Local Christians Respond to Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

biblical marriage

On Friday, the godless, anti-American,socialistic, communistic,  jihadist, liberal, satanic-inspired U.S. Supreme Court overturned Ohio’s constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. Ohio Governor John Kasich, also known as Mr. Wall Street, publicly admitted the marriage battle is over: (link no longer active)

“I’ve always felt that marriage is, you know, one of these traditions between a man and a woman, but the Court has spoken. And I’ve said all along that when the Court makes a decision, we abide by the law of the land. And they made their determination and—just move on. It doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed, I am, but the decision has been made.”

 

Williams County Commissioner Al Word, formerly the sheriff of Williams County, evidently slept through high school government class. Word told The Bryan Times (behind paywall):

“Why don’t they change the voting process so the minority always wins?  I believe everyone should be treated with respect, whoever they are, but this has gone completely over the edge. I’m in total disbelief and most people don’t realize the gravity of the whole thing. It changes who we are and how our issues get decided.”

Evidently, Word thinks the United States is a democracy where the majority rules. However, as anyone who has ever taken a government class should know, the United States is a republic with a representative form of government. Majority or minority has little to do with it, and in the case of the Supreme Court ruling, the issue is the court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, especially the equal protection clause.

I understand why Word is upset. In 2004, Ohioans voted to restrict marriage to “only a union between one man and one woman.” This constitutional amendment passed 62-38 percent statewide. In Williams County the margin was 73-27 percent. According to The Bryan Times, the voting margins were similar in nearby Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Putnam, Paulding, and Van Wert counties.

But, let’s look at the numbers (link no longer active) for God’s Kingdom-Northwest Ohio Division, also known as Williams County. In 2004, there were 26,722 registered voters in Williams County and 18,294 of them voted on the marriage amendment. (68% voter turnout) 13,275 voted for Issue One, and 5,019 vote against the amendment. Yes, 73% of those who voted cast a vote in favor of the marriage amendment. However, when measured against the number of registered voters, the number drops to 50%. As in the case of most Ohio ballot initiatives, they are voted up or down by a majority of a minority. (in 2004, Ohio had its largest voter turnout in years)

I think Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is right when he said:

“The court has spoken. The public is behind the court and the court speaks for the public…I am convinced Ohio voters, if they had it to do over would agree. Marriage equality is the law of the land now, period, just like civil rights. It’s a victory for everyone, gay and straight. Those who disagree will be relegated to the dustbin of history.”

After the Court’s decision, The Bryan Times contacted “virtually every church in Bryan”  to get a response. Only two pastors responded: Pat Schwenk, pastor of New Hope Community Church and Kevin Kellum, pastor of Grace Community Church. Both pastors were deeply disturbed by the ruling.

Schwenk stated:

This is certainly not the firs time the U.S. Supreme Court has made a ruling contrary to the truth of God’s word. It’s not a decision we celebrate, nor is it one we despair over either. God is still in control. Regardless of the moral and spiritual drift happening in our country, our response should be to faithfully honor God first, while loving others–even when there is disagreement.

Kellum stated:

Troubling, for a number of reasons. The church’s worldview of marriage has always been that it’s a vow between a man and a woman. Now we’re in uncharted territory. We’ve talked about openly with the congregation. Our doors are open to any race, gender, and (sexual) orientation.  We still have hope and we still believe and obey the word of God and depend on him for guidance on our lives, and we continue to look to God for his definition (of marriage). I’m concerned that there is a whole generation of young people who have no foundation in the church’s teachings, and with this ruling, I expect that to continue, to present a challenge to the church.

Don’t be blinded and misled by the talk of loving others and open doors. These words are loaded with Evangelical presuppositions, and all that is meant by their perfidious words is:

Yes we love homosexuals, they need Jesus, so our doors are open so that they can repent and find Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And if they don’t, they are going to be eternally tortured by God in hell.

Neither pastor is willing to openly and without reservation embrace homosexuals and welcome them into the membership. Married same-sex couples will find that very few local churches are willing to treat them as they do married heterosexual couples. As long as the Bible is the authoritative standard, same-sex couples will never be treated justly, fairly, and equally in churches like New Hope and Grace Community Church.

