Traditional Christians are Segregationists Now

Rod Dreher comments here on the implications of several recent court rulings on the same sex marriage issue. Federal judges in Virginia and Kentucky have struck down their states’ ban on same sex marriage, and in Kentucky the judge ruled that Kentucky had to recognize same sex marriages that have taken place in other states. Dreher quotes the LA Times,

No federal judge has ruled in favor of such bans since a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue last summer. Recent judicial decisions have overturned or chipped away at state laws banning gay marriage that once passed with the great popular support of voters and state legislatures.

This tremendous over reach of the federal judges–trampling on the majority opinion of ordinary citizens–is frightening enough. When you consider the judge’s reasoning and clear statement the future in this country for traditional Christians is chilling. Dreher continues quoting the LA Times analysis:

The judge, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, perhaps aware of the outrage his ruling might raise, connected his arguments against the state’s ban with allusions to the country’s past civil rights struggles against sexism and racism.

Protecting tradition, Heyburn wrote, no matter how ancient or deeply held, was not good enough of defense for laws that create different rules for different groups of people.

“For years, many states had a tradition of segregation and even articulated reasons why it created a better, more stable society,” Heyburn wrote, in what may likely become one of the most frequently-quoted passages of his decision. “Similarly, many states deprived women of their equal rights under the law, believing this to properly preserve our traditions.

“In time, even the most strident supporters of these views understood that they could not enforce their particular moral views to the detriment of another’s constitutional rights. Here as well, sometime in the not too distant future, the same understanding will come to pass.”

Dreher believes, like many of us, that this issue of same sex marriage will be the persecution point for Christians who wish to hold to a traditional understanding of the faith. The Archbishop of Canterbury has stated the same thing. In a speech to the Church of England General Synod yesterday he said that those who oppose same sex marriage will be perceived as racists. The Daily Telegraph reports on the speech here

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the Church of England it may have to accept changes many members do not like for the sake of unity – as it prepares for a battle over wedding-like blessing services for gay couples.

The Most Rev Justin Welby acknowledged that many Anglicans would view it as guilty of “betrayal” and even “apostasy” if it implements a landmark Church report which includes a recommendation to hold special services honouring same-sex relationships.

But he warned that others would see the Church as increasingly “irrelevant” and promoting attitudes “akin to racism” over its response.

The Church of England, of course, like her weird sisters the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America will endorse same sex marriage. I commented on the issue yesterday here.

When I was a student at Bob Jones University in the 1970s there were some fundamentalists in that world (as there were in apartheid South Africa) who argued that segregation was Scriptural. They maintained that God planned for the races to be “separate but equal.” Then along came the equal rights movement and virtually the whole of society rose up against such people and said they were not only wrong, but evil.

When the government came along to forcible integrate schools and ban segregation the Christian segregationists argued that their freedom of religion was being trampled on. At that point the government smiled and said, “I’m sorry. Your religious freedom only extends so far, and we’re the ones who decide just how far that is. You will integrate or suffer the consequences.”

The same drama will play out over the issue of same sex marriage. Bobby Ross at GetReligion blog gathers up some of the other news in the same sex marriage vs. religious freedom debate. Go here.

Buckle your seat belts.

 


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