HAGELIN: Let’s rebuild the crumbling institution of marriage

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Culture challenge of the week: Supreme denial

Last week’s Supreme Court’s decisions on marriage were truly outrageous. But the damage done is partly our own fault.

Let’s be clear, first, on what the court did. The “Supremes” set the stage for gay marriage to resume in California and struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, clearing the way for gay people’s demands for federal marriage benefits.

These decisions, in the words of dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia, were “jaw-dropping.” They put the Supreme Court in the role of supreme moralizer, free to disregard the Constitution and the will of the American people.

The decisions themselves were a victory for gay messaging and political manipulation. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, for example, framed the court’s rulings in the language of “love” and “equality,” saying, “Gosh, it feels good to have love triumph over ignorance, equality triumph over discrimination.” (Got that? If you support marriage as the union of a man and woman, you’re either ignorant or discriminatory.)

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion intentionally demonized Americans who support traditional marriage. He drew the absurd conclusion that defining marriage as the union of a man and woman must be intended to “inflict an ‘injury and indignity’ on gay couples so severe that it denies ‘an essential part of the liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment.’”

In other words, the majority of the Supreme Court has contemptuously slapped the “bigot” label on all believers in traditional marriage.

So where does this leave us?

While the decision is infuriating — and legally indefensible — it doesn’t change the truth.

As Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary reminds us, “God created marriage and he has defined its parameters, regardless of what the majority of Supreme Court justices might think.”

Put differently, Agudath Israel, a national Orthodox Jewish organization, observed in a statement that although “society’s mores may shift and crumble eternal verities exist. One is marriage, the union of a man and a woman. Its sanctity may have been grievously insulted by the High Court today, but that sanctity remains untouched.”

How to save your family: Rebuilding begins with us

We who embrace the truth about marriage must do some serious soul-searching in the wake of these decisions. The legal battles will continue and the public debates will rage — and we must seek to win on these fronts.

But we must own the reality that all of us helped pave the way for these decisions, by our own failure to hold up heterosexual marriage as something to be desired and preserved.

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