By Bob Bennett
This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, which asks the Court to redefine marriage under the reasoning that, under the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause, there’s no rational reason to keep the traditional definition of marriage the way it’s been for eons. Not only is that statement irrational, it is irrational to say that one amendment negates another. More about that later.
Essentially, SCOTUS will decide whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. This is an absurd plan because the Constitution doesn’t say that opposite-sex marriage is a right either—it doesn’t mention marriage at all. The Justices have a conundrum to face, in the hope of resolving confusion resulting from two of their convoluted decisions on the same topic, in 2013. But involving the Court in this issue is like asking your doctor to repair your carburetor.
The real problem is, marriage has for centuries had a powerful religious significance, and most Americans understand that. A religious Jewish couple is married by a rabbi, Christians are married by a priest or minister. Violation of the marriage vow is prohibited in the Ten Commandments. In strict Judaism, a legal divorce is not sufficient: the couple has to get a Jewish divorce as well.
In both religions, marriage is symbolic of the unbreakable bond between Man and God, or Christ. In Christianity, marriage is one of the seven sacraments. A sacrament is, by definition, something sacred, by nature divine.
There is a legal obligation a married couple has to one another, but this deals mainly with property rights in the event of divorce. In addition, it’s illegal to marry close relatives, for biological reasons.
Otherwise, the government has kept its intrusive nose out of marriage. Attorneys say, to properly follow the Constitution, one looks first to the words of the Constitution, then if they’re not clear, one looks to interpretive laws passed by Congress; then, one looks to Supreme Court decisions.
Marriage is not defined in the Constitution, because in 1791, any fool knew what marriage is. Today, we’re puzzled—because the Left wants us puzzled. Since marriage is so infused with religion, we should be looking to the Constitution first, to know how the government must relate to religion, on which the Constitution is quite clear: practice of Religion is protected under the First Amendment, along with freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of peaceable assembly:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” It’s the very first thing mentioned in the First Amendment. So, courts levying enormous fines on bakeries and florists, for refusing customers based upon religion is clearly unconstitutional. It’s just as clear as would be a court levying a fine on Fox News for criticizing the president.
It would also seem to be in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, passed in the Senate 97–3, which said:
“Governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification.” EXCEPTION.—Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—
(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”
One fails to see the government’s compelling interest in forcing a particular small business to make a wedding cake, when there are numerous others around willing to perform that function. And levying a fine clearly designed to put that shop out of business is certainly not “the least restrictive means.”
Such was the $135,000 fine proposed by an administrative law judge against the Oregon Christian couple who ran Sweet Cakes Bakery; they had refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, for religious reasons. According to the Wall Street Journal, same-sex marriage wasn’t even legal in Oregon, at the time of the incident; the judge cited a law forbidding discrimination “in public accommodations.” That’s digging deep to set an example, I would say.
The tactic of trying to get SCOTUS to declare Gay marriage a constitutional right is rooted in the inherent contradiction of a state discrimination law superseding the Bill of Rights.
It’s all been very simple, really. Until the government evidently decided it had a “compelling interest” in declaring war on religion—in particular, on Christianity.
For, if SCOTUS should make the ludicrous decision that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, then the next step is likely to be gay couples suing churches for refusing to conduct their weddings, and the resultant loss of churches’ tax exemption—the true goal, says Rush Limbaugh.
Indeed, the WSJ reported that Justice Alito asked Obama’s solicitor general Donald Verrilli “whether a religiously affiliated college that opposed same-sex marriage could lose its tax-exempt status after such a ruling. ‘It is going to be an issue.’ Verrilli replied.”
Of course it’s going to be an “issue.” That’s the intention. The WSJ declared that “persecution of Christians” might be a better term. And that is precisely what we’ve been witnessing.
It’s a tactical routine of the Left to confuse something that’s been absolutely crystal from time immemorial, so that most Americans can’t comprehend the real issue. Sadly, Americans seem to pride themselves on studying minutely subjects like the Kardashians, but rejecting the idea of typing a few words into Google to find out what’s being done to their cherished beliefs and freedoms.
Possible Obama successor Hillary Clinton openly stated that “Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care”—code for abortion, the Left’s sacrament— “…deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs… have to be changed.” Of course, abortion is itself an attack on religion.
And, of course, Obama’s been battling Christianity all along, assisted by street-level tactics. Does anyone really believe that Gays are just wandering into Christian florists, bakers, and photographers by accident? Why do they never stumble on a Muslim florist?
It’s still simple, if SCOTUS doesn’t muck it up: let people practice their religions, so long as they don’t make us practice their religions. And let Gays do what they will.
But don’t think all of us are unaware of anything but the Kardashians. As soon as Obama said he had “evolved” on Gay marriage, we knew it was an attack on Christianity. Just as we know his weird tolerance for the mass murder of Christians in the Middle East and Africa is part of that attack.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.