Listening to the debate on the Senate floor over the proposed constitutional amendment to limit marriage to heterosexuals, I was impressed with the biblical knowledge of some senators. Unfortunately for them, a majority of senators either did not agree with that text or did not think it applies while making secular law, and so a procedural vote to end debate and vote on the amendment itself did not receive majority approval.
Neither the cultural problem nor its solution can be found in Washington. It lies in the decisions by millions of Americans (and, yes, out-of-control federal judges, who reflect our moral indifference) to construct their own moral authority. Sufficiently large numbers of Americans either do not believe, or do not practice, what the Scriptures teach and cannot be made to do so through a constitutional amendment or any other law. Neither side is going to persuade the other of the correctness of its position, so it becomes a political power game.
Perhaps if those pushing for a constitutional amendment better modeled what they preach for others, they might find more favor among secular powers. According to a survey by the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life:
- "The divorce ratio among members of evangelical churches is virtually the same as among non-church members.
- "In the United States, 1 million children (have seen) their parents divorce.
- "The majority of children in America have less than 10 minutes of significant and meaningful conversation with their parents each week. If you remove the mother, you can measure this statistic in seconds."
Conservative Christians could use an "extreme makeover" to repair their own homes before they demand that others conform to a standard they themselves have trouble meeting.
That same book used by some senators also speaks of this world as fallen and beyond repair. Paul the Apostle writes of what to expect during the "end times," a subject that is popular among readers of certain best-selling novels: "There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power." Having proclaimed his prophecy, Paul does not tell believers to embrace politics to influence or change the Roman government. Quite the contrary. He says, "Have nothing to do with them" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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