WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are hearing arguments today about cases from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan and will rule by June whether or not states can define marriage as only between one man and one woman.
CALL TO PRAYER
The American Renewal Project has in recent weeks written twice to at least 100,000 pastors, asking them to lead prayer services today, April 28, between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, asking for God's intervention. This is the two-hour time frame the justices will hear arguments about marriage cases in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan.
The Liberty Counsel, founded by Mat Staver, has referred to the same-sex marriage debate as the most divisive and culturally destructive issue to face America since the Supreme Court's abortion decision in Roe v. Wade.
"The difference between the Supreme Court's 1973 abortion decision in Roe v. Wade and this one is the coercive nature of it," Staver said in an article for the American Renewal Project. "As horrific as Roe v. Wade is, that Supreme Court decision did not force people to participate in abortion.
"A decision that says same-sex marriage is a constitutional right will result in coercion against religious freedom and conscience rights," Staver continued.
Recent examples include:
- Aaron and Melissa Klein, who declined to create a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. They have lost their business and also ordered to pay the offended lesbian couple $135,000.
- Barronelle Stutzman, 70, is being sued personally and professionally for declining to design the floral arrangements for a same-sex marriage.
- Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin -- at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars -- lost a seven-year battle about their refusal to photograph a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony.
MARCH FOR MARRIAGE
"Marriage existed before this government, and before any government," said Jennifer Marshall at Saturday's March for Marriage in Washington, D.C.
Marshall is a vice president at the Heritage Foundation.
"Marriage brings together the two halves of humanity, for the future of humanity. ..." she said "Millions of Americans in dozens of states voted to have their laws reflect the reality that marriage is the union of a man and a woman," Marshall continued before a cheering crowd of perhaps 10,000 people standing in front of the Supreme Court Building.
"The Supreme Court should not disregard their votes. We, the people, should be free to make marriage policy."
In 39 states, citizens or their elected representatives worked democratically to define marriage as between one man and one woman, but judges struck down 26 of these laws, redefining the institution to include same-sex couples. Twenty-two of these governments are fighting back to protect traditional marriage.
On the other side, eight state legislatures made same-sex marriages legal, and in three states, Maine, Maryland and Washington, voters approved ballot measures to do the same.
POLITICAL & SPIRITUAL AGREEMENT
Presidential contender, Sen. Ted Cruz, of Houston, Texas, was part of American Renewal Project's prayer outreach effort to pastors.
'We know that marriage is intended to be sacred, beautiful and nourishing," Cruz wrote in a letter on behalf of the group. "If you do not influence your congregation's understanding of marriage, who will fill the void? Hollywood? Divorce courts? ...
"The church has not shared the truth about marriage well," he continued. "It is time to repent and commit ourselves to courage on this front. ... Will we discard an institution, ordained by God, which has brought so much stability and happiness to the human family? Or will we stand in its support?"
Another presidential contender, Sen. Marco Rubio from Miami, Florida, pointed out in a column written this weekend by Christian journalist David Brody that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
"It doesn't exist," Rubio said. "There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. There isn't such a right. You have a have a ridiculous reading of the U.S. Constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex."
Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation concurs.
"Here's the bottom line," Anderson wrote in a column this weekend for The Daily Signal. "Whatever people may think about marriage as a policy matter, everyone should be able to recognize the U.S. Constitution does not settle this question. ... There simply is nothing in the Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage. ...
"As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito pointed out two years ago, there are two different visions of marriage on offer," Anderson continued. "One vision of marriage sees it as primarily about consenting adult romance and caregiving. Another vision sees it as a union of man and woman – husband and wife – so that children would have moms and dads. Our Constitution is silent on which of these visions is correct, so We the People have constitutional authority to make marriage polity."
Marriage, Anderson wrote, "is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father."
"The church is God's permanent 'nation,'" Lane said in a column for the American Renewal Project, citing 1 Peter 2:9.
"The U.S. Supreme Court is not the 'mouthpiece' for God's purposes on earth," Lane argued, defending the "Church" as the "'carrier' for God's purpose on earth," adding that "we will oppose any ruling foisting homosexual marriage on this once Christian nation.
"Secularism has now reached its peak in America, having been established as the official religion by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1963," Lane continued, referring to a Supreme Court decision that ruled Bible reading in U.S. public schools to be unconstitutional.
"Through its control of education for the last two to three generations, secularists have discipled America's children and imposed a pagan worldview," Lane continued. "Secularism dominates American media, politics, public education and Hollywood."
Brad Sherman, pastor of Solid Rock Church in Coralville, Iowa, is another Republican leader calling for prayer.
"We must have laws or culture begins to break down," Sherman told Christian Examiner. "But the question remains, whose law shall we live under? Shall we live under arbitrary law? Arbitrary law is based on the whims of the people and ultimately leads back to chaos. Shall we live under Islamic law? We have seen the brutal nature of Sharia. ...
"Our stand against homosexual marriage is not about hatred or denying rights to homosexuals, Sherman continued. "It is about an attack on the Christian faith and an attack on the very foundations of our liberty. As the Supreme Court of the United States prepares to hear arguments regarding homosexual marriage, please pray for godly perspectives to prevail."