Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What Happens Now?

                What happens now?  On Friday, June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is legal in all fifty states. The four liberal justices – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan – were joined by the swing vote of Anthony Kennedy to legalize same-sex marriage. 

                Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, which was full of statements such as the following:  “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family….  In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.  As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.”

                Four conservative justices dissented; Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito Jr.  Chief Justice Roberts’ comments clearly stated that he considered the vote to be an unconstitutional, unprecedented `act of will, not legal judgment’ and that he considered the court to be unauthorized in trying to decide this issue.  “[T]his court is not a legislature….  Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us.  Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be.”

                The Chief Justice, joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas, continued, “Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens – through the democratic process – to adopt their view.  That ends today.  Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law.  Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”
                Roberts ended with “Just who do we think we are?”

                Justice Scalia’s dissent, joined by Justice Thomas, was the strongest when stating that the majority decision is a “threat to American democracy” and lacks “even a thin veneer of law.”  “A system of government that makes the people subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”  In a footnote Justice Scalia stated, “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

                Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Scalia, wrote that there was no way he could agree with the majority decision because it “inverted the relationship between a person and the government” and “the majority’s decision suggested that human dignity can only come from that government.”  “He warned that what he saw as the majority opinion’s misunderstanding of liberty – which he said was really freedom from the government, rather than access to government benefits -- `will likely cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order that protect liberty.’”  He wrote of “potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”  He suggested that the majority’s decision will not change the dignity of people who voted for laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

                Justice Alito, joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas, wrote in his dissent that the majority had apparently forgotten that the purpose of marriage was to procreate children, not simply to satisfy the desires of adults.  Even though he acknowledged that modern marriage had fallen far from the ideal of marriage, he was concerned about the majority’s “abuse of its power.”  “If a bare majority of Justices can invent a new right and impose that right on the rest of the country, the only real limit on what future majorities will be able to do is their own sense of what those with political power and cultural influence are willing to tolerate….  Even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of the power that today’s majority claims.”

                At first, I was shocked – yes shocked – that the Supreme Court would make this ruling.  I realized right away that the five justices composing the majority had pushed our entire nation much further down the slippery slope of debauchery in order to please a very small percentage of its citizens.  We are now far down the slippery slope leading to the destruction of our nation because this ruling legalizes serious sin.   Homosexual thoughts and feelings are not sins, but homosexual actions are grievous sins, the same type of sins that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Old Testament times.  (See Genesis 19:5; Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17, and Isaiah 3:9.)  It does not matter whether you or I believe it is sin because God says it is sin.  Sin is wickedness, and wickedness never leads to happiness. 

                After I overcame my shock, I began to wonder how God plans to use this ruling in dealing with His children on earth.  The ruling, of course, was no surprise to God; He knew it was coming.  What actions has He taken to counteract the decision of the majority of justices?

                God has proclaimed that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.  He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, not Adam and Steve.  He has a plan for His children, and same-sex marriage is not part of His plan.  We each have the freedom to make choices, but we do not have the freedom to choose the consequences of our choices.  What will the consequences be for the decision to legalize same-sex marriage?  I know that only time will tell, but I expect that the consequences will not be pleasant ones.

                What does God want us to do?  How does He desire us to act as a result of this Court decision?  I was greatly comforted and strengthened by the remarks of Nancy Leigh DeMoss in this You Tube video entitled “Nancy Responds to `Same Sex Marriage’ Ruling.”  She reminded her listeners that “Heaven Rules” – not the Supreme Court.  She indicated that we have three choices in how we act or react:  (1) We should not curse the decision and become angry and hateful.  (2) We should not allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by the darkness by falling into depression or condoning the sin.  (3) We should allow our light to shine in the darkness and love the sinners while hating the sin.  We should feel compassion for them for they will suffer.

                I believe this decision will be a major sifting among Christians in general.  Those who do not consider same-sex marriage to be a problem will drop out of any church that stands firm on God’s doctrine.  I expect my church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – to stand firm on the doctrine of Christ.  I know God’s doctrine on marriage, and I know that He will hold us accountable for our actions in regard to it.  I believe the gulf between righteousness and wickedness will become wider and deeper.  I feel that God allowed this decision in order to allow His children to choose whether or not we stand on the side of God.  I stand on the side of God.  Where do you stand?

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