Defying gay push for centralization, court favors federalism, local control

Gollum, a character in J.R.R. Tolkein’s novels, does his best to appear helpful and honest. (Image

Gollum yearns for the ring. But nine black-robed figures in the great white building in a great white city deny him consummation within that which he seeks. They refuse to grant him satisfaction. They decline to set down a single law for the realm in which many realms exist. They restrain a hand the creature had hoped would be raised to aid him in his quest for redemption in power.

The federal supreme court in Washington today declined to impose a top-down settlement on marriage, one that would have pretended to overturn constitutional marriage amendments in 30 states for the sake of homosexual couples. It declined, on grounds of federalism and a strong measure of constitutionalism, to slap down upon Tennessee and other states a unitary system that would have equated homosexual unions and marriage before the law.

The two rulings leave unmolested Chattanooga, its local economy, its families, its place as a municipality subject to a state government whose prerogatives are let alone.

Still, it is fair to say that in California and in areas claimed as being under federal jurisdiction, the warmaking by the homosexual lobby landed blows against Christian conceptions of society and family and against traditional morality. One decision struck down DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, and a second let lie dead California’s Proposition 8. That law was the result of a plebiscite among Californians to affirm marriage. Appellants in the California case lacked standing from which to appeal, and justices did not arrive at the substance of the case.

The high court in United States vs. Windsor and Hollingsworth vs. Perry ignored pleas that it force all states to accept homosexual civil unions as marriage. The DOMA ruling objected to the way the federal statute reached down into the states and imposed an inequality between marriage and homosexual unions declared by 12 states to be the same as marriage. It was able to assert a pro-homosexual perspective, and was able to oppose the favor DOMA showed to marriage on the grounds of federalism and states’ rights. The ruling objected to such favor, calling it an inequity.

To each his own at state level

The rulings leave tranquil the liberty of marriage in Chattanooga and Tennessee. That liberty is protected by the Tennessee marriage protection amendment passed in a referendum that took effect in 2006, having been approved by 81 percent of voters. It says “the historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state,” and says homosexual marriages are “void and unenforceable” in the state.

Biblical law asserts that marriage is between one man and one woman, and it puts sexual relations outside marriage as being either fornication or adultery. Homosexuality is under the heading of the seventh commandment against adultery, and as a form of sexual and moral uncleanness is declared a capital offense. St. Paul in Romans equates it to a judgment of God, a burning out of a man. It may be a sin God judges and commands civil authority to judge; but it also is a judgment in and of itself. Christianity teaches that marriage is a creational ordinance gifted to man’s first parents, Adam and Eve, in the garden at Eden. It mirrors the relationship of God to His people, first identified as the children of Israel, then the church. Marriage is a bedrock of social order, capital, and upon it tribes, nations and races are built and the earth populated. Upon marriage rise homes, and within their security children are born and reared to be godly, productive citizens, for God’s glory and the benefit of a fallen race redeemed by Christ, according to basic teachings of Christianity.

Homosexual culture is bitterly hostile to this worldview and to the family. It detests Christian monogamy in favor of sexual novelty, revelry and revolution. Media and fashion express its desire for camp tastes in which sound standards are replaced by arbitrary and capricious styles. Subversion is deeply exciting to homosexual culture. Normal sexual intercourse is laughable, and pedophelia, incest, saliromania, algolagnia, scapophilia and necrophilia are in view as alternative forms of enjoyment and self-satisfaction.

Though fewer than 2 percent of Americans are homosexuals, activists and their allies are fighting a religious war in which acts that are crimes against nature are considered acts of common right, even virtue. Proponents enjoy immunity for much of their work — special protections in federal statute, an obliging mainstream media, protection from criticism at universities. Homosexuals are not the put-upon, serious and sensitive souls they pretend to be, but anarchists made attractive by the arguments of equality, fairness and human rights.

The homosexual lobby is not interested in adopting and sharing in marriage as it is destroying it and making it meaningless. Marriage by its existence witnesses against their exercise of free will and reminds them of their moral guilt. A man given to homosexuality has a right to marry, as I exercised the right to marry my wife, Jeannette. But he cannot marry a member of his male club in any common law sense. In fact, common law marriage is available ONLY to a man and a woman. States may attempt to redefine marriage as including homosexuals; but all they practically have done is place the name marriage on what is in effect a civil union or a legal contract. To say marriage includes gays is much like framing a law changing a foot from 12 inches to 20, or a gallon from four quarts to five, or a week into 10 days (as did the Commune during the French revolution). Such innovations last a short time.

Emigrate to Chattanooga?

People living in gay marriage states remain there because they are able to synthesize legal developments and accept them. When the Pilgrims lived for 11 years in Leyden, they felt a growing pressure to leave because of the poor Christian morality among the Dutch. A main grievance was the low view the Dutch held of the Lord’s Day. The English dissidents feared their children would grow into an accommodative and lose walk with God. So they felt increasing urgency to flee for the New World.

People residing in states structurally hostile to Christian or traditional morality have their options. If driven by a similar sense of peril, they are free to travel. They are free to change uproot their domiciles, change residency. If they see the danger to their children, their public schools and their liberty in homosexualized realms, they have places to which they may go. The Tennessee marriage amendment makes the state attractive for its recognition of marriage. Tennessee is unattractive to homosexual couples, whose unions are not recognized and unenforceable. Gays who had enjoyed public nuptials and civic blessings won’t be following the fugitives.

Decentralization part of U.S.’ organic structure

In his monumental work for students, Alexander Stephens, who opposed the war of secession but served as vice president of the confederacy, tells about a main issue in that war. It was about forms of government and whether the United States would an empire or operate under “the Federative principle.” In the last two pages of History of the United States he writes about Rome, and how it did not recognize this principle as it expanded. “In extending her jurisdiction over neighboring States, by not adopting this principle and securing the sovereign right of local self-government to all Peoples thus falling within her limits, but by assuming absolute dominion over them, she necessarily became a Centralized Empire, with ultimate despotism as a necessary consequence.” He says the United States “are founded on the directly opposite principle. They do not constitute a single Republic, but a Federal Republic. Under their system of Federative Union, no apprehension need arise for the safety and security of liberty *** .”

Stephens tries to sound hopeful about the fate of the U.S. experiment in his book published seven years after Appomattox. Today’s rulings seem account for his arguments about the decentralized nature of the original federal system. They grant that peoples will differ, states’ laws will differ, and that people in any given jurisdiction get the laws they deserve.

Sources: Slip opinions of Dennis Hollingsworth et al., petitioners v. Kristin M. Perry et al, June 26, 2013; United States v. Windsor, executor of the estate of Spyer, et al, June 26, 2013.

R.J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1973), “The Seventh Commandment,” pp 333-375

Alexander Stephens, History of the United States [A Compendium of the History of the United States from the Earliest Settlements to 1872, pub. 1872] (Bridgewater, Va.: American Foundation Publications, 1999), pp 479, 480

Robert A. Peterson, “The Pilgrims in Holland,” The Freeman, 1988 (

The usage of “gollum” I owe to Douglas Wilson, editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine.

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