prop 8 overturned

August 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm 4 comments

Al Mohler seems to be the go-to-fundamentalist in many Christian circles today. He has an article in Christianity Today decrying the overturning of Proposition 8 in California yesterday. Below are some quotes from the article, along with my comments.

“On page after page, Judge Walker …declares the evidence and arguments put forth by the defenders of Proposition 8 as lacking in any rational basis”
And the rational basis is what? The defenders of Proposition 8 had their day in court, they had their witnesses take the stand to make their case. And the judge found that, yes, they were indeed lacking a rational basis for their opinion. This statement only attempts to persuade based on rhetorical skill, and nothing else.

“A single unelected judge nullified the will of the voters of California as expressed through the electoral process.”
Isn’t that an established purpose of federal judges, to rule on the Constitutionality of legislation? I am not a scholar of our government, but that is my basic understanding.

“Until this verdict, such language had never appeared in a decision of a Federal court. If gender is no longer “an essential part of marriage,” then marriage has been essentially redefined right before our eyes.”
This is true, but wasn’t that true one time of race relations in the United States? It would have been true then, just as it is today. But that doesn’t make it wrong, just (perhaps) unprecedented.

“The central institution of human civilization suffered a direct hit, and its future hangs in the balance.”
That is true only if Mohler believes marriage is defined by governmental rules. But of course he would say it is defined by God as expressed in the bible, right? If so, what factual impact does this statement carry?

If one is to assault gay marriage from a religious perspective, do it from a religious perspective, and within religious institutions. The legislation in question is part of a culture war and a religious issue, but not a case of judicial incompetence or injustice.


Entry filed under: Christianity, conservatism, evangelicalism, fundamentalism, marriage. Tags: , , , , .

apologies for apologists you might be a theologian if…

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Wise Fool  |  August 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Good points attr. I assume that most US citizens learned in high school that we have a governmental system of checks and balances; executive, legislative, and judicial. It was constructed to give the ability of each branch to override the other in certain cases and aspects, this being one of them. It amazes me as well that there is an “anti-American,” “anti-justice,” and “anti-constitutional” rhetoric coming from the more conservative defenses, as if the founding fathers had not planned on this kind of thing happening when necessary. Perhaps Mohler needs remedial schooling?

    However, in pseudo-defense of Mohler’s one point, there are several passages (such as Numbers 25 where some Israelites were having interracial relations) where God punishes the guilty and innocent alike in a community due to the sins of some subset of that community. So while our laws do not change God’s laws, in Mohler’s view the US could be punished by God as a whole for permitting gay marriage to occur.

    Of course, history shows quite a different track record, but that’s faith for you. ;-)

  • 2. atimetorend  |  August 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I doubt Mohler needs remedial schooling, so I suspect his words are intended to rally the troops rather than take serious issue with the facts. I couln’t know, just guessing.

    I certainly had not thought of it the way you describe Mohler’s point one. Kind of scary to go around thinking you may be cut down for other’s sins. But really, that is how we actually live, we all suffer consequences of banking industry greed, environmental disasters, global warming, etc. It is just that those things are relatively quantifiable empirically, as opposed to same-sex marriage consequences. Otherwise, the defense for Prop 8 would have been able to present the rational basis Mohler mentions!

  • 3. the chaplain  |  August 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    The religious right is pissed off because Judge Walker called them out on their bigotry when he said, “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights….” He’s absolutely correct about that. His ruling is both well reasoned and well stated.

  • 4. Yewtree  |  September 21, 2010 at 2:25 am

    This stuff about marriage being redefined by allowing people of the same sex to marry is nonsense. Marriage has been redefined many times over the centuries.

    There’s an excellent blog-post on the ever-changing tradition of marriage on a blog entitled “This is what I think”, by Archie Levine.

    It is quite similar to a blog-post that I wrote earlier this year entitled “The changing face of marriage“. In fact, mine could be a sequel to his, as his is more about marriage from Biblical times to the 19th century, and mine focuses more on how marriage changed in the twentieth century.

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