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A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Proposition 8 to be Heard Today

May I call you to pray with us in this hour? Today, the Supreme Court of CA will hear arguments against Prop. 8 (the ‘gay marriage’ ban that CA voters passed in Nov. last year), and why once more the will of the people should be overturned in favor of ‘gay marriage’.

Gratefully, the Prop. 8 people have put together a sound and smart defense, founded on the best of Judeo-Christian principles. I love these folks! They have refused to bash gays and have simply and virtuously upheld marriage for what it is. Pray for their clarity and objectivity, as they have already endured ceaseless slander. If you heard Sean Penn’s diatribe at the Academy Awards when he exhorted us ‘to anticipate our great shame and the shame of our grandchildren’ for upholding marriage, you glimpsed what CA’s intelligentsia is flinging at marriage supporters.

This is an occasion to endure such attack peacefully, and to continue in love to uphold the truth of marriage. To their great credit, the Prop. 8 people have done just that.

Today, the Supreme Court will hear a petition filed by three legal groups asking the Court to invalidate Prop. 8 on the grounds that voters did not have the authority to make such a change. The petition argues that Prop. 8 revised, rather than amended the Constitution, and therefore first should have been submitted to the state legislature. A weak case. The Prop. 8 team will counter these arguments on behalf of all of us who love marriage.

The opposition is grasping at straws. Still, we know that the CA Court already favors ‘gay marriage.’ Last year, the Court overturned the first law defining marriage as solely heterosexual that CA voters passed in 2000. The Court then legalized ‘gay marriage’, which provoked the creation and passage of Prop. 8. Pray that in spite of their views, the Court Justices will uphold Prop. 8, the measure that the Court allowed on the ballot last November. Pray that real justice will prevail in CA by the Court upholding the people’s will.

A big question: what happens to the thousands of gay couples that ‘married’ between last June and the passage of Prop. 8? Though I sympathize with those caught in the legal crossfire, the Court has only itself to blame. Foreseeing the dilemma, Prop. 8 organizers requested last June that the Court wait to marry gays until the people voted. The Court refused to wait. Pray that all state courts will learn from the mess that the CA Court has made of this, and that the Court will act wisely and justly this time in light of all concerned.

On behalf of generations yet-to-come, let us support marriage by praying for the Prop. 8 team as they defend our case on Thursday. The Court then will deliberate and make a decision at a yet-to-be determined time. Please make prayer for marriage a part of your Lenten offering, as we are at Desert Stream.

We do so for our grandchildren’s dignity and clarity (in contrast to their shame).

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The Fight for Marriage Continues Pt. 3

The second question we must raise: does freedom from racial restrictions in marriage apply reasonably to freedom from gender distinctions in marriage? In other words, does interracial marriage set a solid precedent for ‘gay marriage’?

Not at all. Throughout the history of civilization, marriage was and is fundamentally about one man pledged to one woman, for the purpose of bearing and raising children. Ethnicity has never figured into the equation at a foundational level. Discrimination of interracial couples is thus rooted in injustice, in fallen human tradition, and was deservedly overturned by a just Court.

President–elect Obama knows well the power of that justice. As the child of a white woman and African man, he would have been born illegitimately without the foresight of the CA Court. (CA overturned the ban on interracial marriage in 1948, but that ban did not become national law until 1967.) That means that the most powerful man in the USA has a strong sensitivity to marital justice and discrimination.

That is all the more reason for Obama and all citizens to be clear on what the issues are. Obama currently is not. Although he claims to be against ‘gay marriage’ per se, he equally opposed Prop.8 on the grounds that it was ‘discriminatory.’ And he is surrounded by those who have bought into the myth of gays as a targeted minority.

We live in a culture that is vulnerable to the rhetoric of activists who insist that ‘marriage equality’ applies to the false ‘ethnos’ of homosexuality. In their distorted but compelling line of reasoning, this view presumes that homosexuals deserve the same rights as any minority including marital rights, and invokes the struggle of blacks seeking to marry interracially as a legal pathway to ‘gay marriage’ justice.

