A month or so ago, I wrote about Roy Moore and Russell Moore, and the article got a lot of traction. In addition to the traffic of people reading it, I also got a few people contacting me personally with various objections. What I wanted to do here is give a quick checklist kind of response to some of the feedback I got.
When I first wrote, Chief Justice Moore had ordered the probate judges to ignore the ruling of the federal district judge. Since that time, the entire Alabama Supreme Court has ruled the same thing, in a 7 to 1 decision. For those who want a quick rundown on why the renegade in this situation was the federal judge, and not the state judge, I would refer you to this article.
So then . . .
Objection #1: The defilement of marriage in our country long preceded the latest wave of same sex mirages. The objection here is that if we are going to “clean up” marriage in the United States, we are going to have to do way more than simply prevent gay mirage.
The answer to this revolves around the word mirage, which I use advisedly, and not just in an attempt to be semantically cute. There are all sorts of ways to wind up with deficient and sub-biblical marriages — polygamy being one, and unjustifiable divorce and remarriage being another. But you can find such sinful marriages in the Bible, and the Bible calls them marriages. There is an important distinction to be made between marriages made in a sinful world, which shouldn’t have happened, but they still did, and four-sided triangles, which cannot be found anywhere, not even in constitutional penumbrae. A same sex mirage is not a marriage, not even a sinful one. It does not rise to that height.
Objection #2: Your desire to return to the values of Christian civilization is quixotic. Most of the original framers of the Constitution were Deists.
This is simply false. Out of the 55 men at the Constitutional Convention, 50 of them were orthodox Christians. And those men like Franklin and Jefferson who actually were quasi-Deists had to, for reasons of political prudence, hide their commitments in the background somewhere. Having said this much, I would then turn the charge around. How far we have fallen! At the founding, our Deists had more of a reformational world and life view than does the average Reformed seminary prof today sweating away at the average Accredited Institution of Historical and Doctrinal Etiolation. Also, for those gotcha cadets, I do know that Jefferson wasn’t at the Convention. There are two pluses in this — I know more about history than you thought I did, and we now have one less Deist at the Convention.
Objection #3: Roy Moore isn’t so hot. He was the one who was removed from the Alabama Supreme Court a number of years ago for his showboating attempt to place and keep the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court.
And so what legal developments in the last ten years would lead anybody to think that putting the Ten Commandments in any courthouse would be a bad idea?
Objection #4: If a state judge is paid by the State, then he should not continue to receive his paycheck if he is unwilling to do what his superior says.
For this I would again refer you to the linked article. Russell Moore capitulated way too early, walking off the field in the first quarter. In this instance, the district judge was the one who was receiving a paycheck and not doing what his superior had said.
Objection #5: In my own follow-up to the previous objection, what about if the Supreme Court strikes down all laws limiting marriage to heteros? How can you advise continued resistance? The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution means we would then have to submit, right?
Two things. First the Supremacy Clause does not say what is claimed on its behalf. And second, even if it did, this is the sort of issue where a cheerful and robust civil disobedience becomes absolutely necessary.
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding” (6.2)
What does this actually say? It says that the supreme law of the land is: 1. The Constitution itself; 2. Any laws of the United States that are made “in pursuance thereof”; 3. All treaties made under the authority of the United States. That’s it. The Constitution, constitutional laws, and treaties.
A reasonable estimate is that a goodly three quarters of the regulations you live under, mon frere, were not made “in pursuance thereof.” This is because, instead of living under the rule of law, as these folks want to pretend on your behalf, you are actually living under a farrago of shambolic and illegal petty despotisms. Other than that, everything’s okay.
Hey, did you hear that the EPA wants hotels everywhere to start measuring how long you are standing there in the shower? Hey, did you hear that the EPA wants to regulate how much smoke comes off the barbeque in your backyard?
And did you anticipate that the day would come when the Federal government was going to mandate that free access to anal intercourse was essential to human flourishing, and that it would be a hate crime to say in public that it wasn’t? And did you ever anticipate that when that particular judicial clown car arrived, and all the legal reasons tumbled out, that hordes of Christians would exhort you to try to look more solemn?
Wouldn’t want to be a bad testimony.