Not that anyone didn’t see it coming. Roe and Casey were soul-scarring monstrosities. Obergefell was just tragi-comic anticlimax.
None of the five opinions were really memorable or remarkable. Kennedy’s majority was a gushy morass of flowery words about “dignity” and “liberty.” The four dissents were pedestrian and uninspired: the Court is sloppy in its reasoning, the Court is legislating from the bench, the Court misconstrues the true nature of liberty, and the Court redefines marriage. Conspicuously absent from any of the opinions is a reference to the God of the Bible, and His creation of marriage. Sure, there are passing mentions of ‘tradition’ and ‘religion,’ and marriage is referred to as ‘sacred’ and ‘spiritual.’ But reading them, one would never know that it was one particular faith and set of scriptures which defined marriage in the west for centuries.
True marriage does not have Man at its center but God. A legal and social definition of marriage which lacks God’s Word as the final arbiter will always be an incomplete and false one. In America, marriage has been not about God, but about autonomous man for well over a century, dating at least as far back as the abolition of coverture. When coverture was destroyed, marriage was no longer about two truly becoming one, but about two entering into a mere loose contract on equal terms. Now, even in an intact marriage, there would be a cautious legal separation between husband and wife.
Things got much worse in the 20th century. Fornication and adultery became almost universal, and morally accepted. Gender roles and distinctions were utterly obliterated. Worst of all, the barbaric institution of no-fault divorce carpet-bombed millions of families into heartbreak and oblivion. Marriage, at least in the Biblical sense, has been dead for a long time, and our American fetish for “liberty” and “autonomy” was the murderer.
There is one reason, and one reason alone that gay marriage did not become legal nationwide until yesterday: homophobia. Once one grants fornication, divorce, and feminism, there isn’t a principled reason in the world to oppose gay rights. And yet, the church was mostly silent as marriage was gradually annihilated, before suddenly growing loud when men started wanting to marry other men. It’s not to hard to figure out what happened. As a general rule, people will always be most critical of whatever sins they’re not guilty of, and tolerant of whatever sins they are guilty of. Since most people in the church didn’t struggle with homosexuality, is was easy to rail against that one. But once you start talking about fornication, divorce, and gender roles, you hit sins that lots of the folks in the pews have struggles with.
Gay marriage was not decided yesterday in Obergefell, it was decided half a century ago when the church happily accepted all the legal changes which had rendered marriage all about human happiness, autonomy, and rebellion. Obergefell is but the long-delayed fruit of a philosophy which has been set in stone for a very long time. And that’s what made the four dissents so uninspiring. At heart, they all treated marriage as a human institution with a lust for autonomy at its core. Justice Alito perhaps deserves a bit of accolades for at least sketching a brief image of a more Biblical conception of marriage, but he too was ultimately too cowardly to go all the way, and call for marriage as God ordained it.
Whatever comes next legally will really not matter that much. Polygamy, incest, and bestiality are all just an indeterminate number of years away. But like gay marriage, they’ll only affect a small percentage of the population. At this point, a few dozen weirdos getting to legally marry their dogs would be the most trivial drop in the bucket. It does not even begin to compare to the evil ravages of abortion, divorce, and fornication – all of which have been commonplace for decades on end.
Hope all this puts the Supreme Court ruling in proper perspective.