Marriage Pledge Co-Written by Catholic Deacon: We Will Not Obey
More than 33,000 people, including several prominent religious and political leaders, have signed a pledge to defend marriage that includes a declaration not to obey the Supreme Court if it rules to redefine marriage.
The Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage was co-written by Catholic Deacon Keith Fournier (Editor in Chief of Catholic Online and founder of the Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance) and Evangelical attorney Mat Staver (founder of Liberty Counsel, an international non-profit law, education, and policy organization, and Liberty Counsel Action). Dr. James Dobson and Rick Scarborough, the president of Vision America Action (an organization that helps Protestant pastors encourage civic activity), also participated.
Signers include Fr. Frank Pavone and Alveda King of Priests for Life, Fr. Paul CB Schenck of Catholics United for Life, Sen. Rick Santorum and Karen Santorum of Patriot Voices, the Rev. Franklin Graham, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Bishop Harry R Jackson of High Impact Leadership Coalition, Don and Tom Wildmon of the American Family Association, Pastor John C. Hagee of Cornerstone Church, David Barton of Wallbuilders, the Hon. Tom DeLay, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and many more.
Calling the Supreme Court’s hearing Obergefell v Hodges a “Bonhoffer moment in America” after German theologian and minister Dietrich Bonhoffer, who resisted National Socialism in Germany though the party came to power through legal elections, Scarborough said that finding for Obergefell would be “a decision as incorrect and as tragic as Dred Scott” in his announcement of the project just over a week ago.
“Outrageous penalties are now being assessed against people of faith and conviction who haven’t changed their position on marriage. Rather it’s the courts that have changed the definitions, the rules and laws that now govern us. They are ruling against Nature’s Law and Nature’s God. Christians are being declared the lawbreakers when we are simply living by what we have always believed, and by a set of laws that the culture historically has agreed to.”
In an essay on Catholic Online, Deacon Fournier said that few people know the world-wide, negative reaction to the idea of redefining marriage, because it is not reported on mainstream news sources. He said he undertook the project with Staver, and Evangelical, and others because Christians must unite for truth.
“Like the movement defending the Rights of children in the womb, the Movement to defend Marriage is an example of what the Catholic Church calls spiritual ecumenism,” he wrote. “Over the years I have joined with Christians from across the confessional spectrum in defending marriage.This growing collaboration is a silver lining in a dark cloud threatening true freedom and human flourishing…
“….It is vital to remember that this is not the first time that the Christian Church has been called into a culture which has forgotten God and strayed from the Natural Moral Law. We must do what Christians always do, transform the culture from within by the witness of both our words and our lifestyle.”
The Pledge explains the definition of marriage, that its origins precede all governments and thus can’t be changed by any of them, that it protects the rights of children to know their families, and that its loss threatens social order. It also declares that the signers will refuse to obey the Supreme Court if it votes that marriage to a person of the same sex is a constitutional right.
“Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State,” the letter says. “This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. The precedent established will leave no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage or human sexuality. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch.”
Mentioning several wrong decisions by the Supreme Court in the past, the letter continues, “We will view any decision by the Supreme Court or any court the same way history views the Dred Scott and Buck v. Bell decisions. Our highest respect for the rule of law requires that we not respect an unjust law that directly conflicts with higher law. A decision purporting to redefine marriage flies in the face of the Constitution and is contrary to the natural created order. As people of faith we pledge obedience to our Creator when the State directly conflicts with higher law. We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross this line.”
If the Court does so, the signers say, “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.”
To sign the pledge online, click here. The complete text follows:
Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage
We stand together in defense of marriage and the family and society founded upon them. While we come from a variety of communities and hold differing faith perspectives, we are united in our common affirmation of marriage.
On the matter of marriage, we stand in solidarity. We affirm that marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of Creation. Marriage is ontologically between one man and one woman, ordered toward the union of the spouses, open to children and formative of family. Family is the first vital cell of society, the first government, and the first mediating institution of our social order. The future of a free and healthy society passes through marriage and the family.
Marriage as existing solely between one man and one woman precedes civil government. Though affirmed, fulfilled, and elevated by faith, the truth that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman is not based on religion or revelation alone, but on the Natural Law, written on the human heart and discernible through the exercise of reason. It is part of the natural created order. The Natural Law is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to as a higher law or a just law in his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Marriage is the preeminent and the most fundamental of all human social institutions. Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they manufacture a right to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. Society begins with marriage and the family.
We pledge to stand together to defend marriage for what it is, a bond between one man and one woman, intended for life, and open to the gift of children.
The institutions of civil government should defend marriage and not seek to undermine it. Government has long regulated marriage for the true common good. Examples, such as the age of consent, demonstrate such a proper regulation to ensure the free and voluntary basis of the marriage bond. Redefining the very institution of marriage is improper and outside the authority of the State. No civil institution, including the United States Supreme Court or any court, has authority to redefine marriage.
As citizens united together, we will not stand by while the destruction of the institution of marriage unfolds in this nation we love. The effort to redefine marriage threatens the essential foundation of the family.
Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. The precedent established will leave no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage or human sexuality. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the American experiment for good reason.
Conferring a moral and legal equivalency to any relationship other than marriage between a man and a woman, by legislative or judicial fiat, sends the message that children do not need a mother and a father. As a policy matter, such unions convey the message that moms and dads are completely irrelevant to the well-being of children. Such a policy statement is unconscionable and destructive. Authorizing the legal equivalency of marriage to same-sex couples undermines the fundamental rights of children and threatens their security, stability, and future.
Neither the United States Supreme Court nor any court has authority to redefine marriage and thereby weaken both the family and society. Unlike the Legislative Branch that has the power of the purse and the Executive Branch which has the figurative power of the sword, the Judicial Branch has neither. It must depend upon the Executive Branch for the enforcement of its decisions.
As the Supreme Court acknowledged in the 1992 decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, its power rests solely upon the legitimacy of its decisions in the eyes of the people. If the decisions of the Court are not based on the Constitution and reason, and especially if they are contrary to the natural created order, then the people will lose confidence in the Court as an objective arbiter of the law. If the people lose respect for the Court, the Court’s authority will be diminished.
The Supreme Court was wrong when it denied Dred Scott his rights and said, “blacks are inferior human beings.” And the Court was wrong when Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in Buck v. Bell, “three generations of imbeciles are enough,” thus upholding Virginia’s eugenics law that permitted forced sterilization. Shamefully, that decision was cited during the Nuremburg trials to support the Nazi eugenic holocaust.
In these earlier cases, the definition of “human” was at issue. Now the definition of “marriage” is at issue. The Constitution does not grant a right to redefine marriage — which is nonsensical since marriage intrinsically involves a man and a woman. Nor does the Constitution prohibit states from affirming the natural created order of male and female joined together in marriage.
We will view any decision by the Supreme Court or any court the same way history views the Dred Scott and Buck v. Bell decisions. Our highest respect for the rule of law requires that we not respect an unjust law that directly conflicts with higher law. A decision purporting to redefine marriage flies in the face of the Constitution and is contrary to the natural created order. As people of faith we pledge obedience to our Creator when the State directly conflicts with higher law. We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross this line.
We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross.
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