Can Christians Change the World After Obergefell?

Hunter Baker | November 25, 2015

When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Obergefell case, establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, public Christianity in America suffered what might be its greatest defeat in the nation’s history. Others might point to earlier decisions that struck down practices such as prayer and Bible readings in public schools, but that would not be quite right. Faithful Christians could reconcile those cases as a matter of simple prudence and religious liberty. Obergefell and the cases that led up to it dealt squarely with the Christian view of marriage, which was normative in America for most of the republic’s history. The court’s decision largely completed the job of severing the connection between the Christian sexual ethic and American law. While nearly the whole of American and world culture for about the past 5,000 years has clearly rejected gay marriage (if not always gay sexual relations, as in the Greco-Roman classical period), the majority opinion has changed rapidly and radically during the past decade. 

Five years ago, James Davison Hunter rendered his verdict on Christian efforts to change the world (from his well-known book’s title). While he noted the amazing and disproportionate success of tiny minority groups such…

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