Bad reasoning. ‘Gay marriage’, unlike interracial marriage, fundamentally violates what marriage is. Remove the component of gender distinction in marriage, and it ceases to be marriage. It ceases to produce new life. It violates what all people know to be true about the design of the universe. There exists a profound historic and creative logic to traditional marriage that ‘gay marriage’ undermines.

Marriage is male and female. Ethnically diversity does not disrupt marriage in the least; gender sameness disqualifies it. Marriage is defined by gender polarity. It should not be tinkered with. For the good of all, especially for the children created by it.

The relentless drive of beautiful, misdirected people has brought us to the brink of undermining the most basic and formative institution on earth.

We must continue to fight. Prop.8 was one victory in what will ultimately become a battle to the National Supreme Court. We must seek to pray and inform all within our realm of influence as to what the real issues are. ‘Fearing God, we persuade men…” (2Cor 5:11)
I urge you:
1. Pray for Obama, that he would make just and true distinctions between the issues at hand.
2. Pray for the Prop.8 team as they prepare for the CA Supreme Court hearings in March. They will be able to represent the case for Prop.8, as opposed to the District Attorney, Jerry Brown, who fought against Prop.8 with all his might. Pray that the Courts will uphold the will of the people by supporting marriage in CA.
3. Pray for us at Desert Stream that we will continue to do our part to equip the church to provide clear and merciful choices for those with same-sex attraction, while fighting the growing injustices in our land. These concern a wrong view of homosexuality and ‘marital equality.’
We have won a battle; we have not won the war. Pray for perseverance, truth, mercy.

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The Fight for Marriage Continues Pt. 2

First we must answer the question: can homosexuality be compared to ethnicity?

Not well, according to the Latinos and African-Americans in CA who rallied to pass Prop.8, in contrast to their Anglo counterparts. Race is a biological birthright; it is immutable, unchangeable, and from a biblical viewpoint, to be celebrated as God reconciles every tribe and tongue to Himself, his/her own ethnos, and to one another.

Homosexuality is altogether different; it cannot be compared to ethnicity in its origins, its various expressions, its malleability, and the moral decisions one makes in light of those tendencies.

Homosexuality is complex in its origins. While it is absolutely wrong to declare homosexuality inborn, one must acquiesce to a web of factors that influence same-sex attraction, including biologically determined personality traits, family-of-origin factors, and the cultural and social variables around him/her.

And this is where we find such diversity among ‘homosexuals.’ It is difficult today to separate those with longstanding tendencies from those experimenting with homosexuality, like teenagers, or the likes of a Lindsay Lohan or an Anne Heche.

The growing cultural acceptance of homosexuality means that more will choose to experiment in this way; it also highlights how huge a variable that moral choice is for the same-sex attracted.

Many like myself choose to undergo a process of change to a heterosexual identity, others opt to be celibate ‘homosexuals’, others adopt that lifestyle, while still others cycle into homosexuality for a while then opt out.

In its origins, and in its diverse expressions that hinge upon one’s moral decision-making, homosexuality differs from ethnicity.

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The Fight for Marriage Continues Pt. 1

As soon as the results were tallied in favor of Proposition 8—the ban on same-sex marriage in California—a backlash erupted that continues to this day. Those of us who supported 8 had little time to celebrate.

Throngs of gay activists protested in CA’s largest cities. They accused Prop.8 supporters of perpetrating hate (‘H-8’) crimes upon gays. A week later, the protest spread to cities throughout the nation.

Activists picketed churches and disrupted services. Some who financially backed Prop.8 (the records are public) were harassed, including the director of a major theater company in CA who lost his job. It seems those most intent on tolerance fail to extend it!

While Ron Prentice, head of the campaign for Prop.8, declared that the citizens of CA had by a majority vote ‘enshrined the importance of marriage in the state constitution’, the editors of the NY Times bemoaned how the passage of Prop.8 ‘enshrined bigotry in the constitution of CA.’

In that spirit, four hours after Prop.8 opponents ceded victory to the gay marriage ban, three high-profile legal groups filed petitions requesting that the State Supreme Court invalidate the measure.

