The Marriage Decisions and the Death of Reason

If you celebrated the marriage decisions handed down by the Supreme Court yesterday, you are a socialist, a deviant who believes “if it feels good, do it!”, a crass enemy of all that is good who needs to remember that God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!

Did that sound harsh? Did that sound like a string of empty accusations without any backing in reason? I think it did too.  The problem is that the above sentence is just as devoid of logic as the Court’s majority decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which is being widely celebrated.

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion barely references the stated justification for the 17-year old legislation that was passed with broad bipartisan agreement and signed by President Clinton.  Kennedy simply dismisses the law as unconstitutional largely because the intent of the legislators who voted for it had the “bare desire to harm a political group.”  Kennedy does not (and cannot) find evidence of such unreflective bigotry; he just assumes it.

Justice Scalia excoriated Kennedy’s opinion writing:

 As I have observed before, the Constitution does not forbid the government to enforce traditional moral and sexual norms. See Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558, 599 (2003) (SCALIA, J., dissenting). I will not swell the U. S. Reports with restatements of that point. It is enough to say that the Constitution neither requires nor forbids our society to approve of same-sex marriage, much as it neither requires nor forbids us to approve of no-fault divorce, polygamy, or the consumption of alcohol.

In other words, Scalia argued the majority had no constitutional right to overturn DOMA.  The Founding Fathers gave the Supreme Court a very narrow job, and “discovering rights” in a two-hundred-plus-year-old document was certainly not one of them.  Ironically, the Court would go on to send Proposition 8 back to California arguing that the lawyers defending the Marriage Amendment lacked “standing,” that is, had no right to argue the case in the first place.  This is ironic because under the Constitution the Court had no right to even address the Defense of Marriage Act other than possibly order the Commander-in-Chief to enforce it.

Scalia goes on to write, after addressing the baseless accusations that the motives of the legislators and President Clinton were bigoted:

 I am sure these accusations are quite untrue. To be sure (as the majority points out), the legislation is called the Defense of Marriage Act. But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “disparage,” ”injure,” “degrade,” ”demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

Scalia chillingly highlights a sad state of affairs in our current culture: catchy but empty phrases oft-repeated are taken to be logical arguments.  Secularists, liberals and even libertarians often take bumper sticker slogans as dogma and dismiss with insults and rolled eyes any attempt to debate issues logically.  Many scholars have set forth valid arguments and scientific studies demonstrating why it is important for our society to encourage traditional marriage (see the works of Ryan T. Anderson at The Heritage Foundation, Robert George at Princeton and the important work of Mark Regnarus (whose work was roundly attacked by all major media outlets even after it was quietly affirmed as near flawless by academic audits at the University of Texas)).  Yet, these scholars are ignored and everyone from MSNBC to Facebook continue to insist there is no harm to adopting so-called same-sex marriage.

From the halls of secular Academia to the Supreme Court, we are sadly witnessing the true death of reason.  God help us all.


Matt Rawlings is an attorney, pastor, former Congressional aide, past music video director and prodigal preacher’s kid.  Matt resides in Portsmouth, Ohio with his wife Emily, his son Jackson and his dog Duke (named after John Wayne not the university).  Matt blogs regularly at

All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.



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