Darrow Miller and Friends

The Heart of the Matter at the Supreme Court Today

Today’s Washington Post editorial is titled, “The Supreme Court Must Finish the Job on Same Sex Equality.” In it, we read:

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a case widely expected to decide a great civil rights issue of this century: what the Constitution demands on same-sex marriage.

Here, ladies and gentleman, is the now dominant view in our culture. It is how approximately 70% of young Americans, and certainly the vast majority of our cultural elite, view this matter.

First, they see it as the “great civil rights issue of this century” – an epic struggle in the long march for human freedom and dignity. Same-sex “marriage,” in the minds of millions of Americans, is the moral equivalent of the civil rights movement of the past century championed by Martin Luther King Jr. Ironically, it is almost certain that the Reverend King would find the comparison between racial equality and same-sex “marriage” both shocking and untenable.

By framing it as the great moral crusade of our generation, it effectively casts orthodox Christians in the unenviable role of villain. It is we who stand opposed to freedom, justice and human dignity. Ouch. Perhaps you feel this is unfair—to put it mildly. So do I. Regardless, this is how we are seen by many—as bigots with no greater moral standing than the Ku Klux Klan.

Given this, we must expect the demonization and cultural marginalization to increase—and to increase dramatically. This, of course, is why the current battle now being waged isn’t over same-sex “marriage” but over religious liberty. Given the starkly moralistic way that this issue has been framed, our opponents see religious liberty as nothing more than a cover for hateful discrimination against homosexuals. Thus, state religious freedom protections, or RFRAs, must be opposed at all cost.

Second, they see same-sex marriage as “something the constitution demands.”

But how, exactly, does the constitution demand same-sex “marriage?” Supporters of gay marriage point to the 14th Amendment, which was adopted in 1868, in order to addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War.

Here’s how the Washington Post put it today:

If the court strikes down the nation’s same-sex marriage bans, what will its reasoning be? Under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, discriminatory government policies generally must have a rational justification. This is not a difficult standard to meet, but supporters of prohibition nevertheless have failed to come up with anything plausible.

So according to the Washington Post, the 32 states that ratified a male-female definition of marriage in their state constitutions effectively adopted a “discriminatory government policy” without any plausible rationale. To “ban” same-sex couples from marriage is tantamount to unequal treatment prohibited by the 14th Amendment.

But to make a case for discrimination and unequal treatment in marriage, you must first agree on what marriage is! Here, the Washington Post editors use a deceitful tactic. They implicitly smuggle in their preferred definition of marriage in order to make the claim of unequal treatment.

What is this implicit, preferred definition of marriage that they want the Supreme Court to enshrine in law for all 50 states? Basically this: Marriage is nothing more than a genderless intuition of consenting adult romance and care-giving.

Before the Supreme Court today are two competing and irreconcilable definitions of marriage

We need to see though this deceit. Before the Supreme Court today are two competing and irreconcilable definitions of marriage, and the constitution is silent on which one is “correct.” Ryan Anderson at the Heritage Foundation has been extremely helpful at cutting though the emotional smoke screen in getting to the heart of the matter:

What is at issue [before the Supreme Court] is whether the government will recognize [same-sex] relationships as marriages—and then force every citizen, house of worship, and business to do so as well. At issue is whether policy will coerce and compel others to recognize and affirm same-sex relationships as marriages.

Because marriage matters so much, and particularly to children, and to the well-being of our neighbors and communities, the church must stand strong. We must protect and champion the truth. Marriage is a uniquely God-designed institution that exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife, to be father and mother to any children their union produces.

As Anderson says: “Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and woman are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father.”

This must not be lost. The church must be the guardian and steward of this precious transforming truth, regardless of what the editors of the Washington Post, the Supreme Court, or anyone else says.

  • Scott Allen

See also, A Call To Prayer for the Supreme Court


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Scott Allen serves as president of the DNA secretariat office. After serving with Food for the Hungry for 19 years in both the United States and Japan, working in the areas of human resources, staff training and program management, he teamed up with Darrow Miller and Bob Moffitt to launch the DNA in 2008. Scott is the author of Beyond the Sacred-Secular Divide: A Call to Wholistic Life and Ministry and co-author of several books including, As the Family Goes, So Goes the Nation: Principles and Practices for Building Healthy Families. His most recent book is Why Social Justice is Not Biblical Justice. Scott lives with his wife, Kim, in Bend, OR. They have five children.


  1. Jon

    May 1, 2015 - 8:41 pm

    Hard to say much more than “amen!”

    • admin

      May 2, 2015 - 7:49 am

      Thanks, Jon.