Mount Sodom, where it really happened. Will a comparable miracle save Israel today? Mount Sodom, where it really happened. Will a comparable miracle save Israel today?

Marriage is no more

In 1970, Alvin Toffler shocked the world with his vision of the future. Two years later, the great radio artist Orson Welles narrated a 43-minute short documentary from that book. How my classmates and I howled with laughter at the spectacle of two well-dressed men reciting marriage vows before one dressed as a cleric! Laugh no more. Today the Supreme Court of the United States (Obergefell v. Hodges, Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder, and Burke v. Beshear, hereafter called “The Gay Marriage Cases“) amended the Constitution. The Court first claimed that prerogative in Marbury v. Madison and again in McCullough v. Maryland. Today the Court saidno State shall define marriage in a way that restricts it to one man and one woman, or make or enforce any law to so define it. It begins with saying the government may not stop it. It will go on by saying no person may say anything against it, and take part in modern civilized society. America thus abandoned marriage. So God might abandon America, if He hasn’t already.

Opinion and dissent on marriage

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the Court in the marriage matter. Oddly enough, he quoted the Roman trial advocate and consul Marcus Tullius Cicero: “The first bond of society is marriage, and next, children, and next, the family.” He then gave a ruling to destroy all three.

And in so doing he made mincemeat of the Constitution. As yesterday (King v. Burwell), one need not take my word on this. Each of the four dissenting Justices (Roberts CJ, and Scalia, Thomas and Alito JJ) wrote his own opinion. Roberts, for his part, accused the Court of turning the government into one of men, not laws. (That Justice Scalia accused him of the same in King might have escaped his notice.) Scalia said worse: he called this marriage ruling a “threat to democracy.” Scalia took alarm, not so much at the substance of the ruling as at the reasoning behind it. That reasoning said in effect that five out of nine Court members became the de facto rulers of America.

Clarence Thomas warned the decision threatens religious liberty. It does so by “short-circuiting the political process.”

History warns us

Thomas should know. In Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, the Court ruled that local Boards of Education could not shut black children out of white schools just to keep the races apart. Had the Court said nothing further, certain indefensible practices would have stopped. Instead the Court said all school boards must integrate their pupil populations “with all deliberate speed.” Enter Dr. Howard Coleman, the “Father of Desegregation Busing.” He opined the only way to make sure blacks got good educations was to educate whites and blacks together. And if that meant busing the children across town even when a school stood a few blocks from their home, so be it! The Court so ordered in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenberg Board of Education. The rest stands as often tragicomic history. (Judge Robert M. Merhige of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia reached the height of absurdity when he ordered a mandatory busing plan encompassing schools in the City of Richmond and in Henrico and Chesterfield Counties. He did this after “white flight” turned Richmond almost into the kind of “chocolate city” Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans would later describe. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Merhige, saying he exceeded his authority by ordering three different school districts to function as one, in a State, or Commonwealth, in which cities and counties share no lands in common.)

Desegregation busing ended only when Dr. Coleman saw the devastation he had wrought in American public K-12 schooling and wrote an op-ed piece taking back everything he had said to the judges in Swann and later cases. But the courts had done the damage. Private educators and some clerics, and not judges, expert witnesses, or even elected officials, have repaired at least some of that damage.

So what might happen this time? How soon before two same-sex roommates sharing bed apply for membership in a local church, then sue the pastor and deacons for shutting them out? How soon before a minor sexton (that’s church-speak for “janitor”) suddenly tells the deacons he has a same-sex “marriage” partner and demands the usual “bennies”?

What will the IRS and various State Divisions of Taxation do with their tax forms? For in truth, “marriage” means nothing, because “marriage” can now mean anything. Will the IRS say any rooming-in arrangement makes a “marriage” for tax purposes? (That might give the same-sex “marriage” activists pause, when the IRS subjects them to the “marriage penalty,” har de har har har.) Will probate judges now extend survivorship rights, and the senior right to grant or refuse autopsy permission, to any surviving roommate, on the theory that “roommate” equals “spouse,” declared or not? Will courts grant any roommate absolute immunity from testifying against the other roommate?

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And what happens to the children? Mr. Justice Kennedy had any children in any same-sex-roommates-sharing-bed household to consider. No such children ever appeared in any lower court that heard the four lawsuits by the Messrs. and Mss. Obergefell, Tanco, DeBoer or Bourke. So he did not consider what would happen when two SSRSB apply to an adoption agency to adopt a child. Same-sex “marriage partners” have only two ways to have children: adopt them, or, in the case of two women sharing bed, arrange for one or both to undergo Artificial Insemination from a Donor. What will the law say to the relevant owners, managers, or practitioners, if they believe it sinful, or psychiatrically unsound, to place children with two persons of the same gender?

