Currie & Casper
Viewpoint: Same-Sex Marriage
by David Currie
The Supreme Court decision that the constitution requires that persons of the same sex may marry is of importance to me only as it applies to religious freedom. Otherwise it’s not really a very important issue to me personally. Let me explain.
There are three issues that will never affect how I vote because I consider them to be non-issues politically: abortion, guns and gay marriage. In my mind these are not relevant political issues and thus should not affect ones vote. I think all three issues are settled in America and thus no longer issues.
I am a pro-life Democrat but I think you could elect four straight Republican presidents who served 32 consecutive years and appointed every Supreme Court Justice and Roe v. Wade would never be overturned.
I believe you could elect four straight Democratic presidents who served 32 consecutive years and we will always on our guns and I own at least 25 of them. Serious gun control is never going to happen in America.
I knew five years ago gay marriage would become legal and quit worrying about it. It was obvious. Why get upset about something you can do nothing about.
I am a Baptist minister, therefore I can decide who I choose to marry and the constitution should protect me in doing that. I am not an official of the government and I personally think that ministers should not be allowed to conduct civil marriages. I need more time to explain this but I believe all civil marriages, which grant certain legal rights (inheritance, health care decisions, etc.) should be formed by government officials and then if a person wants a religious ceremony, they get “married” in a church or another place by a minister or Rabbi or whatever. Civil marriage and religious marriage should be two totally different and separate things. I personally have refused to name couples “husband and wife” by “the power invested in me by the state of Texas” since about 1978. I just won’t use that phrase because in my mind I work for God, not the state of Texas.
In my opinion, the Supreme Court decision, which I do not agree with theologically, was the right decision constitutionally. People have the right to live differently than me, with values different than mine as long as they do not hurt others. That is what freedom means.
Thus, government officials, those elected by the people, have to follow the constitution, and preform these marriages if asked. County Clerks have to issue the marriage licenses. It is the law. If you in good conscience cannot follow the law, then resign, but your personal religious freedom does not give you the right to discriminate as a public official.
The same thing applies to me as a business person. I cannot refuse to sell someone a house based on their sexuality any more than I can refuse to sell someone a house based on the color of their skin. If I owned a bakery (as has been in the news), I cannot hide behind the First Amendment to discriminate no matter how deeply I believe something is right or wrong.
Think back to the civil rights movement. There were many preachers who preached that “segregation is the divine will of God as expressed in the Bible.” Preachers had every right to preach that as ministers, but business owners were not allowed to deny service to African-Americans by law. If this were not the case, believe me, there would still be restaurants all over America that did not serve people of color still today.
And finally I just have to get off my chest how offended I am as a Christian at minister’s today that are shouting at the top of their lungs that “America is turning its back on God and we are going to be punished.” This is nonsense because we have always struggled to live up to our faith and had “our backs turned on God.” For over 80 years we as a country allowed persons to own other persons and treat them like property. My ancestors, three of whom fought for the confederacy and are buried in Paint Rock, probably held these feelings as good Baptist laymen. I do not know if they owned slaves, but I do know many did and picked who of their “property” to breed just as I pick which bull to put with certain cows on my ranch. We and all nations have always been made up of sinful people, and still are. We have never honored God as a country and neither has any other country.
I’m quite sure God was not pleased with the citizens of Waco who in 1916 took a 17 year old retarded black boy who confessed to murder and rape and castrated him in public, hung him and burned him before 10,000 spectators, but such is the history of our country and state. Our backs were turned on God then I’m quite sure (not to mention that God was probably not overly pleased at how we treated the people who lived here when we white Christians showed up).
God has never been pleased with all the actions of any country and never will be. We are all sinners and incapable of pleasing God, despite our best efforts, but we must continue to strive to overcome our natures and treat all persons with love and grace, for that is the heart of the Gospel.
As far as I’m concerned I will accept the law of the land because I may be as wrong about gay marriage as my ancestors were about slavery, I just don’t know. Therefore I don’t use phrases like “biblical marriage” because I may not be wise enough to know what that means and I wonder if my Great grandfather who was a Baptist preacher ever preached about “biblical slavery” in the 1850’s?
For me, my faith and politics are about love and grace. I will continue to try and live those principles.
David R. Currie is the new Tom Green Democratic Chair. David is a native of Paint Rock in Concho County where family came in 1879, and continues to ranch there as well as in the Christoval area where he and his wife Loretta live. Married for over 30 years, they have a blended family of 5 children and 10 grandchildren.
He is a graduate of Howard Payne University and also has masters and doctors degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminiary in Fort Worth where he did his doctoral work on agricultural policy and the Bible and received his degree in Christian Ethics.
He is a former pastor, staff member of the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission which focuses on ethical issues and religious liberty and retired Executive Director of Texas Baptist Committed. He was also sheep and goat specialist with the Texas Department of Agriculture in the 80's when Jim Hightower was Ag. Commissioner.
David is the author of two books, On the Way and Songs in the Desert as well as hundreds of articles that can be found at www.txbc.org.
He is currently the president of Cornerstone Builders and Angelo Granite Worx, and managing partner of Stonewall Ranches development company. He has served three terms as president of the San Angelo Home Builders Association, served on the Better Business Bureau board, as a board member of Howard Payne University, The Interfaith Alliance, The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and is current Vice-chair of the San Angelo Adult Literacy Council. He and Loretta are members of Southland Baptist Church.
by Ken Casper
Homosexuality is not a new phenomenon. It’s mentioned in the third book of the Bible. But since time immemorial, marriage has referred to the union of persons of the opposite sex, whether the marriage was monogamous or polygamous. In the latter case, the women in the marriage were married to the man, not to each other. Perhaps someone knows of a society that is or was different, but I’m unaware of any. Even in the extremely rare polyandrous society (multiple husbands) the men are married to the woman, not to each other.
What makes a marriage special, even revered? There’s only one answer: procreation. Because children are the natural result of a heterosexual relationship, the legal and social bond of the partners is given distinctive status. In short, the purpose of the institution of marriage is to protect the children.
In recent years the Democrat party has denied the basic truth that the upbringing of a child is a sacred duty that falls primarily to the two people who created that life. It doesn’t take a village. It takes responsible parents, biological or adoptive, a man and a woman, who more and more frequently nowadays have to protect their children from the influences of the village.
The modern call for same-sex marriage is not about love. It’s not even about sex. Marriage isn’t necessary for either. It’s about destroying the traditional moral order. Take away standards of behavior and nothing you do can be declared wrong—the ultimate freedom. But is it?
If nothing is forbidden, everything is permitted. Think about that. If everything is permitted, you are defenseless. Lying, cheating, stealing, rape, murder . . . they’re all options because there is no power higher than the individual. In other words, it’s every man for himself. Chaos reigns.
If gay marriage is not about love, and if homosexuals are in a distinct minority (less than 5% of the population), why are so many politicians championing its cause? I venture to say at least 75% of our legislators call themselves proud Christians who love Jesus and the teachings of the Bible—at least at election time. The vast majority of their churches curse homosexual acts as an abomination and condemn the homosexual lifestyle. Yet these same politicians, presumably heterosexual, are either silent on the issue or hold up the recent Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage as a victory for granting equal rights to a persecuted class.
We used to take pride in being a classless society, but the progressives of both parties have been working hard since the 1960s to fracture our country into small, hostile minorities. Divide and conquer. Whites against blacks, against Hispanics, against women, against whatever new subdivision they see an advantage in creating.
They seek to destroy traditional society because they believe they can survive the chaos that will follow, that they can then rebuild society, by manipulation and force, if necessary, to meet their utopian dreams. Call it the New World Order or Agenda 21 or a Caliphate. The name is immaterial. But they’re wrong. They forget “utopia” means “nowhere,” a place that not only does not exist on this earth, but cannot.
What comes to mind when you hear references to the Roman Empire? I bet it’s the fall, the emperor fiddling while Rome burns, degenerate bacchanals and debauchery, blood sport in the ruin we know as the coliseum. Forgotten are the thousands of miles of paved roads, the architectural genius of the arch, the aqueducts, the pantheon. Forgotten is the concept of law that forever tamed might to principle.
And what will be history’s memory of America? That it aborted millions of babies, that it destroyed the sanctity of the union of a man and a woman and made the moment’s temporary pleasure a substitute for the joy of righteousness?
The Supreme Court’s recent decision on gay marriage is not a hallmark of enlightenment or social justice or equal rights mysteriously hidden until now in the Fourteenth Amendment. It’s an assault on history, morality and civilization itself. It’s a consecration of depravity, and an insult to the parents of those who advocate it. Marriage is the commitment of a man and a woman not just to each other but to their children. All else is foolish vanity.
“He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind, and the fool shall be servant to the wise.” (Proverbs 11:29)
There is a whirlwind coming. It will spare no one, not even the progressives.
Ken Casper was born and raised in New York City a long time ago. After graduating from college, he entered the Air Force and was assigned to Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo for training. He served overseas tours of duty in Japan, Vietnam and Germany, as well as stateside assignments. He retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1993 and from Civil Service at Goodfellow in 1997. In 1998 he published his first novel, A Man Called Jesse. Twenty-four books followed, including Upstairs at Miss Hattie’s. During those years he became good friends with Dr. Pres Darby. In 2011, shortly before Pres’s death from ALS, they published a joint novel, Mankillers, a Civil War thriller. Since then, Ken has published three Jason Crow mysteries set in West Texas.
A staunch conservative, Ken was the second president of the San Angelo TEA Party, 2010-2011. He has remained active in local politics ever since.