Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Unlawful Obamacare IRS Regulations Struck Down By Federal Court

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Judge: IRS Obamacare Rule ‘Is Arbitrary, Capricious, and Abuse of Discretion’
October 2, 2014 – 1:10 PM
By Craig Bannister

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Ronald White concluded Tuesday that the IRS rule altering the Obamacare law and providing billions in subsidies is “arbitrary, capricious and abuse of discretion”:

“The court holds that the IRS rule is arbitrary, capricious, and abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law, pursuant to 5 U.S.C.706(2)(A), in excess of summary jurisdiction, authority or limitation, or short of statutory right, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(C), or otherwise is an invalidation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act], and is hereby vacated. The court’s order of vacatur is stayed, however, pending resolution of any appeal from this order.”

In September 2012, Oklahoma was the first of several states to challenge the legality of an IRS rule that caused billions in subsidies to be paid out, despite Congress having never authorized those payments.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt hailed the state’s victory in its lawsuit challenging the implementation of the Affordable Care Act:

“Today’s ruling is a consequential victory for the rule of law. The administration and its bureaucrats in the IRS handed out billions in illegal tax credits and subsidies and vastly expanded the reach of the health care law because they didn’t like the way Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act. That’s not how our system of government works.”

Pruitt said the ruling proves that the administration can’t change a law by executive fiat:

“The Obama administration created this problem and rather than having an agency like the IRS rewrite a law it didn’t like, the administration should have done the right thing and worked with Congress to amend the law. Oklahoma was the first to challenge the administration’s actions and today’s ruling vindicates what we recognized early on and that is the administration can’t rewrite the Affordable Care Act by executive fiat.”

He said the victory is just the beginning, because he fully expects the case to, ultimately, be decided by the Supreme Court:

“Today’s ruling is a huge win for Oklahoma, but it’s just a first step. Since Oklahoma filed the first lawsuit in 2012, others have followed our lead and made similar claims in other jurisdictions. It’s likely this issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. We look forward to making our case and continuing the effort to hold federal agencies accountable to their duty to enforce the laws passed by Congress.”

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) also praised Judge White’s decision, saying that the Obama Administration is trying to fix a legally-dubious law using waivers and exemptions:

“Today’s decision is a reminder that the President’s broken promises of affordable, accessible health care are the result of broken policy. The Obama Administration has tried to make the law work with waivers and exemptions, but the courts continue to confront the legality of this legislation that was rushed through a Democrat-controlled Congress.”

“While it will undoubtedly take time for Oklahoma’s case to play out in the federal court system, I am confident in Attorney General Scott Pruitt and that our state’s argument will prevail.”

Tuesday’s decision is the latest in a wave of court losses for Obamacare.

Currently, over a hundred lawsuits have been filed against Obamacare – and Obamacare has lost 91% of the cases decided to-date, (71 losses out of 78 decisions), according to the latest tally by The Beckett Fund.

Journey of a Catholic with same-sex attraction

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Manaolana: Journey of a Catholic with same-sex attraction

by Hawaii Catholic Herald
on 09/26/2014
in Manaolana

This article is published at the request of Bishop Larry Silva. It was written by Jake Stanwood (not his real name), a 2012 college graduate, for the blog, “Think Catholic.” It is reprinted here with permission.

“We love you no matter what sexual orientation you choose to live out.” These are the words of a father to me, his 15 year old son, 10 years ago. Um … Awkward? Up until that point my dad had never talked to me about sex, and the topic was never mentioned again. I remember every little detail about the conversation: The sweaty palms, cold freezing office space, and the awkwardness created by the long wooden desk separating us from talking like normal people. How did I respond? I said nothing. Absolutely nothing. I stared at him with a blank face and ran back into my room crying and thinking about how the heck I ever got into this mess.

“Great … even my parents think I’m gay” “That person at school thinks I’m gay too, maybe it’s because of the way I talk.” “Wait … maybe I should change the way I talk? That will make me look manlier.” “Crap, that person is totally staring at me and thinks I’m gay.” These are just a few of the crazy thoughts that constantly ruminated in my head. Talk about feeling paranoid. It always felt as if I was split in between two worlds. One side was telling me, “Just come out of the closet, hook up with someone, embrace the fact you’re gay!” The other side, (far less appealing) said, “If anyone ever finds out, you’re dead! Don’t ever talk about this to anyone.”

Praise God, he created a church that has given me a third option, that doesn’t seem like it’s going to drown me in lust or turn me into a stoic that’s being internally destroyed by his desires. I have chosen the path to chastity. I have chosen the path toward authentic love and sexual self-control.

Is this easy? No.

The sexual temptations have always been there for me, and I suppose will always be. I am not afraid to admit that until the day I die I will probably always be attracted to men. However, I don’t think this aspect of my cross has been the greatest struggle. The greatest struggle has been my interior life. Experiencing same sex attraction (SSA) and being Catholic is hard (well, being Catholic is hard). It is a unique/heavy cross to carry, and a very painful one. It comes with its share of anxiety, heartache, tears and boogers. Us folks, who have SSA, we struggle with a lot. Among those things are body image, father wounds, bouts of depression, feeling less masculine, and a lot of us aren’t good at sports (which makes it harder for us to bond with other men). Growing up I always felt different and uncomfortable around other men, as if I was unworthy to even be called a man. However, I think it’s especially difficult to carry out this chaste lifestyle in the midst of today’s hyper sexual culture.

The culture today has become increasingly pro-gay. Just take a look at shows like Glee, Modern Family, or anything Lady Gaga … this stuff didn’t build up overnight. While this DOMA thing was taking place my Facebook newsfeed exploded with red equal sings. The younger generation has become largely accepting of the gay community. I’m glad that people are starting to become less homophobic and are speaking against gay bullying. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m for gay marriage or I think people should pursue same sex relationships.

