The Respect for Marriage Act, codifying same-sex marriage as federal law, already decided as such by the Supreme Court in the Obergefell decision in 2015, has now passed the Senate. If it passes in the House, President Joe Biden will sign it into law.
Let’s take a moment and consider what is going on.
Some view acceptance of same sex marriage as a bold new step to a freer and more just society. But, despite Gallup now showing 71% in favor of same-sex marriage, 58% of those who attend church weekly are opposed.
Only 17%, per Gallup, now say that they are satisfied with the direction of the country. According to the General Social Survey, the percentage of Americans, since 2000, saying they are “not too happy” has increased from 10% to 24%, and those saying they are “very happy” has decreased from 34% to 19%.
Clearly, many Americans sense there is something very wrong going on in our country.
May I propose that the eternal truths we receive through religion, now so widely rejected, are there because we need them?
Is freedom really about ideologues having license to rewrite our language and redefine our sacred institutions?
Some have found it politically expedient to use the once prohibition on interracial marriage as a rationale for showing the alleged unfairness of a prohibition on same-sex marriage.
But the bans on interracial marriage had nothing to do with our understanding of marriage.
The ban on interracial marriage, which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in 1967, stemmed from the ban on interracial marriage in Virginia going back to 1924. That legislation was called The Racial Integrity Act. It was about racial purity. It had nothing to do with the definition of marriage.
In 1924, few did not accept that marriage was the sacred bond between a man and woman. The racists were concerned about a man and woman of different races entering into that sacred bond.
But somehow race gets dragged into every perverse ideological battle that happens in our country.
In 1857, the Supreme Court ruled that African Americans were not human beings. In the Dred Scott decision, the court ruled that people of African descent “are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges” accorded to citizens.
The meaning of “citizen” was reinvented to serve a political and ideological agenda.
With the passage of the 14th Amendment, the American people restored the truth and integrity of the word “citizen” — “All persons born and naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” — and obliterated a corrupt, ideological ruling of the Supreme Court.
The Obergefell decision did to the word “marriage” what the Dred Scott decision did to the word “citizen.”
It took a civil war to bring forth the 14th Amendment. What will it take to restore how, as a society, we understand what it means to be married?
Per recent data from the Census Bureau, in 2022, 34% of those over age 15 had never been married, compared to 23% in 1950.
In a 2020 Pew survey, 16% said it was “essential” for a man to marry and 17% said it was essential for a woman.
French nobleman Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his classic study, “Democracy in America, “One cannot say that in the United States religion exerts an influence on the laws … but it directs mores, and it is in regulating the family that it works to regulate the state. … Of the world’s countries, America is surely the one where the bond of marriage is most respected.”
That was in 1835. In 2022, know that those who love our country and understand what made and makes it great are in for the long haul. An America without truth is an America without a future.
Star Parker is President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly television show “CURE America with Star Parker.”