Liberty Action Alert: Talking The Defense of Marriage Legislatively With David Closson

This week on The Liberty Alert, join Dr. Gregory Seltz and his guest, FRC’s David Closson, Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview, talking about his article, “4 Compelling Reasons for the Senate to Oppose Redefining Marriage.” In lightning speed, our culture not only is seeking to “redefine” marriage, it is intentionally destroying the notion of marriage between a man and woman for life (the man-woman-child….trinity of civility) as having any unique value to the culture. With crime and poverty in our cities due to the destruction of marriage, with brokenness, divorce, even disease as a consequence of the libertine sexuality of the 60’s, isn’t it time for the church to bless people with God’s view on these things….even in the public square? Yes, and let’s make sure our politicians do the right thing too. Listen in for the political, the cultural, the moral, and the faith perspective on the vital question of how we can be “Good, useful” citizens in God’s hands in service to the God’s preserving and saving work for all. And be challenged along with us as we continue to grow in the wisdom needed to be 2 Kingdom citizens for the country we love. Join us!


Welcome to Liberty action alert with great selves sponsored by our friends at the Lutheran center for religious Liberty in Washington DC, a program that cuts through the chaos and confusion in the culture today by talking to kingdom, citizenship, bold biblical principles for a robust public Christian life. And now our host Dr. Greg Sellas

Good day, good day, Washington DC, and friends of the program all around the country. Uh, especially today we have our new DC radio home wave us seven 80 am. Welcome to those of you turning in for the first time. I'm Gregory. Seltz welcome to the Liberty action alert where every week we try to cut through the noise and take on the issues, especially the public issues that matter to people of faith today in our program, uh, we are privileged to have with us, uh, Dr. David Clauson, who is the director of the center for biblical worldview of the family research council. And of course, we, we love what they do, David, welcome to our program and your ministry and your work is actually to try to support pastors and churches and give them the kind of information they need. Correct.

h, now FRCs been around since:

And what drew me again to our discussion today was your latest article. I saw it in the Washington stand and it was four compelling reasons for the Senate to oppose redefining marriage. And, and what jumped off the page to me was that there are people who I know believe that marriage is between a man and a woman for life. That it's an institution, not just a relationship, but there are people in the Senate and in the house who now are thinking, yeah, but let's go ahead and redefine it because we need to be fair to everybody. And in some sense, that's, that's the wave that's coming. And if we can't stand against that wave, I mean, there, there comes a point where I think even God's word becomes hate speech in a lot of people's minds. So take us through your argument and, and tell us where we are from that argument point of view, because we have to argue these things in the public square.

Yeah, no, we absolutely do. And just to set up a little bit of context, uh, this was just, you know, a week or so ago, uh, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house, right. You know, as the speaker she's, uh, it's her prerogative to bring bills to the floor for a vote. Uh, she actually introduced this bill on a Monday bypass committees, uh, the regular order, and they actually had a vote on a Tuesday and, uh, no surprise, uh, all the Democrat members in the house of representatives, uh, voted for this bill, but 47 Republicans voted for it as well. Right. And I think that's where it's giving a lot of folks pause, uh, because if 47 Republicans in the house are gonna vote for it, you know, Chuck Schumer over in the Senate now only needs to find 10 Republicans, uh, to vote for this, to break the filibuster.

And then this would go to Joe Biden's desk and he's already committed to signing it into law. And so I think part of this con you know, the discussion is that this bill, I think surprised, uh, a lot of conservatives, I, I don't think a lot of people saw this coming. Mm-hmm , um, you know, they're the reason they're arguing that this is needed is because after, uh, the Dobbs case, uh, which thankfully the Supreme court overturned, uh, the disastrous Roe V Wade planned parenthood V Casey decisions. Uh, but Clarence Thomas in a concurring opinion, uh, said, you know, other cases, uh, where the Supreme court has, uh, stepped out of its lane, so to speak and legislated, uh, those should be, uh, revisited as well. And that seems to be what his, uh, kind of triggered in one sense, Greg, it's kind of neat to see now Congress realizes, Hey, we actually have to legislate on these issues. Uh, we can't wait for the court to do this for us. Uh, but nevertheless, the issue before a same sex marriage, uh, codify and Obergefell, uh, this is a really big deal. And we need to be letting our senators know, uh, that this is not something that we're in favor of.

Well, and, and not only are we not in favor of this is a destructive move for the culture. And I think that's where we fall down on some of these things. I, I argued even after the Dobbs case. Yeah. It's one thing to say, well, it's not a constitutional issue, but there was nothing, no discussion of the morality of abortion. There was no discussion of the fact that in infanticide was coming up on the Senate floor, on the Congress floor and the Senate floor, and we're sitting there going, what kind of country are we where we can now do this to babies in the ninth month of, of gestation? Well, now you're right. We're now we're talking here because I think it was, you mentioned that Joni Ernst from Iowa was considering this because there's so much pressure to be on the supposed right side of history and to not be considered a hater or these kind of things. And I'm saying, when did marriage as an institution, which is part of a flourishing society become a hateful thing.