It just doesn’t fit human sexuality or natural law. Just because I have an inclination to do something doesn’t mean that I should follow it. When we pursue sexuality outside of the way God designed for it to be we can find ourselves in messy situations. Hence the high promiscuity, infidelity and STD rates associated with the gay community. But of course the media will never portray it this way, living a gay lifestyle is portrayed as glamorous and fulfilling. I am not saying that every gay person is living a promiscuous life and is carrying an STD on them. I have many friends who identify as gay who are hard workers and are doing awesome things with their lives. However, I will not deny that amongst the “gay scene” multiple partners and infidelity rates are pretty high. Homosexuality has to be identified more with behavior, than with identity. That’s how the gay movement has progressed so much they’ve turned it into its own culture. The minute we reduce ourselves to our sexual orientation, we lose sight of who we really are.

I’ve chosen to never engage in a sexual relationship with another guy and remain celibate, despite the fact there are times I feel the ache of this desire. This may seem like a total fail in the eyes of the world, but am I really missing out on much? Chastity gives me so much more. It gives me the ability to live out healthy and loving relationships with both men and women. It is giving me the opportunity to bring healing to areas of my masculinity that have been gravely wounded. It respects me for who I am, allows me to appreciate beauty, and recognize the dignity in every person. This has involved a lot of wrestling with God. Many people think wresting with God is a bad thing. False. You can only wrestle with someone who is close to you, so in a way wrestling with these attractions has drawn me closer to God. It is a cross, but with every cross the Lord is always right beside us.

Yes, I realize that I will not always get what I want. I can’t tell you about the hundreds of days I felt I just wanted someone to hold and be intimate with. Sometimes I look at happy couples and wonder if I am missing out! But, I understand that fulfillment goes much deeper than wanting someone around. I find fulfillment by being in relationship with the God who created me to be fulfilled by him, and in community.

The truth is, I love being Catholic.

The church loves me. It desires what is best for me, and sometimes this kind of love hurts, because it doesn’t always feel good. However in the long run it guides me to a much more fulfilling life and a more adventurous one. No, the church is not a bigoted institution that hates gays. Quite the opposite. I have never met as many loving and understanding people as I have in the Catholic Church. I am incredibly fortunate! I have many friends in the church that know about my struggle and are there to support and encourage me along the way. I have a choir of saints and angels who are constantly interceding for me, a mother in heaven that deeply loves me, and a God who bears his very self in the Eucharist each and everyday. If you ask me … I’ve hit the jackpot.

Hawaii Family Advocates 2014 Primary Endorsements

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

“Let the separation come” by Dr. Michael L. Brown

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Let the separation come

Dr. Michael L. Brown   – Guest Columnist
http://www.askdrbrown.org/

Friday, May 16, 2014

Author

Michael BrownThe question of “gay Christianity” is not a minor issue. That’s why I welcome the coming separation over this issue. And as painful as the division will be within churches, denominations, ministries, and even families, it is absolutely necessary and unavoidable.


As much I as I am constantly tackling controversial subjects, I am also working for the unity of the Body, trying to major on the majors on my radio show (which reaches quite a diverse audience) and often interacting privately with those with whom I differ. Yet I recognize that sometimes, division for the sake of truth can be healthy. Now is one of those times.

This past Wednesday, May 14, I gave a lecture at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, from noon-1:00 p.m. It was also aired via live webcast and the talk focused on issues related to my latest book Can You Be Gay and Christian?

Shortly before the lecture, I was informed that, at the exact same time and also live online, there would be a panel discussing Matthew Vines’ new book God and the Gay Christian, with participation from Rachel Held Evans, Tony Jones, and Jay Bakker, all of whom highly praised the book.

What excellent timing, and what an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast these two very different views. (For the record, my book is not a response to Matthew’s book, and the fact they came out at roughly the same time is providential rather than planned.)

What’s the most common mistake professing Christians make when they argue God’s Word doesn’t condemn homosexuality?

One view says that while God deeply loves all people and offers them redemption in Jesus, under no circumstances would He ever bless or approve of two men (or two women) having sex together.

The other views says that under the right circumstances, God would bless and approve of two men (or two women) having sex. (For those who think that sex is not the issue, bear in mind that one of the major arguments made by same-sex “marriage” advocates like Matthew Vines is that it’s better for gays to be able to “marry” than to burn with lust, based on a serious misapplication of 1 Corinthians 7.)

Without a doubt, this issue will become a great dividing line in the Church, and I for one welcome it, since it points to a much deeper divide in our approach to God, His Word, and the people He wants to redeem. Ultimately, it will separate those who put God first and ask, “How can I fulfill His desires?” from those who put themselves first and ask, “How can He fulfill my desires?” (Although some will take extreme offense to this statement, if you analyze the major “gay Christian” arguments, they often boil down to this perspective.)

I do believe that many professing Christians who advocate same-sex relationships do so because they know homosexual couples who care deeply about each other, who are fine people in many respects, and who have wrestled mightily with reconciling their faith with their sexuality. And so, these Christians go back to the Scriptures and ask themselves if, perhaps, the Bible does allow for committed, same-sex relationships. “How,” they wonder aloud, “does the law of love, which does no harm to its neighbor, address this question?”

But that is the problem in a nutshell, and it is reminiscent of what happened with Balaam, whom Balak sought to hire to curse Israel.

When Balaam asked Yahweh if he should go and curse Israel, the Lord answered him emphatically: “You are not to go with them. You are not to curse this people, for they are blessed” (Num 22:12, CSB).

There was no ambiguity there, just as there is no ambiguity in what the Bible says about homosexual practice: Every reference to it in the Scriptures is decidedly negative; there is not a single positive example of a homosexual relationship in the Word; and marriage, by its God-ordained definition from the beginning, is the union of one man and woman for life.

As for Balaam, he made the mistake of asking God a second time if He should curse Israel after being offered more money, and this time the Lord told him to go, ultimately to his lasting shame. Obviously, God doesn’t change His Word.

