The next day Smith says he's filed his lawsuit against Jones. Curious as to whether Smith made "a federal case out of it," I ask Smith where he filed his lawsuit.
"WalMart," he says.
I knew that WalMart SuperStores also had a Pharmacy, Banking, Optometry, and other services, but I hadn't heard about courts.
Smith says he wrote up his lawsuit and gave it to the woman at the "Customer Service" desk. As Smith related the ensuing conversation, I can imagine that the Customer Service Representative was quite confused.
I tried not to be insulting to Smith. Courteously and respectfully, I tried to explain that there are certain traditions surrounding this thing called a "lawsuit," certain formalities that are expected, certain requirements that must be met, and that Smith hadn't actually initiated a "lawsuit" at all.
Smith insisted that he had in fact filed a lawsuit, and that he was going to win his case.
He asked me why I wasn't on his side. I said his grievance against Jones may have been justified, but eventually I convinced him that really, technically, a genuine "lawsuit" doesn't exist at this point. Smith didn't have a "lawsuit" going yet.
I tried to help Smith overcome his anger against Jones in other ways, and he was thankful for my time.
The next day Smith told me that he and Jones had reconciled, and in fact the two men had gotten married!
I didn't even want to know if they had gone to WalMart.
I tried not to be insulting to Smith. Courteously and respectfully I tried to explain that there are certain traditions surrounding this thing called "marriage," certain formalities that are expected, certain requirements that must be met, and that Smith and Jones weren't "married" at all.
Smith insisted that he had in fact gotten married, and that he was going to live happily ever after in matrimony with Jones.
He asked me why I wasn't on his side. I said his admiration for Jones may have been justified, but eventually I convinced him that he really, technically, wasn't married to Jones, and never could be.
I went back to an early decision on marriage by the Texas Supreme Court, which said:
Marriage was not originated by human law. When God created Eve, she was a wife to Adam; they then and there occupied the status of husband to wife and wife to husband. . . . When Noah was selected for salvation from the flood, he and his wife and his three sons and their wives were placed in the Ark; and, when the flood waters had subsided and the families came forth, it was Noah and his wife and each son and his wife . . . . The truth is that civil government has grown out of marriage . . . which created homes, and population, and society, from which government became necessary [sic] . . . . [Marriages] will produce a home and family that will contribute to good society, to free and just government, and to the support of Christianity. . . . It would be sacrilegious to apply the designation "a civil contract" to such a marriage. It is that and more; a status ordained by God.I explained to Jones that God prohibits incest, homosexuality, and other sins, and that these relationships cannot be labeled "marriage." Jones reminded me that many governments were calling these things "marriages." I explained that decades ago, there were some who were quick to seize on ambiguous language in the constitution and attempt to legitimize their anti-Biblical acts with the protection of the First Amendment. Courts didn't buy their arguments back then, and shouldn't today:
Grigsby v Reib, 153 S.W. 1124, 1129-30 (TxSupCt 1913)
[The Founders] did not mean that the pure moral customs which Christianity has introduced should be without legal protection because some pagan, or other religionist, or anti-religionist, should advocate as a matter of conscience concubinage, polygamy, incest, free love, and free divorce, or any of them . . . . No Christian people could possibly allow such things.Smith insisted that government is now "secular," and many government agencies more recently have officially recognized same-sex couples as "married." I reminded Smith that just because a government entity says something is true does not make it true. "Marriage" was invented by God before conquerors and looters invented "the State." "Governments" have occasionally been more respectful of the Bible, but their shift in allegiance does not change reality. Reality is determined by God and revealed to us in the Bible. "Governments" and other organizations should acknowledge God's Word.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in Commonwealth v. Nesbit 84 Pa. 398 (1859)
I tried to help Smith see that nobody is forced to engage in homosexual activities (except, ironically, those imprisoned for committing sodomy by conservatives in "the government"). It's a voluntary choice that should be changed. I pointed Smith to resources that show repentance is possible, and that many have experienced victory over sin.
Smith and Jones are now good friends.
Call this "The Parable of 'Smith' and 'Jones.'"
Everything else is factual.