A Nation Divided Cannot Stand
By: Sen. Bill Heath (R-Bremen)
Never before in our nation’s history has the ideological wall of division been so evident, and this is especially true of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of DOMA and voted to extend federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples – re-igniting the debate over the traditional definition of marriage. Many cheered the ruling while some were left wondering, “What do we as a nation stand for?”
Divisions, hardships and challenges are nothing new to our 237 year-old Republic. We’ve endured devastating wars on both foreign and domestic battlefields, stood together in solidarity as famine and drought swept across our nation and engaged in relief efforts for our fellow Americans during times of natural disaster. While these hardships have tested our capacity to love and challenged the very way we think, they have not tested us like moral challenges have. These particular challenges have a way of drawing us to our knees and causing us to confront the reality of our own sin nature.
George Washington, in his farewell address, stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” Washington’s words point to the truth that our nation’s continued prosperity is only possible through a religious framework that guides morality.
Absolute truth apart from religion results in an inconsistent paradox that cannot be reconciled through man-made laws. In today’s world, a vast chasm exists between God’s law and the laws of man. While some may not acknowledge the existence of God, there is still an inherent blueprint inscribed within each of us to understand the difference between right and wrong.
For millennia, humans across all cultures have recognized that marriage represents a union between a man and a woman. The institution of marriage itself is a Judeo-Christian concept established by God Himself at the foundation of the world. It is the building block upon which human civilization has been built. Marriage benefits society in many important ways such as providing a healthy, stable environment for our children to be raised. However, today we are seeing the traditional definition of marriage being questioned and redefined like never before. So we must ask ourselves, “Why?”
We live in a world where sinful desires constantly beg for our allegiance, tugging at our consciences until unsuspecting, harmful thoughts begin to govern our everyday lives. What starts as a fleeting thought quickly turns into an action, and if left unchecked, becomes a lifestyle. In a society that increasingly frowns upon identifying and condemning sin for what it is, same-sex marriage is now being embraced as an acceptable lifestyle.
While society attempts to alter the definition of marriage under the guise of tolerance, the Bible is clear regarding God’s response toward the twisting of his original design for marriage and intimacy. Romans 1: 26 – 27 says, “God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”
As we discussed before, the laws of God transcend time – they are immovable from generation to generation and don’t fluctuate based on the changing norms of modern culture. What will happen to this country once we’ve fully embraced same-sex marriage? We may find ourselves following in the same footsteps of European nations where the legalizing of gay marriage has successfully undermined the entire concept of marriage and contributed to the breakdown of the family structure. As the result of this widespread tolerance of the homosexual lifestyle, marriage is perceived as nothing more than an outdated tradition that’s not compatible with modern society.
Regardless of whether you prescribe to the biblical interpretation of marriage, one thing is certain; tolerance invariably results in the loss of freedom. It may not happen overnight, but liberty will erode. Already, pastors who preach the inerrancy of God’s Word are being subjected to severe persecution. Family-owned photography shops are being forced to shut their doors after years in business merely for denying services to homosexual couples. For a nation that hails the separation between church and state, we’re now getting dangerously close to infringing upon the rights of churches to worship and govern themselves as they choose.
It is impossible to take a historically-biblical institution and re-invent it to meet 21st century standards. Marriage was created by God, not man. While individuals will do what they want behind closed doors – which is their prerogative as free men and women –the institution of marriage should be defended from attack. I hope that you will choose to stand with me and many others throughout our country in support of this important institution.
In closing, I think it’s important for us to stop and consider what truths we are going to stand on as a nation in the 21st century. We have a choice to make regarding the basis for our laws. Are we going to allow them to be influenced by the ever-changing environment around us, or are we going to anchor them on the religious values and belief system which this nation was built upon? Are we going to act based on absolute truth or neglect to identify and condemn sin for what it is? I ask you to join me in praying for our country, its leaders, and the decisions being made at all levels of government. For as James 5:16b states, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”