Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
One News Network: In anticipation of next week’s Supreme Court hearings on same-sex “marriage,” Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is exhorting tens of thousands of pastors across the U.S. to champion biblical marriage from their pulpits this Sunday.
The American Conservative: Michael Lindsay, the president of Gordon College, spoke this morning to the Q Ideas conference here in Boston. He, and the college he leads, are under severe attack for holding to orthodox Christian teaching on LGBT. Gordon is Evangelical, but very far from a fundamentalist stronghold. Yet they are seen by many people — many powerful people — as a bastion of bigotry.
AZ Central: Married same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt and foster Arizona children together, effective immediately, according to a statement Gov. Doug Ducey issued Wednesday night.
Public Religion Research Institute: From the beginning, religious divides have been central to the same-sex marriage debate.
Public Discourse: Those suing to overturn state marriage laws are not merely asking the Court to recognize a new right. They are asking the Court to declare that the Constitution removes this issue from democratic deliberation.
Aleteia: The Pope also stressed that we must restore honor to marriage and the family or “children will come into the world increasingly uprooted” from the covenant between man and woman, and “even from the maternal womb.”
USCCB: The state has a compelling interest in maintaining marriage as it has been understood across faiths and cultures for millennia because it has a compelling interest in the well-being of children.
The New York Times: Our country was founded on the principle of religious liberty, enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Why shouldn’t an individual or business have the right to cite, in a court proceeding, religious liberty as a reason for not participating in a same-sex marriage ceremony that violates a sincerely held religious belief?
Barbwire: On the eve of arguments over marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court, religious and political leaders representing Evangelicals, Catholics, Orthodox Christian and Jewish communities have once again pledged their unity to stand in solidarity to marriage and the family.
The Week: Today, it is simply taken for granted that the innocence and vulnerability of children makes them beings of particular value, and entitled to particular care. We also romanticize children — their beauty, their joy, their liveliness. Our culture encourages us to let ourselves fall prey to our gooey feelings whenever we look at baby pictures. What could be more natural? In fact, this view of children is a historical oddity. If you disagree, just go back to the view of children that prevailed in Europe’s ancient pagan world.
Associated Press: Little Rock officials voted Tuesday to prohibit the city and companies contracting with it from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity, challenging a new Arkansas law criticized as anti-gay.
ABC 11 (WTVD): Two former North Carolina magistrates who stepped down from their posts after last year’s ruling that allowed same-sex marriages in the state have filed a lawsuit that says they should not have to perform same-sex ceremonies.
The fall of fertility: How redefining marriage will further declining birthrates in the United States
Public Discourse: Redefining marriage undermines the ties between marriage and procreation. This will contribute to already declining fertility rates in the United States as marriage rates drop and marriage becomes even more adult-centric in meaning and function. The consequences to the economy and society will be harmful and multifaceted.
Religion News Service (USA Today): The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a landmark case on gay marriage, but most Americans already have made up their minds: There’s no turning back.
Aleteia: In culturally conservative circles, for example, we find it easy to speak firmly against homosexuality and to condemn homosexual people who act on their desires. We have no problem advising those who want to live by the Church’s teaching on the high standards they must maintain. These people can become subjects for culture-warring. They are Them, and they live a good ways away.
Daily Signal: Advocates of same-sex marriage have skillfully rallied around the rhetoric of liberty, claiming that laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman curtail the liberty of gays and lesbians. While that claim makes for nice slogans—like “freedom to marry”—it is not grounded in reality.
The New York Times: John G. Kallam Jr., 67, carries a worn black Bible and another copy on his iPad, and believes Scripture is unequivocal.
Vatican Insider: At the General Audience the Pope said women’s mistrust is understandable and condemned male chauvinism and the exploitation of the female body in the media. He also sent out an appeal for Earth Day
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission is asking you to join us in praying for the preservation and strengthening of marriage as oral arguments involving several cases on same-sex marriage are heard before the Supreme Court on April 28.
The Daily Signal: Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on same-sex marriage. In a panel this week at The Heritage Foundation, Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at Heritage, discussed why the states should be free to choose whether they recognize same-sex marriages.
Salon: If you truly support equality, you have to support the right of people whose ideas are different from yours to have those ideas and to express them.
Public Discourse: Fewer than 9 percent of the countries belonging to the United Nations have redefined marriage to include same-sex relationships—and only one of those did so via its judiciary. A judicial redefinition of marriage would make the United States an extreme outlier on the global stage.
Aleteia: No one can change their sex, but by redefining “sex” to describe only the biological, and “gender” to how a person self-identifies—either as male, female, or something else—the trangender activists can claim that males can become women and females men. “Gender reassignment surgery” (GRS), can create the outward appearance of the other sex, but doesn’t change the DNA.
Aleteia: Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Sunday that the Supreme Court should not interfere in states’ power to regulate marriage.
The Week: To this list of offenses — normally reserved only for bigots and criminals — we can now apparently add opposing same-sex marriage.
