This afternoon the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in a same-sex marriage case out of the Sixth Circuit. This means, with all likelihood, that the Court is destined to answer once and for all whether there’s a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
There’s too much that could be commented on, whether the break-neck pace in which all this has progressed; the judicial paving-over of millions of Americans who voted, constitutionally, to uphold marriage as the union of a man and woman; or the real threat posed to religious liberty as the sexual liberation agenda continues unhindered.
As a younger evangelical voice engaged on this issue I wonder, How should evangelicals react to the Court’s taking up of this issue? We ought to pray and hope for the best but plan for what Justice Scalia predicted in 2013: “As far as this Court is concerned, no one should be fooled; it is just a matter of listening and waiting for the other shoe.”
Listening to the Right Voice
As faithful Christians, whatever comes when the final decision is handed down in June, we’ll insist, like we’ve said countless times before in every generation, that no Court or Constitution can define what doesn’t belong to its purview. This stance may put us at odds with the Vox Americana, but it will not put us at odds with the Vox Dei.
Whatever the Supreme Court decides, Christians aren’t cowering because of any ruling. The truths of the Permanent Things will always be resurgent, as they are in every generation, despite whatever steps Caesar takes to promote false gospels.
No doubt, in the short term, advocates for marriage have their work to do. In the long run, marriage is resilient, because the truth is resilient. The anthropological truth is that men and women are different. The biological truth is that only men and woman can reproduce. The social truth is that children need moms and dads. The political truth is that governments require well-adjusted citizens who become responsible parents, workers, and taxpayers.
Society Needs Marriage
Marriage is the best place for all these truths to take shape. No electoral consensus can change what’s true. Sooner or later, the collateral damage of the Sexual Revolution will convince people to rethink their indifference to social policy and social institutions. When they do, they’ll find a band of happy warriors dedicated to improving society through the “little platoons,” the natural family.
What should we do in the meantime? Continue to assault the foundations of the Sexual Revolution, love your neighbor who may strongly disagree, build strong families, vote, get connected to a local church, worship weekly, and remember that Jesus, not Justice Kennedy, sits at the right hand of the Father. Remember also that a church in exile is never a church in retreat.
Whether the Court rules, the church must be prepared, as it did in its infancy, to work among the cultural ruins to reaffirm our commitment to the value and immutability of marriage.