The United States Supreme Court issued rulings in two highly anticipated same-sex marriage cases. The Supreme Court upheld the right of the states to legally define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, rather than striking down such laws via judicial fiat.
However, the Court's uniformly negative portrayal of
opponents of same-sex marriage is both false and demeaning. And its Fifth Amendment reasons for overturning the federal definition of
marriage (in the Defense of Marriage Act) may be used in the future to
overturn similar state definitions.
It is especially disturbing that Justice Kennedy, in his majority opinion,
identified "animus" against homosexuals as one motivating factor in
the adoption of the Congressional Defense of Marriage Act. To apply the word
"animus" to those who hold to the view that marriage is reserved for
a man and woman is an inflammatory accusation that ignores our principled
arguments and demeans our motives.
You see this "animus" in Christians being labeled as haters, homophobes and
bigots when the reverse is true. Humanitarian care and love for neighbor is a
timeless value demonstrated daily by Christians. If the culture can dehumanize
followers of Christ by attaching hateful labels to them, then it's only a
matter of time until Christians are first marginalized for their faith.
Americans disagree about the advisability of same-sex marriage. In their
often-heated debates, they deserve to have their reasons and motivations
portrayed honestly by the other side. And they deserve the right to resolve
these issues at the ballot box, one way or another. This is the essence of
In his dissent, Justice Scalia predicted that this decision was only the first
shoe to drop. As American culture shifts away from its Judeo-Christian
heritage, the speed of that shift will only be accelerated in the days to come.
The decision today is a call to Christians to fervently pray and actively work
for a great spiritual awakening in our land. God tells us what to do now:
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).
by George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God