The Supreme Court Decision On Gay Marriage: It’s Not A Laughing Matter, Or Is It?
[Editor’s Note: Having received his J.D. from the South Texas College of Law, Kevin has extensive experience in medical and legal malpractice litigation and also maintains an appellate practice. A product of the distinguished Advocacy Program at South Texas College of Law, he won multiple national and state championships and many speaking and brief-writing awards. A former Briefing Attorney of The First Court of Appeals, he holds professional membership in the State Bar of Texas and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.]
God is laughing at the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, this is not a good laugh; and He is not laughing with the Supreme Court. This is divine laughing originating from the throne of God, and it is not a good sign.
So, what exactly is God laughing at? The recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage is no laughing matter, but it is the object of this laughter. However, it is worthwhile to take the time to pinpoint exactly what God is not laughing about with regard to the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.
God is not laughing at the argument that minor changes in the views of marriage justify recognizing gay marriage. The court argued that gay marriage today is protected by the Constitution because marriage has been changing for years; from arranged marriages, and the doctrine of coverture (wife is under the protection and authority of husband). However, none of these changes in marriage altered the fundamental nature of marriage as one man married to one woman—a consistent element throughout history. As Justice Roberts noted in his dissent, this so-called “transformation...did not, however, work any transformation in the core structure of marriage as the union between a man and a woman.”
God is not laughing at the Supreme Court’s heavy reliance on cases recognizing interracial marriage, and then using interracial marriage as an excuse to justify same-sex marriage. As Justice Roberts so eloquently stated, “Removing racial barriers to marriage therefore did not change what a marriage was any more than integrating schools changed what a school was.”
God is not laughing at the Supreme Court’s argument that “personal choice” regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of “individual autonomy” as a means of self-definition where through the “nature of marriage...two persons can find other freedoms such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.” Question: What in the world does that mean? This so-called “analysis” sounds more like a philosophy class than constitutional analysis. Justice Roberts recognized as much when he said the majority opinion “sounds more in philosophy than law.” Justice Scalia observed in his dissent, “Whoever thought that intimacy and spirituality...were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.” Justice Scalia’s attempt at humor notwithstanding, this is not what God is laughing at.
God is not laughing at the Supreme Court’s argument that “the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individual.” The majority opinion goes on to support this position by stating, “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.” So, let me see if I have this right, James Madison and Ben Franklin. You drafted the Constitution to ensure that people would not have lonely feelings? Really? I am sure Freud would agree with you, but not Franklin. But let’s follow that argument for a moment. If any marriage is justified and legitimate because it prevents people from being lonely, then why not adopt the “more the merrier” approach. If just two people marry, they will eventually be lonely when just one dies. But if three or four marry (a.k.a. polygamy), then the unconstitutionality of loneliness will be even further defeated. It only makes sense.
If we can change the fundamental nature of marriage by removing the restriction of one man married to one woman, why are we only allowed to change the gender makeup of that institution? Why can’t we change the numerical, bilateral nature of marriage? Justice Roberts recognized this logical conclusion in his dissent when he wrote, “from the standpoint of history, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some churches around the world.... It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.” Just wait. It will not be long at all before special interest groups and certain religious organizations will be petitioning for states to remove statutes criminalizing polygamy, and eventually, requiring states to recognize multi-party marriages (the same route gay marriage advocates took). It is just a matter of time under this laughable analysis. But that is not why God is laughing.
God is not laughing at the Supreme Court’s argument that gay marriage is now a constitutionally protected fundamental right because the right to marry “safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childbearing, procreation, and education.” That’s right; the Supreme Court is arguing that “childbearing and procreation” are a basis for extending constitutional protection to same-sex marriage. Are not arguments based on childbearing and procreation typically found in the traditional positions against homosexuality? I never thought I would see the day when the argument that childbearing and procreation would be the argument used to justify gay marriage. Can homosexuals bear children or procreate with each other? By its very nature, homosexuality is impotent in such matters. Apparently, common sense has left the building.
