This morning, the World Congress of Families IX in SLC begins with a Plenary Session on the Future After the SCOTUS Decision. Here are my notes I typed while listening…
The Value of the Natural Family – Wednesday’s Theme
Chaired by William Duncan – Sutherland Institue, Center for Family and Society
Pastor Greg Johnson – Standing Together
Cathy Ruse – Senior Counsel, Family Research Council
Brian Brown – National Organization for Marriage
Pastor Greg Johnson: Speech Notes
Let’s engage in this discussion about “now what” after the SCOTUS decision. This is a new era of American social life and we must engage with one another more and more directly. We each come to this conversation with an individual world view, certain beliefs whether spiritual or other. I come before you as a local Christian Pastor. We need to be unapologetic about that and while others would tell us that we need to keep our beliefs private, I would remind you that we are a nation with a heritage of faith. During this time of transition and uncertainty, we need faith now more than ever. Our founding fathers had a similar world view and used the bible as their foundation.
I am firmly convinced that the church needs to have a healthy revival of the nature of the human family. There are things about this world that God has informed us about. In recent decades we have lost faith in some of these truths and this sacred institution of marriage. Our priority to faithfulness, purity and fidelity in marriage has been lessened. Jesus himself spoke to this issue in Mark 10. A man will leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife. Therefor what God has joined together let no man separate. We are not to tear it asunder, yet in the faith community, lack of commitment, pornography and materialism, infidelity has been ripping us apart. Thus our words are a bit hollow when we are not living up to a marriage institution that we believe in. A robust revival is required across America. We need to claim and preach with a new integrity and vigor that as the family goes, so goes the nation.
We need to embrace that which is good. Their is a right that our rights have to submit themselves to. So as the slave owners had no “right” to hold slaves, so others have no right to go against right truth. The challenges of society will continue to assault those of faith. For years I have been engaged in a mormon-evangelical dialogue. It is essential for us to speak with conviction and civility to come together. We need to be able to communicate neighbor to neighbor and friend to friend.
Story about his experience with a lesbian woman and he shared this verse: Romans 5:8 God died for me because of my sins and he died for you and your sins. At the end of the day we may still disagree and we will honor each other about what we believe and she said to me, “I want you to know that I’ve never heard something like that before. That is love on a higher level than what we are talking about.”
So as we have this conversation, let’s renew our conviction to it, with the hope that we can see an America that will regain it’s devotion to marriage in it’s natural sense.
Cathy Ruse Speech Notes:
Good morning, it’s an honor to speak to you. I am with the Family Research Council.
I am a Catholic and so it is impossible for me to believe that marriage can be any thing other than between a man and a woman. I am also a mother and know that it is impossible for a man to be a mother and impossible for a woman to be a mother. Society tells us that if you disagree then you are a bigot. If two men can raise a child, then mothers are dispensable. Only a woman can be a mother. I know this is truth. No man can do this job even if he is named “Woman of the year”. Finally, I am a lawyer. There is a simple legal question here. Why is government involved in marriage in the first place. Why does the government even care. There is a simple answer. It’s children. Men and women make babies. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes on accident. What are we going to do with these children.
We are going to encourage the men and women to raise them and become responsible citizens. It’s good for children and it’s good for society and that is why states give out marriage licenses. It is good for society. The law is concerned with practicality, not love. Until now… now who you love is the governments business. Now a government official waits for couples to demonstrate their love and they give a certificate. Those who brought forth this law was to legalize conduct that was not sanctioned, not legal, not safe in history. Official society approval was required and while you are at it, bake my cake or lose your house. Recall over the years how confidant the gays have been over the years. Yet when we citizens voted, natural marriage won. When you are free from the bullies, in a voting booth and you consider what children need, Americans vote for natural marriage.
