No, Marvin Olasky, the DOMA ruling doesn’t mean you’ll soon have to chose between silence or jail

Perhaps I’m just a glutton for punishment, but every so often I feel the need to check out what one-time trustee at my alma mater, editor-in-chief of World Magazine (who would use that position to write thinly-veiled screeds about Covenant turning liberal), author of the Newt Gingrich-pimped The Tragedy of American Compassion (and of the super racist, orientalist, poor-excuse-for-a-novel Scimitar’s Edge, among other books), architect of “compassionate conservatism,” Marvin Olasky has to say about world events. What he has to say about yesterday’s DOMA ruling is an absolute doozie

Because I’m bored and because the hyperbole, panic, and overall insanity of the piece is absolutely hilarious, I am going to do point-by-point commentary forthwith. 

Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in today’s Supreme Court same-sex saga is stinging the left, which is hitting back with headlines like “Top 10 Rage Quotes from Scalia’s DOMA Dissent.”

No, Marvin, Scalia’s dissent is not “stinging the left.” We’re too busy laughing at it. I’ve been waiting for this dissent on pins and needles for months because I knew it was going to be epic. Scalia is many things and is unquestionably brilliant, but on the issue of homosexuality, he is completely and utterly incapable of maintaining any sign of impartial jurisprudence, as his scare-quote ridden, rant about about the gay agenda taking over law schools, Lawrence v. Texas dissent made clear. It’s one of those things you can’t even get mad at because the image of Scalia impotently seething with rage that the world is changing is too funny. After skimming the holding in Windsor yesterday, I skipped right to  Scalia’s dissent and it did not disappoint. Dude was so mad that he starts out his dissent with what was was pretty much a frontal assault on Marbury v. Madison and the entire concept of judicial review upon which our system of jurisprudence rests (never mind that he had just gotten done using judicial review to toss out a key part of the Voting Rights Act, using the same logic he attacked in his Windsor dissent).  

But did Scalia primarily offer us rage, or a clear prophecy about what’s in store for Christians who stand by what the Bible teaches?

I’m sure you’re about to tell us, and I’m sure it’s going to be lulzy.

Scalia showed how the 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court “accuses the Congress that enacted this law and the President who signed it of something much worse than, for example, having acted in excess of enumerated federal powers—or even having drawn distinctions that prove to be irrational. Those legal errors may be made in good faith, errors though they are. But the majority says that the supporters of this Act acted with malice … to disparage and to injure same-sex couples. It says that the motivation for DOMA was to ‘demean,’ to ‘impose inequality,’ to … brand gay people as ‘unworthy,’ and to ‘humiliat[e]’ their children.”

Marvin, you were alive in 1996 when DOMA was passed, you’re not an idiot, you know as well as I do that this was precisely the reason that DOMA was enacted. It was because the homos were AIDS-ridden abominations who were trying to pervert children and destroy the family and they had to be stopped. I read the Focus on the Family newsletters touting all the reasons to pass DOMA, all of the AFA screeds, I listened to the politicians, and the only way that you can think that it wasn’t malice was if you’re a hate-filled bigot yourself–bigots never think that they’re bigots, even the Klan doesn’t like to be called bigots.

The Great Dissenter went on, “I am sure these accusations are quite untrue. To be sure (as the majority points out), the legislation is called the Defense of Marriage Act. But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution.”

Oooh, “The Great Dissenter,” that’s cute. Did you think it up yourself? In any case, if “defending the Constitution” meant refusing to recognize and extend diplomatic relations to a country if they don’t have a constitution that isn’t a carbon copy of the American one, and then telling them that they aren’t really being prevented from having the constitution they want because they’re perfectly free to have a constitution as long as it’s the same as ours, then Scalia’s analogy would hold up. The reality though, is that calling a law that prevents recognition of the marriage of a pair of consenting adults who would otherwise be allowed to marry if one of them was the opposite sex the “Defense of of Marriage Act” is positively Orwellian. DOMA didn’t defend anybody’s marriage, it was designed to bar one group of people from the institution.

Here’s the essence of Scalia’s warning: “In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to ‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.”

Three words: Voting. Rights. Act.

Scalia invalidated a statute that was duly passed by a democratically elected Congress, never mind the fact that the 15th Amendment said that Congress had the power to enforce the amendment with appropriate legislation. Striking down section 4 of the VRA takes the teeth out of the 15th Amendment, but that didn’t stop Scalia from voting to strike it down. So don’t tell me that it’s about invalidating a presumptively valid statute, not when the disgrace that is the Shelby County decision was handed down the day before. 

Also, Marvin, I’d be more likely to buy Scalia’s argument that questioning striking down DOMA shouldn’t be considered disparaging or demeaning to gay people if not for the fact that Scalia has ranted till he was blue in the face about his moral disapproval of homosexuality. Not to mention that I can’t buy your agreement with his argument when I’ve read all of the disparaging, demeaning, outright offensive and bigoted things that your magazine has published about gay people over the years. 

You’re not a bigot because you support DOMA, you’re a bigot because of all the bigoted things you’ve said and done. And you support DOMA because you’re a bigot.

Remember those words: “enemies of the human race.” Now that the Supreme Court has blessed the gay lobby’s tendency to declare anyone who does not toe the line is a straight consumed by hate, it will seem perfectly proper to take away the tax exemption of churches and schools that stand by Scripture. (How can a church or school be serving the public interest if it is degrading, demeaning, and humiliating others?) It will seem proper to deny Pell Grants or other financial help to students attending colleges that stand by Scripture.

