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Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Biblical Marriage Wins a Round in Clash of Cultures

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

Advocates of biblical marriage scored a noteworthy victory in America’s raging culture war. This particular battle was fought in the Michigan Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel unanimously ruled Feb. 2 that the state’s marriage amendment trumps domestic partner legislation.

The decision, which sets a precedent for other states wrestling with the marriage question, prohibits the state’s municipal governments and public universities from providing health insurance to partners of homosexual employees. Such a benefit ought to be reserved for the employee’s legal spouse and dependents, and that was the express purpose of amending the state constitution.

In 2004, Michigan joined 10 other states in a national movement to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. With the amendment, Christians in Michigan effectively closed a troubling loophole that circumvented Scripture: recognizing domestic partners as a way of treating same-gender couples as if they had been united in holy matrimony.

Although the supremacy of biblical marriage is a moral triumph, it also will have a significant financial impact. Tax dollars contribute to salaries and employment benefits for the men and women who work in state jobs. Bible-believing Christians, who also are taxpayers, are correct in refusing to subsidize immoral lifestyles that directly oppose Christ’s instruction for family life.

It was the prophet of old, Elijah, who stood amid a generation much like contemporary society and challenged the people to choose their position on either side of the social line, commanding them to wave not between two opinions. Similarly, America is a nation divided against itself.

“The timeless principles on which this nation was built have become the ridicule of the age by a group of degenerate renegades and a band of Bible-hating moral outlaws,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “We must draw the line somewhere, making a firm decision on which side we are to stand.”

Since marriage is a coveted trophy in the 21st-century clash of cultures, it’s no surprise that the ACLU has vowed to take this case to federal court. Federal judges have been far more willing to forsake righteousness than jurists in state court systems. So, pray that this Michigan ruling stands. If it does, its effect of nullifying domestic partnership legislation will reverberate wherever marriage is protected by a constitutional amendment.

Speaking of marriage amendments, here’s the status of ongoing efforts to pass them:

A proposed constitutional amendment to affirm the definition of marriage advanced out of the Republican-controlled Illinois state Senate last week after little debate. The resolution passed 39-10 and is headed to the House, which Democrats control 51-49.

For the amendment to become official, it would have to pass the Illinois General Assembly this year or next without any changes, and then be approved in a statewide vote in the 2008 general election.

Gov. Charlie Crist dampened a controversial effort to make biblical marriage a part of the state constitution last week, saying that the Republican Party of Florida should not give money to help the effort.

The party gave $300,000 to to help get the ban on the statewide ballot last year, but the petition drive was unsuccessful. The GOP was the largest contributor to the group, which has collected about $430,000 as it now aims for the 2008 election.

New Jersey
Supporters of traditional marriage in New Jersey are organizing a petition drive calling for a referendum on whether marriage should be legally defined as a union between a man and a woman. The drive is led by the New Jersey Coalition to Preserve and Protect Marriage.

Despite the ballot initiative, civil union legislation takes effect in the state this week. Organizers of the marriage amendment effort want lawmakers to consider changing the New Jersey Constitution to formalize the definition of marriage and prevent civil union laws from being amended to become same-sex marriage legislation.

The state Supreme Court is expected to rule this year on a lawsuit by same-gender couples seeking the right to marry.

The issue of same-sex marriage is before the state Supreme Court and the legislature. Last week in Sacramento, several state lawmakers and gay activists reintroduced a bill in the general assembly that would allow same-sex couples to marry. The legislature passed a similar bill in 2005, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wisely vetoed it.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, Christianity and Homosexuality, CMC, Democrats, Democrats & The Left, Equal Rights, Family Matters, Gay, hate crimes, Homosexual Marriage, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage, Marriage, moral, moral values, Recent News & Events, Religion, Religion/Politics, Republicans and Democrats, Rod Parsley | 1 Comment »

Words ‘Natural Family’ Deemed Hate Speech

Posted by thelamp on February 26, 2007

Do Christians have a right to free speech, or are they obligated to use kindly worded euphemisms when referring to such abominations as marriage between two people of the same gender? A federal appeals court has been asked to answer this question; so has Congress.

Click here to send an e-mail to Congress, asking your representatives and senators not to pass H.R. 254, the “hate crimes” bill.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is considering the California case of a Christian woman who was threatened with termination at her job with the City of Oakland. In the office, she used such words as “natural” to describe biblical marriage and traditional family values. Although she has a constitutional right to express her beliefs, enlightened city officials contend that such words constitute hate speech.

This is preposterous. Christians should not acquiesce, yielding their consciences and their constitutionally protected rights. Consider that in Oakland, gay and lesbian municipal employees were allowed to use the city’s e-mail, bulletin board and other communication systems to promote their views, yet in the case before the federal court, the Good News Employee Association was prohibited from posting a flier promoting traditional family values on an office bulletin board.

It defies logic how those opting to live alternative lifestyles have become “victims” when it’s the activities of Christians that are being restricted.

In the case at hand, Regina Rederford and Robin Christy posted the flier in response to an e-mail to city employees announcing formation of a gay and lesbian employee association. The two responded with a promotion of their own — the start of an informal group that respects “the natural family, marriage and family values.”

Robert Bobb, then city manager, and Joyce Hicks, then deputy director of the Community and Economic Development Agency, ordered removal of the flier, stating it contained “statements of a homophobic nature” and promoted “sexual- orientation-based harassment,” even though the poster made absolutely no mention of homosexuality.

The city’s attorney “will fight vigorously to defend the policies and practices which protect employees from any form of discrimination.” It’s truly disheartening that the city isn’t equally compelled to vigorously defend Christians’ rights.

This case has the potential of making a horrible judicial edict that the only thoughts and words allowed in a public workplace are those that support the homosexual agenda. The city of Oakland has interpreted statutes governing discrimination and “hate crimes” to mean that Christianity has no place in American society, and that those who practice it openly should be subject to punishment.

If you think this case doesn’t affect you because you don’t live in California, think again. Right now, a similar proposal before Congress would expand the federal government’s ability to prosecute so-called “hate crimes.” This dangerous legislation is called the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, also known as David’s Law.

The proposed federal hate-crimes law includes an ominous provision that would establish a protected class of victims for people who engage in homosexual behavior or their political agenda. Christians today must not give in to liberal activists’ attempts to expand the federal definition of “hate crimes” in this fashion.

Doing so would jeopardize the religious liberties of every man and woman of faith in this nation.

Click here to send an e-mail to Congress, asking your representatives and senators not to pass H.R. 254, the “hate crimes” bill.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, Christianity and Homosexuality, CMC, Family Matters, Gay, Homosexual Marriage, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage, Marriage, moral, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley | 1 Comment »

Reward Marriage by Eliminating Tax Permanently

Posted by thelamp on February 16, 2007

On Feb. 6, U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Ill., introduced a bill that would completely eliminate the federal tax penalty for being married. Weller’s proposal is one of five similar bills pending in Congress. Without such legislation, recent changes to the IRS tax code – permitting couples to be taxed at the same rate as individuals – face expiration Jan 1, 2011.

While the relief remains in effect, working couples save an average of $1,700 on their taxes. Without a doubt, making the policy permanent is one step the government can take to support the institution of marriage.

From 1913 to 1969, married couples enjoyed an advantage when it came to paying income taxes. In 1969, that policy was perceived as being unfair to singles, so it was changed.

When Congress devised the standard deduction, the amounts were based on the assumption that married couples generally share expenses; therefore they live less expensively than two single individuals. Consequently, the way tax brackets were set up for single people and married couples resulted in a larger tax bill for many working couples after they got married. In many instances, a couple who married lost earned income tax credits they once had received as singles. Whether Congress intended to do so or not, the change essentially penalized couples for marrying.

Considering the positive impact that marriage has on American culture, it’s not only ludicrous, but also counterproductive to penalize people for making a spiritual and legal commitment. Yet, the penalty of the marriage tax established a financial incentive for couples not to wed.

The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 reduced the impact of the marriage penalty. However, if Congress doesn’t act, the penalty will be reinstated.

Of course, in order to balance the budget, lawmakers will have to come up with other ways of generating revenue to operate the government. As challenging as this may be, eliminating the marriage penalty is worth the effort.

The number of unmarried couples living together is steadily increasing. Although men and women should be entering holy matrimony to place God at the center of their union, the Center for Moral Clarity believes there’s nothing wrong with a financial incentive.

In fact, it would be in the government’s best interest to promote marriage. Arguably, the weakened state of marriage as an institution is the leading social problem in America. Remember that children raised in homes where there is no marriage are significantly more likely to use drugs, drop out of school, suffer from depression, endure abuse, become sexually active and commit suicide than kids with married parents.

Marriage not only has numerous societal benefits, but also is good for the economy. A study of census data reveals that married couples earn more, save more and build more wealth than singles living together. Simply stated, marriage matters, which makes it a valuable institution in which the government ought to invest – permanently.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, CMC, Equal Rights, Family Matters, Marriage, moral values, Political, Recent News & Events, Religion, Religion/Politics, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

Marriage Isn’t Mainstream Anymore

Posted by thelamp on February 1, 2007

A new report focused on the changing lifestyles of women paints a depressing picture of the institution of marriage in America. For the first time, more women are now living without a husband than with one, according to an analysis published by the New York Times.

In 1950, a little more than a third – 35 percent – of American women resided in a household built on the foundation of marriage. By 2000, increased cohabitation, divorce and decisions to delay or skip marriage completely pushed more women into the single life. Experts predict that the trend could result in other societal changes, including employment and government policies.

Social scientists interpret the findings as a reality check: The days of Ozzie and Harriett are long gone. In fact, it’s no longer safe to assume that the institution of marriage shapes contemporary culture. Marriage isn’t mainstream anymore.

Some people may look at this trend and argue it’s a logical outcome since women have become increasingly more educated, financially savvy and independent. On the contrary, it’s a deplorable and dangerous development. God did not intend for men and women to struggle through life alone. Marriage is the backbone of a healthy family. More than 2,500 studies indicate that a married man and woman raising their children offer them clear advantages no other family structure can.

“Without marriage, families will suffer,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “Marriage was created to form God’s family. This fundamental unit fosters and promotes His values, attitudes and morals within society.”

An array of research shows that the decline in marriage over the past six decades has been accompanied by a rise in serious social problems. For example, children born out of wedlock or whose parents divorce are much more likely to experience poverty, abuse and behavioral problems. In addition, single mothers are much more likely to be victims of domestic violence.

Lately, public conversations about marriage primarily address the legal battles over its definition and who is entitled to enjoy its benefits. Perhaps more Bible-believing men and women should be talking about the purpose of marriage.

In Genesis, God designed the union of husband and wife to be like “a piece of heaven on earth.” In an ideal, biblical marriage, the husband the wife are joined as one, and God is in both of their hearts. All spouses should strive to achieve God’s purpose for their lives, while helping his or her partner also reflect the image of Christ. Marriage is a lifelong process designed to enable His children to experience and share fulfilling lives.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, Christianity and Homosexuality, CMC, Family Matters, Homosexual Marriage, Homosexuality, Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage, Marriage, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

Adultery: It Ought to be a Crime

Posted by thelamp on February 1, 2007

Lawmakers and judges in Michigan are holding married couples accountable for their vows of fidelity. An appeals court has ruled that anyone involved in an extramarital affair can be prosecuted for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison.

“Adultery is a violation of biblical instruction as well as an offense against the other partner in what should be a sacred relationship. Furthermore, the breach of faith is disastrous to children – as well as the broader society,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “Too many men and women are willing to surrender to passion and desires of the flesh without considering the repercussions of those fleeting moments of pleasure.”

It’s one thing to pass a law and something else entirely to enforce it. Although Michigan has adultery on the books as a felony, until recently, no one had been prosecuted under that law since 1971. The rest of the nation should take a look at the Michigan statute. Criminal laws are designed to force people to conform to certain acceptable standards of personal behavior. Most of society’s code of conduct has its roots in the 10 Commandments.

It’s interesting, though, that the commandment to be faithful in marriage is treated as insignificant by popular culture. Adulterous behavior is just as wrong – just as much a sin – as lying, cheating, stealing and murder. Yet in 21st century America, there seems to be few consequences for a “harmless” fling on the side.

Even in this particular Michigan case, prosecuting adultery wasn’t the intended purpose of the statute. The wording of the law led to this interpretation. The statute actually specifies that two people who engage in sex during the commission of any other felony is guilty of a first-degree sexual offense – the case in question involved a man who provided Oxycontin pills to a cocktail waitress in exchange for her sexual favors. The maximum punishment for this charge is life imprisonment. Since adultery is a felony in Michigan, the act of having sex outside marriage could put illicit couples behind bars.

Perhaps court systems across the nation should treat adultery for what it truly is: lying, cheating and stealing.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, CMC, Family Matters, Marriage, Rod Parsley | 1 Comment »