Religious Leaders to Court: We will not Choose You over God
A coalition of Christians and Jews who vow civil disobedience if the Supreme Court redefines marriage this month placed a full-page ad in Wednesday’s Washington Post asking all to sign their pledge to defend marriage.
Written as an open letter to the Supreme Court, the ad includes the signatures of more than 80 Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Jewish religious or cultural leaders, as well as politicians. Three have Greater Cincinnati connections: Phil Burress, of Cincinnait-based Citizens for Community Values; Bryan Kemper of Stand True Prolife Outreach in Troy (OH) and Youth Outreach Coordinator for Priests for Life; and former Cincinnati Mayor, Ohio Treasurer, Ohio Secretary of State, and US. Representative Ken Blackwell.
The ad features the headline “We ask you not to force us to choose between the state and the laws of God,” and vows that “ any attempt to redefine marriage is a line we cannot and will not cross.”
More than 43,000 people have signed the pledge written by a Catholic deacon and an Evangelical attorney since it was published last month. The ad asks all who agree to sign it as well.
The full ad appears at the bottom of this story; the text follows:
We the undersigned have joined together to present our unified message and plea to the Justices of the United States Supreme Court regarding the matter of marriage.
We are Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian pastors, clergy, lay leaders and Jewish leaders, who collectively represent millions of people in our specific churches, parishes, denominations, synagogues and media ministry outreaches. Marriage transcends our various theological differences and unites us together in one voice.
We affirm that any judicial opinion which purports to redefine marriage will constitute an unjust law, as Martin Luther King Jr. described such laws in his letter from the Birmingham Jail.
We are Christians who love America and who respect the legitimate rule of law.
However, we will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.
We affirm that 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 solely on religion but on the Natural Law, written on the human heart.
We implore this Court to not step outside of its legitimate authority and unleash religious persecution and discrimination against people of faith. We will be forced to choose between the state and our conscience, which is informed by clear biblical and church doctrine and the natural created order.
On this choice, we must pledge obedience to our Creator. While there are many things we can endure, any attempt to redefine marriage is a line we cannot and will not cross.
The complete Marriage Pledge can be read in its entirety at http://www.defendmarriage.org. It offers a more detailed defense of marriage and further expresses our unified resolve. Tens of thousands of very concerned Americans have signed the Marriage Pledge to date.
Prominent Catholic signers mentioned in the add include Troy’s Bryan Kemper, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, pledge co-author Deacon Keith Fournier of Catholic Online, Deacon Timothy Kennedy of Deacons for Life, evangelist Jesse Romero, Terry Barber of Lighthouse Catholic Media, Fr. Frank McCloskey of Faith and Reason Institute, and many others.
Other prominent signers include Protestant pastors, Orthodox priests, Jewish rabbis, and political figures including Cincinnatian Phil Burress; former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell; Dr. James Dobson; Pastor Rick Scarborough of Vision America Action, Rev. Franklin Graham III, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, pledge co-writer Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, and Dr. Alan Keyes.
For the complete text of the pledge, see our story here.
To sign the pledge, click here.
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