Thank you, Justice Kennedy

Monday, June 29, 2015
Dr. Michael L. Brown - Guest Columnist

Michael BrownBy voting against natural marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy has done more to energize our side than a string of political victories could ever have done. Brothers and sisters, we owe him a sincere 'thanks.'

Dear Justice Kennedy,

I'm sure you are getting flooded with words of congratulations from your admirers and words of criticism from your detractors, but please allow me to offer my own hearty "thank" you – yet as a staunch critic of your decision, one of the most infamous in the history of our nation.

Why then do I thank you?

Thank you, Justice Kennedy, for bringing unprecedented religious persecution to the shores of our nation. Despite the darkness and pain ahead, this will only cause the Church to wake up and grow stronger. 

I thank you first for helping to galvanize the opposition to redefining marriage, much as the Roe v. Wade decision helped galvanize the pro-life movement.

In a moment of time, you have done more to energize our side than a string of political victories for us could ever have done.

You have so painted us into a corner and so overstepped the bounds of your office that you have singlehandedly strengthened our resolve to stand, even unifying groups and individuals that had not worked together before now.

For that, sir, I sincerely thank you.

I also want to thank you for confirming what we have been saying for many years now, namely, that gay activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of speech, religion, and conscience.

With a stroke of your pen, you have given justification to a torrent of hatred aimed at conservative Christians and Jews (and even Muslims), despite the fact that you were quite aware of the very real danger of anti-religious persecution arising from your decision (as indicated by the questioning of U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito during the oral hearings).

Professor Robert Gagnon, a fine New Testament scholar, was not exaggerating when he wrote, "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."

Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus said to His followers, "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12).

Within a day of your ruling, I received tweets with messages like these: "@DrMichaelLBrown MOVE TO THE MOON, RELIGIOUS TERRORIST AND HATER." And, "Christian hater riffraff like @DrMichaelLBrown ... must be brought to justice ... zero tolerance for this scum."

You have helped fuel these ugly fires, sir, thereby revealing the depth of hatred that exists towards people of faith in America today, bringing the words of Jesus to life for His dedicated followers. And with major gay activist organizations having won their long-envisioned victory, they will doubtless turn their attention to crushing all dissent.

Thank you, Justice Kennedy, for bringing unprecedented religious persecution to the shores of our nation. Despite the darkness and pain ahead, this will only cause the Church to wake up and grow stronger.

Finally, I want to thank you for confirming something else I and others have said many times before, namely, if you redefine marriage, you make it meaningless. Your ruling does that in the most articulate way, as your dissenting colleagues also indicated in their brilliant and penetrating opinions.

You offered as a fundamental reason for same-sex "marriage" the argument that, "The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality."

Yet with your brilliant legal mind you must have recognized that the number "two," inserted at random points in your ruling, no longer has any special significance, and so every other configuration of consenting adults that wants to be "married" can appeal to your reasoning here as well.

Aside from your argument having no grounding whatsoever in the Constitution or Bill of Rights – again, your dissenting colleagues made this abundantly clear as well – it is an argument that other "marriage equality" advocates have already seized, be it for the recognition of polygamy or any other consensual adult union.

Why must it be two, Justice Kennedy? If marriage is not the union of a man and a woman, with all that entails, why must it be limited to two people (or require two people)?

You further argued that same-sex "marriage" should be recognized because "it safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education."

Yet this could be argued far more effectively for polygamy, which has the possibility of natural procreation, in contrast with homosexual "marriage," which does not, and which can also join a child to its mother and father, something homosexual couples cannot do.

While your admirers are praising your "manifesto" for same-sex "marriage," I must thank you for proving our point once again: to redefine marriage is to render it meaningless.

I will certainly pray for you, Justice Kennedy, that God would grant you repentance and forgiveness for the horrific decision you have made, one that will result in much lasting pain for our country.

But you have succeeded in galvanizing the pro-marriage side and confirmed our warnings and concerns.

For all that, I say "Thank you."

Dr. Michael Brown, a Jewish believer in Jesus, is a biblical scholar, apologist, worldwide speaker, and activist. He is the host of the nationally syndicated, talk radio program "Line of Fire," and he serves as president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, NC, as well as adjunct professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books, most recently "Can You Be Gay and Christian?" 

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