Yeah. And I think that's the first point I make in the article that you reference in the Washington stand is that, you know, for 5,000 years, uh, marriage has been recognized is the institution between a man and a woman. And the reason the state has had an interest in marriage, cuz you know, even some Republicans who may be lean libertarian and will say, well, you know, the state should just get outta marriage entirely. Right? Well, we need to understand history here. And the reason for 5,000 years, uh, the state has been involved in marriage is cuz the state has an interest and seeing children, uh, be brought up to be responsible citizens, right. And social science now proves what ancient societies also knew is that the context for that child, uh, to mature, uh, physically, uh, mentally, emotionally, intellectually is in the, is in the stable home where their biological mother, their biological father are committed.

ands that didn't happen until:

Yeah. We call it the civil, the Trinity of civil man, woman and child in that it's an institution not merely a relationship. And I think what you're pointing out is that there's this movement in the libertinism of the sixties, that that whole movement of, of just do as you, please that somehow the father and the mother are becoming superfluous to the child. And like you said, every state realizes now that's crazy. And, and folks, if you're listening in, even in adoptions, what is the one, what does the child eventually wanna do? He wants to find his mother or his father. He wants to see where did I come from? Even if it's in a great adoptive family, there's something compelling about knowing who my parents are. And so again, we're saying no, none of that matters. I mean, marriage is just between these two people and whatever happens to the kids, that'll adjust to it. Like you were pointing out, this is, this is not the remedy, but you also pointed out that was part of Alitos. Uh, when Alito actually dissented from OB GFE, you know, he was pointing all that out. Correct?

our decision in the summer of:

Uh, and the one thing that the male female relationship can do that no other relationship, no other friendship can do is that you can have children. Right? And so that's why the government has always said, we need to make sure, uh, that those children are being are brought in being able to be brought up in a context that will as best as possible facilitate that child, uh, to develop into a responsible citizen. And, and what Alito noted is that he said it just in the last couple of years, the, the needs of the children, uh, have been supplanted and replaced by this. I idea that adult sexual desire, adult, uh, emotional fulfillment adult sense of belonging is all of a sudden, an overriding interest in society, more so, uh, than the rights of children. And so Alito is very, um, perceptive in seeing that just in the last couple of years in the lead up to that decision, all of a sudden what a segment of our population was saying is an overriding goal of society had really been inverted and flipped on its head

And, and the children now, the vulnerable ones. And by the way, folks, again, the constitutional argument on this is, again, states don't grant rights. They undergird rights. You already have. Yes, that's the way our culture is. And so no, one's getting a right in, even over GAFE and, and these kinds of things, they're creating a whole new law out of whole cloth. One thing too, just to mention, you talked about the states that, that, uh, voted to protect marriage. I was living in California at the time, and California actually voted to protect marriage as an institution and folks, 75% of African Americans and 75% of Hispanics voted to support marriage. And their vote was overturned by the ninth circuit court. It was a racist thing. So you had blacks and Hispanics. It was liberal white folks who actually lost that. And, and even then, uh, the will of the people was not honored. That's I guess the next thing you talked about in the article was religious Liberty. What's the religious Liberty issue. If this thing actually passes.

Yeah. Greg, such a good question. And the point you just made about California, that's the next point I want to come to next, uh, how this is a really big issue with federalism. Uh, but on the religious Liberty front, it was justice Alito. Again, who said that the decision that the majority was making in Berg fell, uh, would be used to vilify, uh, any American who still believes, uh, that marriage's relationship between a man and woman who still maintains kind of a traditional sexual ethic. And that's exactly what has happened now, to be fair, that was happening in the lead up to Obergefell. I think of Kelvin Cochran, a fire chief in Atlanta who was fired for publishing his views on the topic. Um, you had bakers, you had some florist, you had some wedding vendors who were being, people were going after them. They were being intimidated.

hey were being harassed since:

There was a Supreme court decision in the eighties, uh, the Bob Jones university case mm-hmm that said, you know, in, uh, the CA situation where there's a national public policy concern, then the federal government could step in and potentially revoke tax exemption. Well, if this bill, the so-called respect for marriage act passes, the United States Senate and is signed by president Biden. I could foresee the federal government now saying well, because this is a NA issue of national public policy. Same-sex marriage is the law of the land. The government's passed it. You could see churches, you could see religious organizations, all of a sudden being threatened with the loss of tax exemption. If they refuse to fall in line with the sexual revolution on issues related to marriage and sexuality. So the gender identity, sexual orientation, non-discrimination, uh, ordinances, accommodation policies. This is gonna come to a church and ministry near you in a hurry.

