August 21, 2012
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Gen. 2:24
“It is not marriage that fails; it is people that fail. All that marriage does is to show people up.” Harry Emerson Fosdick – late Baptist pastor/preacher/author
Harry Emerson Fosdick in many ways is not a pastor I would seek to emulate, but even almost a century ago, he had enough insight to see that the God created, foundation laying institution of marriage has not failed. Rather many who have tried to carry it out by their own devices have failed. Marriage, unlike almost anything else I can think of, can quickly help us see how deficient we are in many departments, and how much we need God’s grace and strength and wisdom if we are to actually pull off His design and will for marriage with someone of the opposite sex.
Because marriage continues to be one of the great debates of our day, I wanted to refresh you on a few facts that all of us should be aware of and able to access.
First of all, the law of our land from the Federal jurisdiction is that marriage is between a man and a woman. It is called The Defense of Marriage Act or D.O.M.A.. The law passed both houses of Congress by a large majority and was signed into law by then President Clinton in 1996. While President Obama has proclaimed that his administration will no longer defend it in court, which while it is law his attorney general is required to do, he has not been able to see it overturned.
Second, all 31 states that have been allowed to vote for the definition of marriage in their states have voted to keep it as between one woman and one man: Here are the States and their margins or percentages: Hawaii – 69%; Alaska 68%; Nevada 69.6%; Mississippi 86%; Missouri 72%; Montana 67%; Oregon 57%; Colorado 56%; TN 81%; Arizona 56%; CA 52%; Neb. 70%; Ark. 75%; GA 76%; KY 75%; LA 78%; No. Dak. 73%; Ohio 62%; Okl. 76%; Utah 66%; Kansas 70%; TX 76%; AL 81%; Idaho 63%; S.C. 78%; So. Dak. 52%; Wisc. 59%; FL 62%; N.C. 61%; Mich. 59%; VA 57%. Very interesting to me as I have followed this that in almost all states the pro traditional marriage side was outspent two or more to one. And in CA we had Hollywood, the California Teachers Association, PG&E, and other loud voices fighting against us. Three States will be voting on this in November: Minnesota, Maryland & Washington.
Same sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia & in six States: Massachusetts, Conn., Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire & New York. All of these came through either judicial or legislative mandates, not from the citizenry voting. Often when this happens, the citizens eventually mobilize for a statewide vote, which always passes.
CA Prop 8 Status: According to the L.A. Times, “California gay marriage case headed to U.S. Supreme Court… the final chapter in four years of litigation over the constitutionality of Proposition 8’s ban on gay marriage.” The pro prop 8 team have until Sept. 3rd to make their appeal to the Supremes.
Democratic Platform: They have officially adopted same sex marriage as part of their party plaform. First time in U.S. history.
President Obama in May became the first ever sitting president to declare that gays should be able to marry.
The same sex marriage issue has been the catalyst – more than any other – to cause black pastors to begin to question their allegiance to President Obama. Rev. William Owens – founder and president of “The Coalition of African-American Pastors” is a key leader in this regard.