Of course, I’m not comparing gay theologians (or their straight allies) to Balaam in terms of being motivated by money – honestly, such a thought doesn’t enter my mind, no more than it enters my mind to write articles or books or take theological stands for the sake of financial gain – but I am saying that they are making a similar mistake of starting with a clear word from God and then questioning the Scriptures based on their own experiences (or the experience of their friends).

Some might argue that this is similar to a cessationist being miraculously healed, as a result of which he goes back to the Scriptures to reevaluate his beliefs and then changes his position. But the two situations hardly compare.

In the case of cessationism, the early Church embraced and operated in the gifts of the Spirit, there have been healings and miracles through the centuries, and there are scores of verses that point directly to the ongoing supernatural ministry of the Spirit.

In the case of same-sex “marriage,” such a concept was unknown throughout Church history until recent years (despite John Boswell’s weak attempts at historical revisionism) and there is not a single verse supporting the position while, in reality, the testimony of the entire Bible is against it.

That’s why most of the pro-homosex interpretations of Scripture are completely new innovations, meaning that not a single biblical scholar or theologian came up with these interpretations before the sexual revolution. That alone should tell you something.

Earlier this year, I interviewed Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer, who had been defrocked by his denomination for performing the wedding of his son to another young man. He explained to me that he had already been questioning what the Bible said about homosexuality when his son came out to him, after which he became convinced that God wanted to bless committed same-sex couples.

I asked him what would happen if his son came to him one day and said, “Dad, I’ve made a terrible mistake. God is not pleased with my relationship and the Spirit is convicting me that I’m in sin.” Would he feel the need to reevaluate his beliefs again? He responded, “Oh my goodness, would it ever. Absolutely, it would definitely challenge me.”

Need I say more?

The question of “gay Christianity” is not a minor issue, affecting our views of the authority of Scripture, the meaning of marriage and sexuality, and the importance of gender distinctions, not to mention massive implications for the society at large.

That’s why I welcome the coming separation over this issue. And as painful as the division will be within churches, denominations, ministries, and even families, it is absolutely necessary and unavoidable.

That doesn’t mean that we attack each other or speak and act in ways that would dishonor the Lord. But it does mean that we hold firmly to our convictions before Him, regardless of cost or consequences, knowing that God’s ways will be vindicated in the end.


Dr. Michael Brown, a Jewish believer in Jesus, is a biblical scholar, apologist, worldwide speaker, and activist. He is the host of the nationally syndicated, talk radio program “Line of Fire,” and he serves as president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, NC, as well as adjunct professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 21 books, most recently “The Real Kosher Jesus.”

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in ‘Perspectives’ columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

– See more at: http://onenewsnow.com/perspectives/michael-brown/2014/05/16/let-the-separation-come#sthash.1GD6Eqtb.dpuf

Protecting Religious Liberty in the State Marriage Debate

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Backgrounder #2891 on Religion and Civil Society

April 10, 2014
Protecting Religious Liberty in the State Marriage Debate

By Ryan T. Anderson and Leslie Ford
28

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Abstract

For years, a central argument of those who favor same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love as they choose, but does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents demonstrates that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual orientation have created a climate of intolerance and intimidation for citizens who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that sexual relations are properly reserved for marriage. Now these same citizens are facing a new wave of government coercion and discrimination.

For years, a central argument of those in favor of same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love as they choose, but does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents demonstrates that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual orientation have created a climate of intolerance and intimidation for citizens who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that sexual relations are properly reserved for marriage.

Now these citizens are facing a new wave of government coercion and discrimination. State laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

These laws add sexual orientation and gender identity (dubbed SOGI) to the list of protected classes such as race, sex, and national origin. Regrettably, these sexual orientation and gender laws have serious flaws.[1] Specifically, they frequently fail to protect the civil liberties of Americans, especially religious liberty. They tend to be vague and overly broad without clear definitions of what conduct can and cannot be penalized. Judgments can also be quite subjective: Boise and other cities in Idaho now prohibit even indirect acts that might make another person feel that he or she is being “treated as not welcome.”[2]

Under newer laws, family businesses—especially photographers, bakers, florists, and others involved in the wedding industry—have been hauled into court because they declined to provide services for a same-sex ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs. Although Americans are free to live as they choose, no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationship.

Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms. All Americans should remain free to believe and act in the public square based on their beliefs about marriage without fear of government penalty.
Wedding-Related Religious Liberty Violations

Elane Photography. The case of Elaine Huguenin and her husband, Jon, is perhaps the best-known example of violations of religious liberty.

The Huguenins run Elane Photography, a small photography business in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2006, the couple declined a request to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because, as Elaine explains, “the message a same-sex commitment ceremony communicates is not one I believe.”[3] Elane Photography did not refuse to take pictures of gay and lesbian individuals; they declined to photograph a ceremony that ran counter to the owners’ belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman (something with which New Mexico law agreed). Other photographers in the Albuquerque area were more than happy to photograph the event.[4]

In 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission ruled that by declining to use its artistic and expressive skills to communicate what was said and what occurred at the ceremony, the Huguenins’ business had discriminated based on sexual orientation. As a result, the commission ordered them to pay $6,637.94 in attorneys’ fees.[5] The ruling cited New Mexico’s human rights law, which prohibits discrimination in “public accommodations” (“any establishment that provides or offers its services … or goods to the public”) based on race, religion, and sexual orientation—among other protected classes.

At the end of 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the Human Rights Commission’s ruling. It concluded that under the state’s sexual orientation and gender identify law, the First Amendment does not protect a photographer’s freedom to decline to take pictures of a same-sex commitment ceremony—even when doing so would violate the photographer’s religious beliefs. Justice Richard C. Bosson, in a concurring opinion, claimed that requiring the Huguenins to relinquish their religious convictions was permissible as “the price of citizenship.”[6]

Elane Photography petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a review of its case on November 8, 2013.[7] On April 7, 2014, the Supreme Court declined to review Elane Photography v. Willock. While neither affirming nor rejecting the lower court’s ruling, the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari means the New Mexico Supreme Court decision against the Huegenins’ right to free expression will stand.

