Statement from the Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr., on the Supreme Court Ruling in Obergefell v. HodgesBy: Bishop James V. Johnston Jr.
June 26, 2015
It is said that Abraham Lincoln once asked rhetorically, “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have? Four, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg.” Today, the Supreme Court, in essence, determined to call a tail a leg when it determined that the union of two persons of the same sex can be defined as “marriage.” But, to follow the sound logic of Lincoln and basic common sense, calling it a marriage does not make it so. Marriage is more than simply two people in a loving commitment. An essential part of marriage is the physical union that, when entered by a man and woman, has the potential to bring a new life into the world. Two persons of the same sex cannot become the biological mother and father of a child who is the natural fruit of their union. That is biology, not bigotry. It is also much more, in that it forms the basis for a healthy, stable culture for raising children to become integrated adults and citizens.
Just as in 1973, when the Supreme Court found a right to abortion in the Constitution, today they have “discovered” something else overlooked since 1789: a Federal Constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Just as Roe v. Wade was not the final word, neither will today’s decision be the end of the matter. Roe created, and continues to create, a crisis of conscience for doctors and other medical professionals who, as a matter of faith, cannot participate in abortions. What Roe did to the medical profession, today’s decision does to the rest of us. By redefining marriage, the Supreme Court has ensured that there will be church-state conflict for generations to come.
Even prior to today, we have seen in case after case how laws passed under the guise of protecting same-sex attracted persons have been used to discriminate against people of faith, and this will only intensify. This Supreme Court opinion is an outstanding example of what both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have called the “dictatorship of relativism.”