Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fallout from the SCOTUS Same Sex Marriage Decision: Three Articles

Bishop Robinson calls for Congress to reject the First Amendment Defense Act

The former Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, has launched a petition campaign in conjunction with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights and other liberal church advocacy groups, to urge Congress to block passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802).

The New York Times characterized the First Amendment Defense Act as a Republican-led effort to balance the Free Exercise of Religion guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution with recent changes in civil law.... Keep reading

Is Polygamy Next?

NOW that the dust is settling from the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized a right to same-sex marriage, there are new questions. In particular, could the decision presage a constitutional right to plural marriage? If there is no magic power in opposite sexes when it comes to marriage, is there any magic power in the number two?

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s dissent in Obergefell raised this very question, intending to show how radical the majority’s decision could become. But the issue was hard to discuss candidly while same-sex marriage was still pending, because both sides knew that association with plural marriage, a more unpopular cause, could have stymied progress for gay rights. (Opponents of same-sex marriage had reasons to emphasize the association, while supporters had reasons to play it down.) With same-sex marriage on the books, we can now ask whether polyamorous relationships should be next. Keep reading

Russell Moore's ERLC Posts a Flawed 'Evangelical Declaration on Marriage'

Russell Moore's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has posted a flawed "Evangelical Declaration on Marriage" entitled "Here We Stand." While I appreciate the effort at getting evangelical leaders to declare affirmation of a male-female requirement for marriage, I think that every evangelical leader who signed this (and there are already quite a few) signed a statement that errs at some points and gives the wrong advice at others.

This is not an attack on those who have already signed the document. Doubtless, many signed simply because it does contain a number of good statements. For example, the first paragraph states, "We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority requires that we cannot"; and the second paragraph affirms strongly Jesus' own affirmation of marriage as a male-female union. Nor should my comments be construed as a personal attack on any formulators of the statement or an accusation of doctrinal heresy. However, substantial disagreements or concerns exist about the content of the statement that I hope my friends can hear with some degree of openness.

So here are at least five problems that I see with the statement. Keep reading

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