More Than 100 Pastors Sign "Marriage Pledge" to Preserve Traditional Marriage

2011-04-21T023646Z_01_GUY01_RTRIDSP_0_GUYANAThe Reverends Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz have published in First Things what they’ve dubbed the “Marriage Pledge.” The pledge would effectively separate civil marriage from the religious ceremony—signers of the pledge would refuse to sign marriage certificates, for instance. The pledge has been signed by more than 100 members of the clergy, as well as laypersons in support of the pledge and came about due to fears of pastors being forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

As Christian ministers we must bear clear witness. This is a perilous time. Divorce and co-¬habitation have weakened marriage. We have been too complacent in our responses to these trends. Now marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are ¬being tested yet again. If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word.

The new definition of marriage no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and woman. Our biblical faith is committed to upholding, celebrating, and furthering this understanding, which is stated many times within the Scriptures and has been repeatedly restated in our wedding ceremonies, church laws, and doctrinal standards for centuries. To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.

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Cardinal Burke: Neither Bishops Nor Pope Can Change Christ's Teaching on Marriage

Photo Credit: APCan a pope change Catholic teaching on marriage?

When the synod of bishops that Pope Francis has called to discuss the family was meeting in Rome earlier this month, someone not particularly familiar with the Catholic faith might have presumed the answer was yes.

The synod, for example, released a midterm report with a section headed: “Positive aspects of civil unions and cohabitation.”

Yet the Catholic Catechism states: “The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble.” The Catechism cites Chapter 10 of the Gospel of Mark as one source for this teaching.

“The Pharisees approached and asked, ‘Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him,” says the Gospel of Mark.

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Sen. Ted Cruz Plans Constitutional Amendment to Protect State Marriage Laws

Photo Credit: American Life LeagueIn the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s refusal to review five court cases in which lower courts overturned individual states’ marriage protection laws, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, slammed the court for “abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution” and announced his plan to introduce a Constitutional amendment preventing federal legislators and judges from interfering with state-level laws defining marriage.

“The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing,” he said.

“This is judicial activism at its worst,” Cruz added. “The Constitution entrusts state legislatures, elected by the People, to define marriage consistent with the values and mores of their citizens. Unelected judges should not be imposing their policy preferences to subvert the considered judgments of democratically elected legislatures.”

In the absence of a Supreme Court ruling about the legality of marriage protection laws, which generally define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the nation has rapidly become a patchwork landscape of differing definitions of what it means to be “married.”

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Why Traditional Marriage Supporters Think 2015 Will Be a Turning Point in Debate

Photo Credit: UPI / Kevin Dietsch / NewscomDespite rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 from the U.S. Supreme Court last year, traditional marriage supporters are looking ahead to 2015 as a crucial moment in the marriage debate.

Supreme Court justices met for the first time today to consider if they will hear any same-sex marriage cases during the 2014-15 term. The court is faced with seven such lawsuits and has until January to decide whether to hear any of them.

The cases would ultimately decide whether same-sex marriage is legalized nationwide.

The topic was a big draw at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Speakers outlined what the future of marriage looks like as the Supreme Court weighs whether or not to wade into the debate once again.

“This attack on marriage is an attack on the family, and it’s designed to remove an impediment to government control of our lives,” said John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. “We have got to stand and fight.”

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HGTV Pulls New Home-Flipping Series After Report Emerges Identifying Its Stars As Traditional Marriage Supporters

Photo Credit: Deadline

Photo Credit: Deadline

…Yesterday, HGTV said it was “currently in the process of reviewing all information about the Benhams and we will provide an update as soon as possible.” Then came a tweet today:

HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers’ series.

— HGTV (@hgtv) May 7, 2014

Right Wing Watch reported Tuesday that David Benham had led a prayer rally outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in 2012, in which he told conservative radio host Janet Mefferd that America’s Christian majority must repent for tolerating “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation” and “demonic ideologies tak[ing] our universities and our public school systems.”

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Cruz: GOP Should ‘Continue to Defend Life’ and ‘Defend Traditional Marriage’ (+video)

Photo Credit: APSenator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), a potential presidential contender in 2016, said the Republican Party needs a “big tent” that embraces centuries-old “American values” to succeed, adding that the GOP “should continue to defend life and that we should continue to defend traditional marriage.”

