Justice Kennedy’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision is anchored in the liberty to “define and express” one’s identity. But this view of man is not as exalted as it seems. According to Kennedy, self-defined man, if he’s unmarried, remains tragically lonely, and without state recognition, might even doubt his own dignity.
The future of marriage in the United States may look grim, but so did the pro-life cause look forty years ago. Embattled social conservatives should find hope in the demographic shifts that trailed the legalization of abortion.
Decisions of the Supreme Court that go beyond power delegated to the judicial branch or are contrary to the Constitution are null and void. To protect our constitutional republic, citizens, states, and the other branches of the federal government must resist any such decision.
A true republic respects religious speech. Such speech represents a different authority from governing power and affirms its limited nature.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is a significant setback for all Americans who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, democratic self-government, and marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Will the right of Americans to speak and act in accord with the truth of marriage be tolerated?
As a legal opinion, Obergefell is an utter failure, relying as it does on a tenuous and historically ungrounded jurisprudence of “dignity.” The debate over same-sex marriage is not over. A constitutional ruling so shoddily reasoned, so completely and easily dismantled by the dissents, must paper over a cause that cannot ultimately win in an open debate.
If good morals are essential for a free republic to endure, and if a certain group of institutions successfully promote those morals, then it follows that a well-governed state may be friendly to those institutions—even if they are churches.
Do proponents of marriage equality want marriage equality or not? The rhetoric of marriage equality does not match the reality. Only if marriage is the union of a man and a woman does it make any sense to have paternity presumed without consent, incest and polygamy prohibited, and custody bestowed upon biological or presumed parents except for cause.
Those who would follow in Father Richard John Neuhaus’s footsteps would do well to note these lessons of his life. Religion and vocation matter more deeply than political wrangling, and we must continue to build intellectual families that combine conviviality with fighting for the greatest causes.
The West’s struggle with high public debt highlights the inertia and indecision of both governments and citizens in the face of difficult economic choices.
The “Benedict Option” isn’t the only way for Christians to confront the reality of an increasingly hostile and secular culture.
It’s not that in misery and suffering human beings grasp at foolish theories that give them some hope. Rather, amidst prosperity, human beings can blind themselves to the reality of the human condition and so never ask the questions that, once asked, cannot be plausibly answered except in theistic terms.
Millennials who stand up for family, marriage, and the foundational institutions of civil society make possible a new cultural counter-revolution. The question is, will you join it?
There are some problems in the reasoning of Justice Scalia’s opinion in the 1990 religious freedom case. But in its holding, and in its rejection of a quarter century of jurisprudence that could not be squared with the First Amendment, the judgment was correct.
Whether or not Locke would approve of it, there is a fundamental marriage right. It is ancient, not recent, and it secures the integrity of the natural family. In fact, nothing is more fundamental to our legal edifice than the ancient liberty of the natural family.