Over in Defiance County, the Crescent-News asked readers what they thought of the Court’s ruling. Here’s what several local fundamentalists had to say on the newspaper’s Facebook page:

crescent news 1

crescent news 2

crescent news 3

I left more comments on the Crescent-News’s page than anyone else, yet when the newspaper printed many of the comments in today’s edition of the paper, none of my comments were printed. It’s hard not to conclude that they either “overlooked” my comments, they were too long, too intellectual, or they didn’t want to give the village atheist any more press.

The Bryan Times was able to find an openly gay local man willing to comment. Here’s what Denver Henderson of Bryan had to say:

“Yesterday, I could do anything everyone else does–buy a car, own a house, pay taxes, fall in love–but there was always one thing I couldn’t do. Tomorrow I can. It’s not a big national question of ‘Can we?’ anymore. Now it’s the personal question of ‘Do we want to?’  (That kind of freedom is)  what it feels like to be a part of ‘We the People.’  It’s a big deal. It’s history happening right now and you don’t get to see that very often.”

Notes

Over the years, I’ve tried to give the Crescent-News editorial staff the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like not printing my comments, but I have reached a point where I am no longer willing to do so. If I am missing something here, then I’d love for Steve VanDemark, Dennis Van Scoder, Todd Helberg, Mark Froelich , or Bruce Hefflinger to point it out to me. From “lost” letters to the editor, a “lost” 35th wedding anniversary announcement, numerous resumes submitted for a photography position flushed down the toilet, and no response to emails, comments, and tweets, it’s hard not to conclude that the newspaper has no interest in engaging me at any level. Even when fundamentalists personally attack me in their letters to the editor, making inflammatory and untrue statements, the newspaper says nothing. Why is this?

Grace Community Church is a part of the Ohio Mennonite conference. While there has been some movement towards accepting same-sex marriage at the national level, I suspect most NW Ohio Mennonite pastors/churches consider homosexuality and same-sex marriage a sin.

New Hope Community Church is a garden variety Evangelical church. Here’s their doctrinal statement (proof texts removed):

The Infallibility of the Bible
We accept the miracles, creation, etc., as literal accounts.
To repudiate any portion of Scripture as unreliable is like changing an inch on a ruler.
If one inch is changed, the entire system of measurement is altered.

The Absolute Diety of Christ

The Virgin Birth of Christ

The Historical Creation of Man
Man did not accidentally evolve from lower forms of life.
God created man as a unique spiritual being.

The Sinful Nature of Man
Man is not basically good.
He is basically evil.

The Substitutionary Death of Christ
Others have died difficult, martyrs’ deaths.
Jesus is the only One who died for the sins of the world.

The Bodily Resurrection of Christ
Some say Christ arose in spirit or His teaching lives on.
But the Bibles teaches Jesus arose bodily from the grave.

A Literal Return of Christ to Earth as Promised

The Resurrection and Assignment of All People to Heaven or Hell
We are sometimes criticized for too rigid a stand.
But Jesus said, “Narrow is the way…”

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17 Comments

  1. Kerry

    Well I think about how many ways the Bible spoke about “marriage” and wonder if these fundamental christians even are aware of what is written. There are many charts to be found on the internet clearly demonstrating the many ways God approved of “unions.” I will not get into these…like incest in Genesis, rape victims, concubines, plural wives, etc. A quick google will return many sites. If, however, you have not seen this video, it is priceless given the raging debate of the day. All the best.

    Reply
  2. sgl

    your link goes to the overall page, which makes it a bit hard to find the particular entry in question, and will only get harder over time.

    direct link to the particular facebook page entry (menu pick “get link location” on timestamp of the post):
    https://www.facebook.com/crescentnews/photos/a.10150240832922957.316037.44219352956/10152973048072957/?type=1

    sorry they’re not printing your comments. obviously they don’t really want a dialog.

    Reply
  3. Steve

    Yeah well FUCK THEM, dude!! And the horses they rode in on! I am sick & tired of having to drag these people kicking & screaming into reality & 2015. Let them whine, howl & protest ’til their “hell” freezes over

    Reply
  4. Brian

    As you very well know, logic and even reference to the every-breath-true Bible as historical proof does not even raise the stink off a cow-patty BECAUSE GOD! My pastor explained this to us all a hundred times. You mock God and go to Hell. As for us, us here believer-weavers of verses, we will remain armed and happy as tea-time in our dustbin of history. When sweet Jesus comes back to Ohio it’ll be dustbins he’ll whoosh up to heaven, dustbins full of real Bible Christians. All your devil worship will stay behind for eternal barbeques. Now that is the TRUTH and that is the end of it!

