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Archive for May 14th, 2013

Scene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_States

I believe that in the long run, gay marriage activism does have serious legal difficulties for Bible Believing churches sometime in the near future.  Of course, many supporters would deny this because they don’t see it coming, since they are engulfed with seeing the issue of gay marriage as a civil right.  An individual on facebook wrote the following concerning gay marriage in light of a discussion about California’s Prop 8 going to the Supreme Court:

 But it is at its core denying civil liberties. No one is saying your church should be forced to go against its faith. If your church does not believe in marrying same sex couples then that is its right protected by the first amendment to practice your religious faith. But to tell an individual that they cannot have the same liberties as others based on a religious faith outside of the church is a civil rights issues.

My response:

I hope this would not seem like I want to attack you or anyone personally. I think legally one must also recognize the distinction between two separate institutions (church and state) and from there realize that it was the people via the state that passed prop 8 and not the church that implemented it; hence any discussion about what the church imposes would seem to me to be an inaccurate assessment of what’s going on. Remember the important legal distinction that the church as an institution is not the same thing as a bloc of voters who hapen to be Christian, religious, what have you. Furthermore I also think your citation of the No Religious Test Clause in the Constitution has no bearing concerning the Supreme Court debate about the definition of marriage since that is in regards to the protective rights of those in political office and not what a people of a state can and cannot decide in an election; ironically, if someone wants to make the case that voters being voters are in some sense serving in a legal capacity of a “political office,” I think to forbid religious people to vote on their religious conviction concerning the definition of marriage would be to violate the spirit of the No Religious Test Clause because now you are saying that legally one should not vote that way if one has that particular religious conviction. I think the scary thing for me is the greater legal ramification and precedence set if Prop 8 gets struck down by SCOTUS, since as a part of the State Constitution it could be struck down despite following correct Constitutional procedure; it would undermined the very process of the people being involve with political decision-making if the court is able to do this; and the rights of the people of California would then be violated. I think if people want to pass gay marriage they should not do it via the courts but rather legislatively via people’s voting for a referendum and elected legislative body (I am speaking about the legal procedure though of course, I would be opposed to gay marriage on the other side of this political process). The court is not the place to do it. I also don’t think Gay marriage is a civil’s right issue since I don’t think any actual concrete substantive right is being violated given the current legal recognition of civil unions.  Homosexual already have their civil unions; but moving a homosexual union to the status of marriage opens up a legal can of worm and religious intolerance for it sets up a dangerous ground for legal standing against churches and clerics that are involved with marriage ceremony who religious conviction is that they believe it is wrong.

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This is part of my attempt of reviewing non-Christian, non-theological books in light of a biblical worldview.

War on the Waters Union and Confederate Navies

(Available on Amazon)

After listening to lectures over at Mises Institute on the economics of the Civil War I became more intrigued with the role of the Navy and the embargo’s contribution to the defeat of the South by the North. This book is more of the operational side of the Naval war between the south and the North. Since I am reading this book in light of my Christian worldview, I can’t help but to realize that the outcome of any battle is never certain even if on paper it looks good–victory of any battle truly rest in the hands of the Lord as the book of Proverbs teaches. Nevertheless I did appreciate this work and it’s profile of the men who served on both sides, their bravery, leadership, motivation and skill in Naval warfare. The most intriguing part of the book was the author’s observation of how the US Navy had more percentage of African Americans than the Army and of course in contrast with their Southern counterpart; the book goes on to say that due to the condition of fighting on ship that makes segregation difficult, one see among those in the Navy experiencing a change of heart where service members began seeing African Americans more favorably than those in the other services (since units were often segregated). The author even had accounts of Northern Naval Officers who were pro-slavery and Aristocratic shifting their views after serving alongside “Contrabands” (the term during the war for freed slaves). Reading this as a Christian, one is reminded of the fact that though there are different ethnicity yet God has made us all as humans–and that being human the human condition we share with those of other groups are at times surprisingly the same though the context might differ.  The other fascinating part of the book is the fact that I’m reminded of how the human condition is still the same back then as it is now: every era has their incompetent officers, leaders who exercise poor judgement in warfare, hardships, fog of war, etc. At the end of the day this was a good recreational read that takes my mind off of ministry reading and apologetics.

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