The Federalist: Natural-marriage defender Ryan T. Anderson has been disowned by his high school and shunned on MSNBC. But he deserves a fair hearing.
The Atlantic: For two other candidates, the question isn’t hypothetical. Scott Walker opposes same-sex marriage, but he attended the reception of a family member’s wedding—though not the ceremony. John Kasich also opposes marriage equality, but he has plans to attend one soon. The Ohio governor’s explanation is straightforward: “My friend knows how I feel about the issue, but I’m not here to have a war with him. I care about my friend, and so it’s pretty simple for me.”
The Daily Signal: One week from today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about gay marriage. Here’s what you need to know.
The Federalist: Some children of gay parents, just like some gay people, do not support gay parenting or gay marriage. Male and female biology each provide something every child needs—together.
Public Discourse: More than fifty million people have, by their votes, demonstrated that they continue to understand the profound importance of marriage. They deserve better than to have the decision to protect or redefine marriage taken out of their hands by the Supreme Court.
Public Discourse: Same-sex parenting is not unique in the alternative family landscape. What is unique is encouraging an alternative parenting structure guaranteed to deny a child’s right to a biological parent.
The Daily Signal: For decades social science has found that there is an optimal family structure for a child’s intellectual, emotional and physical flourishing: being raised in a home by her biological, married parents.
SCOTUS Blog: Taken as a whole, the sixty-six legal briefs filed in defense of the four states’ bans on same-sex marriage show evident signs of trying mainly to satisfy Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
SCOTUS Blog: When the Supreme Court next week takes up what could be the decisive chapter in this constitutional saga, four states will urge the Justices to restore traditional state control over marriage laws, and begin the process of undoing at least some of the court rulings since Windsor.
SCOTUS Blog: With the Supreme Court assembling on April 28 to hear four combined cases on the issue, there are now thirty-six states in which same-sex couples may legally marry.
Elko Daily Free Press: This is what AB 375 accomplishes. It accommodates students struggling with gender confusion while preserving the historic practice of having separate facilities based upon a person’s biological sex.
Yahoo News: A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a fresh challenge to New Jersey’s ban on so-called gay conversion therapy for minors, saying the prohibition does not violate the rights of either children or their parents.
Religion Clause: The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, for a second time, rejected a constitutional challenge to a New Jersey statute (A3371) that prohibits providing “sexual orientation change efforts” counseling to minors.
First Things: There has been no want of “writing on the wall” about the upcoming cases on marriage. Justice Clarence Thomas could not help but remark on the point that a majority of his colleagues had already, and gracelessly, signaled their “intended resolution of that question.” And yet, writers and lawyers on both sides continue to expend their genius in writing briefs for the Court, clinging to the possibility that the words they set down may yet tip the balance.
CBS News: Christian conservative Rick Santorum, the former senator considering a presidential bid, said Thursday that he would not attend a same-sex wedding — even if it were a loved one or family friend getting married.
National Law Journal (Subscription Required): In all, same-sex marriage opponents filed 64 amicus briefs. Combined with the 73 briefs in support and five expressing support for neither party, the justices—more likely their clerks—face a heavy lift reading 142 amicus briefs.
Free Times: On April 28, the Court will hear oral arguments on whether same-sex marriage should be legal across the country.
The Washington Post: Another day, another town. Ryan T. Anderson, the conservative movement’s fresh-faced, millennial, Ivy League-educated spokesman against same-sex marriage, has another busy schedule.
Public Discourse: The metamorphosis of marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution would send the message that society no longer needs men to bond to women to form well-functioning families or to raise happy, well-adjusted children. That would be bad news for children of heterosexuals on the margins: the poor, the relatively uneducated, the irreligious, and others who are susceptible to cultural messages promoting casual or uncommitted sex.
Religion Clause: In Conti v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc., (CA App., April 13, 2015), a California state appeals court held that elders of a Jehovah’s Witness congregation had no duty to warn the congregation in general, or parents, that another member of the congregation had previously molested a child.
Family Studies: Preparing for Tax Day, which was yesterday, brings up a lot of questions in any household: Where did I leave my W-2? Should we itemize our deductions? Why didn’t we hire someone to take care of this, anyway?
National Law Journal: A federal judge in Alaska on Wednesday awarded $127,000 to the solo practitioners and small-firm attorneys who successfully challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The amount was more than $100,000 less than the lawyers requested.
Public Discourse: A group of distinguished conservative public servants, policy makers, and political operatives has signed an amicus brief saying the US Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage. They argue that this is the truly conservative position—but it takes quite a bit of logical contortion to accept their argument.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): The baker wars moved to a new stage last week. It seems that liberty, equality, and human dignity in America stand or fall with who is baking what for whom at weddings. A truly moving theme. I can’t wait to see the film.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Did you see the Honey Maid commercial during last Saturday’s NCAA Final Four game between Duke and Michigan State, the one with two men who call themselves married with two children? Rather than simply trying to get people to buy its graham crackers, Mondelēz International, which owns the brand, is pushing an agenda with its “This Is Wholesome” campaign.