I like to even say it this way, cuz you know, sometimes I try to think of this in, in ways that make it personal. If I'm a pastor and I'm saying sex outside of marriage or, or sex before you're married is wrong. It still is by the way. And it's still very destructive. Cause the Bible says commitment first and intimacy comes from commitment, not vice versa. And that's why sex. Shouldn't be like a cup of coffee and let's go have sex. But you know, it's interesting. I just think of like, if you were a parent and your child came up to you and said, you know what, going out with this girl going out with this guy, we're gonna have sex this weekend. No you're not, not in my house. You're not gonna do that. Oh yes. I'm let me, I'm gonna call the the E E O C or I'm gonna call HHS and I'm gonna sick the government on you.

And you're gonna do what I tell you to do. And I'm just thinking in some sense, that's where we're going with these kinds of things that we can't even share. What we know to be true about what's best for our children, right? What's best for their lives. What protects them from nefarious actors out there who wanna sexualize them and literally destroy their ability to have intimacy. All of that stuff is being weaponized. And when folks, when the government sues, you you're really gonna get sued because they have unending money. Uh, just ask Jack Phillips. They keep coming for him over and over. That's the cake baker in Colorado. I mean, they'll bankrupt you, even if they're wrong, but let's turn it around and say, but we want to be good actors in the community. We just have a different worldview. And, and when God actually says, no, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Right? Isn't that where we gotta go with this discussion.

Yeah. You know, a lot of the conversations I'm having, I actually was able to speak virtually this morning to a group of pastors in Atlanta. One of the statistics I shared with them, uh, we worked with George Barna who the well known pollster and researcher who has been looking at the worldview of America for 40 plus years when it comes to marriage. Uh, there's actually now 34% of evangelicals that now will, will tell pollsters. And that, that told George and his team, uh, that they were no longer. Sure. If the Bible was clear on marriage that I think the word, uh, in the question was that the Bible is ambiguous, uh, when it comes to the definition of marriage, 34% of evangelicals. So this isn't just the broader culture. This is people who actually show up and are faithful members of evangelical churches, right. Uh, you know, Greg, what that tells me is that our pastors need to be really doing a better job of explaining some of these things that we find in the Bible.

You know, the, the Bible is, uh, it doesn't give clear guidance on every issue that we we're gonna deal with. That's right now, the Bible gives us principles from which we can deduce, you know, the best decision. Uh, but the Bible doesn't give us clear guidance on everything on the topic of marriage. Uh, there's a thus say at the Lord. What I like to say, uh, there are chapters and verses, uh, Genesis one and two, uh, clearly show at God's designed for marriages, Romans one first Corinthians six, nine first Timothy one 10, uh, clearly show us that homosexuality is outside of God's design for marriage. And so, you know, the Bible's not, you know, God's not trying to rain down on our parade or to make us unhappy. What he's doing through his word though, is he's giving us guardrails, right? And so the Bible gives us guardrails for our own protection and, and, and God's kindness through his word. He is sh told us what marriage and, uh, sexuality, what these things are for what they represent, uh, how they're designed to bless us and others. If we use them, uh, the way he has, uh, instructed us to do through his word.

Well, we, we talk about it here too. And in our work, the Luther center for religious Liberty on the hill, we say, look, we don't even use the words, heterosexual, homosexual. We use healthy male to male, healthy male, to female, healthy female to female. And there's all kinds of depart discussions, a part of that. But I love what you said, because I think this is the issue. I've said it to my people too. God's know God's ordering of the world is what it's under attack in, in, in this way of talking about these things. And I love the quote by Chesterton, GK Chesterton, who dealt with a lot of these issues a hundred years ago. He said, I hated the church when I was young. Cuz it seemed to put up these barriers. Mm-hmm until I realized that those barriers were in the right place.

And I'm paraphrasing now those barriers when the right place so that freedom could run wild, just like you said. So I said, if you see the Mustangs on the plane running full out, but they bump into the, the, the fence that keeps 'em from going over the cliff and the light is turned on so they can run and see, but you turn the light off and you take the fence away and they all go plunging to their death or they stop running. And that's what we're being asked to believe. We're being asked to believe that libertinism taking all the fences off and turning off all the lights will somehow come up with a better way to live than God's ordering of the world. Now, like we say, here, God's ordering it. Doesn't save us. We still need salvation. We still need changed hearts, but God's ordering prevents us from, from actually becoming the worst we could possibly be. And so putting up those guidelines and those guideposts is essential for a healthy society. All right. So states' rights, uh, religious Liberty. But I think the last point that you make is, is huge. And that is it's the bedrock of a thriving society. You know, talk that through a little bit and, and how can we convince our legislators? That's their role is to put the bedrock down, not to live our life for us,

