Mr. Kurtz roasts Allen Unruh for the conservative chiropractor’s anti-gay, anti-Supreme Court screed in that Sioux Falls paper. Analyzing Unruh’s words is usually a recipe for heartburn, but let’s give it a shot.
Unruh notes that Barack Obama changed his mind on marriage equality after the 2008 election:
Was the president a bigot, or a homophobe prior to the election? He said his position was evolving, but if the rest of the country didn’t evolve at the same time, does that make the tens of millions of Christians bigots or homophobic? [Allen Unruh, “America Is in Need of a ‘Spiritual Revival’,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.08.14]
Actually, Dr. Unruh, yes, it might. If you think public officials have a right to discriminate and can refuse to perform their official duties for certain citizens they deem undesirable, you are promoting bigotry on the public dime. If you fear giving homosexuals equal rights under the Constitution, you might well be a homophobe.
Five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states have the right to re-define marriage. But when 32 states in a row defined it as a man and a woman including liberal California, federal judges responded by over-ruling all the people. The same five lawyers on the Supreme Court changed their minds and over-ruled the American people, dismantling the laws of all 50 states according to their own humanist ideology. It was judicial activism unauthorized in the Constitution according to Supreme Court Justice Roberts [Unruh, 2015.08.14].
Ah, yes, when the Supreme Court rules against you, denigrate the Supreme Court. They are not a coequal branch of the government functioning as the Constitution prescribed; they are mere lawyers, peddling humanism. Never mind that the Supreme Court’s majority opinion was not an aberration. Never mind that it followed over a decade of deliberations and rulings from dozens of judges (not just lawyers, but judges, called “Your Honor” for a reason), including South Dakota’s Karen Schreier, who looked at the law and overwhelmingly determined that we can’t Constitutionally justify denying homosexuals marriage. Legislators, governors, and voters in many states took a similar position.
Unruh then plunges into faux history and hysteria:
America became a country for only one reason. The Puritans and Pilgrims fled religious persecution. After the Protestant Reformation, John Calvin, John Knox and others, started a revival that swept Europe that became so intense King George put out a decree if you didn’t believe like the Church of England, you would be imprisoned, tortured or murdered.
Up to 100,000 were tortured and burned alive in one day during the times of Knox. The right to worship God was more important than life itself to the early Puritans. In America, all rights are inalienable, which means “God-given.” The First Amendment was written to protect freedom of religion from government tyranny. The right to freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of redress are inalienable. Freedom of religion is the foundation of all other rights. Google the “Trinity Decision.” Freedom is not license. Theodore Roosevelt said, “We have the choice now between preserving our Christian heritage and values or reverting back to Barbaric Paganism.” Martin Luther King said, “No law is just that does not comport with the moral laws of God.” Rome was rich and powerful, but it became full of drunkenness and immorality and crumbled from within. Without a grassroots spiritual revival, America will reach the same fate. The courts and politicians are shaking their fist in the face of almighty God saying, “We don’t want you, we don’t need you, we will make our own laws and create our own Utopia – a word meaning ‘nowhere’” [Unruh, 2015.08.14].
First and least, Unruh shows he can’t keep straight which words he wants to shove into his imagined enemies’ mouths. “A word meaning ‘nowhere'” should clearly rest outside the quotation marks he hangs on those silly courts and politicians, as no apostate tyrant would rage, “My Utopia is a figment of my imagination!”
Second, religion was far from the only reason the United States became an independent country. Religion got the Pilgrims and others here, but so did business prospects. We dumped over-taxed tea in Boston Harbor, not the local vicar of the Church of England. We would likely have paid King George the Third’s taxes if he had just given us seats in Parliament.
Third, Unruh fundamentally misunderstands the First Amendment’s protection of religion from government tyranny. The whole point of not establishing a religion was to prevent the newly independent American government from creating a Church of America to whose precepts the government could command allegiance on penalty of prison, pain, or death. Yet Unruh appears to be calling on the government to enshrine in law his peculiar religious dictates on who’s good enough to get married, to favor Unruh’s fellow believers, and to punish—i.e., deny equal treatment, respect, and public benefits to—those who deviate from Unruh’s religious belief.
Allen Unruh is free to believe that his God recognizes marriages only if they involve one woman and one man. But the state is not God. The state, as conceived by the Founding Fathers very clearly not to be a church, cannot so discriminate. Unruh craves the Erewhon of all Americans kneeling to his God, while the courts have recognized the necessity of maintaining the messy, practical-topia where a multitude of faiths, races, and orientations manage to live together as one nation, which in its functional diversity manages to be, not coincidentally, the greatest nation on the face of the Earth.
Don’t mess with greatness, Allen. Enjoy your marriage, let Nancy and Jennie enjoy theirs. Enjoy your church, and let the rest of us pick our own faith.