How do you “disparage and injure” your neighbor? According to Supreme Justice Anthony Kennedy, one way to do it would be to support marriage as being only between a man and a woman. It was a big week for the U.S. Supreme Court. They struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. Then, in a separate ruling, they let stand a federal judge’s ruling that California, contrary to California law and state constitution, must change the meaning of marriage to include not only husband and wife, but also, say, two guys who want to be known as married.
Mid-October, Long Island, NY, on the campus of Hofstra University (known for Shakespeare festivals, better than average SAT scores, and its most famous graduate, Bernie Madoff ), two titans bestride the stage, ready to “turn-up-the-heat,” as reported by USA Today. In the first debate, the man from Boston had left the incumbent from Chicago licking his wounds. Will the wounded one rebound as he limps into debate number two? Should Barack Obama, the incumbent from Chicago, “come out swinging,” or would that “make him look desperate?” asked Jules Witcover, the Baltimore Sun’s campaign blow-by-blow man.
The exact text of the First Amendment may escape us, but who doesn’t remember the gist: Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly. Here’s the text:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Let’s design a society. A perfect society. We’ll take our worst problems, problems of unemployed workers, of students barely taught to read, of men abusing women, of inefficiently used resources and misallocated investments, of all the rest of the ails and evils, and design an overarching, all controlling plan that will declare war on each of these problems, banishing them to the dustbin of history. Let’s do this by putting our best knowledge, our most powerful mathematical tools, and the benevolent power of government into the hands of our most enlightened leaders. There will be those who object, those who want to tie us down to the old institutions, those who put up roadblocks—they don’t want people to be happy, we’ll call them troglodytes, and we’ll leave them in the dust. Then, we’ll sit back and live as satisfied citizens in the utopia that’s been created for us.
Pastor Warren Graff
Pastor Warren Graff (Grace Lutheran Church, Albuquerque) holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno, an M.Div. and an S.T.M. (Master of Sacred Theology) in Old Testament Studies, both from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He and his bride, Elaine, have one son, Nathan, now in college, and they enjoy jeeping in the desert. Warren contends that every Christian would be the equal of the best economist in the world simply by contemplating Luther’s profound statement, “all authority flows and is born from the authority of parents”—and to consider the reality that from the Lord’s divine institution of family (of mother and father, marriage of man and woman, etc.) all other institutions (schools, governments, etc.) receive their authority, and not the other way around.