The Hawaii Decision

The recent news from the Aloha State really shouldn't have surprised us. The stage had already been set for Hawaii's District Court decision striking down a law that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Christians may well be asking, What's going to happen next? The first thing to happen is that Hawaii will appeal the matter to the state supreme court--but I predict that Hawaii will lose. The case will then go to the United States Supreme Court--but it won't get there before the next conflict begins. During the appeals process, homosexual couples will flock to Hawaii to get married, then return to their home states and demand that their marriages be recognized under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution. But the states will respond, We don't have to recognize your marriage, because Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act. At this point all the tangled, web of laws and decisions will end up on the doorstep of the Supreme Court. And what will the justices do? Remember in Romer v. Evans (the Colorado Amendment 2 case) said that a vote against special privileges for homosexuals is motivated by animus--that is, hatred--of homosexuals; so they struck down the Colorado amendment. But with the gay marriage case, we're not talking about special privileges, we're talking about giving them the same status as heterosexuals. So unless the court dramatically reverses itself, it has already created the legal foundation that will sustain the Hawaii decision and gay marriage. Again, this shouldn't surprise us. The fight to legalize gay marriage has been part of an ongoing process in which the liberal social forces in the culture war, through court decisions and media pressure, have been inexorably pushing this country toward the breakdown of the traditional family. What we're now witnessing is what happens when you divorce a culture from any transcendent value system--when you try to make up the rules for human behavior in a vacuum. When you believe that all things are equally good and equally bad--and, therefore, there can be no established conventions such as reserving marriage for heterosexual couples. It's what happens when you abandon belief in an objective moral order and a natural law which dictates human relations. This creates a never-never land in the law and, inevitably, moral chaos. What's going to reverse this process? I fear it will take more than congressional statutes or even changing the Supreme Court justices. Citizens must wake up to the fact that we have bought into a massive lie--the belief that we can make up our own rules, and that we're not bound by God's revelation, by objective moral truth. Recently, First Things published a symposium in which Judge Bork, several others, and I talked about three tripwires--euthanasia, gay marriage, and infanticide--that, once crossed, would cause Christians to say we can no longer lend our support or give moral legitimacy to our government. This explains why we're seeing people like young Petty Officer William Downes leave the navy. As Downes put it, he could no longer serve a government that is "abusing the Constitution" by "sanctioning the killing of unborn children." This is a courageous stand, but facing the future is going to take courage. And it's going to demand that we wake up to what's happening in our culture now. Better a sermon today than a cultural eulogy later.


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary