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With all deference to my adopted home state of Texas, it is about time we stopped the legal, cultural and political trail of tears flowing from here that has poisoned our nation over the last 40 years.
1963, 1973, 2003. Three years, three world-changing tragedies that occurred in Texas. It’s 2009 and we may have a fourth pending.
Most people can quickly recite the first two – the ’63 event being the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, which altered the world political landscape forever. The second was of course Roe v. Wade, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas and overturned all state laws restricting abortion, resulting in 50 million dead and counting.
The third, nearly as destructive but not as widely known, was Lawrence v. Texas and originated in Houston, effectively nullifying any remaining state laws prohibiting sodomy as well as laying the legal groundwork for same-sex marriage.
The latest Dallas incident occurred last week when Democrat state civil court Judge Tena Callahan granted a “divorce” to a same-sex couple and declared Texas’ constitutional definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman unconstitutional under federal equal-protection precedents. By the way, anyone who thinks that this couple married in Massachusetts, moved to Texas and filed for a divorce in this Dallas court by coincidence should stay away from any presentations on free land in Florida.
This case is right out of the radical left’s playbook, and there are several critical lessons that every patriotic citizen, tea-party attendee and leader, pastor and conservative activist must learn if we are not going to continue our march to tyranny.
First lesson: State constitutional amendments are no match for an activist federal judiciary that has already displayed a willingness to overturn them on the basis of “equal protection.”
In 1992 the voters of Colorado passed Amendment 2, which prohibited “sexual orientation” from being granted special legal protections. In their 1996 ruling in Romer v. Evans, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down that state amendment by declaring it was in conflict with equal-protection standards of federal law.
I urge every pastor and every concerned citizen to read former Regent University law professor and author Dr. Gary Amos’ outstanding piece we call “The Church Persecution Letter.” It is the most comprehensive and compelling description of the way federal courts have used a tapestry of activist decisions to slowly back the church into a corner and initiate persecution under the guise of “anti-discrimination.”
Let me repeat – state constitutional amendments are trumped by federal “equal protection.”
Second lesson: State constitutional amendments protecting marriage only address the symptom, not the problem.
Long before Vermont and Massachusetts courts began judicially force feeding same-sex marriage to the nation, legislative bodies were granting sexual behavior legal recognition as a protected class and laying the groundwork for the “non-discrimination” agenda.
We obviously are a nation that has lost our spiritual and moral compass with the political result that we have elected people to policy-making offices who have subsequently codified evil, injustice and tyranny. They are the political disease for which the state Defense of Marriage Acts and now state constitutional amendments have been proposed and adopted as the cure.
The problem is that neither the statutes nor the amendments solve the root problem of bad politicians making bad decisions. Without addressing that basic reality, the massive amount of time, man-hours and money spent on passing ballot measures is a Band-Aid at best.
Third lesson: The use of Initiative and Referendum (I & R) to patch up a failing constitutional republic infested by the wrong people holding office and passing evil laws is not only shortsighted, but actually undermines the essence of our form of government.
I know that I will stir up opposition even among my conservative brethren who have come to revere I & R as a vital tool of government accountability. Unfortunately, to quote a former state legislator opining about term limits, it is a bad idea whose time has come. We have to do it because we have been so irresponsible with our FIRST citizenship duty to choose good and godly leaders.
Who started the modern I & R movement? Socialists, labor unions and populist reformers, according to David D. Schmidt in “Citizen Lawmakers: The Ballot Initiative Revolution.” Modern I & R was birthed in Switzerland in the 1860s by socialist Kark Burkli, brought to the U.S. by labor activist James Sullivan, and fed by the linkage with the AFL. Oregon was the first state to place and pass a state initiative on the ballot on June 6, 1904.
The use of I & R is not wrong and can indeed be a stopgap for the people to correct legislative inaction or “misaction.” It is also, however, raw, unadulterated democracy bypassing the rule of law and replacing it with “rule of majority” – or “mobocracy,” as Founding Father Fisher Ames called democracy.
Back to Dallas. This judge was elected by the voters in Dallas County, including many who call themselves Christians. Her ruling will be upheld or overturned by judges who are either elected by “We the People” or appointed by politicians elected by “We the People.”
Final lesson: There is no substitute for godly, moral people being responsible citizens and being politically active by choosing men and women at every level of government who fear God, share our values and will do what is right. No substitute, and no excuses.