OPINION – It looks like the warnings about how the Supreme Court’s imposition of a new definition of marriage could affect religious freedoms weren’t wrong after all.
The implications of activist justices enabling the creation of new definitions for words that have endured for centuries go far beyond the subject of marriage.
Writer Tom Eddlem cautions:
We employ words with fixed meanings in order to bind leaders down with the chains of a Constitution. If they can change the meaning of the word marriage, they’ll soon be changing the meaning of ‘free speech,’ the ‘right to keep and bear arms’ and the right to a trial by jury.
Considering how often the highest court’s decisions seem to conveniently move in a direction favorable to homosexual behavior, abortion and forced association, this isn’t a misplaced concern.
In the meantime, the jailing of Rowan County clerk Kim Davis constitutes another clear milestone on society’s headlong race toward cultural decline.
As a county clerk, Davis has taken a stand against personally facilitating same-sex marriage by refusing to issue any marriage licenses whatsoever. She cites her personal conscience and her religious beliefs in right and wrong as reasons why she has done so.
As an elected official, the issuance of marriage licenses is but one of a myriad of duties Davis has been faithfully performing. It’s not the sole reason for her office.
If the same-sex couples who wanted a Kentucky marriage license were really just trying to obtain the state’s permission to be considered married, they could simply have gone to another clerk in another county and received their license.
But that’s never been the goal of militant same-sex marriage supporters. Instead, they are using the force of law to coerce acceptance and participation from anyone who will not publicly accept homosexuality as normal and righteous behavior.
Davis is refusing to play along with the politically correct deception that demands we pretend that same-sex coupling is equivalent to the natural pairing of man and woman which can create new life.
In doing so, she’s exhibiting the power of moral truth that Alexander Solzhenitsyn described when he wrote:
The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.
It’s also telling that Solzhenitsyn said:
To stand up for truth is nothing. For truth, you must sit in jail.
Nothing is more threatening to fanatical social justice warriors than a person invoking a standard of absolute truth that transcends the authority of government.
This is why totalitarians of every stripe have always sought to suppress and eliminate religion from their utopian societies. They know that allegiance to a higher power than party or state is a competing moral authority.
Moral authority, coupled with defiance of bad laws and policies, has been responsible for uprooting much of the most entrenched evil that has attended human history.
It starts with people who are more concerned about not placing their souls in jeopardy than they are about winning over the masses.
For instance, slavery, Jim Crow laws, and even the holocaust were all legal under the governments who enforced them. Individuals and public officials who flouted the Fugitive Slave Act did so out of a sense of moral truth that slavery was wrong.
Those who defiantly sat at segregated lunch counters and other places they were forbidden did so out of a sense of personal morality that could not be compromised.
Individuals and families that hid Jews or who spoke out against the Third Reich risked their lives because of religious convictions that they would not deny.
All were publicly criticized and denounced by others who insisted that they “follow the law” or else. Over time, they were all vindicated and recognized as having taken a principled stand against what others feared to call evil.
Because they were unwilling to ignore their consciences and committed to living moral truth, evil was eventually overcome.
They didn’t have to be perfect people to make a discernible difference. They simply needed to have a sense of right and wrong and the courage to abide by it.
Lawyers for the couples who sued to force Davis into issuing them a license begged the judge who imprisoned her to force her compliance by fines instead. They rightly feared that putting her in jail for refusing to deny beliefs held by millions of others might reflect badly on their client’s cause.
They were correct.
Accusations of intolerance directed at Davis are currently being drowned out by the unmistakable clamor of religious liberty and personal conscience being demolished.
How this will all shake out remains to be seen. As weird as things seem to be getting, all is not lost.
Mankind has seen a lot of folly come and go throughout human history. The traditional institution of a man and a woman producing children in a lifelong relationship has remained the norm in virtually every society, whether advanced or primitive.
It’s not likely to be rendered obsolete through social imperatives imposed via bad court decisions.
Bryan Hyde is a radio commentator and opinion writer in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
- Jailed clerk’s attorney says marriage licenses for gays are void
- Perspectives: Tolerance? Westboro Baptist-style fracas at Cedar City Jamboree
- Utahns react to Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling
- On the EDge: Utah continues war on same-sex marriage
- Perspectives: Your line in the sand, knowing when to disobey
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