On what grounds? Proponents of gay marriage are claiming once more that gays are a targeted minority, being subject to the prejudices of the majority. They claim that the civil rights of an oppressed people-group are at risk. Now that Prop.8 made ‘gay marriage’ unconstitutional, activists are claiming with new fury that their constitutional rights have been violated.

So in March of 2009, the State Supreme Court will hear yet again another round of appeals as to why their decision last May to legalize ‘gay marriage’ should trump Prop.8.

(Keep in mind that last May the Court cancelled out a ‘heterosexual marriage’ amendment that voters rallied for in 2000. Prop. 8 was a response to that cancellation; it went further than the initial amendment and made ‘gay marriage’ unconstitutional.)

We are witnessing a value clash of huge proportions. On one hand are those who uphold traditional marriage as a common good: the union of one man for one woman, validated by the state to help ensure fidelity and permanence for the sake of children. On the other hand are those whose commitment ‘to justice for all’ now include homosexuals as a minority who should be given whatever rights and privileges that the state grants any ethnic group.

Proponents of ‘gay marriage’ cite racial justice as the single strongest precedent for their views. When the Chief Justice of the CA Supreme Court was making his case for ‘gay marriage’, he quoted three times from a 1948 court decision (Perez vs. Sharp) where the CA Supreme Court struck down a state ban on interracial marriage.

“The essence of the right to marry is freedom to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice,” Chief Justice George said, quoting Perez while siding with arguments for same-sex marriage that were consciously rooted in the struggle for equal rights for blacks.

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Humbled by Victory

After a sleepless night, I can say with joy and relief: ‘gay marriage’ is no longer in CA.The people arose and went to the polls. They took back marriage from the Supreme Court and rightly defined it as one man pledged to one woman. For the sake of kids. For the good of all.

By a slim 4-point margin, the citizens of CA turned San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and an activist court on its ear. Now marriage as heterosexual is written in stone into the CA state constitution.

Thank you for your prayers. God roused His people to honor and defend what He loves.

The righteous in CA—both Christians and God-fearers—acted. And persevered. They endured vandalism—Prop. 8 signs and bumper-stickers were torn down throughout the campaign, political trickery—CA’s Attorney General deliberately worded Prop. 8 in a confusing and negative manner, and shame—opponents of Prop. 8 ridiculed those who honor marriage as racist, intolerant and hateful.

The good endured. The true image of God in humanity is honored. God is honored. “Just as there is a momentum to evil, so there is a momentum to repentance…”

And He is to be praised for hearing our prayers. I have cried out for this victory along with you since the Supreme Court decision last May. Yesterday, anxious in prayer, the Lord reminded me of this Word He gave me through my friend and associate Dean:

“Do not be anxious or discouraged because of this vast army. The battle is not yours, but Mine. Take up your positions, stand firm, and you will see the deliverance that I have given you. Do not fear or be discouraged, for I am with you.” (2Chron. 20: 16, 17)

He delivered CA from delusion, and the judgment it invites. He will have mercy! The people have acted justly and honored God’s image.

This is only the beginning. CA’s honoring of marriage must signal a further awakening of the church everywhere to arise in Christ, the true image, and live out what she preaches.

That means cherishing that image in one another, and making every effort to restore that image in its broken members.

That means taking the mercy of Jesus out beyond her walls to those bound by same-sex attraction. We have already given gays what they need: the clear witness of God’s intent for humanity in marriage. Now let’s love them into the Kingdom.

And we need to empower the nations who sooner than later will face the same decision that CA did concerning the true definition of marriage.

We must mobilize now to help them before sneaky courts or legislatures subject its citizens to ‘gay marriage.’

CA has spoken loudly to the world: Let the people decide how marriage will be defined. Thank God for democracy! By His grace, and though the power of truth tempered and channeled in prayer, let the people who honor God honor marriage everywhere.

Bless you dear friends for standing with us throughout these forty days. Together, we have honored marriage for the good of all.

“Delight yourself in the lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Him; trust in Him, and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” (PS 37:4-6)

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