What the Supreme Court decision means
by Marvin Olasky
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at 2:39 pm
Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in today’s Supreme Court same-sex saga is stinging the left, which is hitting back with headlines like “Top 10 Rage Quotes from Scalia’s DOMA Dissent.” But did Scalia primarily offer us rage, or a clear prophecy about what’s in store for Christians who stand by what the Bible teaches?
Scalia showed how the 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court “accuses the Congress that enacted this law and the President who signed it of something much worse than, for example, having acted in excess of enumerated federal powers—or even having drawn distinctions that prove to be irrational. Those legal errors may be made in good faith, errors though they are. But the majority says that the supporters of this Act acted with malice … to disparage and to injure same-sex couples. It says that the motivation for DOMA was to ‘demean,’ to ‘impose inequality,’ to … brand gay people as ‘unworthy,’ and to ‘humiliat[e]’ their children.”
The Great Dissenter went on, “I am sure these accusations are quite untrue. To be sure (as the majority points out), the legislation is called the Defense of Marriage Act. But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution.”
Here’s the essence of Scalia’s warning: “In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.”
Remember those words: “enemies of the human race.” Now that the Supreme Court has blessed the gay lobby’s tendency to declare anyone who does not toe the line is a straight consumed by hate, it will seem perfectly proper to take away the tax exemption of churches and schools that stand by Scripture. (How can a church or school be serving the public interest if it is degrading, demeaning, and humiliating others?) It will seem proper to deny Pell Grants or other financial help to students attending colleges that stand by Scripture.
Churches and schools that have become entangled with government—that’s just about all of them—should immediately start planning for the time they’ll either have to give up those connections or give up the Bible. Pastors and teachers who say anything negative about homosexuality should think through how they’ll react if hauled into court: That’s already happened in other countries, and it can happen here.
Scalia’s prophecy: “It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here—when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will confine the Court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.”
Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s declaration that all who oppose same-sex marriage are haters, the only thing that will keep Christ-haters from giving Christians a choice of silence or jail will be the social left’s sense of what it can get away with. As Edmund Burke wrote when reflecting on the French Revolution, “In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.”
If this doesn’t drive more Christians to pray for our country, nothing will. Some will also head for the hills, but remember: God’s still in charge and fully capable of changing hearts. Let’s take a clear-eyed look at the realities, work hard, and pray hard for revival and reformation.