The Supreme Court’s decision this week to let lower courts impose gay marriage on the states is one more blow to what is left of the traditional family in America. The unwillingness of the justices to defend the obvious constitutionality of state bans on gay marriage signals the imposition of gay marriage on the entire country. The court’s avoidance of the issue is an illustration of its contempt for the people and its support for elitist change by judicial revolution.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said that the lesson of Roe v. Wade is not that the court ignored the Constitution but that “it moved too far, too fast.” In other words, the job of a justice is to invent constitutional rights at politically opportune moments. The liberal justices are content to let lower courts do their work for them and then ratify that judicial activism at a safer time.
That the conservative justices are letting them get away with this charade suggests ambivalence about gay marriage on their part. Only four votes were needed for the Court to address the lower-court cases. This was the moment for conservative justices to defend the people’s right to ban gay marriage. But they have let it pass, making it possible for lower courts to force gay marriage on a host of new states. Gay activists are estimating that the Court’s deference to the lower courts could mean as many as thirty to thirty-five states will have gay marriage before too long.
The justices see less division in this fait accompli approach, but their cowardly abdication won’t eliminate the bitter feelings, now deepened even more, that many Americans harbor towards the judicial class for deciding fundamental moral issues for them. This remains a judicial revolution, whether it is done incrementally or quickly. Unelected judges have once again separated the people from their own form of government, partly on the assumption, perhaps sadly correct, that the people won’t mind all that much about this loss of freedom as they come to accept propaganda about gay marriage. The Left is adept at grinding the people down, getting them to see changes they once opposed as “inevitable.”
Traditional marriage looks more and more forlorn. The GOP apparently can’t be bothered to defend it, seeing the Supreme Court’s ducking of the issue as good politics for its candidates, according to press accounts. Defending marriage is “becoming a drag for the party,” according to Time, which quotes a Republican aide to a likely 2016 presidential contender saying: “We don’t have to agree with the decision, but as long as we’re not against it we should be okay. The base, meanwhile, will focus its anger on the Court, and not on us.”
If the GOP’s wins depend upon happily losing on issues as fundamental as the family, those victories won’t be very meaningful. The eagerness with which these Republicans want the defense of marriage “off the agenda” just reveals that they never opposed gay marriage sincerely in the first place. It is only a matter of time before the GOP nominates a presidential candidate who supports gay marriage.
Nor is the Catholic Church, the most stalwart defender of marriage, immune from the Left’s campaign to weaken the family, as evident in the proposals within certain circles at this week’s Synod that the Church grant “pastoral” recognition to adulterous unions. Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany, sounding a bit like a GOP political consultant, wants the Church to abandon the harsh language of Jesus Christ about adultery and adopt a more supportive approach to non-marriages: “to tell them that’s adultery, permanent adultery, I think they would feel insulted and offended.” Kasper argues that the Church see that “a sexual relationship within a couple has also its positive values, it’s not only its negative values.”
From judges to politicians to even some cardinals, the defense of marriage as established by God is seen as horribly unfashionable and unfair in this enlightened age. Innovations to his plan are “unstoppable,” they say. They are convinced that a society can be on the “right side of history” and the wrong side of God. But what’s truly inevitable is the eventual destruction of such an arrogant society. Many civilizations have mistaken decadence for progress, and they no longer exist.