Now Gird Up Your Loins
Robert A. J. Gagnon
June 26, 2015
Today, June 26, 2015, a day of national tragedy, the
Supreme Court of the United States rendered what should rank as the
worst decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the lifetime
of every living American (rivaled only by Roe v. Wade) and at least one
of the two or three worst decisions since the Court's inception (compare
the Dred Scott case).
Five lawless judges (all four Democrat-appointed judges:
Obama's Sotomayor and Kagan; Clinton's Ginsburg and Breyer; and one
traitor appointed by Reagan: Kennedy) defeated four Constitution-abiding
judges (four of the five Republican-appointed judges: Bush Jr.'s Roberts
and Alito; Bush Sr's Thomas; and Reagan's Scalia) to foist "gay
marriage" on all 50 states. Five unelected lawyers have acted as
legislators and imposed their arbitrary and extreme leftwing ideology on
all the American people, culminating the judicial tyranny over the past
two years that has preempted the democratic process.
Chief Justice Roberts is right in declaring this ruling
to be “an act of will, not legal judgment.... Just who do we think we
are?" Justice Scalia is right in saying that this ruling is "a threat to
American democracy." Justice Alito is right in warning that the decision
"will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new
orthodoxy.... The implications [of comparing traditional marriage laws
to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women]
will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige
Unless this decision can be reversed soon through the
next two presidential elections and the retirement/replacement of
renegade SCOTUS judges (Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer are the first up),
this will turn out to be the greatest American tragedy for the civil
liberties of persons of faith, for the cause of sexual purity in the
United States, and for the lives of persons struggling with same-sex
attraction. Prepare for a reign of persecution and abuse of people of
faith as hateful, ignorant, and discriminatory "bigots" and the moral
equivalent of racists in every area of life in which people of faith
intersect with the secular realm, individually and in their religious
institutions, with a profound negative impact as well within most
As individuals, people of faith will be aggressively
indoctrinated, fined, denied advancement, fired, intimidated, and
subjected to ceaseless verbal abuse in public and private schools, at
institutions of higher learning, at places of employment in public and
private sectors, and throughout the main communication organs of the
media and entertainment industry. Their institutions and businesses will
be set on a collision course with the state: denied government funding,
contracts, and loans; denied accreditation and tax-exempt status; and
subjected to government harassment.
Contrary to what deceived and deceiving proponents of
"gay marriage" have argued, homosexual relationships will not be tamed
by marriage but rather will destroy it and render it meaningless. The
institution of marriage will not so much conform homosexual activity to
the Christian understanding of marriage (lifelong, monogamous,
procreative, balancing the sexes) as be transformed over time to
accommodate to virtually any type of adult-consensual union. It will
eradicate the very basis in creation and nature for defining marriage as
complementary of body and monogamous: a male-female foundation. Taking
account of sexual differentiation at any level, even opposition to
cross-dressing and "transgenderism" and sex-distinguished bathroom
facilities, must now be treated as malicious.
Gender confusion in the young will be regularly promoted
by the government, schools, and media. Along with it will come an
increase not only in homosexual or transgender identification but also
in homosexuality itself. Following in the wake of that will be the
attendant, disproportionately high rates of measurable harm associated
with homosexual practice, including high sexually transmitted infection
rates and high numbers of sex partners over the course of life (mostly
for males; marriage won't tame this but rather will be redefined to
accommodate an "openness" to other sexual liaisons), as well as high
relational turnover and the mental health complications that come from
such breakups (especially for females; marriage won't stop that either
but rather will be redefined to view such short-term "marriages" as the
new norm). Add to this the complete severance of even the pretense of a
procreative norm. The cheapening effect on marriage, reduced to little
more than voluntary friendships that come and go, will stimulate an even
more precipitous decline in marriage rates among heterosexuals.
The four dissenting Justices follow in the political
footsteps of no less a Founding Father than Thomas Jefferson:
"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all
constitutional questions ... [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and
one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges
are as honest as other men, and not more so . . . and their power [is]
the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible,
as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The
Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to
whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members
would become despots” (Letter to William Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820).
“The great object of my fear is the Federal Judiciary"
(Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, 1821).
“One single object… [will merit] the endless gratitude of
the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation”
(Letter to Edward Livingston, March 25, 1825).
