Conservatives Get 'Slap in the Face'
Political Advocacy Tracker is a roundup of what Christian activist organizations have been talking about the past week.
Political activists faced major decisions this week as same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court, and a mosque dominated the news cycle. A federal judge ruled that California's marriage amendment violates the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Elena Kagan was confirmed as the newest Supreme Court justice. And attempts to block a mosque near the World Trade Center site were unanimously rebuffed.
Proposition 8: 'Armageddon may be close at hand'
When Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that California's ballot-approved marriage amendment violated the U.S. Constitution, the reaction from political activists was immediate.
Chuck Colson told BreakPoint listeners, "I have warned you for months that our religious freedoms are imperiled. Well, Armageddon may be close at hand if a new court decision holds up."
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), said the ruling is "a grievously serious crisis in how the American people will choose to be governed."
"An unelected federal judge has chosen to override the will of the people of California and to redefine an institution the federal government did not create and that predates the founding of America. Indeed, 'marriage' goes back to the Garden of Eden, where God defined His institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman," said Land.
Lou Sheldon, chairman and founder of the Traditional Values Coalition said that "it is an outrage that one arrogant and rogue federal judge can take it upon himself to overturn a centuries old definition of marriage and family … Direct Democracy has been blatantly attacked today."
President of Concerned Women for America (CWA) Wendy Wright agreed that the ruling was anti-democratic and should be overturned.
"Judge Walker has declared, in effect, that his opinion is supreme and 'We the People' are no longer free to govern ourselves," said Wright. "Citizens of California voted to uphold marriage because they understood the sacred nature of marriage and that homosexual activists use same-sex 'marriage' as a political juggernaut to indoctrinate young children in schools to reject their parent's values and to harass, sue and punish people who disagree."
Citizenlink's Jenny Tyree objected to Walker's decision, in part because he said opposition to same-sex marriage was irrational.
"He singles out people of faith—as ifdocuments like the Bible are the only place to get theidea thatthere are two halves of humanity—male and female, and that children result fromheterosexual union," said Tyree. "But marriage wouldn't have been defended at the ballot box 31 timesif it wasn'tsupported also by people who do not claim a religious faith."
There was also some finger-pointing in one response to the ruling. The Liberty Counsel said the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) had put on a weak defense of the proposition. The Liberty Counsel had attempted to work on the case in 2009 "because of concern that the case was not being adequately defended." The request was denied because it did not represent Protectmarriage.com—Yes on 8, the official proponents of the ballot proposition. The official proponents were represented by ADF.
In a statement, Liberty Counsel said, "After ADF actively opposed Liberty Counsel, ADF presented only two witnesses at trial, following the 15 witnesses presented by those who challenged the amendment. Even Judge Walker commented that he was concerned by the lack of evidence presented by ADF on behalf of Prop 8." (More on Liberty Counsel—ADF story here.)