Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen cited the Bible in his belief of marriage being a union between a man and a woman in a television appearance Friday, which also saw the televangelist comment on "The Bible Series" and speak about reconciling the belief in a loving God with the existence of human suffering.
Osteen, who leads Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, appeared on "The Lead With Jake Tapper" on Good Friday and the host referenced the Supreme Court taking on two cases this week involving the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, both of which have far-reaching consequences for the traditional definition of marriage.
Tapper asked Osteen if same-sex couples should be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples, and the pastor cited the Bible to explain his beliefs about marriage. more >>
Rising conservative star, neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson refined comments he made regarding the definition of marriage and gay relationships on Friday after coming under fire from liberal groups who took offense to a statement that he made on the issue earlier this week.
"My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality – it doesn't matter what they are – they don't get to change the definition," Carson told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday.
Since then, however, the director of Johns Hopkins Hospital's division of Pediatric Neurosurgery has come under fire from various groups who interpreted his statement as anti-gay. The groups include students and faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who petitioned his planned appearance as the school's commencement speaker. more >>
Pastor Blake Wilson is known for his Bible-based curriculum on sex, having shared his message on godly intimacy for years with NBA teams and churches across the country. The Houston, Texas, pastor of Crossover Bible Fellowship recently spoke with The Christian Post about his upcoming "Sex and the Gospel" conference and why he believes Satan is just as interested in the bedroom as God.
According to Wilson, whose nondenominational church is home to 700-800 members and has a strong youth presence, most people are unaware that sexuality is really an issue of warfare. As he explained, the devil knows that God's primary purpose for marriage is procreation, to "raise up godly offspring." He believes Satan is shown to have been attacking the purpose of marriage since the biblical account in Genesis 3 that tells of a serpent successfully tempting Adam and Eve to disobey God. As a result, said Wilson, man has been living by his own sexual agenda instead of by God's biblical blueprint, with disastrous results.
Below is a transcript of CP's phone interview with Wilson. It has been edited for brevity. more >>
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week in two cases involving gay marriage, some "friend of the court" briefs are asking the court to consider social science studies that supposedly confirm there is no difference in the well-being of children raised by gay couples and children raised by a mother and a father. Those studies, though, may be deeply flawed in their methodology and the conclusions drawn from their data.
"I think ... that there's substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more," Justice Anthony Kennedy said during Tuesday's oral arguments for the case questioning the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which denied same-sex couples the right to marry.
Kennedy could have been thinking about an amicus brief filed by Professor's Leon Kass and Harvey Mansfield. There is no scientific basis to make any conclusions about what gay marriage would do for children raised by gay parents or do for society at large, Kass and Mansfield argued. They, therefore, urged the justices to rule based upon the law, not science. more >>
Much is being made of the "federalism" challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act. Leading conservative scholars like Michael McConnell and Jonathan Adler, and conservative commentators like George Will, have argued in briefs filed with the Supreme Court or in print that Section 3 of DOMA, which defines "marriage" for purposes of federal law, violates core principles of federalism. These arguments have gained even more traction following oral argument on March 27, as they seemed to have found a sympathetic ear in Justice Anthony Kennedy, even while the Solicitor General of the United States and counsel for the plaintiff Edith Windsor conceded that DOMA was not a violation of federalism principles, and despite the fact that it was not even included in the questions presented to the Court.
The argument runs like this. Domestic relations law is a core function of state governments, one of those powers not delegated to the federal government and thereby, as the Tenth Amendment notes, reserved to the States or to the People. When the federal government adopted a definition of marriage for federal law purposes that was different than might be adopted in the individual states, it impermissibly intruded on that core state function. Hence, DOMA is unconstitutional.
The arguments reflect a serious misunderstanding of federalism, as a simple analogy will demonstrate. Property law, too, is a core function of state governments. But every year, millions of Americans deduct from their income taxes mortgage interest paid on their primary residence. Suppose Massachusetts were to redefine "residence" to include "automobile." Under the faux federalism argument being urged to the Court, any Massachusetts citizen would thereby be able to deduct from their federal income taxes the interest on their automobile loan, and the federal government would have no power to define "residence" for federal purposes as it had always been understood, lest it intrude on that core state power. Such a conclusion is absurd. more >>
I was recently confronted with what some believe is a shift in public opinion on the issue of traditional marriage. The 75 Republican operatives who signed on to a Supreme Court brief calling for a federal ban on state traditional marriage laws were used as the latest example. It is difficult enough to stand against advocates on the Left but it is downright painful to have to stand up to people you thought were on your side. In some cases, it feels like a betrayal.
Why am I surprised? Because the marriage issue does not break down neatly along party lines; this is not a Republican or Democrat issue. For instance, according to Associated Press exit polls in 2008, 70 percent of African-Americans who voted for Barack Obama as president in California also voted for Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. More than half of Hispanics, a group much coveted by both parties, also came down firmly on the side of traditional marriage.
The marriage issue is one of the most difficult issues to address for most people, including Concerned Women for America (CWA). It is emotional and deeply personal. It is much easier to advocate for issues like victims of sex trafficking, the sanctity of life, and the protection of victims of rape, fiscal restraint, or education. I personally find them much more rewarding. But CWA has always stood for truth, no matter who it offends, and we will continue to do so for marriage, no matter what happens at the Supreme Court. Same-sex marriage is not our only concern on the issue of marriage. High rates of divorce, unwed childbearing, and cohabitation are just a few issues devastating American families and children. We should rebuild and restore marriage, not redefine it. If we redefine marriage, then where will it end? We have already seen Hollywood embrace the idea of polygamy, a la Sister Wives. And abroad in Brazil, trio same-sex unions are legally recognized. more >>