Editorial: Marriage, unalienable rights, and the federal marriage amendment

Editorial: Marriage, unalienable rights, and the federal marriage amendment

By Harlan Brown
April 29, 2010

God loves homosexuals.

There, I said it. Yes, God loves homosexuals. Before I discuss the subject of the proposed federal marriage amendment, I want to make it clear that I am not in the camp of those whose approach toward homosexuality is to call them nasty names, keep them out of churches, and let them burn in hell.

God love all human beings. We are all sinners. Christ's sacrifice is sufficient to cover any sin that is repented of. People don't normally choose to be inclined toward homosexuality or any other sin. As former homosexual Tim Wilkins, founder of Cross Ministry, headquartered in Wake Forest, NC, has stated so eloquently, "One of the mysteries of life is that we don't get to choose what we are tempted by."

The beginning

Having said that, I'd like to go back to the beginning and lay a track to run on. Contrary to a popular notion, marriage was not invented by human beings. The existence of male and female is part of a divine plan. For purposes of this editorial, I am assuming that God exists and that the Holy Bible is true. The Bible says in Genesis 1:26-27,31a:

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

Jesus Christ acknowledged God's role when he said, "Haven't you read that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Marriage is a natural union designed by our Creator. The nature of marriage involves a mystery, as noted in the song "A Mystery." (Click here to listen or here to view the words.)

Unalienable right?

In the Declaration of Independence the founders of our nation wrote that all men are "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The right to life—a right that is routinely denied to a certain class of human beings, preborn babies—is one of three unalienable rights specifically listed in the Declaration. The phrase "among these" implies that other unalienable rights exist besides the three listed.

What is an unalienable right? According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 11th Edition, an unalienable right is a right that is "incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred." Alienate means "to convey or transfer (as property or a right) usually by a specific act rather than the due course of law." Surrender means "to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand." Transfer means "to convey from one person, place, or situation to another."

An unalienable right comes from God and cannot be taken away by any individual or group of individuals, including government. An unalienable right can be denied or violated, but it still exists. The only way it can cease to exist is if the person who has the right forfeits it by a willful action that the Giver of that right says causes the right to be lost as, for example, in Exodus 21:12: "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death."

When my wife and I got married, the pastor performing the ceremony said, "And what God has so united and bound for life, man is commanded on that authority that transcends and supersedes all authority not to separate or to marry another except on scriptural grounds. Any lesser codes of man granting such separation and remarriage are for the church in defiance of and rendered null and void by the higher laws of Almighty God the Creator. This marriage therefore is bound by the authority of the Supreme Court of Heaven."

At the 1945-1946 Nuremberg Trials the Nazi judges tried to excuse sentencing innocent Jews to death by arguing that they were just obeying the law. The Allied Judges did not accept that argument. Natural law from the Creator transcends and supersedes man-made laws.

Inalienable rights are based on the laws of God. For example, the right to life is tied inextricably to the command, "You shall not murder."

Are there commands relating to marriage that involve unalienable rights? Perhaps the most obvious is a husband or wife's right not to be cheated on by their spouse. This stems from the command "You shall not commit adultery."

What about an unalienable right that is violated by legalizing same-sex "marriage"? To understand the answer to that question, we need to consider the ramifications of redefining marriage to be something other that what the Creator intended it to be.

When the government defines marriage to be a relationship between two men or two women, that creates an environment where it is considered normal for children to be conceived apart from the God-ordained institution of marriage. Under the redefinition of marriage, it is thus considered normal for a child to be reared by his or her father or mother and another person without knowing who the other parent is. However, God commands, "Honor your father and your mother." How can a child honor a parent when they are not allowed to know who that parent is? A child has a right to know who his father and mother are so that he can honor them.

The evidence

I like J. Budziszewski's definition of marriage: "A mutual and binding promise between one man and one woman before God to enter into a procreative and unitive bond with each other alone for life." It's not a quotation from the Bible, but it is consistent with what the Bible says about marriage as a God-ordained institution.

Much evidence exists to support the contention that God's way is the best way for marriage. For examples, see the following articles:

For reasons why a constitutional amendment is needed, see Is DOMA Enough? An Analysis by Joshua K .Baker.


I urge all people, especially Christians, to take a stand for the God-ordained institution of marriage. Find out where your elected officials and candidates for public office stand on this issue, and let them know where you stand. Take their position into consideration when you vote. I encourage Christians to pray for a spiritual revival in our nation, starting with the church.

For information on candidates' views on the federal marriage amendment in the primary election for U.S. House in North Carolina's Fourth Congressional District, see "NC-4 U.S. House candidates differ on marriage issue."

Morality trumps politics because obedience to God trumps everything.

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