BOONE, N.C. (Christian Examiner) – Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization, is calling on Christians to pray during this "pivotal moment in the history of America."
Graham made the plea May 9 in a Facebook posting that asked specifically "for the wisdom and counsel of God to work its way" into the hearts and minds of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices.
The Court heard oral arguments April 28 about whether voter-approved state measures that define marriage as the union between one man and one woman are valid or void on the basis of two questions: Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-or-state?
The Supreme Court consolidated four cases—from Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio—into one, Obergefell v. Hodges, after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled November 2014 that in these cases the issue of marriage was best left in "the place it has been since the founding: in the hands of state voters."
Graham said the ruling, expected in June 2015, "will rank as the most historic and far-reaching judgment of the 21st century."
"If our nation's highest court decrees same sex marriage as the law of the land, the consequences will be great," he said.
Political observers have remarked that the impact on Christian entities could be devastating.
Already, Christian business owners are being persecuted for refusing to service gay weddings, even though they have homosexual employees and offer products and services to homosexual clients—outside of services for same-sex marriages.
The next target will be Christian colleges as well as "religious high schools, grade schools and any other religious institution" including churches, according to Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association.
Farris predicts the government will force compliance from these religious institutions through school accreditation agencies and even the IRS "with fallout from this decision to begin shortly after the release of the Supreme Court's opinion."
"A slogan of the American Revolution, 'We have no King but Jesus' may well be overturned by a 5 to 4 decision of the Supreme Court near the end of June," he wrote in a USA Today editorial.
"As for other colleges, I cannot answer," Farris said. "But at Patrick Henry College we would egregiously deny our namesake's legacy, if we did not stand forthrightly for Christ and for liberty no matter what the cost."
Graham's message was equally grave, saying the Supreme Court ruling could set "the stage for persecution of believers committed to living by the truth of God's Holy Word."
He asked Christians to join him "in praying for each of the justices" by name: Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Elena Kagan, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.