Dear Marriage Supporter,
I've been reflecting on the virtue of Hope this Christmas Season, often referred to as a "season of hope" — especially as I was reading, hearing and watching some of the news in the days leading up to the celebration of Our Lord's birth. It was less than hopeful.
Of course, the days surrounding the historical birth of Christ probably didn't look hopeful to the people living at that time. Then, as now, required looking at things a bit differently: looking at the events of this world with the clarity provided by the eyes of Faith.
We had a recent and powerful manifestation of Faith and Hope in the case of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson. The reaction of his fans and supporters, not to mention his family, to the way Phil and his Faith was viciously targeted by the homosexual lobby were beacons of Hope.
The outpouring of support for Phil has been stupendous, and signatures to our petition for A&E to apologize and reinstate Phil continue to pour in — currently at more than 60,000!
Hope Must Be Shared
Hope necessarily drew the Wise Men from the East to glorify the newly born Savior... but the people of Bethlehem didn't see that — they only saw the vindictive and brutal retaliation of King Herod.
You and I are often very much like those poor townsfolk, who see only the brutality without seeing the underlying magnificence of God's blessings.
These days, to watch the news you might wonder if there's any decency or morality left in America. But you and I both know that's because the news presents a distorted and unbalanced picture of things.
We've seen first-hand these past couple weeks that an enormous but too-often silent majority of Americans still stand for the same values and beliefs you and I hold so dear. And when they finally speak up, their voice is so loud that even the biased media must take notice.
But what about those other stories that came out several days before Christmas? Where is the hope to be found in them?
In Utah, of course, last Friday an activist judge — appointed to the federal bench by President Obama — brazenly and unilaterally struck down the state's constitutional amendment defending marriage. Then on Tuesday of this week, compounding the problem, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied the state of Utah's request for an injunction against that ruling.
The state had asked for such an injunction until Utah has its day in court to defend the perfectly constitutional and common-sense law that the District Judge Robert Shelby had absurdly ruled against.
But the leaders of Utah remain resolute... and this is our signal of hope. The Governor and other public officials have condemned the district judge's ruling that creates a constitutional crisis and overrides the will of both Utah's citizens and legislature.
We're encouraging Governor Gary Herbert to continue standing strong, thanking him for his critical leadership and asking that he continue doing all he can to defend marriage from this latest attack by a federal judge. Please sign the letter of support and encouragement to Governor Herbert today, and share this second message of Hope with your friends and family as well.
Utah wasn't the last place we got bad news from over the past few days. Just days before Christmas, in Ohio, another federal judge named Timothy Black issued a narrow ruling on Ohio's law defending marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
While the narrow ruling only immediately applied to situations involving the listing of a spouse on a death certificate and orders state officials to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses for that purpose, it still undermines Ohio's marriage law in a dangerous and irresponsible way. Particularly egregious is the reasoning outlined in the written decision from Judge Black which is far from narrow and completely misreads and manipulates the Supreme Court's decision on DOMA last summer which affirmed the right of states to determine their own marriage laws.
So what about this other case of 'vetoing the voters' from the bench? Where can we possibly look there to find another message of Hope this Christmas season?
Well, that brings me back to what I said at the outset: sometimes finding Hope requires looking with eyes of Faith.
The Hope I hold onto in the case of Ohio is the same Hope I have for our whole country and indeed our whole world. It is, in fact, the very Hope of Christmas itself. And that's the true and profound message of Hope I want to share today.
I was struck by the narrative of Christmas in the Gospel this year by one phrase, in fact one word: "... suddenly there was a great multitude of the heavenly host, glorifying God." Suddenly.
Those shepherds weren't even expecting one angel: can you imagine their surprise when a host of them appeared?
But even that pales in comparison with the surprise of the Babe in the manger itself: when suddenly, with the miraculous birth of Jesus, "the light shone in the darkness," like a bolt of lightning when He entered our world.
The point is... it has happened before. Hope can come suddenly in the most unlooked for and unlikely event. It has happened in the great events of history, but we've all known it to happen in our own lives at various times. Christmas reminds us of this: that hope springs eternal.
So, there's a message of Hope this Christmas. It's a paradox, really. We see and recognize darkness: but we see it, through eyes of Faith, as a place where light might suddenly shine. May we do everything in our power to help, and never to hinder, that light.
Faithfully, and hopefully,
Brian S. Brown
P.S.: I mentioned in closing that there's a part we have to play in bringing His light to the darkness. With that in mind, here is something you can do to help us extend this hope to everyone in America: make a generous, year-end gift of any amount, knowing that your donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar by a generous supporter.