By Matthew Maule, Juicy Ecumenism.
Yesterday the Family Research Council hosted a panel discussion on “Marriage and Civil Rights: How to Respond Rightly If the Court Gets It Wrong.” The panel consisted of Keith Fournier – the founder and chairman of the Common Good Foundation and deacon in the Roman Catholic diocese of Richmond, Dr. Alveda King – pastoral associate and director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries, daughter of civil rights activists and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Hon. Ken Blackwell – senior fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council and formerly U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, Undersecretary of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Mayor of Cincinnati. The panelists discussed the proper response to a Supreme Court decision forcing all states to recognize same-sex marriage, the repercussions of such a decision on religious freedom, and whether same-sex marriage could be properly considered a civil rights issue (like those the panelist had spent their lives on).
Blackwell began by saying that a “wooden-headed decision” by the Supreme Court forcing recognition of same-sex marriage would be a “test of how we respond as a nation, as believers.” He quoted Psalm 11, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” and answered, “suit up” referencing the armor of God in Ephesians 6. He suggested that Christians look to Nehemiah’s rebuilding of Jerusalem where rebuilding was undertaken as a community effort, each person responsible for a section they could handle.
Dr. King echoed his call to persevere in good works, quoting St. Paul, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” She portrayed the issue as a sin problem and called on all Christians to repent. “If anyone is sinning, we must stop and we must repent.” She asked with St. Paul “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Dr. King argued that Christians need to continue speaking out. “Truth, crushed to the earth, will rise again, but we must stand with truth.”