US Supreme Court as the highest legal authority in the land were to come out in favour of something that these people see as anathema, it would give the leaders in such lands and cultures incentives to really poison the minds of those who don’t know better. It could help to incite even greater hatred towards Americans at home and abroad. It could make it extremely dangerous for American nationals living in such places. It could make it even more dangerous for Christian and Jewish minorities in many lands. It could be said of them (as those friendly with America) that they are “friends of the Great Satan”. It could place their lives at risk. This is no idle speculation. This is reality in today’s world in many countries.
Treason? Someone said recently that it could be a treasonable offence if the US Supreme Court were to come out in favour of extending the definition of marriage to include Gay Marriage. They reasoned that if such a decision led to the deaths of Americans and others in the USA and beyond, the judges would be culpable. It sounds a bit dramatic. After all they are only doing their job! In the USA treason is defined as follows in the Constitution. Section 3 -. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. There are those in the world who are the enemies of the USA and want to see the destruction of the Great Satan. To give such enemies ammunition to use against Americans (“Look at their Supreme Court. See how immoral and corrupt these Americans are”) and the incentive to destroy them would not fit the definition of treason. However decisions have consequences. There are many astute observers in today’s world who believe that what could be seen as an acceptance of same-sex marriage by America’s highest court could lead to a proliferation of attacks on Americans and others around the globe. One hopes and prays that the nine members of the US Supreme Court can arrive at a decision that doesn’t eventually lead to great bloodshed.
There was a time when another court was considering what to do with those who preached God’s truth. The initial thought of those in the court was to silence those with whom they disagreed by killing them. The messengers were Peter and the apostles. Their motivation in preaching the truth they preached was, “We must obey God rather than men”. However a very wise man named Gamaliel gave a stern warning to the court. He said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. …. I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” Acts 5:38-39. There are millions of people around the world praying that the members of the US Supreme Court will not be found to be opposing God by the decisions they reach.
A final comment. Why is there supposedly a swing towards the acceptance of “same-sex marriage”? There are a number of reasons. But that will be the focus of the next article.
Blog No. 118. Jim Holbeck. Posted on Sunday 7th April 2013