Sunday, June 23, 2013

Christian Leaders to Supreme Court about Marriage: Not on Our Watch!

Just as the Catholic bishops began another round of summer solstice freedom songs and freedom dances that will end on Independence Day, a group of Christian leaders calling themselves the Freedom Federation released a public statement (watch for the cute logo of an American flag with a cross superimposed on it) proclaiming their intent to defy the Supreme Court if the court strikes down DOMA:

Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch. 

We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch

Who knew? They have a watch.

Someone has given them a watch.

They've been placed on watch over the rest of us, including the Supreme Court, by . . . someone.

And they intend to do . . . something, if the Supremes don't affirm their self-appointed role to be God's watchdogs over a democratic society that has not elected such theocratic watchdogs.

Catholic signers of this statement include Keith Fournier, who drafted it along with Matthew Staver of Liberty Counsel Action, Randolph Sly, Paul Schenck, Frank Pavone, Rene Henry Gracida, Bill Donohue, Matt Smith, Al Kresta, Patrick Lee, Bud Hansen, Joy Allen, Deal Hudson, Ted Meehan, John and Patsy Ratcliffe, James F. Kauffmann, Ken Klukowski, and Adriana and Manuel Gonzalez.

And, of course, alongside the Catholic signatories are names from the usual rogues' gallery of the evangelical right: Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, Samuel Rodriguez, Franklin Graham, Richard Land, Paige Patterson, Donald Wildmon, Cindy Jacobs, Linda Harvey, Matt Abbott, Sally Kern, Andrea Lafferty, Matt Barber, etc.

They have a watch. They've given themselves a watch. 

They've placed themselves on watch over the rest of us in a democratic society whose very definition of freedom--the word they sling around so freely to describe their ideals--is premised on prohibiting theocratic control of the majority by a minority.

And if we don't obey them, there will be consequences, they inform us.

P.S. Father Pavone appears now to be out of his home-in-exile in the desert (and see here and here).

P.P.S. Does it strike anyone other than me as beyond astonishing that Deal Hudson, of all people, would sign a statement loudly affirming that society will fall apart if it doesn't respect traditional Christian moral principles (which forbid adultery, I believe), and doesn't adhere to a model of marriage centered on one man, one woman, for life?

P.P.P.S. In the press release announcing the Freedom Federation statement, Deacon Keith Fournier states that one man, one woman marriage precedes Christianity and is therefore "natural." You know what else precedes Christianity and was long regarded as "natural"? Slavery. Subordination of women to men. Polygamy. And on and on.

The mere existence of institutions and practices over the course of time is hardly an argument for their "naturalness" or moral supremacy. If it were, we'd certainly not have ditched slavery, which was practiced from the beginning of time into the 19th century, and long, long endorsed by Christianity. Nor would we now be reconsidering all the ideas and practices of male entitlement and female subordination that have, for millennia, been taken for granted as right, natural, moral, and absolutely foundational for civilization.

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