Cruz made his remarks during a Mar. 18 interview with the Des Moines Register, where he was asked about Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who recently said that for the Republican Party to grow and recruit more young people, it needed to “agree to disagree on social issues,” specifically homosexual “marriage.”

Cruz was asked whether he agreed with Sen. Paul’s view. The senator from Texas said, “Look, I am a conservative. I’m a fiscal conservative. I’m a social conservative. I think we’ve seen that in order for the Republican Party to succeed, we need to be a big tent. We need to embrace American values. American values that have been present in our country, have been present in every small town, every small business, every family for centuries.”

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GOP House Leadership Abandons Defense of Marriage

Photo Credit: APThe Republican leaders in the House of Representatives are no longer planning to defend traditional marriage at the federal level.

By their own admission in a case challenging the definition of “spouse” as applied to veterans’ benefits, lawyers for the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, or BLAG, controlled by House Republicans, announced Thursday they will “no longer defend” the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, in federal court.

Documents hosted by BuzzFeed in the case of McLaughlin v. Panetta reveal GOP House attorneys essentially believe the Supreme Court has settled the issue.

“The Windsor decision necessarily resolves the issue of DOMA Section 3′s constitutionality in this case,” BLAG attorneys wrote. “While the question of whether 38 U.S.C. § 101(3), (31) is constitutional remains open, the House has determined, in light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, that it no longer will defend that statute.

“Accordingly,” the lawyers filed, “the House now seeks leave to withdraw as a party defendant.”

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Supreme Court Hints That It Won’t Issue Sweeping Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage; Scalia Hammers Anti-Prop 8 Advocate

NBC Politics

In a historic oral argument on a challenge to state laws that limit marriage to heterosexual couples, the Supreme Court indicated Tuesday that it might not strike down such laws.

The justice whom many observers view as the swing vote in the case, Justice Anthony Kennedy, voiced worry at one point during the argument that proponents of same-sex marriages were asking the court to issue a decision that would “go into uncharted waters.”

After the oral argument, Pete Williams of NBC News reported that it seemed “quite obvious that the U.S. Supreme Court is not prepared to issue any kind of sweeping ruling” declaring that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

Williams said there seemed to be “very little eagerness” from any of the justices to “embrace that broad a ruling.”

At issue Tuesday was California’s Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment enacted by voters in 2008 that limits marriage to one man-one woman couples. Those seeking to have the court strike down Proposition 8 argue that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment includes a right for same-sex couples to marry. Read more from this story HERE.

SCALIA: ‘When Did It Become Unconstitutional To Exclude Homosexual Couples From Marriage?’

By Brett LoGiurato. During oral arguments today at the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia and attorney Ted Olson had a pointed exchange over whether same-sex marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Scalia’s argument, which was advanced by Chief Justice John Roberts before him, was that when the institution of marriage developed historically, it was not done with the explicit intent of excluding gay and lesbian couples.

“We don’t prescribe law for the future,” Scalia said. “We decide what the law is. I’m curious, when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868? When the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted?”

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Starbucks CEO: If You Support Traditional Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business

At the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, CEO Howard Schultz sent a clear message to anyone who supports traditional marriage over gay marriage: we don’t want your business. After saying Starbucks wants to “embrace diversity of all kinds,” he told a shareholder who supports traditional marriage that he should sell his shares and invest in some other company. [Click HERE for Schultz’s recent statement regarding guns in Starbucks]

According to a report by Forbes, Schultz seemed a bit intolerant of any Starbucks shareholders who opposed gay marriage for moral or religious reasons. During the meeting, shareholder Tom Strobhar (who founded the Corporate Morality Action Center) pointed out that after the company voiced its support for a referendum backing gay marriage in Washington state, a boycott by traditional marriage supporters caused a drop in sales revenue. Schultz told him “You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company” if he did not agree with the company’s pro-gay marriage stand.

READ: Constitutional Lawyers Say Gay Marriage Decision Illegitimate, Unlawful, and a Fraud on the American People

READ: Scalia’s FACE-MELTING Dissent on Gay Marriage: Justifying a Second American Revolution?

READ: States Say “HELL NO” to Supreme Court’s Lawless Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Read more from this story HERE.

Newt vs. Newt

This time I should’ve been the one listening.

