Substituted Morality

Erick Erickson
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Posted: Feb 13, 2015 12:01 AM
Substituted Morality

The United States Supreme Court will, by June, plunge the nation back into the throes of culture war. At least five justices will substitute their values for those of democracy, further undermining the democratic underpinnings of our republic.

By June, the nation's top court will find that gay marriage is in the constitution. They will, more likely than not, go all the way instead of deciding the states can decide for themselves. In 1973, the Supreme Court again substituted the morality of five members of the court for the nation and legalized abortion. At the time, liberal publications assumed the issue would be settled, but it is a fight the nation is still having. Gay marriage will be no different.

Currently, as gay marriage becomes more common, popular acceptance of it has declined. Given that the data shows less than seven percent of the nation is gay, the numbers will never be large enough for popular acceptance based on familiarity. Likewise, as people feel gay marriage has been imposed by fiat rather than democratic means, resentment will grow.

Only a plurality of Americans support gay marriage and, in many states where the trend lines border on 50 percent support, the proposition has been rejected by those who vote in democratic society. So with less than 50 percent acceptance, the nation will be forced to support gay marriage. This is where things will go terribly wrong. More than 50 percent of Americans actually do support religious exceptions for those who object to gay marriage. But gay rights activists and, increasingly, courts refuse to allow people of conscience to decline to provide goods and services to gay marriage.

Contrary to the talking point that gay rights is akin to the struggle for civil rights, anyone who stands in a crowd can pick out the black person, the Asian person, the Hispanic person, the white person, the male and the female. That is not so with gay and straight unless someone of immodest behavior goes out of his or her way to show it. Likewise, no gay person has been held in captivity and forced to be a slave, seen a national civil war to liberate gays, and then systematically been denied his right to participate in democratic society. Equating gay rights with civil rights may sound good, but the two are not comparable.

What is most tragic is that gay rights activists now want to deny people of faith their right to free association. No mainstream Christian believes a Christian should be able to not provide goods and services to a gay person anymore than to a black person. But people of faith should be able to deny goods and services to a gay wedding, which they see as ordained by God and not the state. Gay rights activists refuse, however, to concede the point.

In Oregon, Aaron and Melissa Klein and their five children are losing their home due to bankruptcy. Their business, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, is going under. Black, white, Asian, male, female, gay and straight couples have all bought cakes from Mr. and Mrs. Klein over the years. This past year, the Kleins were asked to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They declined because they are Christians. Despite having gays and lesbians support the bakery, Oregon has ordered the Kleins to pay the lesbian couple $150,000.00 for discriminating against them. The Kleins do not have the money and are filing bankruptcy.

This is just the latest case. In New Mexico, Colorado, Washington, New York and other states, gay bakers, florists and photographers can decline to provide goods and services for the weddings of people of faith, but people of faith may not do the same. A society where a minority can impose their values outside democratic processes will not stay democratic. When five justices of the Supreme Court impose their values on a nation not yet ready, things do not go smoothly for anybody.