But there is far more to the story than traditional belief in holy matrimony. The SCOTUS decision is very ominous for a lot of reasons. But interestingly enough, traditional marriage was already in trouble: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2015/06/01/regan-markets-june-millennials-economy/28159539/
Marriage is considered a covenant between a man and a woman exclusively by many if not most Christians – although sadly, not all: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/02/where-christian-churches-stand-on-gay-marriage/
Now that the entire apple cart is overturned, Christians – reformed, Catholic, Orthodox, and for that matter, Orthodox Jews as well as other religions that identify with Christian principals including Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have prohibitions regarding acting on same-sex attraction – including of course marriage – now face government sanctions against same-sex marriage discrimination.
There is another great religion that forbids same-sex relationships: Islam. So much so that it is punishable by death. It will be interesting to see how many lesbian couples will risk asking a Muslim owned bakery for a wedding cake.
Even so, when you add it all up, billions of people around the globe disagree with Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion: http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations. (Even subtracting the few liberal protestant denominations that have or are considering condoning homosexuality, the numbers are still overwhelming.)
In this country, the astonishing SCOTUS decision will have far-ranging repercussions that in time (some are saying between 7-10 years) could render void the very concept of religious freedom. It is not at all unlikely that tax-exempt status will be among the first privileges to be removed from churches altogether. But make no mistake: the first institutions to be impacted will be hospitals, charitable agencies and others who have their charters based on religious affiliation. Indeed some already are facing challenges. http://nypost.com/2015/04/26/christian-bakers-face-135k-fine-for-refusing-to-make-cake-for-gay-wedding/
As for the impact of possibly removing tax-exempt status for faith-based charities, the potential impact will be staggering. If it were even possible to accurately calculate the cost to society here and abroad, it would certainly be an astonishing figure. Conservative estimates predict a 50 – 60% drop in charitable giving in the United States, which ranks as the largest most charitable country in the world. For some idea of how that might change things around the world, here are some articles you should read: http://www.hughhewitt.com/new-york-times-columnist-mark-oppenheimer-on-stripping-churches-of-their-tax-exempt-status/
To put into perspective, read this: http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/24/america-philanthropy-income-oped-cx_ee_1226eaves.html
How much would be withheld is a matter requiring more than simple mathematics. However, there is already research available to give us pretty clear idea: it will affect the most desperate of people in need of help all around the world. https://philanthropy.com/article/America-s-Generosity-Divide/156175 (see red state v. blue state giving stats in this article, and the impact religion on charitable going)
If we are to be honest with ourselves and with each other, there is every reason to believe the assault on liberties has become emboldened with this current Supreme Court’s recent rulings. We may as well get over the notion that a Republican president will appoint a conservative justice, if Kennedy and Roberts are any examples of how fallacious this idea has become. If the Republican Party is still the better of the two for aligning with Christian/conservative values, then this party needs serious correction.
But should we place our confidence in the electorate or either political party? Probably not. But should we do nothing? Should we say nothing? Should we continue playing the same game we have been playing all this time for the last 60 or so years? No – we should come out strong.
If you think that sitting on the sidelines, or playing to the enemy’s strategy is the best way to win souls and feed His sheep, then go right ahead. But I say we should stand and declare the truth in the public square as loud and clear as we can. If not for ourselves, then for those who have no voice – for the least, the lost and the dying.
Here is a recent article you should definitely read from Mark Steyn to help put it in some perspective: http://www.steynonline.com/7036/the-stupidity-of-sophisticates
Church, is there any doubt that the entire paradigm is now officially over? Remember whom you serve. He and He alone will overcome. Take heart and do not be afraid. (1 Kings 18:20-39.)