The dissenting judges also have a legacy in Abraham
Lincoln, who in his First Inaugural Address in 1861 warned the nation in
connection with the Dred Scott decision:
“The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of
the government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to
be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they
are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions,
the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having, to that
extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that
Sadly and ironically,
in asserting themselves so recklessly and with such hubris into the
millennia-old institution of marriage (a point, incidentally, made by
Scalia), the Lawless Five will stimulate massive distrust in the
institution of the Court, whose Justices, like a collective Humpty
Dumpty, make the Constitution and statutory law mean whatever they deem
it to mean.
"I don't know what you mean by
'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled
contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a
nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a
nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty
Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it
to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said
Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said
Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."
The Lawless Five have
indeed become the masters of the Fourteenth Amendment, making it say
what the formulators and electorate (and nearly everyone else for the
century-and-a-half that followed) never even dreamed it could say in
order to reconfigure an institution grounded in the Scriptures and
natural law long before the Constitution and its amenders ever existed.
We have come to a point where the country is ruled by an unelected,
unresponsive, and ideologically arbitrary oligarchy. My children have
learned today that they cannot trust the system of government under
which we now operate.
The Lawless Five have
ventured arrogantly into the realm of morality. Their view of marriage
is opposed to no less a moral authority than Jesus of Nazareth. Those
who like to say that Jesus changed the Law of Moses fail to note the
direction of change. The Six Antitheses of the Sermon on the Mount make
clear that the change is not toward greater license but toward greater
demand, making the law more internally self-consistent (Matthew
When Jesus addressed
the issue of marriage in more detail (Mark 10:2-12; parallel in Matthew
19:3-9), he quoted Genesis 1:27 (actually just a third of it: “male and
female he [God] made them”) and 2:24 (“For this reason a man may … be
joined to his woman and the two shall become one flesh”). These two
texts stress the foundational character of a male-female prerequisite of
the marital/sexual bond. Consistent with the Six Antitheses, Jesus
directs change toward greater demand, not greater license, appealing to
the twoness of the sexes, "male and female," as a basis for limiting the
number of partners in a sexual union to two, whether serially (no
remarriage after invalid divorce) or, implicitly, concurrently (no
Once the two halves of
the sexual spectrum are brought together, moderating the extremes of
each sex and filling in the gaps, a third party (or more) is neither
necessary nor desirable. In ancient Israel women had always been bound
by a strict monogamy requirement (no polyandry, i.e. multiple husbands)
and did not have right to unilateral divorce. Jesus declared that the
Law of Moses had accommodated to male "hardness of heart" in permitting
them multiple wives. No longer, Jesus said. In effect: "I'm closing that
loophole by appeal to God’s male-female prerequisite in creation.” The
duality of the sexes in sexual union is the foundation or predicate for
limiting the number of partners in a sexual union to two.
For those who question
that this was what Jesus was doing in citing Gen 1:27c and 2:24, we have
a nice history-of-religions parallel from a sectarian Jewish group known
as the Essenes (the Qumran community was a monastic nucleus for “town
Essenes”). In a document known as The Damascus Covenant written
more than a century before Jesus’ time, the Essenes forbade polygamy
(“taking two wives in their lives”) among their members because “the
foundation of creation is ‘male and female he created them’” (Gen 1:27)
and because “those who entered (Noah’s) ark went in two by two” (Gen
7:9; DC 4.20-5.1). In other words, they appealed to the same
one-third of Gen 1:27 to which Jesus would appeal more than a century
later, as a basis for revoking an allowance for polygyny (multiple
wives). They correlated this verse with a reference to the Noah's ark
narrative where the precise phrase "male and female" reappears in
connection with an explicit "two," True, they didn't go as far as Jesus'
later extension to invalid remarriage after divorce (it is easier to
prohibit concurrent polygamy, polygamy proper, than to extend the
principle to serial polygamy, divorce-and-remarriage for any cause). Yet
they did use God’s intentional sexual design of “male and female” in Gen
1:27c as a basis for arriving at a principle of duality in number.
The Essenes called this
"male and female" element of sexual ethics "the foundation of creation."