But listening can be tough sometimes when you’re an analyst and a commentator, and people around the country – listeners, readers, media, candidates, causes, businesses, etc. – come to you to find out why things are happening and what may happen next. Analysis and commentary is one of the few things in life I’m really good at. My car expertise begins and ends with changing a tire. Any toy that comes with the phrase “some assembly required” my kids immediately take to my wife. And when that much-anticipated Zombie apocalypse finally happens I’m going to have to heavily rely upon my gun-toting “doomsday prepper” friends to survive.

But analysis and commentary I can do. It’s how I provide for my family, and since it puts food on my kids’ table regularly somebody must think I’m pretty decent at it. Yet this time I swung and missed.

I am 39-years old so a little young for the Reagan era. I wasn’t legally able to obtain a driver’s license yet when Reagan left office. Like many my age, my conservatism was actually honed by listening to Rush Limbaugh and cheering on Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution of 1994. In my era, Gingrich is a transformative figure. He’s still the only man alive to win a national election on conservative principles. He played a part in establishing much of the conservative infrastructure we take for granted nowadays. There are only two authors I ever sought autographed books from: Bo Schembechler and Gingrich.

Yet despite my fan boy crush, I am well aware of his peccadilloes. He’s on his third marriage. He lost the Speaker’s gavel because of a caucus revolt against his leadership. He inexcusably backed Dede Scozzafava. He rightly stood up against the TARP, and then reversed course and backed what I believe may be the most criminal legislation in American history. These are just some of the reasons why several people close to me told me I was making a mistake when I endorsed him for president during the 2012 primary.

Yet I pointed to the fact he is one of the few national figures in the GOP that has the wit and knowledge to effectively communicate what we believe in today’s short-attention-span-society, which I believe is very important to our movement going forward. He was the only candidate last year that was really speaking to what I believe is the biggest threat to liberty and morality in America—judicial supremacy (which is really the judicial oligarchy Jefferson warned us about). And I was also impressed with the way Gingrich was willing to speak openly about his past moral transgressions, including one very blunt joint appearance on my radio show with Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. As a Christian I’m a sucker for a good redemption story.

However, there’s a reason I have often compared Gingrich to King David in the Bible, beyond the marriage infidelity both have in common. Both were also extraordinarily God-gifted leaders whose legacies were tarnished by their slack of self-discipline. Both were often at their best when pursuing power and at their worse once they obtained it.

While on vacation I was reminded of that comparison when I saw Gingrich say that Republicans should accept the destruction of marriage as “inevitable.” As a historian Gingrich should know better. He should know that marriage and free market economics are the essential societal bedrock components of western civilization, without which liberty isn’t possible. I know firsthand he should know that, because he has communicated right to my face that he does.

In a letter to The Family Leader just 13 months ago, Gingrich said:

As president I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. I will aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in state and federal courts. I will support a federal constitutional amendment (defending marriage). I will oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to redefine marriage.

So which is it, Newt? Do you want to defend marriage or not? Those words do not read like someone who thought destroying marriage was “inevitable?” Did you mean them?

For the past week Gingrich has been rightly urging conservatives to fight the fiscal cliff tax increase. Maybe Gingrich should be urging us to surrender instead, being that our slide towards bankrupt statism seems “inevitable” after all. As a father with three small children at home, I’m looking for leaders who will fight to stop our “inevitable” destruction as a free republic, not come to grips with it. Especially on an issue like marriage, that is 31-4 (89%) at the ballot box.

Gingrich was arguably the most gifted political figure of his era. He could’ve been an American Churchill. Check that, he should have been. Despite all that he has accomplished (which I’m thankful for) his legacy still includes a waste of potential. He could’ve led us out of the wilderness. Instead we’re still circling the mountain (or the drain).

Several of you warned me about this, which is why despite his obvious gifts Gingrich failed not once but twice to coalesce conservatives when he was the presidential frontrunner. Some of you were once bitten and twice shy. Now I get it.

I still have a soft spot for Newt, and he’s still one of the few politicians I’ve met whose intellect I actually respect. But that’s not enough to believe he should hold the highest office of this land. If someone won’t defend marriage, the oldest institution in God’s created order, then what can you count on them to defend when it’s hard?

Those of you that warned me were right. I was wrong. This time I should’ve listened to your analysis.


You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.