American has become a nation divided. While we have always had our differences, reflected in our political parties, those differences have never touched the soul of our nation as they do today. The latest evidence of our division is the decision by the New York State legislature to legalize same-sex marriage.
Dr. Albert Mohler summarized the extent of our division in his blog when he wrote: It will be difficult to exaggerate the impact of New York’s move to legalize same-sex marriage. The statistics tell part of the story. New York State becomes the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage, but its population is greater than that of the other five combined. When same-sex marriage is legal in New York next month, fully one in every nine Americans will live in a state or jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is legal. By any measure, this is a massive development in the nation’s legal and moral life.
Add to this the fact that California, the nation’s most populous state, is hanging in the balance as Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed by the state’s voters defining marriage as exclusively the union of a man and a woman, is now an issue before the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It arrived at the appellate court after a federal judge in California ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. If California is added (again) to the states with legal same-sex marriage, more than a third of the nation’s citizens will live where same-sex marriage is the law of the land.
One of the saddest aspects of this development in the cultural wars is that it was passed by the party that we have always counted on to stand against the tide of liberalism and moral decay. Perhaps our faith has been misplaced. Again, Dr. Mohler addressed the key issue when he wrote: One of the lessons learned in this sad spectacle is the fact that enough Republican senators changed their positions on the issue under intense pressure, thus enabling the passage of the legislation. The same was true for the minority of Democratic senators who had previously voted against the measure. One of these, Carl Kruger, changed his vote because the nephew of the woman Kruger lives with was so outraged over the issue that he had cut the couple off from an ongoing relationship. “I don’t need this,” the Senator told a colleague, “It has gotten personal now.”
Well, of course it has. But what this statement really means is that many Americans, including many in the political class, simply fold their moral convictions when they conflict with the lifestyles or convictions of a friend or relative.
But the most discouraging outcome of the vote in New York State is the impact it will have on our country, not just in the area of marriage but in the very survival of our nation. The statement of Jesus puts the future of our nation into perspective: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand (Matthew 12:25). Can American survive a division that cuts through her very heart and soul? That’s the question. The answer seems obvious.
Stay in the Word