Right? We need to, and cuz at the end of the day, Greg, this is an issue of truth that this is, uh, what society has staked itself that this understanding for 5,000 years, I will quickly add though on the state's rights issue. Cause I think this will be persuasive to certain lawmakers in the bill, what it actually does. And again, this is only two pages. It shows how fast it was written, how fast the house passed it. Uh, it says that in any, uh, locality where a marriage is sodomized or re recognized, then that marriage must be recognized in all 50 states in all us territories. Well, what that means, and, and this is really important if say Massachusetts, which already has some cities that have gone forward in legalizing polyamorous relationships. So that's relationships with more than two people, same Massachusetts as, as a state, all of a sudden says, you know what, we're gonna legalize polyamorous relationships.

What that would mean then is that the state in Alabama or Georgia or Iowa or Texas, all of a sudden, they would also have to recognize those as valid relationships. And so I think even some of the house members, those 47 house Republicans who voted for it, I don't think they thought that through right? Some of these conservative members. I don't, I don't think you can be called conservative, honestly, if you're voting for same sex marriage. Uh, but some of these Republican members, I don't think they thought through that. But what I'll just add to the question you ask Greg, is I think this is what society has understood for 5,000 years is that responsible citizens, you know, children, the way they become responsible citizens is growing up in homes where they can flourish, where they can develop, um, mentally, emotionally, intellectually that's been. And now social science proves what the ancient cultures we're able to figure out without even the social science we have now, right? Uh, is that, that re that that family union, the, the married mother and father provides the best context for that child. And that is again, is how generation after generation, uh, how culture's able to re replace itself, uh, that is the bedrock of civilization. Being able to have responsible citizens, children become responsible citizens, but our law, which is inherently pedagogical, shouldn't be telling a lie about what marriage is and about what's best for society,

Right? And look, I'll make it. You, you, you pointed out the 5,000 year wisdom, I'll make it, uh, let's bring it up to, to the present. I've been in city ministry, all my life, New York, Los Angeles, uh, and now I'm in DC as well. But, uh, the main issue and we never talk about it is the destruction, the policy destruction of the family and the violence that ensues poverty, all of those things it's related to the willful destruction of marriage. And so you have to ask yourself, are the people that are voting for this? Are they trying to strengthen marriage or are they actually trying to destroy it? And I think you can make a case that they want to raise your children and they really wanna point out to you. You don't need to worry about that. We'll take care of it for you.

And that too is a very destructive move, uh, in our culture. So folks, if you really, you know, think this through, um, and, and David, thank you so much for actually providing so much good information in this article. We're gonna post this along with the radio program, but think this through folks, it's not just that we're trying to say, Hey, let's be fair to everybody. This is a fundamental restructuring of society where people are more are vulnerable now, and there's gonna be ramifications to it. And we can see it from the 5,000 year wisdom that we're talking about here. And also from the stuff that's right on our newspapers, that's happening in our own cities. And all of this stuff is part of a restructuring of a foundational thing called marriage. Give us your website so that people can go find out more about you.

Yeah, absolutely. So the work we do, you know, within the center for biblical worldview is trying to help people think biblically about all issues in a biblical worldview. I think also needs to be a worldview in action. And so your senators need to hear from you. So, um, our 5 0 1 C four, uh, legislative affiliate FRC action has a petition. You can find FRC Uh, you can fill that out and it'll send a message to your senators. So again, I, I hope everyone fills that out cause our senators need to hear from us. And then for other resources, FRC dot org's slash worldview, uh, is where, uh, this article that you and I have talked about Greg and other articles that I've written that my colleagues have written. Um, and even, uh, some of the longer publications on how to think through marriage and sexuality, all of that's available, uh, for free at

Well, again, thanks for being a part of it. And you know, we are committed to, like you talked about not every issue, not every public issue is, is clearly defined in the scripture. And, and, and we apply the 10 commandments in a variety of ways, but like the founding fathers said, uh, no law that we create can be against the biblical law of, of the scripture. And so we fight for religious Liberty. We fight for the sanctity of life. We fight for the institution of marriage as a religious Liberty issue and a societal issue. Like you talk about an educational freedom and folks, those are things worth fighting for, because that way you can actually preach and teach and share the whole council of God so that people can see how they're cherished and how they're even saved the Lord who created and redeemed us. So, David, thanks for letting us, uh, share some of your wisdom to our people today. Absolutely. Thanks

For having me, Greg. God

Bless God bless you too. Thanks for tuning in today to get to know our L CRL DC work better. Check out our till next time, God bless you. Always I'm Gregory re sells have a great week.

You have been listening to Liberty action alert with Dr. Greg sells executive director in the Lutheran center for religious Liberty in Washington, DC. This program is brought to you by the Lutheran c

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