Sweet Cakes by Melissa. In early 2013, two women asked the Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa to bake a wedding cake for their same-sex commitment ceremony. Although bakery owners Melissa and Aaron Klein consistently had served all customers on a regular basis, this request would have required them to facilitate and celebrate a same-sex relationship—violating their religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Oregon law defines marriage in the same way.[8]

Soon afterward, the two women filed a complaint under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. During an investigation of the Kleins by Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries, bureau official Brad Avakian commented: “The goal is to rehabilitate. For those who do violate the law, we want them to learn from that experience and have a good, successful business in Oregon.”[9] In January 2014, the agency issued a ruling that the Kleins violated Oregon’s sexual orientation law when they declined to bake the cake.[10]

Melissa and Aaron Klein have also faced other pressure for their unwillingness to violate their beliefs. Sweet Cakes by Melissa reported being subjected to threats and violent protests, vicious telephone calls, and boycotts by activists.[11] The Kleins, who have five children, reportedly received hundreds of phone calls and letters—including death threats to the family.

Fearing for the safety of their family, the Kleins decided in September 2013 to close their small business.[12] Yet the Kleins still have to deal with the Labor Commission’s conclusion that they engaged in discrimination. The case is likely to proceed to an administrative law judge for further review.

Masterpiece Cakeshop. A similar wedding-cake scenario unfolded in Colorado—a state that in 2006 constitutionally defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman[13]—involving Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop.[14]

In 2012, a same-sex couple received a marriage license in Massachusetts and asked Phillips to bake a cake for a reception back home in Colorado. Phillips declined to create a wedding cake, citing his faith: “I don’t feel like I should participate in their wedding, and when I do a cake, I feel like I am participating in the ceremony or the event or the celebration that the cake is for.” The couple obtained a wedding cake with rainbow-colored filling (illustrating the expressive nature of event cake-baking) from another bakery.[15]

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop with the state, alleging violations of Colorado’s public accommodation law. Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spencer ruled against the bakery on December 6, 2013, concluding that Phillips violated the law by declining service to the couple “because of their sexual orientation.”[16]

Phillips objected to this characterization and responded that he would happily sell the couple his baked goods for any number of occasions, but baking a wedding cake would force him to express something that he does not believe, thereby violating his freedom to run his business in accordance with his faith.[17]

Arlene’s Flowers. On March 1, 2013, longtime customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed met with Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts owner Barronelle Stutzman to request that she arrange the flowers for their same-sex wedding ceremony. Washington State had redefined marriage the previous year. Stutzman responded that she could not accept the job because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ” and her belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.[18]

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed suit against Stutzman, contending that she had violated the state’s sexual orientation law. Ferguson is seeking a $2,000 fine and a court order forcing Stutzman to violate her conscience by using her artistic talents to celebrate a same-sex relationship.[19] The matter is now pending before the trial court.

Görts Haus Gallery. Betty and Dick Odgaard, a devout Mennonite couple in Iowa, run an art gallery in a 77-year-old church building. Among other things—running a lunch bistro, a flower shop, a gift shop, and a framing shop—they host weddings. Betty and Dick work with the couples who wed there on everything from flowers, food, and decorations to the wedding ceremony itself. On the day of every wedding, they oversee all of these details.[20]

In 2013, the Odgaards declined a request to organize, facilitate, and host a same-sex ceremony because they believed that it conflicted with “the religious message they seek to convey through the Gallery, a message which includes the importance of living one’s faith in all aspects of life.”[21] They now face punitive action before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.[22]

“We hire and serve gays and lesbians, and have close friends who are gays and lesbians,” said Betty Odgaard. “And we respect that good people disagree with our religious conviction against hosting a ceremony that violates our faith. We simply ask that the government not force us to abandon our faith or punish us for it.”[23]

The Odgaards have filed a lawsuit in Iowa district court seeking protection of their religious liberty.[24]
Intolerance Against Adoption Providers

In addition to private family businesses affiliated with the wedding industry, organizations that serve children in the foster care system are also facing serious repercussions and intolerance.[25] Every year, the foster care system serves approximately 400,000 children, nearly a quarter of whom are waiting to be adopted.[26]

Across the United States, there are more than 1,000 private, licensed foster care and adoption providers.[27] Many are faith-based organizations whose religious and moral beliefs motivate their care for some of the most vulnerable children in society.

In a number of states, sexual orientation and gender identity laws, coupled with the redefinition of marriage or the creation of same-sex civil unions, are threatening the freedom of private foster care and adoption providers who believe children should have a married mother and father. These providers should not be forced to abandon the very beliefs that motivate them to care for families and vulnerable children.

Boston Catholic Charities, Massachusetts. For more than 100 years, Catholic Charities in Boston, Massachusetts, had a successful record of connecting children to permanent families, placing more children in adoptive homes than any other state-licensed agency.[28] Then, in 2003, following a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, the state began to recognize same-sex unions as marriages.[29] This decision, coupled with an earlier state policy on sexual orientation, forced all state-licensed adoption providers to be willing to place children with same-sex couples.[30]

Rather than abandon Catholic teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman, as well as its conviction that the best place for a child is with a married mother and father, Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to end their foster care and adoption programs. In the two decades before it ended those services, the organization had helped approximately 720 children to find permanent adoptive homes.[31]

D.C. Catholic Charities, District of Columbia. In 2010, the District of Columbia passed a law redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.[32] The redefinition of marriage, coupled with the District’s sexual orientation policy, would have required Catholic Charities’ foster care and adoption services to place children with same-sex couples.[33]

Despite requests by the Archdiocese of Washington that it protect private organizations’ moral and religious beliefs, the D.C. government refused to grant an exemption. Because it would not violate its beliefs—the faith that had guided more than 80 years of service in the District—Catholic Charities was forced to transfer its foster care and adoption program to other providers.[34]

Evangelical Child and Family Agency, Illinois. For decades, the Evangelical Child and Family Agency (ECFA) had contracted with Illinois to provide foster care services. In 2011, however, a new state civil union law,[35] coupled with an existing sexual orientation policy, effectively forced private agencies to license unmarried, cohabitating couples—including same-sex couples—as foster care parents in order to keep state contracts.

