"Gay Marriage," Alabama, States' Rights, Judge Roy Moore, Russell Moore, Robert A. J. Gagnon, ...

02181501By Paul Blair – BarbWire guest contributor

Did you ever wonder why Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were the only three Hebrews that refused to bow down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar erected in the plains of Shinar? I suspect that a distant relative of Russell Moore was on the scene misquoting Romans 13 to the others.

For those of you that are confused, Russell Moore, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, was quoted criticizing Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s instruction for state officials to disregard a Federal judge’s ruling and NOT issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Russell Moore (no relation to Roy) was quoted in the February 12 edition of the Baptist Press to say, “As citizens and as Christians, our response should be one of both conviction and of respect for the rule of law (1 Peter 2:13; Romans 13). Our system of government does not allow a state to defy the law of the land.”

Read the whole article: An Open Letter to Russell Moore - BarbWire.com.

Robert A. J. Gagnon also weighed in on it as follows:

I find it hard to believe that the majority of Southern Baptists would support Russell Moore's untenable position that Judge Roy Moore is wrong when he courageously defies the dictatorial edict of unelected rogue federal judges to invalidate his state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The Constitution does not in fact support the role of federal judges to act as legislators in redefining the nature of marriage.

The absence of the mention of marriage from the Constitution (though, to be sure, presumed and accepted by all the Founders of the Constitution as male-female in character) indicates that it is a matter for the state legislatures to resolve. Robert George's appeal to Lincoln's defiance of SCOTUS on the Dred Scot Case (see previous posting) is the better route. It is rogue judges with a homosexualist ideology who are defying the "rule of law," not Judge Moore. It is ludicrous for the Left to assert that the 14th Amendment requires same-sex marriage. This is simply abuse of judicial power, where unelected, unresponsive functionaries find the thinnest of reeds to justify transgressing into legislative authority.

Jefferson was right: “One single object… [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation” (Letter to Edward Livingston, March 25, 1825).

Lincoln was right: “…The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal" (First Inaugural, 1861).

As noted in the posted article, Madison was right as well. "James Madison clearly stated in Federalist #45: 'The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce…The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.' ... So what is the proper recourse if the Federal Government exceeds its limits? In 1798, ... Madison wrote in the Virginia Resolutions: '…in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.'”

Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is wrong.

The secular Left will give Russell Moore kudos for his stance which contributes to the erosion of the very religious liberties that his position is supposed to protect. But he should receive no such kudos from his fellow Christians. I wish that every state Supreme Court Chief Justice in the land took the position of Judge Roy Moore.

This is not the first time Russell Moore has taken a problematic approach to issues. At the ERLC Conference on Homosexuality last October, Moore denounced reparative therapy for persons seeking help with same-sex attractions, essentially throwing under the bus the one movement in secular psychology providing help for ssa-persons who want to live a godly life https://religionnews.com/2014/10/28/evangelical-leader-russell-moore-denounces-ex-gay-therapy/. He also provided little or no platform in the Conference for ex-gay transformation ministries that offer hope for change in same-sex attractions. His position doesn't strike me as all that different from court decisions to prevent youth from receiving counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions.

Russell Moore should be advocating for the views of Southern Baptists. As things now stand, I think he is just representing his own views, which are out of sync not only with most Southern Baptists but also with many orthodox believers outside of the SBC. Yet the secular world can claim that Russell Moore speaks for Southern Baptists as a whole and use that stick to destroy those seeking to preserve the correct definition of marriage in the public sphere.

If Roy Moore continues after the US Supreme Court mandates homosexual marriage nationwide, the federal government will move to arrest him. The federal government might not wait (likely). The only thing left to the states will be to go along with the US Supreme Court's edict or secede, which any such secession will give rise to another civil war if those states do act to fight to the death over the matter.

The problem with "states' rights" is the direct connection in the public mind with racism and slavery. How to overcome that is a major hurdle.

The federal judiciary looks good in general to many because it has often rightly stood up for the Bill of Rights. The homosexualists have worked and worked and worked to more than insert homosexuality into those rights to the point where free exercise (though never unlimited) relative to the right of homosexuality, is to be relegated to the "trash heap of history," at least until sufficient numbers stand up for free exercise even on pain of death.

Of course, the logical conclusion of homosexuality trumping Christianity will mean the end of Christianity proper via judicial edict ostensibly under the US Constitution without that document being expressly amended.

It can be of no weight to say that the courts, on the pretense of a repugnancy, may substitute their own pleasure to the constitutional intentions of the legislature. This might as well happen in the case of two contradictory statutes; or it might as well happen in every adjudication upon any single statute. The courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGMENT, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body. (The Federalist Papers : No. 78)

No matter what, the issue still comes down to express free exercise versus the supposedly implied homosexual right to marry, to be held equal in that institution.

Judges have definitely been asserting their will rather than the judgment Hamilton meant.

Robert A. J. Gagnon contributed the following terrific link: "Lincoln's take on judicial supremacy," by Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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