Aleteia: This utter lack of understanding directly affects the coverage of the marriage debate and other issues involving the LGBTQ community. It doesn’t occur to them that Christians might be listening to a higher authority than ever-changing public opinion.
Aleteia: President Obama is calling for an end to “reparative therapies” aimed at helping young people rid themselves of same-sex attraction and identification as “transgender.”
Aleteia: When a British science journal published an American study in January showing that emotional problems are more than twice as prevalent for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents, nobody expected the author, or the journal editors, to escape criticism. The “consensus” within the social science establishment is that the kids being raised by same-sex couples are doing fine, and will do even better if these parents are allowed to marry. Any researcher who finds anything different must be wrong, incompetent and homophobic.
The New York Times: In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside aWhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.
Patheos: My guess though is that the Christians who favor a “bake for them two” approach don’t track with this logic for the same reason they don’t track with most critiques of same-sex marriage in general: They actually don’t quite understand what they support.
Life Site News: On April 28, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear Obergefell v. Hodges, et al, which could decide the state of marriage in America for decades to come.
The Denver Post (AP): President Barack Obama is calling for an end to psychiatric therapy treatments aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of gay, lesbian and transgender youths.
The Denver Post: A Colorado Senate committee killed a bill Wednesday that the state’s gay rights organizations and mental health groups had high hopes for: a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors.
The Washington Times: “The Committee is discriminating against these college students purely on the basis of their association with Gordon College and their imputed religious beliefs,” he said. “This the Constitution forbids.”
Aleteia: A Christian man has no right to demand that a baker make him a cake with Bible verses that criticize homosexual conduct, a Colorado court ruled last week.
Mere Orthodoxy: Now that our “insane national freak-out” about Indiana’s religious liberty bill has subsided a little, it’s worth stepping back to reflect on what happened and what the drama might mean for religious conservatives. Ross Douthat said nearly everything that needs to be said in his two posts; I note up front that I agree with his substantive analysis of the law completely, and am inclined to agree with him on the question of making cakes.
Religion News Service: Whenever people today say that Christianity needs to update and adapt its moral standards for the 21st century, I hear echoes from 100 years ago. Back then, the calls for change had less to do with morality and more to do with miracles. But the motivation was similar, and the results are instructive.
Religion News Service: Throughout Christian history, friends have made promises to each other. Because I accept the traditional Christian view that marriage is about male and female coming together in a lifelong covenant and raising children, I wouldn’t want to see vowed friendships become a covert way of promoting same-sex sexual intimacy in the church. But I do think that committed, permanent friendships may be one way for gay and lesbian Christians to practice celibacy.
Chaplain Alliance Press Release: The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Friday in the case of Obergefell v Hodges. The case involves the question of whether states are free to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman and whether a state is required to recognize marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in other states.
USA Today: It’s hard for the people who call themselves liberals (while acting like anything but) to top their past bullying and intolerance of those who won’t fall in line with their worldview. Yet, with the Indiana religious freedom bill, they pulled it off. After Memories Pizza owner Crystal O’Connor told an Indiana reporter that she would not cater a gay wedding because it would conflict with her religious beliefs, the world exploded.
The American Conservative: According to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a Christian baker in the state violated Colorado laws when he refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. But in a new ruling today, bakeries that refused to make a cake for a Christian who wanted “anti-gay” Bible verses written on them in frosting are in the clear.
Public Discourse: Monica Lewinsky has reappeared on the national stage and is speaking out against cyberbullying. Perhaps she should consider addressing the breakdown of the American family instead.
The Salt-Lake Tribune: Speaker after Mormon speaker warned Saturday about the need to defend “traditional families” — a legally married mother and father, who rear their children together — and about the dangers of “counterfeit and alternative lifestyles.”
First Things: A fictionalized note from a Christian baker: Creator Cakes has served this community for over two decades. That we run our business in accordance with our Christian faith is well known in the community.
NBC News: An online fundraising effort has raised more than $840,000 for an Indiana pizza shop hounded by critics after one of its owners said she would decline to cater a gay wedding because of her religious beliefs.
Aleteia: The “national freak-out” about Indiana’s religious freedom law is telling. It shows where Christians in America stand in an age-old cycle that the world has put us through repeatedly.
Life Site News: I’m a designer. I love the shiny silver products created by Apple. But when those products become philosophical pontifications in Op-Eds and news media campaigns of misinformation, I want to dump my Apple tech in the trash can where Tim Cook’s “dangerous” religious freedom propaganda belongs.
First Things: Texas is a big place, and as Robert Wuthnow has recently reminded us in Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, it has an oversized role in matters of religion and politics. That is one reason why the recent Texas Monthly cover story of falling head over heels for gay marriage struck me as significant. Now, a month later, the reviews are in. The April “Roar of the Crowd” letters section describes a “voluminous inrush of response,” often including the magazine itself, returned in protest. The staff seems likely, however, to take the rebuke as a badge of honor.