Because ECFA was convinced that children should have the unique benefits provided by a married mother and a father, the state would not renew its foster care contract.[36] As a result, ECFA was forced to transfer the cases of the foster children it served to different agencies and end the foster care program that had connected children with permanent families.

Pushing out faith-based foster care and adoption providers comes at a very high cost; these organizations provide real—and unique—services. “One of our main things we were looking for in an agency was one that shared our religious and faith beliefs,” explains John Shultz, who with his wife Tammy adopted four foster care children through ECFA. Without the support of ECFA, “I don’t think I could’ve weathered the storm of the foster care system,” Tammy remarked.[37]

When combined with other private providers in Illinois, including numerous Catholic Charities affiliates,[38] ECFA and other faith-based organizations in the state were forced to stop serving over 2,000 children, transferring their cases to other providers.[39]
American System of Civil Liberties

Part of the genius of the American system of government is its commitment to protecting the liberty and First Amendment freedoms of all citizens while respecting their equality before the law. The government protects the freedom of citizens to seek the truth about God, to worship according to their conscience, and to live out their convictions in public life. Likewise, citizens are free to form contracts and other associations according to their own values.

While the government must treat everyone equally, private actors are left free to make reasonable judgments and distinctions—including reasonable moral judgments and distinctions—in their economic activities. Legislators should impose substantial burdens on sincere religious beliefs only when the government proves that imposing such a burden is necessary to advance a compelling government interest (and does so by the least intrusive or restrictive means). Not every florist need provide wedding arrangements for every ceremony. Not every photographer need capture every first kiss. Competitive markets can best harmonize a range of values that citizens hold, and there is no need for government to try to force every photographer and every florist to service every marriage-related event.

Those who make decisions based on moral and religious views may well pay a price in the market, perhaps losing customers and qualified employees, but such choices should remain lawful. Freedom of association and freedom of contract are two-way streets. They entail the freedom to choose with whom to associate, and when and on what terms, as well as with whom to contract and for what goods. Governmental mandates that force or prevent association violate these freedoms and should be pursued only for compelling reasons. Americans are free to live as they choose, but no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationship.

Many of the family businesses cited above understand their professions to be extensions of their faith-life. In this view, being a wedding photographer, for example, means not simply being another business offering services, but utilizing God-given talents to tell the story of a particular couple and their relationship. For them, celebrating a same-sex relationship as a marriage affirms that relationship. It is understandable that some religious believers would not want the government to coerce them into doing that.

The government should not be in the position of determining who is right or wrong about baking cakes or taking photographs of same-sex ceremonies. There is no need to hold the same beliefs as the owners of Sweet Cakes or Elane Photography to recognize that both should have the freedom to run their businesses in accordance with their values—and without fear of reprisal from the government.
Government Should Respect Marriage and Religious Freedom

Government should respect those who stand for marriage as the union of a man and a woman.[40] Even in jurisdictions that have redefined marriage, individuals and businesses that believe marriage is between a man and a woman should be free to live in accord with their moral and religious convictions.[41]

When he “evolved” on the issue in 2012, President Barack Obama insisted that the debate about marriage was a legitimate one and that there were reasonable people of goodwill on both sides. Obama explained that supporters of marriage as the union of a man and woman “are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective. They’re coming at it because they care about families.” He added that “a bunch of ’em are friends of mine … you know, people who I deeply respect.”[42]

The examples cited above, however, reveal that in a growing number of incidents, government has not respected the beliefs of all Americans.[43]

Respecting religious liberty for all of those in the marketplace is particularly important. After all, as first lady Michelle Obama put it, religious faith “isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well.”[44]

At the federal level, Congress has an opportunity to protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience. Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The government should be prohibited from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act—sponsored by Representative Raul Labrador (R–ID) in the House (H.R. 3133) with more than 100 co-sponsors of both parties[45] and sponsored by Senator Mike Lee (R–UT) in the Senate (S. 1808) with 17 co-sponsors[46]—would prevent the federal government from taking such adverse actions. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience fosters a more diverse civil sphere. Indeed, tolerance is essential to promoting peaceful coexistence even amid disagreement.

States need similar policy protections, starting with broad protections provided by state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs).[47] These laws prevent the imposition of substantial burdens on sincere religious beliefs unless the government proves that such a burden advances a compelling government interest that has been pursued through the least restrictive means possible.

States must protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form—both nonprofit and for-profit—to speak and act in the public square in accordance with their beliefs. The foregoing cases illustrate the growing conflict between religious liberty rights and state laws that grant special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity.[48] In a nation founded on religious freedom, government should not attempt to coerce any citizen, association, or business into celebrating same-sex relationships.

Americans also must work to see that marriage law reflects the truth about marriage. If marriage is redefined, pressure will mount to characterize the belief that virtually every human society has held about marriage—that it is the union of a man and a woman ordered to procreation and family life—as an irrational prejudice that ought to be driven to the margins of our culture. The consequences for religious believers are becoming apparent.
—Ryan T. Anderson is co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense and William E. Simon Fellow in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Leslie Ford is a Research Assistant in the DeVos Center.

LGBTOMGWTFBBQs Diss Their Own Founding Fathers

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

LGBTOMGWTFBBQs Diss Their Own Founding Fathers

Brian Fitzpatrick
on 26 March, 2014 at 07:44

Watching the enforcers of political correctness grind their gears can be soooo entertaining.

