Friday, May 16, 2008

Pondering California's Supreme Court ruling on gay 'marriage'.

Sixty years ago, the California Supreme Court ruled that laws restricting mixed race couples from marrying were unconstitutional. The current supreme court ruling relied on this as a precedent. Basically, the argument was that the earlier decision trashed the constitution, therefore, we can also make a ruling which trashes the constitution. I should note that I have a special bias towards interracial marriage. History provides us countless examples of such marriages going back to Ruth and Boaz in the Old Testament. Some will argue that there were laws against interracial marriage in the Old Testament. This is true, however, every Biblical scholar I have ever read has taken these prohibitions as a proxy for religion rather than race. That is why the marriages of Ruth and the earlier one of Rahab are honored in the same literature. Again, we should keep in mind that interracial marriage has been around - and honored - for millenia throughout the world, hence, there is a precedent among civilized beings for accepting it.

Unfortunately, the earlier supreme court could not wait for the democratic process to go through and the laws to change. With American servicemen returning from WWII with Asian wives, this was certainly a problem. By overstepping its authority, however, the supreme court really set a precedent for activist judging that was to be abused and repeated. Having grabbed this authority, it is pretty tough to relinquish it.

The other thing to note is that the ruling regarding gay marriage, unlike interracial marriage, has no precedent in civilization. Even ancient societies which accepted homosexuality, like the Greeks and the Babylonians, did not have a gay marriage concept. The notion of gay marriage seems to be exclusively restricted to modern post-Christian societies. Not even communists have promoted it. When civilization has spoke - such as in Proposition 22 which the supreme court overruled - the answer has always been the same: No!

Ephesians 5:24-25 indicates that the relationship of a husband and wife is a symbol of Christ and the Church. Given this, it seems to me clear that the real reason for gay marriage is to desecrate a symbol of Christ and the Church. Part of the ruling asserts that gay marriages should be accorded the same dignity and respect that other marriages have. We are getting awfully close to the point of demanding all residents of California to actively desecrate Christianity - or be prosecuted for a hate crime. It isn't here yet, but the foundation is being established.


Pvblivs said...

     Strictly speaking. Government should not even acknowledge marriage at all. It is a religious institution and not the proper domain of public policy. The fact remains that christians are still trying to make government subservient to their church.
     My observation regarding the "Debunking christianity" thread: You were not applying reason and sanity. You deliberately misrepresented the position of non-believers. And when it was clear that they were not going to be conned you "took your ball and went home."

Looney said...

First "the position of non-believers" is, well, a very large set of positions. There is no single position, nor is there any representative of non-believers.

I have much sympathy for the notion that government should be out of religion. Reading about ancient republics such as Rome, however, leaves me to the idea that government does have a duty to actively promote a common unified culture - or else be overrun by barbarians. This was understood at the founding of our current Republic.

Thanks for dropping by.

Looney said...

Ooops: "out of religion" should read "out of the marriage business".

Marf said...

Oh, I'm going to have to do a response to this on my blog... I feel too strongly about this to just simply leave a comment.

You can find my response here.

Delirious said...

I am right with you Looney. I guess what I'm most angry about is that the people of California already voted on this issue. Do we, or do we not rule by the voice of the people??? This is a step backwards for democracy in my mind. No matter person's view about same sex marriage, it shouldn't be legalized if the vote of the people goes against it. The nerve of supreme court judges to think that their voice is more important! I"m really outraged at the liberalism here....this isn't democracy.

Looney said...

Delirious, there is one more thing that saddens me on this. It is the fact that we have reached this point largely due to 'Christian' (i.e. modernist) theologians who have invested their minds and talents towards this goal. Barack Obama's church, the United Church of Christ, is committed to promoting gay behavior, as is a considerable portion of the United Methodists, the Episcopals, and many other mainliners.

Conservative seminaries spend most of their time arguing over theological subtleties of Calvinism. Liberal seminaries devote their efforts to fine tuning arguments to persuade young people that sin is good and good is sin. Even if a church stays firm to the Bible, the young people are sent out into the world completely unable to debate with those who oppose God. Of course God will win in the end, but I hate to see things go this way.

Pvblivs said...


     You are correct in that it isn't democracy. (Incidentally, the "god wins in the end" isn't democracy either.) A pure democracy is not desirable. In a pure democracy, people don't have rights. A majority vote could have 51 percent of the population decide to boil the other 49 percent for the fun of it.
     What we have, in theory, is a system of principles. One of those principles is equal protection under the law. The court decided that a law using gender discrimination to determine who could and could not marry was a violation of that principle.