The Bible tells us…

Even more ancient history gives us that answer. That history also reminds us: the time for compromise with the world, and for thinking we can “live in it,” has passed.

Get out of Sodom! When marriage is of no moment, this country spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt.
Lot and his daughters flee Sodom. Painting: Paolo Veronese, 1585

Lot, nephew of Abraham, sought to live in the plains, this after his herdsmen and those of his Uncle Abraham frequently quarreled over water and grazing rights. Lot at first stayed on the outskirts of Sodom. But when God finally decided to destroy that city and its sister city of Gomorrah, Lot “sat in the town gate.” Which is to say, he sat on the town council. God sent two of His Messengers to fetch Lot and his family out. (See Genesis 19:1-9.) Several of the town’s rowdiest Local Talent came to Lot’s door. They said, “Where are those good-looking men you have in your house? Bring them out here; we want to give them a nice warm city welcome.” (I could express that more graphically, but that would make this site Not Safe For Work.) A shocked Lot demurred–and offered them his two daughters! Even that did not satisfy the locals. “Who do you think you are, some kind of judge?” they said. (Or words to that effect.) “Come here! We need to teach you a lesson!”

Today, homosexual activists take this same attitude. No wonder the leaders of at least four tradition-defending groups call this marriage decision a “spiritual 9/11.”

Thousands of years later, John the Apostle, in his place of exile on Patmos Island, received the visions of the future that bear his name. Those visions mention a place having a secret name. The name the visiting angel gave to John gave that place a spiritual name: “Babylon the Great, mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth.” (See Revelation chh. 17-18.) Warning: we have no warrant to identify the “Babylon” in John’s vision with ancient Babylonia. This “Secret Babylon” (Greek mysterion a secret, whence “mystery”) could stand for any society with highly developed shipping and transport industries, acting as an engine of commerce and even as a dominant superpower. Haven’t you wondered why no society called “The United States of America” bears mention by John, or by Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Daniel? Maybe we are Babylon. “Fell, fell, did Babylon the Great!” the verse actually reads. Did it fall once on September 11, 2001?

The Lord has one simple order: “Get out! Now!” (Revelation 18:4-5) He gave that order to Lot. His wife disobeyed, and the wave of destruction vaporized her instantly. (Jesus sternly warned His followers to “remember Lot’s wife.”) Today the warning bears repeating.

Pretend “marriage” will help no one

It certainly will not help the Obergefells or the Tancos or the DeBoers or the Bourkes. Long ago, each of them probably let an older adult use him or her. If you doubt that, play this hidden-camera documentary. And now they have let their lawyers use them as pawns in a larger game to destroy marriage as we know it.

I listened to one of the plaintiffs offer his “thanks” to the court. (It could have been James Obergefell or Greg Bourke or one of their respective roommates; it doesn’t matter.) I listened as he spoke of “love” from his “partner.” I heard a young man looking for love in the wrong place. He either didn’t get it from his father, or got plenty of the wrong kind of love. We might never know which.

Alabama gave up all role for the government in deciding who shall, and who shall not, marry. Probate courts no longer issue marriage licenses. Instead they ask people to register with the probate court for the usual purposes of marriage.

If pretend “marriage” will not help, what will? Possibly human society has passed beyond all help. If, some day, you no longer hear from this site, then either:

  1. “We, who are alive and left over, will [have gotten] snatched.” 1 Thess. 4:17. Or,
  2. We have headed for the high hills, as God’s Messenger warned Lot and as Jesus Himself warned His disciples to do “when [they saw] standing in the most holy place the abomination that causes desolation of which the prophet Daniel spoke.”

Failing that: we cannot look to this Court for any guidance we can respect. Justices Scalia and Thomas explicitly told us to despair of that, in their dissents in Obergefell, etc. (and Scalia also in King). Instead we should press to reclaim some real fundamental rights. Like the freedom to associate with any person, or not, as we please. Like recognizing the basic interest of blood kin and traditional husbands and wives to inherit the real and movable property of a dead (and intestate) person, whether said person has a roommate or not. Like the absolute right of parents to raise their children, or place them with whomever they choose, and charge them to place those children in turn with adoptive parents, with which the State may not interfere.

In the meantime, the American Family Association already advises all pastors and boards of deacons to publish to the world:

  1. Articles of faith setting forth clearly where their churches stand on who should, and should not, share bed.
  2. That when their church does weddings, they worship God at the same time, thereby doing more than acting in loco curiae.
  3. That in any case, their church does weddings for members, or at least fellow adherents of the faith, only.

The time for compromise has passed. The time for plain speaking has arrived.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

bible, constitutional law, judiciary, liberty, morality, politicians


Terry A. Hurlbut

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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