Will history books tell the tale of how each state made man woman marriage the law of their state by vote? None of these laws were passed by legislatures, they were personal votes . by 2012 over 50 million votes were cast by individual citizens. Historians won’t write this… they will not write what I just told you. They will write that the judges struck down the laws. A handful of judges struck down the laws that the people had put into place. Certainly they will write that 5 lawyers struck down the laws. They will write it with words like tidal wave, transformation, what really happened is that a handful of liberal judges passed it and forced it upon us. Only 20 out of 220 nations have accepted these laws. They don’t want us to notice that Eastern Europeans are changing their constitutions one after another to protect the definition of marriage. They want you to forget the millions who marched in Spain and France to protect marriage. We must remember it all and repeat this story. We have to understand what just happened, the truth of it, not the spin, of how Americans tried to preserve marriage and how a handful of liberal judges stopped us. In the days ahead, mothers will have to proclaim the importance of motherhood. We have to say that children need mothering and fathering, not just two adults in the home. We must fight to live and work according to our beliefs. Our enemies are our masters, the judges and the magistrates who would jail us for not baking a cake. If we can not live it than we must be in civil disobedience of the law.
Lengthy Standing Ovation – Super charged room!!
Brain Brown: Speaker Notes
Where do we go from here? Where do we go from where 5 elected judges redefined marriage. Where do we go after 50 million people voted for natural marriage and 5 masters change the law and say that if you don’t accept it you will be punished and marginalized. How many were depressed the day after the decisions? I think we are all united in this. There is no time for depression or wringing our hands. This is the time to have goals and stand for that which cannot be changed. We must understand where we are at. Did the Supreme court change the definition of marriage, no! It is by nature one man and one woman. All that the court did is put a lie into the law and when we try to create a vision for the future it is important to try to understand what has occurred in the past. This is not the first time that a court has put a lie into law. Was it true that we could buy and sell people NO! The legal order is at fundamental odds with truth. In order to have a vision for the future, we need to have a vision for who we are. We need to understand those martyrs in history and that others will look to us and say that we have that conviction. Some were told that they would never stop the slave trade. They kept going against overwhelming odds. They obeyed what they were meant to do and helped change history. Dr. King said that a law that is not aligned with God’s law is not a law at all. So instead of being depressed, we should savor that we live in a point in history that we can stand for the truth and God has put us here for a reason. There is a lie in the law. What do we do? What are our goals. There are 4 we must act upon: A.R.O.C.
- AFFIRM: continue to affirm the truth that marriage is by its nature between one man and one woman. You will be attacked but please keep going You can have a post on your facebook page and be attacked. We are in the down line of martyrs, certainly you can post boldly the truth that marriage is between a man and a woman. We cannot be cowed for silenced. That is what the law is trying to do, trying to silence you. It is up to you whether you will be silenced.
- REJECT: Reject this decision. If you have not read the dissents, please read this. We must continue to reject this decision and not let the reasoning
- OVERTURN: Overturn the decision. As difficult as it seams right now, it must be overturned. There is no way that the truth of marriage can continue as it must with this lie in our laws. After Roe vs. Wade, there was a lot of depression in the movement. A few leaders stood up and said we will stand and overturn this. Look today how we have become more and more pro-life today.
- CONTAIN: We must contain the damage until we can overrule the law.
We cannot exit politics and focus on culture. We must be active in politics. It is not downstream of culture. Politics is a part of culture. When we change the law, we change the culture, not at odds with one another. We must be very involved in the presidential election. There is a lot that a president can do. We need a president to not only give lip service to the cause rather they can select those judges who can overturn this. We need to hold the GOP accountable. It is important to stand up and demand that the conservative politicians are only being supported if they will do something to advance the truth about marriage. We must stop the government from discriminating against those who could be punished for standing for the truth about marriage. We must get behind legislation into the house this year to put people on paper as to where they stand. There are real people who will be harmed if this legislation is not passed.
In each of your own lives, it is critical that you do not give up and do not give in. I have 8 children. We need to boldly stand for the truth of marriage and more importantly need to live it out day to day and be a shining example of the beauty and the love of what god has given us as male and female coming together to create new life. History and the universe does indeed arc towards justice. History does indeed arc toward truth but it takes good and loving, mundane heroic individuals who stand up no matter how difficult it may seem for core truth. In our time it means to defend what it means to be male and female. I cannot think of anything more basic and critical than to stand boldly and unashamedly that marriage is today and always will be between a man and a woman. Thank you.