new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

Proposition 8—whose rules?

Last Wednesday, US Federal judge, Justice Vaughn R. Walker struck down California’s ruling that marriage is between a man and a woman, rather than same-sex couples. He radically redefined marriage saying that, “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage”.
What are we to make of all this?

Proposition 8 had been voted into law by a clear majority of voters. But in one audacious act of judicial foot-stamping, California’s voters were told that they had no right to express their opinion. A single unelected judge nullified the will of the voters of California as expressed through the electoral process. In a series of startling ‘findings’ the judge arbitrarily, without counter-argument, swept aside the arguments of centuries and cultures, as well as the evidence of secular research which demonstrates that both children and society suffer when marriage is redefined. Apparently the judge knew better.

Defending the judicial overriding of the people, the New York Times argued that “there are times when legal opinions help lead public opinions.” In other words, there are times when people aren’t sufficiently informed to know what is good for them, and it takes the wiser heads of the law to help and guide. I would agree. We only differ on whose legal opinion counts.

Is it the opinion of a fallible judge, swayed by internal bias and the pressure of lobbies, or is it the opinion of the Creator God who made us, knows how we are made to operate, and who legislates for what is best?

In a single moment, Justice Walker, both grasped and failed to grasp the point. He grasped that a judge sometimes has to overrule the desires people, but he forgot which Judge. At the end of the day we will not stand before Justice Walker to give an account of how we lived our lives, but before the great Judge of all the earth—and it will be no defence to say “I didn’t like your laws”.

The issue always comes back to “What do we base our opinions on?”—on popular opinion, personal preference, ‘the media says’—often choosing whatever one best suits our purpose. Or do we choose the fixed and timeless standard of God’s word, which has both the power to confirm us and challenge us, not simply saying what we want it to say.

The reality is that the civil partnership legislation both here and in California is a thumbing of the nose at God, and is a damaging path for any society in the long-term.