BY STEVE DUNN
On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court made a decision that is the equivalent of a moral earthquake. They declared by a 5-4 vote that same sex marriage was a right protected by the Constitution of the United States. It is an event that to many is a disastrous event for which our nation will further erode the already tenuous moral fabric of America. But to many it is a moral victory affirming a way of life that they consider both healthy and desirable. I stand on the side of those who consider this decision to be a sign of our moral failure. The fact that the decision had the slimmest of majorities should give us a clue as to how unwise and potentially dangerous this decision may prove to be.
Most of us who pay careful attention to the moral character of our nation saw this one coming. We also knew that there was nothing that we could do to stop it. We are already praying for the impact of what we believe will be ultimately prove to be unwise. Marriage, already an endangered institution, will not be strengthened. I believe that many people and families and our nation itself will be hurt by this decision. I agree with Russell Moore, writing in The Washington Post: “The Court now has disregarded thousands of years of definition of the most foundational unit of society, and the cultural changes here will be broad and deep.”
I will not elaborate on all my reasons. I suspect they would simply fuel what will become an even more nasty cultural debate. For now it is the law of the land. As a minister, nothing in the decision compels me to unite same sex couples. Marriage in the US is still a civil matter as the law goes, and I would give up my professional right to preside over those unions rather to participate in a legal process that deprived me of the right to act in a manner consistent with my biblically-informed conscience.
In the meantime, I will continue to love my neighbor regardless of their sexual orientation. I will treat them with gentleness and respect–which God commands me to do. But I will continue to affirm that I believe that marriage is intended to be between a man and a woman–and that to be healthy we must live by God’s design for this institution. And I will continue to teach that marriage is so sacred that it should involve the mutual submission under the love of Christ that makes such things as spousal abuse or abandonment or no-fault divorce something to be rejected in all ideas of marriage.
I will not engage in the falsehood of affirming a lifestyle that I believe to be contrary to God’s design because loving and respecting someone does not mean that I agree and approve with everyone’s personal decisions and values. That’s a destructive lie that political correctness would impose on all of us–a lie that often proves destructive to anyone that the guardians of political correctness deems to have less rights than the rest of the citizenry.
But let me repeat–I will not treat a lost battle in the culture war as an excuse to stop showing the unconditional love of the One who loves me conditionally to any person–straight or otherwise.