Yes, Marvin, that would be why so many churches had their tax exempt status taken away for preaching against interracial marriage and refusing to marry interracial couples after Loving v. Virginia. Oh wait, no they didn’t. 

Sure, you can bring up Bob Jones University v. United States and point out that they lost their tax exempt status because the banned interracial dating and marriage and refused to admit interracially married students, but do you really want to go there and remind everyone that you’re just repeating a debate we already had but with “gay” replacing “black”? Let me remind you too, that Bob Jones University believed that they were standing by Scripture. They fought for the right to discriminate on the public dime all the way to the Supreme Court because they believed they were standing by Scripture. May I also remind you that BJU are the only ones who lost their tax exempt status. All of the seg schools, oops, I mean “Christian day schools” that were founded after Brown v. Board of Education got to keep their non-profit status too. 

I will say, however, that I don’t think that colleges that discriminate against LGBT students should get Pell Grants or any other federal aid. Teach and believe what you want, that’s part of your First Amendment religious freedom, but you can’t actively discriminate on the public dime. Why should tax dollars that we all have to pay go to schools that don’t allow equal access? And in any case, most of these Christian colleges that believe that same-sex sexual contact is a sin can avoid being discriminatory without changing their beliefs really easily–by enforcing their rules equally. Most of these schools ban premarital sex, period, and there’s no reason to treat gay and straight students any differently in that regard. Well, unless, of course, Marvin, you’re wanting to be allowed to kick out any student who so much as identifies as gay even if they’re committed to a life of celibacy. In that case, I’m pretty darn sure that the label, “homophobic bigot” applies to you. It’s also what the school you teach at, Patrick Henry College, does.

Churches and schools that have become entangled with government—that’s just about all of them—should immediately start planning for the time they’ll either have to give up those connections or give up the Bible. Pastors and teachers who say anything negative about homosexuality should think through how they’ll react if hauled into court: That’s already happened in other countries, and it can happen here.

Please do disentangle yourselves from the state. I’d rather that not a single cent of my tax money benefit you, and if you all decide to go Galt or something, be my guest.

However, Marvin, no, pastors and teachers are not going to get hauled into court in this country just because it may have happened elsewhere. Also, this is where I say [citation needed] on that one. There’s this little thing in the country called the First Amendment. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It guarantees freedom of religion and freedom of speech, so no, nobody in America is going to get hauled into court for their speech.

That’s why Westboro Baptist can run around with their “God Hates Fag” signs, and when they got sued for inflicting emotional distress, they took it to the Supreme Court and won. Because we take free speech and freedom of religion so seriously in this country that even scum sucking bottom dwellers like the Phelps family are protected. Funny though Marvin, your magazine ran an op ed by Cal Thomas arguing that Westboro Baptist’s actions should not be protected speech

Furthermore, Westboro just as firmly believes that their actions are supported by scripture as you believe yours are, but you had no problem running an opinion piece that suggested that their freedom of speech and religion should be quashed. How, Marvin, is that any different?

Scalia’s prophecy: “It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here—when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will confine the Court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.”

Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s declaration that all who oppose same-sex marriage are haters, the only thing that will keep Christ-haters from giving Christians a choice of silence or jail will be the social left’s sense of what it can get away with. As Edmund Burke wrote when reflecting on the French Revolution, “In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.”

No, Marvin, Christians are not going to go to jail. As I said above, we have a little thing called the First Amendment. You can be as much of a bigot as you want, nobody’s going to stop you. Also, I’d like to remind you again, you’re the one who ran the article in World arguing that Westboro Baptist shouldn’t be allowed to express their faith in the way that they believe that God wants them to do so. See, us liberals may loath Westboro Baptist, but we believe that protecting even the worst kind of speech is crucial to protecting all speech. And while we’re at it on Westboro, I don’t remember your magazine or any other American Evangelicals condemning them when they first came on the national scene when they picketed Matthew Shepard’s funeral. None of you cared when it was the murdered, HIV-positive gay young man whose funeral was disrupted because back then the Christian right all agreed with them that he he was a fag who was burning in hell. 

Also, Marvin, stop with this “Christ-haters” falsehood. For someone who calls himself a Christian, bearing false witness like that isn’t very nice of you. Opposing your anti-gay bigotry, no matter how much you may try to hide behind the Cross, is not hating Christ. There are an awful lot of us who are Christians and don’t agree with you. Heck, keeping with the grand American tradition of turning to the Church and to God when major events–good and bad–happen in this country, the Washington National Cathedral opened its doors and held a prayer service on Wednesday night after the Supreme Court ruled.

And speaking of Christ, He said to love your neighbor. You aren’t doing a very good job of that. You are, however, doing a great job of being a pharisee and setting up artificial rules to keep people from Christ.

If this doesn’t drive more Christians to pray for our country, nothing will. Some will also head for the hills, but remember: God’s still in charge and fully capable of changing hearts. Let’s take a clear-eyed look at the realities, work hard, and pray hard for revival and reformation.

Here I’ll agree with you. We should pray for this country. But not for the reasons you want. My prayer is that the angry, hypocritical, judgmental, whitewashed sepulchers of you and your ilk don’t succeed in driving people away from Christ with your absolutely stunning example of modeling the antithesis of Christ’s love.

And yes, God is in charge and can change hearts. I pray he changes yours.