Samuel Adams – “If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
Like many members of Totally Engaged Americans and other liberty groups, Steve Merkel (member of the Thomas Jefferson Knowledge Institute) has expressed grave concerns over the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, better known as the gay marriage ruling.
Marriage lives in two realms, the political and the spiritual. By political, I’m not referring to the common D vs. R battle but to the generic community arrangement that allows society to function. Marriage agreements have been necessary to pass down property and to divide wealth. This was true in England, in early America, and today. Marriage also has roots in the Christian religion and western civilization that heavily influenced the Founders. Within United States history, Christian marriages have been conducted and solemnized by the church.
Historically, Americans have always had limitations set on who can become married. We still have restrictions if a person is too young, if the people are closely related, and if one is currently married to somebody else. For over 200 years in this country and over 2000 years of religious history, we’ve had restrictions on gender. This was true until June of 2015 when Anthony Kennedy and four other individuals decided on behalf of the citizens of this entire nation that gender was not relevant to marriage.
We must remember that the authors and supporters of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were all within a handful of generations who left England to attain more freedom, including and especially religious freedom. Whether settlers were Protestants, Quakers, Hebrews or Huguenots, people in this country were free to practice the religion of their choice. Quoting Merkel:
The Bill of Rights protects not the freedom to worship as FDR mistakenly thought, not freedom to teach or advocate as the Court’s ruling said, but freedom to EXERCISE your religion. That is waaay different. Exercising one’s religion is something incumbent on every follower 24/7, at all times, in all places, and not just on Sunday morning in church. Our founders thought it so important, they made it the first freedom enumerated in the first amendment. This freedom is under direct attack by this evil ruling. You can have same-sex “marriage” as a civil right enforced by the sword of government or you can have freedom to exercise your religion. You can’t have both. The proposed laws carving out exemptions for pastors or judges attempts to have both. That won’t work! Only full-fledged statewide repudiation will work. Not just pastors, not just judges, but every Ohio citizen needs the unabridged protection of the First Amendment.