As BarbWire senior editor Jeff Allen reports today, the far-left organization Media Matters is slamming Fox News because Roger Ailes’s boys and girls are still using the word “homosexual.” According to the demigods of PC, Fox is supposed to be using terms like “gay people” and “lesbian people,” as if sexual preference was an ethnicity. Media Matters asserts the word “homosexual” is already being tabooed by most of the major media.

Yup, it’s hard to believe, but in their latest effort to control the minds of the masses, the homosexual rights movement is trying to banish the word “homosexual.” Seems the word now carries with it the “ring of disapproval and judgment,” according to the New York Times.

Don’t they realize they’re trying to ban the very word coined by their own founding fathers? In addition to establishing the civil wrongs movement, those busy beavers were pioneers in euphemizing words that carried the ring of disapproval and judgment.

The LGBT movement was born in Germany in 1860. At that time homosexuals were identified by starkly behavioral terms: sodomites, pederasts and Knabenschänder, or boy ravishers.

“You can’t force priggish Germans to accept Knabenschänders,” reasoned Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, lawyer, pedophile, and the first gay activist. “We’ll have to call ourselves something else. Something nice and nonthreatening, that stresses identity, not behavior.”

Yes, the father of the civil wrongs movement, the “Gay Marx,” was the first to come up with a vague and deceptive euphemism to describe those who, we were once permitted to say, like to putt in the rough. Ulrichs’s word? “Uranian.” It seems to be an obscure mythological reference.

Ulrichs, by the way, was also the originator of the “born gay” myth. Homosexual sex has occurred throughout history, but even gay historians have searched in vain to identify homosexual people. If you ever wondered how the human race could have overlooked the existence of ten percent of itself for 6,000 years of recorded history, the answer is simple: there was nobody there. Before Ulrichs, humanity had it right. There were no such things as “homosexuals,” there were just people who sometimes had sex with people of the same sex. Homosexuality was a behavior, not a crusade.

“Uranian” didn’t cut the mustard, though it did give rise to the slogan “Uranians of the World, Unite!” In 1869 the Engels of the movement, Karoly Maria Benkert, coined a new term that quickly caught on: “homosexual.”

The initialism “LGBT” is itself a work in progress. First we had “lesbian and gay.” Bisexuals felt left out (and many, perhaps most, “Ls” and “Gs” are “Bs” in practice), so we were graced with LGB. Then somebody realized the transsexuals were uninclusively being excluded: LGBT. How about the self-proclaimed “queers?” LGBTQ. And those questioning their sexuality? LGBTQQ. We’ve seen all of these, and still the term is lengthening like an adolescent snake. Inevitably we’ll have to recognize the asexuals: LGBTQAQ? QAQ me with a spoon. Before the snake grows into an anaconda, I’d like to propose adopting a new initialism I recently came across, so everybody can settle once and for all on one final iteration and shift our attention to weightier matters. That initialism is LGBTOMGWTFBBQ. I think that says it all.

The real reason “homosexual” has to go is because the word “sex” is buried in it. We can’t be confusing homosexuality with sexual behavior, after all. As the Times reports,

George P. Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, has looked at the way the term is used by those who try to portray gays and lesbians as deviant. What is most telling about substituting it for gay or lesbian are the images that homosexual tends to activate in the brain, he said.

“Gay doesn’t use the word sex,” he said. “Lesbian doesn’t use the word sex. Homosexual does.”

I hate to break this to the civil wrongs movement, but sooner or later they’re going to have to ban the word “gay” as well. As you read these words, somewhere in America an indignant schoolmarm is punishing a fourth grader for hearing something stupid or gross or otherwise repulsive, and blurting, “That’s so gay.”

What are they going to call themselves next?

The sad truth is, when people set themselves against the laws of nature and nature’s God, they have to resort to linguistic games in a hopeless effort to deceive others, and maybe to deceive themselves. We all know what the civil wrongs movement is about: to abolish all sexual rules of conduct, uproot Judeo-Christian morality, destroy Western Christian culture, and replace it with some sybaritic utopia. No wonder it smacks of disapproval and judgment no matter what it’s called. A rose by any other name still smelleth sweet.

Author
Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian Fitzpatrick is the managing editor of BarbWire. A Washington, DC-based writer and editor, Brian reports and comments on politics, culture, religion and theology when he isn’t editing books. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Capital Bible Seminary.

Read more at http://barbwire.com/2014/03/26/lgbtomgwtfbbqs-spite-founding-fathers/#6rAz1UkvwFmd6E9Z.99

Stunning turn of events for persecuted homeschoolers Feds blink after Supreme Court puts family on path for deportation

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/stunning-turn-of-events-for-persecuted-homeschoolers/
Stunning turn of events for persecuted homeschoolers
Feds blink after Supreme Court puts family on path for deportation

The Romeike Family

Only 24 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case involving a German homeschooling family, putting members on the path for potential deportation to the persecution they would face in their home country, the federal bureaucracy blinked.

And confirmed that the Romeikes will be allowed to remain in the United States indefinitely, unless, of course, they turn to crime for a livelihood or something like that.

It was on Monday that the Supreme Court released its decision to refuse to intervene in the family’s plight. Members had been granted asylum in the United States in 2010 when a federal judge ruled they would be subject to persecution for their beliefs if returned to Germany.

But the Obama administration refused to accept that, appealing to a higher court, where judges lined up against the family and said they should be sent back to Germany, and persecution. The high court’s refusal to intervene left that ruling standing.

But on Tuesday, officials with the Home School Legal Defense Association, who have been fighting on behalf of the family, said they were contacted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

As Michael Farris, HSLDA’s chief, wrote, “The Romeikes can stay!!! Today, a supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted ‘indefinite deferred status.’ This means that the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they are convicted of a crime, etc.).”

He continued, “This is an incredible victory that can only be credited to our Almighty God. We also want to thank those …. who spoke up on this issue – including that long ago White House petition. We believe that the public outcry made this possible while God delivered the victory.”

“This is an amazing turnaround in 24 hours,” he said. “Praise the Lord.”

The decision offers hope for the Romeikes, but still leaves standing the precedent that was set by the appeals court in the case. It was the executive branch itself that wanted the homeschooling family facing persecuting in Germany to be returned there. And it was the judicial branch that failed to help them.

Supporters suggested it might take a special act of Congress to protect the family.

The Romeikes, Uwe, Hannalore and their children, now numbering seven, had fled Germany to the United States in 2008 because of threats of fines, jail time, loss of their children and more, because they were homeschooling.

They chose home education because of their strong Christian beliefs and the fact that the public schools in Germany teach cults beliefs, advocate for abortion, and other beliefs in conflict with Christianity.

The Obama administration had not been getting by without pressure in the dispute. The Journal Gazette reported Rep. Marlin Stutzman had called for Obama to intervene on behalf of the Romeikes.

In fact, Stutzman said Obama “should reject the European belief that children belong to the state and stand instead with families suffering persecution for exercising the basic right to educate their children. Americans have always welcomed those who flee their homelands in pursuit of freedom and President Obama has an opportunity to honor that commitment.”

Earlier, a White House website petition collected tens of thousands of signatures in support of the family, and Stutzman had been joined by dozens of other members of Congress to lobby for the family.

About the same time, Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., said his family is homeschooled.

And Todd Starnes, at Townhall.com, wrote that the case had pushed Christians in an east Tennessee community to consider civil disobedience should the Romeikes be deported.

“It may require civil disobedience with this bunch,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said in the report. “I am furious about this. You’ve got law-abiding people who did everything right who simply want to homeschool their kids. We used to be that great shining city on a hill. There’s some rust on that city if we are doing free people this way.”

He continued, “I don’t know what the Germans are thinking, but we’re not Germany. I don’t want to be Germany. I don’t want to be Europe. I want to be America. And right now we’re not acting very much like the America I k now with the administration we have.”

During the course of the case, Attorney General Eric Holder argued that homeschooling is a “mutable choice,” meaning that the government can force parents to do as it wishes without violating any rights.

Farris was the one who warned then of what Holder was telling Americans.

“When the United States government says that homeschooling is a mutable choice, it is saying that a government can legitimately coerce you to change this choice,” Farris said. “In other words, you have no protected right to choose what type of education your children will receive. We should understand that in these arguments, something very concerning is being said about the liberties of all Americans.

“I’m glad Obama wasn’t in charge in 1620,” Farris said in an appearance on “Fox and Friends.” “The government’s arguments in this case confuse equal persecution with equal protection and demonstrate a serious disregard for individual religious liberty. I really wonder what would’ve happened to the Pilgrims under this administration.”

Michael Donnelly, director of international affairs for the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the “Romeikes are an inspiring family of great faith and courage.”

“They came to the United States as modern day pilgrims seeking protection from a country that ignores its obligations to protect basic human rights. They are grateful for the welcome they have received from American families and hope that they will be able to continue to homeschool their children in freedom. Germany’s increasingly harsh treatment of homeschoolers is unacceptable and the court’s refusal to take up this case does not change that fact or diminish the threat to homeschooling families in Germany.”

The anti-homeschool law in Germany has a dark origin: It was Adolf Hitler’s idea, and the nation has never yet corrected what the dictator did.

It was in 1937 when Hitler himself said, “The youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”

A year later, the Nazis adopted a law that eliminated exemptions that previously provided an open door for homeschoolers under the nation’s compulsory education laws.

Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, a few years ago backed the concept, writing on a blog Germany “has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion.”

As WND reported, the German government believes schooling is critical to socialization, as is evident in its response to parents who objected to police officers picking up their child at home and delivering him to a public school.

“The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling,” said a government letter. “… You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. … In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement.”

WND has reported on the case since in began 2006 with police officers appearing on the Romeike’s doorstep to forcibly take their children to a local public school.

HSLDA, in its petition, explained that German officials have confirmed the purpose of their ongoing repression of homeschooling is to prevent “religious and philosophical minorities” from developing into “parallel societies.”

“Human rights standards make it plain that, although a nation may require compulsory attendance and may impose reasonable rules related to educational quality, no nation may exercise philosophical control over a child’s education contrary to the parents’ belief,” the HSLDA statement said.

In Germany, the persecution continues, with children having been seized from their parents in several cases, most recently last September when armed police officers equipped with a battering ram forcibly took four children from German parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich because they were being homeschooled.

WND reported later the children were return to the parents after they were given no choice but to agree to have the children begin attending public school classes.

In the Romeike case, the original immigration judge, Lawrence O. Burman, granted the Romeike family asylum on Jan. 26, 2010, under the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Act because Germany’s national policy of suppressing homeschooling violated their religious faith and because German authorities were improperly motivated to suppress homeschoolers as a social group.

Uwe Andreas Josef Romeike, and his wife, Hannelore, have seven children.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/stunning-turn-of-events-for-persecuted-homeschoolers/#7JZ4RAWgqKB36bhu.99

Two Americas, by anonymous

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Don’t know who wrote this but it is food for thought!…..and well said.

TWO AMERICAS
The Democrats are right, there are two Americas.
The America that works, and the America that doesn’t.
The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.

It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts.
Some people do their duty as Americans, obey the law,support themselves,
contribute to society, and others don’t.
That’s the divide in America.

It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility.
It’s about a political party that preaches hatred,
greed and victimization in order to win elective office.
It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.
That’s not invective, that’s truth, and it’s about time someone said it.

The politics of envy was on proud display a couple weeks ago when president
Obama pledged the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.”
He noted that some people make more than other people,
that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just.
That is the rationale of thievery. The other guy has it, you want it,
Obama will take it for you. Vote Democrat.

That is the philosophy that produced Detroit.
It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America.
It conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense
because it ends up not benefiting the people who support it, but a betrayal.
The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them
in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victimhood and anger instead of ability and hope.

The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful –
seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and
spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.

Because, by and large, income variations in society is a result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who choose wisely and responsibility have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure. Success and failure usually manifest themselves in personal and family income.

You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college and you are apt to have
a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education.
You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course,
you have them within a marriage and life is apt to take another course.

Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.
My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome, but, our lives also have had an inequality of effort. While my doctor went to college and then devoted his young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant.
He made a choice, I made a choice, and our choices led us to different outcomes.
His outcome pays a lot better than mine.

Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth?
No, it means we are both free men in a free society where free choices lead to different outcomes. It is not inequality Barack Obama intends to take away, it is freedom.
The freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail. There is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure.

The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy.
Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing.
Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and shortsighted decisions.
Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right,
while completely ignoring inequality of effort.

The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as,
“The harder you work, the more you get.” Obama would turn that upside down.
Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society
and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society.
Entitlement will replace effort as the key to upward mobility in American society if Barack Obama gets his way.

He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive to foster equality through mediocrity.
He and his party speak of two Americas and their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other. America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts. It is a false philosophy to say one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization.

What Obama offered was not a solution, but a separatism.
He fomented division and strife, pitted one set of Americans against another
for his own political benefit. That’s what socialists offer.
Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow.
Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln’s
maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

2013 The Court and Marriage: The Culture War Deepens

Friday, June 28th, 2013

The Court and Marriage: The Culture War Deepens Print E-mail
By Hadley Arkes
Friday, 28 June 2013

The Week of Waiting: I had spent the first three mornings this week at the Supreme Court, bracing myself for what the Court would deliver on the issue of marriage. And by this time, people know that the decisions Wednesday marked a turn in the culture war.

Mark Twain said of Wagner’s music that, “it isn’t as bad as it sounds.” But these decisions were worse than they sounded. Some of our friends have sought gamely to pretend that the political contest will go on, contesting marriage state-by-state. And indeed it must. But we will have to summon our genius to find different paths.

The Court did not exactly produce a Roe v. Wade for marriage. It did not, in one stroke, sweep away all laws that refused to permit same-sex marriage. But the judges put in place the premises that are sufficiently decisive, and all it requires now are the litigants sure to come forward to complete the work.

They will challenge the laws that make no provision for homosexual marriages and the constitutions that forbid them. They will need only to cite the charged language of Justice Anthony Kennedy in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996. And that will supply a sufficient ground for sweeping away any lingering barriers to same-sex marriage.

In Section 3 of DOMA, the Congress stipulated that “marriage” would refer only to “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.” But to Justice Kennedy this affirmation of the meaning of marriage bristled with hatred and condemnation. In affirming marriage as the relation of a man and woman, Congress showed a disposition to “disparage” and “demean” gays and lesbians, to deny their “equal dignity” and affect them with a “stigma.”

As Justice Scalia pointed out, Kennedy was essentially charging with bigotry the people who had drafted this bill, but also the 85 Senators and 347 congressmen who voted for it, along with the president (Clinton) who had signed it. Hate-mongers all.

As it turned out, I was one of the architects of DOMA, and I had led the testimony for the bill in the Judiciary Committee of the House in May 1996. Justice Kennedy’s scathing remarks on the mind that brought forth DOMA seemed to stop just short of attaching my name.

But it’s worth recalling what brought some of us then to press for DOMA. The Supreme Court of Hawaii had installed same-sex marriage in that state. The question was whether couples could marry in Hawaii, and then, through the Full Faith & Credit Clause of the Constitution, bring their marriages back home to other states. In this way, one state could in effect “nationalize” same-sex marriage.

Statue of a Catholic jurist

A state could refuse to honor marriages coming in from other states if it bore a moral objection, registered in its laws, to those forms of marriage (say, of persons below a certain age). But coming soon was the decision of the Court in Romer v. Evans, which threatened to knock out that prop of authority for the states. Sure enough it came, with the key lines from Justice Kennedy.

He famously held there that the moral aversion to the homosexual life “seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.” Centuries of Jewish and Catholic teaching could be reduced then to an “irrational” passion, an “animus.” No law that cast an adverse judgment, then, on the homosexual relation could find a reasoned ground of justification. And therefore a state could not incorporate any longer in its laws an adverse judgment on the homosexual life.

If that were the case, a state could not refuse to honor a same-sex marriage coming in from another state. That is what brought the need for DOMA. The Congress would give guidance to the courts and support the authority of the states in refusing to credit those marriages.

The Court on Wednesday affected not to touch this part of DOMA. But Justice Kennedy’s premise surely will, for it is the premise that has worked its way through all of the litigation since then. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Justice Kennedy held that the state could not justify laws on sodomy because there was no rational ground on which to condemn the homosexual relations that people pursued in their private lives.

He insisted at the time that this judgment entailed no “formal recognition” of any other relation – namely, “marriage.” To which Justice Scalia famously said, “Do not believe it.”

Only five months later, the Supreme Judicial Council of Massachusetts invoked Kennedy’s words in the Lawrence case in striking down the laws on marriage in the Commonwealth and installing same-sex marriage. And Kennedy invoked Lawrence again in striking down DOMA on Wednesday. As Justice Scalia remarked, we are simply waiting for the “second shoe to drop.”

The activists will come forward to test the laws in the various states, including the laws that offer no recognition of same-sex marriage. And all that a judge needs to do now is invoke Kennedy’s overheated language in U.S. v Windsor. To use an old line, discussing marriage now without Justice Kennedy is. . .like playing Hamlet without the first grave-digger.

And this is the work of a Catholic jurist. On all of this, more later.

Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence at Amherst College. His most recent book is Constitutional Illusions & Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law. Volume II of his audio lectures from The Modern Scholar, First Principles and Natural Law is now available for download.

© 2013 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org

The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Forget “Merry Christmas” in the Mall – This is the Best Presentation Ever

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Handel\'s Messiah at Macy\'s – Merry Christmas!