Some on the left are criticizing Senator Ted Cruz's recent comments about how the drive to redefine marriage may threaten religious freedom -- but a closer inspection of the issue reveals his worries were accurate, prescient, and maybe even too cautious.
In an interview with Cruz, David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network raised the concerns that many Christians are now expressing: "A lot of Christian scholars, when they talk about the marriage issue, they see it as a religious-freedom issue . . . as in essence going down this line toward potential 'hate speech' from the pulpit," Brody said. In reply, Cruz pointed to problems abroad. "If you look at other nations that have gone down the road toward gay marriage, that's the next step of where it gets enforced," he said. "It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach Biblical truths on marriage. That has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government."
Advocates of redefining marriage contend that the First Amendment ensures that pastors, priests, and other clergy in America will remain free to preach what they want to -- they will never be forced to celebrate a same-sex wedding, and liberals suggest that this is the extent of the challenge to religious liberty posed by the redefinition of marriage.
To the contrary, if marriage is redefined, then a belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman ordered to procreation and family life -- a notion once shared by virtually every human society -- would increasingly be characterized as an irrational prejudice that ought to be driven to the margins of culture. The consequences for religious believers are becoming apparent.
Read the entire article at National Review Online here.