That is exactly how Jesus is viewing it. That makes Jesus' view of a
male-female prerequisite for sexual unions, extrapolated from God's
creation, an essential part of his teaching, foundational to all other
principles in sexual ethics (as we would expect in dealing with
creation). Homosexual practice is an obvious direct assault on that
foundation because it disregards a male-female prerequisite as having
any foundational significance. Indeed, it violates it. That makes
homosexual practice a greater violation of God’s will at creation than
polyamory, which is a violation of a principle only secondarily
extrapolated from a male-female requirement.
To propose, as some
revisionists now do, that “gay marriage” and the elimination of a
male-female prerequisite is a new work of the Spirit overlooks the fact
Jesus moved in the opposite direction by tightening the implications of
a male-female requirement. It is likely, then, that those who view “gay
marriage” as a new work of the Spirit have confused a work of the flesh
with the work of the Spirit and disregarded the Lordship of Jesus Christ
so far as the definition of marriage (and thus acceptable sexual
relations) is concerned.
Granted, in addressing
a ruling by SCOTUS we are dealing with a civil, not religious, matter.
Yet five renegade Justices now claim to be able to pronounce
authoritatively on a moral matter in the absence of any clear direction
from the Constitution of the United States. As Scalia put it in his
dissenting opinion, “They (the majority of Justices) have discovered in
the Fourteenth Amendment a ‘fundamental right’ overlooked by every
person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in
the time since.” Marriage as an institution is older than the
Constitution, by millennia. The framers of the Constitution had no
desire to change the definition of marriage inherited by them from the
Judeo-Christian Scriptures, much less the most foundational element of
all: the male-female prerequisite accepted by virtually all religious
and civil traditions worldwide. In pretending to be moral arbiters for
us all in the absence of (or, perhaps, in spite of) clear direction from
the Constitution, these five Justices have stepped outside their field
of expertise and jurisdiction into a sphere where a citation of Jesus’
own views becomes appropriate.
This ought to be a day of national mourning and a day of
rededicating ourselves to live sexually holy lives, repenting of what we
have failed to do and now doing what we still can as a city on a hill
and a light for the world to restore constitutional liberty and personal
morality to the nation and its institutions.
I am not saying that Christians should be driven by fear
of what the state can now do to us. No, Christians must always exhibit
the boldness of speech that characterizes free people of the
commonwealth of heaven. Christians should respond in faith rather than
fear in this moment of American Crisis.
Jesus has assured us, "Look, I am with you all the days
till the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20), just as God assured his people
Israel: "He will go before you. He, Yahweh, will be with you. He will
not abandon you or leave you. Do not be afraid and do not be terrified"
(Deuteronomy 31:8). We know how the End turns out. God wins. God's name
will one day be revered as holy by all, willingly or not. God's kingdom
will come. God's will shall be done on earth as it is even now being
done in heaven.
So let us clothe ourselves with the whole armor of God
(truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word
of God, and prayer) to engage this struggle that is not merely against
"flesh and blood" but against "spiritual forces of evil" (Ephesians
6:10-20). And as Jesus reminded us, if you are going to have fear, don’t
be so much afraid of human beings, who can (at most) kill only the body.
Fear God “who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Let us take to heart the apostle Paul’s words in Romans
8: No “pressures of life or tight straits or persecution” or “any other
created thing will be able to separate us”—those of us who are under the
controlling influence of the Spirit of Christ—“from the love of God that
is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” “Rather, in all these matters we are
super-conquerors through the One who loved us.” For God “cooperates”
with the Spirit who prays within us, working “for the good in all things
for those who love God,” the good consisting of “being conformed to the
image of his Son.” Who among us does not want to look more like Jesus
and to resemble his beauty, the beauty of a life given over wholly to
Among my favorite verses are these: “What then shall we
say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? The One who
did not spare his own Son but handed him over (to death) for us all, how
will he not also, together with him (Jesus), graciously bestow to us all
things?” (Romans 8:31-32). If God offered even his very Son for us, in
order to redeem us, he will not spare us any truly good thing now. He
will continue to lavish his grace on us. He loves us more deeply than we
can fathom for endless ages.
Yet this is not a call to moral sloth. On the contrary,
“Let us not be bad in doing what is good for in due time we will reap
(our harvest of eternal life), if we do not slack off” (Galatians 6:9).
As the ancient image conveys, this is a time for "girding up our loins."
Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D., is an
Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
and author of The Bible
and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics