Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

6/27/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The opinion is no surprise to most Court observers. It is also no surprise to those who have been watching the decline of a Nation which has lost its moral compass.

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.In addition to the ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court held that the parties who brought the Proposition 8 Case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, had no legal standing to be heard and therefore the Court had no jurisdiction.For  anyone who had any doubt, today's Supreme Court decision reaffirms that faithful Christians are living in an increasingly hostile secularist and Pre-Christian Nation. The potential for overt persecution has now been elevated. Be not Afraid! But also, do not be surprised at what lies ahead, pray and get ready.

A supporter of the decisions which undermine marriage between one man and one woman

A supporter of the decisions which undermine marriage between one man and one woman

Article Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/27/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Proposition 8, Same Sex Marriage, gay marriage, homosexual marriage, United States v Windsor, Hollingsworth v. Perry, Human rights Campaign, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.  The case was entitled United States v Windsor, Executor of the Estate of Spyer, et al. The full opinion can be found here.

The opinion is no surprise to most Court observers. It is also no surprise to those who have been watching the decline of a Nation which has lost its moral compass.

It was based upon the U.S.Supreme Court's interpretation of the Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.  In effect, the High Court held that the individual States have the power to regulate what constitutes a marriage.

Since New York recognized same sex relationships as a marriage the Federal Government had no authority to treat the lesbian couple in question any differently than a married man and women. Here are some excerpts:

"The question is whether the resulting in¨jury and indignity is a deprivation of an essential part of the liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment, since what New York treats as alike the federal law deems unlike by a law designed to injure the same class the State seeks to protect. New York's actions were a proper exercise of its sovereign authority. They reflect both the community's considered perspective on the historical roots of the institution of marriage and its evolving understanding of the meaning of equality. (Pp. 13-20)."

"By seeking to injure the very class New York seeks to protect, DOMA violates basic due process and equal protection principles ap¨plicable to the Federal Government. (a) By history and tradition the definition and regulation of mar¨riage has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States. Congress has enacted discrete statutes to regulate the meaning of marriage in order to further federal policy, but DOMA, with a directive applicable to over 1,000 federal statues and the whole realm of federal regulations, has a far greater reach. Its operation is also directed to a class of persons that the laws of New York, and of 11 other States, have sought to protect. Assessing the validity of that intervention requires discussing the historical and traditional extent of state power and authority over marriage.  (Pp. 13-26) "

Though it will be properly pointed out by commentators that the Windsor opinion does not manufacture a federal constitutional right to same sex marriage, the effect of the opinion shifts the landscape legally. It also puts the Christian Church in a very precarious situation.

The US Supreme Court took notice of the fact that the lesbian couple was married under New York Law and held that the Federal Government had no authority to disrespect that decision as it related to the imposition of the Federal Estate tax on the estate of the deceased lesbian partner.

The dissents simply questioned the power and role of the Court. They used a strict constructionist approach to jurisprudence. The limitations of that version of what is called 'conservatism' have never been more obvious and I sincerely hope Christian legal thinkers will get to work deveoping a much needed Natural Law Jurisprudence and stop simply parroting the conservative approach.

There was no consideration whatsoever of the existence of a Natural Moral Law which establishes and defines the nature of marriage -  which civil authority must recognize and respect to be legitimate. The result was not unlike past opinions in affirming that the positive or civil law is simply malleable and can be changed with the shifting sands of societal whimsy. 

The implications of this opinion are serious for anyone who knows that marriage is what it is - and simply cannot be redefined. Marriage as existing solely between one man and one woman was not an idea manufactured by the Christian Church. It precedes Christianity.

Though affirmed, fulfilled, and elevated by Christian teaching, 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 Moral Law, written on the human heart and discernible through the exercise of reason.

This claim of the existence of such a Natural Moral Law is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built. It is the source of every authentic human and civil rights movement. This Natural Moral Law gives us the norms we need to build truly human and humane societies and govern ourselves. It should also inform our positive law or we will become lawless and devolve into anarchy.

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. In the words of the first book of the Bible, we read: "it is not good for man to be alone." (Genesis 2:18) Society begins with marriage and the family.

The institutions of civil government should defend marriage and not 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 institution of marriage is improper and outside the authority of the State.

The US Supreme Court has now opened the door to the next step in a Cultural Revolution. This opinion leaves no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage according to a State.

Conferring a moral and legal equivalency to same-sex couples by legislative and judicial fiat also sends the message that children do not need a mother and a father. It undermines their fundamental rights and threatens their security, stability, and future.

As Christian citizens, we should be rightly concerned that this decision puts us in an inevitable conflict with the growing power of the State. The Sacred Scriptures and unbroken teaching of the Church confirm that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Experience and history have shown us that if the civil 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 and compel the Church to participate or face consequences. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights.

This is not the first time in our over two thousand year history as a Christian Church that we have found ourselves in a culture which rejects the existence of the Natural Moral law. We will do what we always do, live our lives in fidelity to truth and seek to win the culture by our witness and example.However, for anyone who had any doubt, today's decision reaffirms that we are living in secularist and a Pre-Christian Nation. The potential for overt persecution has now been raised.

In addition to the ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court held that the parties who brought the Proposition 8 Case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, had no legal standing to be heard and therefore the Court had no jurisdiction. In effect, California will now proceed with its decision to call homosexual and lesbian partnerships a marriage.

For  anyone who had any doubt, today's Supreme Court decision reaffirms that faithful Christians are living in an increasingly hostile secularist and Pre-Christian Nation. The potential for overt persecution has now been elevated. Be not Afraid! But also, do not be surprised at what lies ahead, pray and get ready.  

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More U.S.

Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: God has Died in the Flesh and Hell Trembles with Fear Watch

Image of Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


The Birth of Catholic Evangelism Watch

Image of I recently interviewed Jeff Cavins  for my weekly show  on Ave Maria Radio.  Jeff, who is nationally known for his study guides to the Bible, has just taken a job as Director of Evangelism at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  It's a significant point in this nation's Church history that an apologist/educator with EWTN origins has taken a significant job inside an archdiocese.

By Deal W. Hudson

In spite of being ignored, and in some cases blacklisted, several of the hosts of EWTN radio and TV shows grew ministries of their own in the evangelistic Catholic style of Mother Angelica's still-prospering network. Jeff Cavins is one of the most successful of ... continue reading


Good Friday: Behold the Wood of the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This is Good Friday. This is the day when the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us  what we ... continue reading


Finally Justice! Small town city manager gets 12 years in jail on corruption charges Watch

Image of Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo's party came crashing down when it was revealed in 2010 that Rizzo was giving himself an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bell, California is a small town with less than 36,000 people. That didn't stop City Manager Robert Rizzo, along with his friends, from awarding themselves hefty raises and drawing yearly salaries as high as $1.5 million. It was fun while it lasted - now Rizzo ... continue reading


FORCED BESTIALITY: Evil teenage girls sexually assault autistic boy - and record it for posterity Watch

Image of Seventeen-year-old Lauren Bush along with her 15-year-old accomplice are accused by the St. Mary's County sheriff's department on numerous charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an episode shocking for its sheer cruelty, two teenage girls in Maryland are now in custody after they repeatedly abused a 16-year-old autistic boy - eventually making him perform sexual acts with a family pet - and recording it all on their cell phones. LOS ... continue reading


HOW LONG BEFORE THE SYSTEM BREAKS? Working Americans increasingly made to pay for those on welfare Watch

Image of Those who work in America are increasingly being made to pay for those who don't -- in the manner of an over-burdened ox.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're an American who awakes each day to begin a day of toil you have no interest in, take heed: There are only more reasons to hit your pillow in frustration each night as you drift off to sleep. You are an endangered species, and the media has not rallied ... continue reading


Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... continue reading


Palm/Passion Sunday: Will We Make This Week Holy By Encountering Jesus Christ? Watch

Image of Holy Week invites us to let go of self and embrace the Lord Jesus anew through saying Yes to the invitation to continuing conversion. How desperately we all need to hear the Good news that we can begin again!

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Palm/ Passion Sunday: Make This Holy Week a Deep Encounter With Jesus Christ!During this week called Holy, the Lord Jesus is extending His saving Hand to each one of us anew. The timeless one has broken into time and now transforms it from within. The question is ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 1:1--2:2
1 In the beginning God created heaven and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
5 My birthright, my cup is Yahweh; you, you alone, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first ... Read More

Reading 2, Genesis 22:1-18
1 It happened some time later that God put Abraham to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2014 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter