The Federal Marriage Amendment: Cure-All Or Band-Aid?
God’s Word is crystal clear about homosexuality. It is included in Leviticus among a list of offenses that cause God to “vomit out [a land’s] inhabitants.” The New Testament speaks of homosexuality as a sign that God has given a society up to its own “base passions.” In Romans Paul describes how “women burned with passion for women, men with men, doing things that were unseemly.” America has gone just that far.
Some people, including many of my closest friends, believe that a federal marriage amendment, as proposed by President Bush and others, is needed to solve the problem of same-sex unions in America. Having studied this issue for several months, I would like to offer a dissenting view.
In the first place, I must register respectful but strenuous disagreement with the notion that a federal marriage amendment is the best solution to this problem, or that George W. Bush is a friend of our cause. Social problems cannot be solved by government “solutions” such as constitutional amendments or government decrees. For over a year now I have been trying to make this point on my website, Dave Black Online. Our Congress, the president, and our courts already ignore gigantic portions of the U.S. Constitution everyday. If you don’t believe me, consider the Tenth Amendment. It says that the powers not given to the federal government belong to the states or the people. Has that stopped the federal government from usurping more and more powers of the states and the people? Just ask former judge Roy Moore, a true Christian statesman. My friends, government should have no more to say about marriage than it would about any other contract or sacrament. In a free society, marriage should be managed on a voluntary basis by the church or other private institutions. Nationalizing marriage laws will only grant more power to an already bloated federal government.
Secondly, supporters of a marriage amendment are, I believe, overly optimistic. Their thinking assumes that a federal marriage amendment would result in the greater good occurring. But we all know how dubious that is when we are talking about politicians. Witness the inconsistencies in the president’s own policies on homosexuality. Not long after President Bush endorsed “Marriage Protection Week,” he sent a letter of congratulations to a denomination founded by homosexual activists called the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). (This denomination is no small player in America’s culture wars. It performs more than 6,000 same-sex “weddings” each year.) Bush wrote to the founding congregation of the MCC in Los Angeles, which is led by homosexual activist Rev. Troy D. Perry, on the occasion of its 35th anniversary. Bush’s letter stated: “By encouraging the celebration of faith and sharing of God’s love and boundless mercy, churches like yours put hope in people’s hearts and a sense of purpose in their lives.” He added, “This milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on your years of service and to rejoice in God’s faithfulness to your congregation.”
Remember, this is the same Bush who issued a proclamation endorsing the traditional family in which he declared, “Marriage is a sacred institution, and its protection is essential to the continued strength of our society.” The MCC’s Perry responded to Bush’s proclamation with alarm. “President Bush was wrong in his endorsement of a week dedicated to denying equal rights to gays and lesbians,” Perry said, adding, “the president has sent a very mixed message that makes his effusive praise of MCC’s 35th anniversary all the more puzzling.” Rev. Neil Thomas, another MCC pastor, agreed. “How does one denounce the right of gays and lesbians to marry in their churches and suggest they are incapable of having healthy marriages in one moment, and in the next rejoice in God’s faithfulness to a gay and lesbian congregation that performs such same-sex marriages?”
Many of us who voted for Bush in 2000 are asking the same questions. As I have documented time and again on Dave Black Online, moral and constitutional issues are being decided in America with no appeal to moral or constitutional principles and, in some cases, an intentional disregard of them. That’s why Bush can voice his opposition to same-sex marriage in one breath and then, in the next, appoint sodomites to high office in government and support so-called “safe-sex” programs. As the Family Policy Network has shown, Bush is advancing the homosexual agenda as much as any other president in history.
Finally, even the wording of the amendment— “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups”— does not explicitly prohibit “gay marriage.” Indeed, what exactly does “construed” mean? And what is “marital status”? Is it the status society confers upon the institution of marriage? If so, how would a constitutional amendment affect it? After all, even amendment supporters admit that civil unions could be permitted under this law. Such unions could be identical to marriage in every way except the label used in the title of the statute.
If you are satisfied with Bush’s record on sodomy, I must respectfully dissent. I believe we need a president who consistently and uncompromisingly upholds biblical morality. Thankfully, this presidential election we have a real choice. One candidate, and one candidate only, would consistently oppose same-sex marriage while upholding the U.S. Constitution. Writes Baptist Pastor Chuck Baldwin:
Therefore, if people desire a presidential candidate who truly understands the sanctity of marriage and the limitation of government to meddle with it, there is only one choice: Constitution Party Presidential Candidate, Michael Peroutka. He is the only candidate for president who truly opposes same-sex unions and who also opposes government’s usurpation of God’s authority over marriage.
Michael Peroutka believes, as I do, in a bottom-up approach to national revival and renewal. Hence the platform of the Constitution Party places the locus of authority within the family, where it belongs. It states:
The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family. We affirm, therefore, that no government may authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted. Parents have the fundamental right and responsibility to nurture, educate, and discipline their children. Assumption of any of these responsibilities by any governmental agency usurps the role of the parents.
Peroutka adds: “Godly marriage does not need the approval of any civil government. Let me here declare that I oppose homosexual marriage and civil unions, even as I oppose the hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies which President Bush and the Democrats in Congress have supported to promote ‘safe sodomy’ and underwrite the infrastructure of the homosexual movement.” In my opinion, this position is the only one that is consistent with biblical morality and constitutional principles of government. That is why Michael Peroutka and the Constitution Party are in the 2004 presidential race—and why his campaign motto “God, Family, Republic” is resonating with more and more conservatives.
For those of you who don’t share my political convictions, I don’t expect you to see things my way. But let’s not assume that all conservatives are Bush Republicans or believe in government “solutions” to our nation’s problems. Having just spent 23 months building a house, I can tell you that you don’t fix a faulty foundation by plastering the cracks in the wall!
Despite all the rhetoric and hubbub, the federal marriage amendment is nothing but a distraction, a band-aid on a cancerous sore. Support it if you like, but even if it passes it will do little good. As numerous commentators have pointed out, we will still have anti-discrimination laws on the books that protect homosexuals and that legally sanction homosexuality, a homophile culture in Hollywood and in the academy, homosexual ministers, religiously sanctioned homosexual “marriages” by mainline churches, and homosexuals being appointed to high office or hired by “conservative” politicians (e.g., Bush hired Dick Cheney’s openly gay daughter to be a consultant for him during the 2000 campaign and appointed a homosexual activist to be ambassador to Romania despite protests from the Romanian government). So this amendment, even if it is passed and even if it successfully restricts homosexual marriages from being recognized by the state, won’t be all that important.
This election year, as America “Slouches towards Gomorrah” (as Robert Bork entitled his recent book), I urge you to make a real difference by voting only for those politicians who take an uncompromising and consistent stand against homosexuality, and who will not only condemn homosexual unions but will also adamantly refuse to praise, appoint, or hire practicing homosexuals.
April 27, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, will be released this year.