Dear Marriage Supporter,
It has often been said that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
The truth of this comes home to us in a powerful way nowadays as, around the country, we see (every day, it seems) more and more frequent attacks on the freedoms guaranteed under the first amendment: the freedoms of religion, expression, and assembly.
Yesterday, I wrote to you about how these freedoms are under attack in the very city that serves as the seat of our national government. The D.C. City Council recently passed two dangerous (and grossly misnamed) bills—the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act—that both put people of faith, and religiously-based schools and organizations, squarely in the crosshairs for bullying and intimidation in the service of a radical agenda.
Those out to redefine marriage and family have always wanted to crowd folks like you and me out of the public square: but now they're being given the ability to wield the strong arm of government in pursuit of this mission!
Please, if you haven't already done so, take a moment to act right away to notify Congress that these bills in D.C. are an affront to religious liberty and the rights of conscience and cannot be allowed to stand! Congress must use its powers of oversight in this matter to stop these bad laws from taking effect.
We need to stand up to this kind of bullying whenever we encounter it, but especially when it comes dressed up in the robes of the state authority. Indeed, then we shouldn't call it merely bullying at all, but assign it the true name it deserves: tyranny.
Tyranny is precisely the word, for example, to describe the rash of judicial rulings that has swept across the country since the Windsor decision in summer of 2013 that overturned part of the Defense of Marriage Act. And that's not just my opinion: it's also the opinion of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, the Honorable Roy Moore.
Justice Moore sent a letter to Alabama's Governor, Robert Bentley, this week urging him to "continue to uphold and support the Alabama Constitution with respect to marriage, both for the welfare of [the state of Alabama] and for our posterity."
Moore's letter came in the wake of a ruling by a federal judge in Alabama that claimed the state's "Sanctity of Marriage Amendment" is supposedly unconstitutional. The amendment was approved by 81% of voters in just 2006, winning every county in the State. The judge's decision is currently stayed pending review by higher courts.
Moore encouraged Governor Bentley: "Be advised that I stand with you to stop judicial tyranny and any unlawful opinions issued without constitutional authority" [emphasis added].
Marriage Supporter, this is the kind of principled stand we need more of our public officials to take—and we need to take such a stand ourselves, too.
The cause of religious liberty will be heating up around the country this year, with various state-based legislation being rolled out in coming weeks to try to protect our first freedoms against attacks and usurpations by out-of-touch politicians out to placate special interest groups.
Be assured, I will be writing to you separately about legislation in your state as soon as it is announced, urging you to support your elected officials' efforts to protect religious freedom and conscience rights and to become involved as a grassroots promotor of these important laws.
In the meantime, though, we can each do something today: contact the United States Congress and urge them to pass the critical Marriage and Religious Freedom Act during this session.
This bill protects religious individuals and entities from being targeted for bullying because of their religious convictions regarding marriage and family. It would especially prohibit use of the tax code for targeting these groups and individuals—something which, sadly, is not too far-fetched, given what we've seen under this administration of the IRS's politicization.
I look forward to working with you throughout the year to promote local and national legislation aimed at protecting both the sanctity of marriage and the first freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Your help is critical to these efforts, and I hope you'll help spread the word and continue promoting the cause of marriage in your own way however possible.
And as we work, let's remember that we're not alone in this fight! Lately, I have had a few opportunities to meet with marriage leaders throughout the globe, such as at the recent Vatican Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman. The experiences of these countries make it clear that we have a global fight to preserve marriage, and that the biggest threats to marriage are unfortunately coming from the West — led by the United States (and the lawless actions of President Obama) but also including some countries in western Europe.
It's nothing short of a new western imperialism for the Obama administration and his allies among gay and lesbian activists to attempt to export a radical view of marriage to the rest of the world. (Indeed, Pope Francis, on his recent trip to the Philippines, called it a kind of "ideological colonization.") There's something ironic in all this, seeing how President Obama's foreign policy strategy (to the extent he has one) is supposedly predicated on the idea that America must work in concert with the international community. You'd think that advice would apply to Obama's attempt to redefine marriage, as well, since the overwhelming majority of countries around the globe have rejected same-sex ‘marriage'...
And that leads me to a positive bit of news to share in closing this week: if you haven't already heard, the national parliament of Macedonia recently voted overwhelmingly (72-4) to create constitutional provisions limiting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. And the people of Slovakia are very likely to do the same in a national referendum in little over a week's time!
Be encouraged by these promising signs, and know that we're part of a large coalition dedicated to the truth of marriage that represents the vast majority of people living on this earth. Thank you for all you do in defense of marriage and the faith communities that sustain it. We are honored to be devoted to this cause with you.
Brian S. Brown