The Obergefell v. Hodges case before the U.S.
involving appeals of 4 same-sex marriage cases,
Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee.
Part 30: 2015-MAY/JUNE:
Franklin Graham's fund to promote discrimination.
Alternate, peaceful responses to marriage equality.
Huckabee's odd concept of the U.S. government.
We use the acronym "SSM" to represent "same-sex marriage."
"LGBT" refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
Franklin Graham creates a fund to promote discrimination in the marketplace:
In order to fight human rights legislation and preserve the ability of business owners to actively discriminate against same-sex couples, Franklin Graham has created a "Persecuted Christians-USA Fund." Its purpose is to compensate business owners who have been motivated by their faith to violate the Golden Rule as well as local or state Human Rights legislation by discriminating against potential LGBT customers. If they were found guilty of violating human rights legislation and received a fine, this fund would pay the fine for them. 1 Graham's fund is similar to the "Get out of Jail free" card in the Monopoly game.
Alternate responses to marriage equality:
One solution to this conflict is rarely seen in the media. That is for the store owners who, to date, appear to have been all been conservative Christians, to accept the instructions of Jesus when he asked his followers to follow the Golden Rule: One statement of the Golden rule is for each person to do onto others as they would wish others would do onto them.
Jesus is quoted in the Christian Scriptures (a.k.a. New Testament) Gospels as saying:
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
prophets." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to
them likewise." Luke 6:31, King James Version.
All of the major religions of the world have their own version of the Golden Rule, worded differently.
If a store owner were to follow this rule, they would attempt to accommodate the requests of every potential customer who enters her or his store. If the requests are for wedding-related goods and services, then the store owner would attempt to satisfy both their same-sex and opposite-sex customers. The results would be:
- no conflict;
- happy feelings, at least among the customers;
- no complaints to Human Rights tribunals;
- no fines;
- Jesus' wishes would have been followed;
- no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or other criteria;
- the Golden Rule would be obeyed;
- a more stable society;
- a lessening of hatred, prejudice, and rejection in the culture.
Noted religious historian and author Karen Armstrong has founded a Charter of Compassion to promote the Golden Rule. If you agree with her goals, please consider donating to her organization.
A second solution to the conflict would be for individuals and groups on both side of the marriage equality conflict commit themselves to sincere dialogue. They could start with a joint analysis of the six "clobber passages" in the Bible that have been used to attack the LGBT community. Sincere, committed, intelligent, thoughtful Christians have studied these passages and concluded that they have very different meanings. This would be a very difficult undertaking. However, over time, they might be able to reach a consensus.
2015-MAY-24: Mike Huckabee has adopted an unusual constitutional understanding of how the federal government works:
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a candidate for the Presidency in 2016 on the Republican ticket. During an interview on Fox News Sunday he said that the President of the United States does not have to follow the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court if the High Court declares the current bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. He said:
"Judicial review is exactly what we have lived under; we have not lived under judicial supremacy. ... The Supreme Court cannot make a law. The legislature has to make it, the executive branch has to sign it and enforce it. And the notion that the Supreme Court comes up with the ruling and that automatically subjects the two other branches to following it defies everything there is about the three equal branches of government.
The Supreme Court is not the supreme branch. And for God’s sake, it’s not the Supreme Being."
Arkansas Blog expressed the opinion that:
"Mike Huckabee apparently is betting his whole presidential stake on the fervor of a right-wing evangelical base and their fear and loathing of gay people."
There are currently numerous presidential contenders in the Republican Party and others expected to throw their hat into the ring in the near future. The candidate who is selected by the party will probably be one who can marshall the support of one numerically significant part of the Republican base without alienating most of the rest. Huckabee may be trying to attract the support of the fundamentalist and other evangelical Christian component of the party who are known for their high level of homophobia and their overwhelming rejection of marriage equality.
As anyone who has spent more than a half hour studying the structure of the American system of government knows, Huckabee is partly correct. The U.S. Supreme Court cannot write legislation for the executive branch to sign into law. But state and federal courts can, and often do, declare an existing law or state constitutional amendment to be unconstitutional. In fact, that is often its main activity. 2
Bob Cesca, writing for Salon, said:
"Not unlike the 'religious freedom [to discriminate]' laws or the various anti-choice laws, ... For the last several years, the activist far-right has been screaming for governors to ignore court decisions to overturn same-sex marriage bans, and now, GOP candidates appear to be actively mainstreaming the idea. ..."
"Judicial law, judicial supremacy, judicial tyranny — it’s all the same gibberish meant to repackage and bastardize the accepted process of “judicial review” as something dictatorial. So far, the old “judicial activism” meme has been mostly ineffective on this front, so it’s being rebooted and amplified with more harrowing characteristics ..."
We live in an era when 99-percent scientific consensus of climate change isn’t fool-proof enough, just as long as Republican talkers repeat the same hoax-mongering all day, every day throughout the conservative entertainment complex. It can happen again with “judicial supremacy,” and same-sex marriage activists as well as constitutional lawyers would do well to be prepared. 3
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- "Persecution Against U.S. Christians On the Rise," Samaritan's Purse, 2015-MAY, at: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/
- Max Brantley, "There goes Huckabee again. Supreme Court? What Supreme Court?," Arkansas Blog, 2015-MAY-24, at: http://www.arktimes.com/
- Bob Cesca, "Mike Huckabee wants to destroy the Constitution: Inside the dangerous right-wing plot to sabotage gay marriage," Salon, 2015-MAY-27, at: http://www.salon.com/
- Franklin Graham, "Have you ever asked yourself ..." Facebook, 2015-JUN-05, at: https://www.facebook.com/
- Alexander C. Kaufman, "Here Are The 379 Companies Urging The Supreme Court To Support Same-Sex Marriage," Huffington Post, 2015-MAT-05, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
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Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2015-MAY-15
Latest update: 2015-JUN-09
Author: B.A. Robinson