    Reply
  5. Kerry

    Brian, What the hell are you on about. Are you off your meds, or are you using a rather archaic form of sarcasm? I did like your reference to “believer-weavers of verses” because that is what most religious people do regardless of the denomination.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Brian is being sarcastic. He’s on our team. 🙂

      Reply
    2. Brian

      Dearest Kerry, I have restarted my meds… 😉

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        ALL of them? 🙂

        Reply
  6. gimpi1

    I’ve noticed on several boards and sites where Christian people are upset about the Supreme Court decision, they either aren’t taking comments or they are screening comments, posting only supportive ones. I can only conclude that they know their case is so weak that they can’t allow it to be actually contested.

    As to your local newspaper being nasty enough to lose your anniversary announcement and refusing to acknowledge your applications for photography work, they’re rude and foolish. I work for a company that puts out several local (regional) newspapers, and while things sometimes fall through the cracks, if you are being continually ignored, someone has a grudge against you, and they are unprofessional and nasty enough to act on it. In the name of the entire industry, I apologize for that someone.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Thanks.

      Back in 2007, when I first started writing letters to the paper, I had a problem with them misspelling my last name. Over and over and over…finally I called and asked to speak to the editor. I then launched into why I was calling and wondered who couldn’t read my last name correctly. Yeah…it was the editor. 🙂 I don’t think he is the problem. I do know since I started emailing my letters straight to him they have always been received.

      One person tried the “maybe it is your email service/program” argument with me. Nice try. I receive upward of 200 emails a day and rarely have one that isn’t delivered. So, when emails/written letters disappear and resumes are never read and responded to? And tweets and Facebook comments are ignored or not responded to. And when reporters do not reply to my email, especially when they have made a factual error? The pattern tells me that it is not a coincidence.

      The newspaper is owned by Dix Communications.

      Reply
  7. Jada

    I’m really, really tired of ‘hate the sin, love the sinner.’ They Do. Not. Love. The. Sinner.
    I’m sorry, nobody with a lick of sense buys it. See, I’d have to buy into the notion that anyone ‘sins’ in the first place. I don’t.

    But I do think that if you look at the entire world and everyone in it as ‘fallen’ and sinners,’ then there’s no way that perspective doesn’t influence your resentment of people who refuse to live as you wish them to.

    Reply
    1. Kate Bartlett

      I would imagine it’s sinful to hate the sinner because that would involve judging which would go against the teachings of Jesus (I don’t know the bible very well so I’m guessing this) so they are between a rock and a hard place. Therefore that ‘hate the sin’ thing is very handy.

      Reply
      1. Jada

        You’re right, but not to worry, there’s still plenty of judging going on. For the most part, they just can’t thrive unless that’s exactly what they’re doing. For someone of that mindset to gain anything at all, that means that others must lose something.

        Reply
        1. Kate Bartlett

          I have noticed an attitude of condescending sadness towards gay people from a ‘loving’ Christian in my family which I suppose is the other side of the same thing. I don’t know if it’s exactly hate but it is something I don’t like. Superiority? Anyway it definitely makes her feel good expressing this ‘sadness’.

          Reply
  8. Angiep

    Bruce, it’s disturbing that the local newspaper would discriminate against you so blatantly. To not even give your resume a chance is an outright illegal act against a “protected class” (being your “religion,” even if it is “none”). I think most employers where I live would be afraid to even try that for fear of being found out, fined and/or sued. I admire you for keeping up the good fight…somebody needs to keep speaking up and educating the people who tune into FB, Twitter, etc. (or the newspaper, in the rare event you are given the chance).

    Reply
    1. Kate Bartlett

      Yes Bruce it is very courageous and strong of you to keep putting yourself out there. Good on you.

      Reply
    2. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      When these things started happening I chalked it up to coincidence. But, after applying for a part time sports photography job five times and not even one phone call? I’ve even provided a portfolio of my work. I am more than qualified, have the time to do it, and I work cheap.

      So, my conclusion is this…They are doing one of the following”

      1. They are discriminating based on my handicap
      2. They are discriminating based on my age
      3. They are discriminating based on my religion

      Of course, they would never say they are and there is no way to prove it. They might say privately, we don’t want that crippled atheist, liberal asshole working here, but they’ll dance a jig to show it was for some other reason.

      Reply

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