God is not laughing at the argument that the law allows gay couples to adopt, which “provides powerful confirmation from the law itself that gays and lesbians can create loving supportive families.” The basis of this argument has been used by denominations for years—if you have love in your heart, it doesn’t matter what you do. Therefore, if homosexuals appear loving and express care for adopted children, it must be okay to marry, right? Apparently, the ability to care for children is now the basis for constitutional recognition of marriage. However, we have all seen courageous dogs that protect and care for their young, but that does not give rise to the right to an interspecies marriage. But it would under this result-oriented analysis from the Supreme Court.
God is not laughing at the argument advanced by the Supreme Court that gay marriage is a fundamental right because otherwise, “their children [would] suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser...and harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples.” This widely-used political argument is called, “What about the children?” When someone is trying to scare others to adopt their point of view, but has no legitimate argument or ammunition, they throw out an emotion-based hypothetical and proclaim, “What about the children?” At this point, women are supposed to swoon and delicate men faint at the thought that this may somehow harm our children. Again, the tyrannical evil that is being constitutionally thwarted here is the evil of hurt feelings. Which begs the question, “When did we become a nation of pansies?” Give me liberty or give me death, unless it might hurt some child’s feelings. That is apparently where we are as a nation.
God is not laughing at the Supreme Court’s ridiculous efforts to justify their position by arguing that “marriage is a keystone of our social order.” To that proposition we would all heartily agree (without adopting the conclusion that gay marriage is a constitutionally protected freedom). And history has borne this principle out over and over again. As the institution of marriage crumbles; as people become preoccupied with their own pleasure; as people become more decadent and obsessed with self-pleasure, sexuality, and gayety; as long-held notions of love and healthy sexuality are set aside; and as loose relationships, open love, and same-sex companionship flourish; history teaches us that the fall is never far behind. Not to be overly crass, but just look at any gay pride parade, and you can see where the “keystone of our social order” is headed; and that is no joke.
God is not laughing at the blatant hubris and condescension of the majority opinion in the Obergefell case. The majority opinion proudly proclaims that they have finally figured out what other legal morons in the past could not: “The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest.” Justice Kennedy describes the majority’s position as based on a purported “better informed understanding.” Rather than learn from history, the majority looks down on the thinkers of the past and proclaim themselves as the geniuses who overcame the stupidity of our ancestors.
This arrogance did not escape Justice Scalia who wrote, “The [majority] opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic.” He recognized the fact that the majority has “discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a ‘fundamental right’ overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since. They see what “lesser” legal minds—minds like Thomas Cooley, John Marshall Harlan, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Learned Hand, Louis Brandeis, William Howard Taft, Benjamin Cardozo, Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, and Henry Friendly—could not. God is not laughing at this prideful display that proclaims to be the first sober-minded legal minds to finally get it right.
So what exactly is God laughing at? The Bible holds the answer (a book that escaped the mention of any judge in the Obergefell opinion, neither in the majority opinion nor in any of the dissents).
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision (Psalm 2:1-4).
But the Lord laughs at the wicked, for He sees that His day is coming (Psalm 37:13).
Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. ...But you, O Lord, laugh at them; You hold all the nations in derision (Psalm 59:5,8).
This is not God making light of this dilemma or teasing those who are lost in sin. God is trying to emphasize the folly and pointlessness of sin and the arrogance that ignores God’s simple instruction. God laughs to illustrate the vanity and futility of trying to resist His counsel and commands while thinking we know what is best for ourselves. If we continue to reject God, He will reject us when we need Him the most.
Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all My counsel and would have none of My reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon Me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently but will not find Me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel and despised all My reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices (Proverbs 1:24-31).
Does this instruction and warning from the wise pen of Solomon have greater meaning and significance in light of the Supreme Court’s recent gay marriage opinion? God is laughing, and it should cause us to weep for our nation that is filled with so many lost souls that God sincerely loves. God’s laughter should stand out like a tornado siren warning us of the impending storm and whirlwind that Solomon described by inspiration, and reminding us to be ever vigilant and watchful to remain faithful as the world continues to drift further and further away from the truth. Now, more than ever, faithful Christians can be a light that stands out in a world utterly lost in darkness blinded by its own legal wisdom. That is no laughing matter.
Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015).