Tennessee Pastors Network Says Court Ruling Has Jeopardized Civil Rights Across a Broad Spectrum
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) President Sam Rohrer recently spoke on the air about some of the pressing issues and pertinent ramifications of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage.
The Tennessee Pastors Network (TPN), a chapter of the APN, says the Court’s recent 5-4 decision will eventually force churches and other religious organizations to either compromise their faith convictions or face the specter of losing their tax-exempt status.
“Everyone should be aware that there’s more than a moral consideration to this marriage ruling. Because the Court usurped and stepped over their Constitutional authority, vis-à-vis the matters of the 10th Amendment—the ability for states to make laws that are within their jurisdiction and to rule them all out of order—is a violation of civil law, the Constitutional law!” Rohrer told a Pittsburgh, Pa., radio program. “I would submit that every aspect of freedom as we know it, being the range of the First Amendment or the Second Amendment or any of the Amendments, have now been violated by the actions of this Court because they’ve made themselves the law over and above the Constitution. So, every aspect of what we consider civil freedom or religious freedom has been jeopardized by the action of this Court.”
Added TPN President Dale Walker, “Now as a newly formed organization to support pastors in Tennessee and help them navigate an ever-changing culture, our hope and prayer is that church leaders would stand for truth in the public square and know that their religious liberties are important to us and can and must be protected.”
Rohrer went on to say that those working to defend and protect religious liberty may look to the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment—but the First Amendment may protect religious freedoms only to a point. The Supreme Court essentially overruled the 10th Amendment by overriding the laws already set forth by the states and voters within those states. Therefore, Rohrer says, all other Amendments are open to attack as well.
“Do we not think, therefore, that any of the other Amendments are not equally jeopardized?” Rohrer said. “Just as Justices Thomas and Scalia indicated, there was no jurisdiction for the Court to rule; they had no power; they had no right. And yet they exercised their will in trying to make this kind of application when, in this case, it has nothing to do with any kind of historical precedent. And as Justice Scalia said, there is no precedent in the history of the Court to rule such kind of an action on this type of a matter, which, in the case of marriage, has been established, as (Justice) Roberts said, for millennia.”
Rohrer added that he would expect litigation against religious colleges that decline to provide housing for same-sex couples, faith-based adoption agencies that have policies against matching children with same-sex couples, and eventually, pastors and churches who will not perform or host same-sex weddings.
Additionally, even if litigation is not successful, the government could attempt to revoke the tax-exempt status for those organizations that do not comply with the new Court opinion, Rohrer added.
“All of these are absolutely legitimately predictable because of the nature of the ruling,” he said. “It will be a matter of ‘you cannot discriminate against, therefore, you must permit.’ This is how it will go; you can see it. The ramifications of this law are broad and deep. The fact of the matter is, the very people who think this is a win will find out that their own civil freedoms have been jeopardized by the actions of this Court. It’s just the nature of the ramifications of undoing law as we have had them in the Constitution. This is a big deal.”
TPN and APN offers pastors numerous online resources that help clergy choose sermon topics and find information for other church ministries. With some free and some paid resources, topics include marriage, abortion, apologetics, creation, the culture war, economics, education, the environment, history, homosexuality and Islam, along with many others.
The Tennessee Pastors Network encourages pastors to bring together biblical and constitutional principles in their sermons and provides resources to pastors throughout the state. For more information on TPN, visit its Facebook page or call (931) 260-5301.
TPN is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of Scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues, examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in the political process on a non-partisan basis.
The American Pastors Network is the largest, national network of pastors who believe in the authority of scripture; who boldly preach the whole counsel of God with a disciplined application of a biblical worldview to public policy; who are building a permanent infrastructure of biblically faithful pastors and lay leaders; and who are mobilizing congregations to participate in the political process on a non-partisan basis. For more information on APN, visit www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net, its Facebook page or follow APN’s Twitter feed, @AmericanPastors. Those interested in forming a chapter in their state may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Public Community Foundation registered nationwide). APN’s daily short radio feature, “Stand in the Gap,” airs on more than 40 stations, and the American Family Radio Network airs the one-hour “Stand in the Gap Weekend” on 140 additional stations nationwide. A live one-hour program launched in 2015, “Stand in the Gap Today,” airs on several Pennsylvania radio stations.
To interview Pastor Dale Walker from the Tennessee Pastors Network or a representative of the American Pastors Network, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.