Family Research Council President Tony Perkins highlights several pivotal points in yesterday’s arguments that are making Christian communities very worried aobut what might happen to religious liberty if gay “marriage” prevails.
“Would religious schools in the future be required to provide housing for same-sex couples?" Chief Justice John Roberts asked Solicitor General Donald Verilli who was representing the same-sex couples. Verilli said states could decide however they see fit if religious schools should be forced to accommodate same-sex couples.
But not if Verilli succeeds in the high court, Roberts pointed out. Then it’s a federal matter and religious schools could be forced to do so.
Justice Samuel Alito continued to question him on the same issue and asked if schools that support the traditional definition of marriage would be treated like schools that once opposed interracial marriage.
Verilli responded, “I don’t deny that.”
And what about tax exemptions, Verilli was asked. Would religious institutions lose their tax exempt status if gays are allowed to wed?
Once again, Verilli was forced to reply in the affirmative.
As Perkins points out, “The bottom line, both sides agreed, is that this would have a profound impact (and not a positive one) on religious liberty.”
As a result, Christian leaders are already forming themselves into a united front in the event that the imposition of gay marriage propels them even further into the already occuring collision between same-sex "rights" and religious liberty.
Fox News is reporting that a pledge to defend traditional marriage was co-drafted by the Catholic Deacon Keith Fournier, and Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel.
Essentially, the pledge says “we will not obey” and respectfully warns the Supreme Court “not to cross that line” into imposing a practice so antithetical to Christianity upon this nation.
“While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” states the Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage.
“We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.”
Well-known signees include former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.
In a discussion with Starnes, Staver admitted that what this pledge is saying is that there are people in America who are willing to engage in acts of civil disobedience.
“Yes, I’m talking about civil disobedience,” Staver said. “I’m talking about resistance and I’m talking about peaceful resistance against unjust laws and unjust rulings.”
He went onto explain: “I’m calling for people to not recognize the legitimacy of that ruling because it’s not grounded in the Rule of Law. They need to resist that ruling in every way possible. In a peaceful way – they need to resist it as much as Martin Luther King, Jr. resisted unjust laws in his time.”
Rick Scarborough, the president of Vision America Action, said the pledge was meant to be forthright and clear.
“We’re facing a real Constitutional crisis if the Supreme Court rules adversely from our perspective on same-sex marriage,” he told Starnes. “For me there’s no option. I’m going to choose to serve the Lord. And I think that thousands of other pastors will take that position and hundreds of thousands – if not millions of Christians.”
He went on to reference the many outrageous penalties being inflicted upon Christian bakers, photographers and restaurant owners who are punished for refusing to participate in same-sex unions.
“Christians are being declared the lawbreakers when we are simply living by what we have always believed, and by a set of laws that the culture historically has agreed to,” Scarborough said. “Right now the courts are changing the playing field and declaring that what the natural eye can see and natural law reveals is not truth. ... What will we do, and how will we respond?”
James Dobson, founder of Family Talk Radio, told Starnes that LGBT activists are obviously targeting Christians who are opposed to their lifestyle.
“For about 50 years the homosexual community has had as its goal to change the culture, to change the ideology and if necessary – to force people who don’t agree by use of the courts,” Dobson said. “I think there’s a collision here and we can all see it and where it’s going to go is anybody’s guess – but it is serious.”
As Starnes points out, “the men and women who courageously signed this pledge did so knowing the hell storm that is about to be unleashed on them – and their families.
“We have no choice,” Staver said. “We cannot compromise our clear biblical convictions, our religious convictions.”
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